Sam Rayburn Reservoir

US Army Corp of Engineers
Jasper, TX 75951

Sam Rayburn Reservoir is a US Army Corp of Engineer project located roughly 10 miles northwest of Jasper, Texas in the heart of the piney woods region of southeast Texas.

In 1955 Congress authorized the Sam Rayburn Reservoir project for the purposes of flood control, hydro electric power, and water conservation for municipal, industrial, agricultural and recreational uses. Construction of the dam on the Neches River began in 1956, with actual impoundment of water beginning in March 1965. Conservation level 164.4 feet mean sea level, was not reached until 1966.

Originally named “McGee Bend Dam and Reservoir” due to its close location upstream to the McGee Bend on the river, the 88th Congress in 1963 adopted a special resolution to change the name to Sam Rayburn Reservoir in honor of the recently deceased Speaker of the House of Representatives, Sam Rayburn; who was a long-time proponent of water and soil conservation. Sam Rayburn Reservoir was dedicated on may 8, 1965 with President Lyndon B Johnson delivering the principal address by telephone from the White House.

When the Sam Rayburn Reservoir dam was completed it stood 19,430 feet long and has a water surface area of 114,500 acres at conservation pool.

As with all US Army Corp of Engineer projects you will find plenty to do, and Sam Rayburn reservoir is no different. You will find three parks with designated swimming areas, Ebenezer Park, Mill Creek Park and San Augustine Park. All of the swimming areas have controlled slopes a depths with sandy beeches as well as many more safety features. You will also find numerous campgrounds, hiking, bicycle and horse trails, and of course plenty of boat ramps and picnic areas.

Bass fishing to say the least, is exceptional at Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Holding ninth place in the state of Texas for a largemouth bass that weighed over 16 pounds, it is not at all uncommon to catch largemouth bass in the 10 and 13 pound range.

When planning a trip to Sam Rayburn Reservoir there really isn't a bad time of year to go. However, when you plan your trip depends on the patterns you will be trying.

February thru April is the best time for catching that lunker you've been dreaming about. The bass are spawning on Sam Rayburn Reservoir this time of year so you will find them in the flooded bushes and on the shallow flats. Your best bets are pitching jigs and soft plastics into the bushes or slow rolling a spinner on the flats. Carolina rigs inside the grass lines work well also.

When spring turns into summer on Sam Rayburn Reservoir you have to turn your attention to the main lake points and deep grass beds.

On the main lake points deep diving crankbaits will most likely be your best bet. If you want to try the deep grass beds, try vertical jigging with heavy jigs or large worms.

Once you reach October and November you can keep working the summer patterns, however as the water starts to cool the bass will move into the backs of creeks and coves. When this happens pull out the old reliable spinner bait.

When winter arrives its time to move shallow again as the water here usually doesn't get cold enough to move them to deep water. Spinners and small crankbaits should be your lures of choice.

If your not planning a trip to this bass mecca I highly recommend you start. It is absolutely a great time. If you do end up going, let us know here at how you made out.

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