Jeff Reynolds loves Lake Texoma.
And why shouldn’t he love his home water since the 89,000-acre border reservoir has been quite good to the Calera, Okla. resident over the years?
How good you ask? After opening up last week’s Costa FLW Series tournament on Texoma with a Thursday first round showing of five bass weighing 16 pounds, 12 ounces, Reynolds found himself in 10th place.
Two days later on Saturday afternoon last weekend, he was atop the standings, holding the winner’s trophy and getting ready to take home a huge payday from the event sponsored by the Denison Chamber of Commerce.
For his Costa FLW Texoma win, Reynolds earned $35,367 in cash along with a Ranger Z518 bass boat rigged with a 200-horsepower outboard. Added together, it equals a total prize package worth $80,167 dollars.
Like I said, Reynolds loves Texoma — wouldn’t you?
Truth be told, he also loves competing in FLW events. Toss in Reynolds’s back-to-back FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) titles, one on Broken Bow Reservoir in Sept. 2013 and the next on Texoma in Oct. 2013, and Reynolds now has three FLW titles and $178,513 in winnings during his 11 events fished.
If you’re keeping score at home, that’s a healthy $16,228 per FLW event that Reynolds has competed in.
Also a longtime competitor in B.A.S.S. events, Reynolds has recorded seven Top 10 finishes, four Bassmaster Classic appearances, and $432,848 in winnings on the Bassmaster tournament trail.
Not bad for the local fisherman, one who keeps proving that few anglers know Texoma and its largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass any better.
Need proof? Then consider that during the second round, Reynolds — whose wife Amanda is the girls cross country coach at Durant High School — vaulted from 10th place on Thursday to first place on Friday afternoon.
That came after Reynolds reportedly used a topwater bite early and a combination of a Carolina-rig, a Texas-rig, and a Shaky Head rig later on to boat an impressive second day limit of five bass weighing 19-pounds, 4-ounces.
“I think the biggest difference today (on Friday) was the cloudy conditions,” said Reynolds to FLWFishing.com writer David A. Brown after the day’s weigh-in at Highport Marina.
“For some of the stuff I’m doing, I need the sun,” he added. “I really feel like I can catch the big ones if I get sun because of the way the shad work. But, this morning (on Friday) when it was cloudy, I caught them pretty good too.”
“I’m really running spots, not as much a pattern,” Reynolds also said to Brown on Friday. “It’s all according to what the wind and the sun are doing. When it was cloudy, I’d fish shallow and when the sun was out, I’d go out deep and fish brush piles.”
During Saturday’s championship round, Reynolds reportedly fished a Zara Spook One Knocker topwater to catch smallmouth bass on Texoma’s sandy flats, followed up by a Texas-rigged Zoom Trick Worm to lure Texoma largemouths out of brush piles in 25-feet of water.
By day’s end, Reynolds was well in command with his final-day five-bass limit hitting the scales at 15 pounds, 9 ounces. Add his three Texoma rounds together and Reynolds posted a weight total of 51 pounds, 9 ounces, earning a 4.5-pound victory over another top local angler, Don McFarlin of Gordonville, who finished with 15 bass weighing 47 pounds, one ounce.
“It’s been a long two weeks,” Reynolds told the FLW’s Brown concerning his extensive tournament preparation. “I put in a lot of time on this one.”
In his pre-tournament practice, Reynolds told Brown that he wanted to identify where and how Texoma’s voluminous schools of threadfin shad were moving on the lake.
To figure that out, Reynolds indicated that he greatly depended upon the information he was able to glean from his boat’s electronics.
“I had one key spot — a little ditch that ran into this flat — where the fish would come up schooling every now and then,” said Reynolds to Brown after his Saturday afternoon triumph.
“Whenever they got ready to feed, I knew I was going to be around them,” added the Cabela’s fishing pro. “That was a huge benefit. I also caught some fish out of brush.”
Behind Reynolds and McFarlin, the rest of the field finished in this order: (3rd) T.R Andreas (Kerrville, Texas, 15 bass at 44-6); (3rd) Alton Wilhoit – (Noble, Okla., 15 bass at 44-6); (5th) Kevin Gressett (Tioga, Texas, 15 bass at 43-2); (6th) Hayden Burkett (Bokchito, Okla., 15 bass at 42-7); (7th) Jeff Sprague (Point, Texas, 15 bass at 42-7); (8th) Dicky Newberry (Houston, Texas, 15 bass at 41-7); (9th) Brandon Mosley (Choctaw, Okla., 15 bass at 40-13); and (10th) Ricci Head (Shawnee, Okla., 11 bass at 37-14).
From the back of the boat, Dan Wilson of Pilot Point, Texas won the co-angler’s title with a three day total of 37-15.
After Wilson, the co-angler field finished in this order: (2nd) Daren Scott (Aledo, Texas, 12 bass at 35-0); (3rd) Rick Parker (Kaufman, Texas, 14 at 31-12); (4th) JC Thompson (Calera, Okla., 11 at 27-7); (5th) Joe Copeland (Roff, Okla., 10 at 26-13); (6th) Andrew Brandstrom (White Bear Lake, Minn., 10 at 25-11); (7th) Chris Weaver (Lawton, Okla., 11 at 21-14); (8th) Chad Witten (Elgin, Okla., 10 at 21-2); (9th) Hugh Rose (Davis, Okla., nine at 20-15); and (10th) Bruce Jones (Arlington, Texas, eight at 20-2).