Hughes & Franklin win TXTT season opener on Sam Rayburn Reservoir

BROOKELAND, Texas (February, 2023)- The 2023 Bass Pro Shops & Cabela’s Texas Team Trail presented by Progressive kicked off the season on legendary Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Anglers were greeted by frosty boat decks, and air temperatures in the 30s at take-off.

After a long day of bright bluebird sky conditions, water temps in the mid 50s, and little wind, Marshall Hughes (Hemphill, TX) and James Franklin (Lake Jackson, TX) brought a five-fish limit to the scales, totaling 28.06lbs. In reward for their efforts, the duo walked away with $51,795 in cash and prizes, including a new 2023 Nitro Z18 with a 150hp Mercury Marine motor.

“We covered history today and ran a lot of areas we knew would be holding big pre-spawn largemouth in [Sam]Rayburn,” said Triton boat owner Marshall Hughes. “A big key to our success today was using forward-facing sonar to locate fish relating to pre-spawn areas on brush piles. Once we found fish wanting to react, we relied on a Rat-L-Trap ScopeStick in the Cajun Pearl color to catch most of our weight. Also, throughout the day we were able to mix in throwing a lipless crankbait and a swimbait to catch other keepers.”

One other key to Hughes and Franklin’s success was upgrading their jerkbait technique to using Short Shank EWG Gamakatsu Treble Hooks and fishing 14lb Sunline Shooter fluorocarbon.

“I am so fortunate to be partnered with Marshall and be able to compete with him in Texas Team Trail events,” Franklin said. “We fish this circuit because there is a boat giveaway at each event and with the championship being held at Choke Canyon, we really want the opportunity to be there.”

The team took home several contingency prizes, including Triton Gold ($8,000) Mercury Marine ($1,000). The team also reeled in the Big Bass honors and was awarded a new PowerPole Pro Series II unit for the biggest fish weighed in at the event.

The second-place finishers- and 2022 Team of the Year- Russell Lee and Landon Ware reported fishing for quality bites rather than numbers. The pair fished grass edges throughout the day leading into spawning pockets and found a late-day flurry to seal the deal.

Third place team Clay Phillips & David Shaw also fished grass to catch their weight, stating after the tournament that the quality bites started showing themselves in the late afternoon after the sun got high. They relied on soft plastic stick baits and crankbaits to do their damage on Sam Rayburn Reservoir.

2nd-5th place team results:

2nd: Russell Lee & Landon Ware – 25.13

3rd: Clay Phillips & David Shaw – 25.13

4th: Brian Shott & Jim Smith – 25.12

5th: Seth Furmanek & Robert Kettner – 20.14


Garmin contingency winners were Seth Furmanek & Robert Kettner.

Texas Team Trail would like to thank local White River Marine Group dealer Premiere Boating Center of Jasper and Jasper County Development District.

The 2023 Bass Pro Shops/ Cabela’s Texas Team Trail presented by Progressive returns to Sam Rayburn Reservoir on March 25th. Team registration can be done on the following website:

Official results are located through this link:

Outdoor TeamWorks and Texas Team Trail would like to thank local White River Marine Group dealer Premiere Boating Center of Jasper and Jasper County Development District.

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About Outdoor TeamWorks

Texas Team Trail is a part of the Outdoor TeamWorks family of fishing tournaments. The OTW brand offers a wide range of fishing events from professional tournaments to grassroots fishing derbies. All events are supported by some of the top companies in the nation and include on-site activation and activities, as well as extensive media support.  For additional live updates and information, follow TXTT on Facebook and Instagram.