UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Erie

The plan for Grand

The plan for Grand
Ominous skies at takeoff bespoke the potential for rough weather on day one at Grand Lake.

GROVE, Ok. - Walmart pro Mark Rose said it's just about time for Grand Lake's bass to hang the "Do Not Disturb" sign on their bedroom door. Indeed, he's hopeful that the prespawn transition that has been delayed by weather will coincide with the start of this week's Rayovac FLW Series Central Division tournament.

The lingering effects of an extremely cold winter has slowed the seasonal cycles and many, includingMark Rose backs away from the dock for the day-one takeoff. Rose, reported very thin practice results.

"I think these last couple of days are going to make a big difference," Rose said. "Every one of us have love on our minds at some point and they're starting to have it. This time of year is all about the spawn and they're coming."

Pop-Tarts pro Greg Bohannon agrees. During Wednesday's practice, he found water temperatures sneaking into the upper 50's, with some areas flirting with 60. This, he said, will definitely hasten the shoreward movement.

And while he's hopeful that Grand dodges the severe weather system moving through the area, he would like to see a good dose of precipitation.

Kellogg"Anytime we get a warm rain, these fish will run to the bank," Bohannon said.

Kellogg's Rice Krispies pro Jim Tutt also found increasing water temperatures during his practice days. He notes that one of the most important factors this time of the year occurs after sundown.

"It's been warmer at night, so I think that's going to have a big impact on morning temperatures," Tutt said.

One of the factors holding fish deep has been the lake's recent shad kill. This seasonal event has taken a more severe turn due to recent weather. The result has been a buffet of easy meals for opportunistic bass.

Walmart pro Wesley Strader explains: "Usually in the prespawn, the fish are up shallow and they're Wal-mart pro Mark Rose hopes that recent warming weather will spur prespawn bass to move toward the bank.eating. But when you have one of those big shad kills, the bass are just lying there and the shad are falling in front of their faces. They're gorged and they have no reason to feed (elsewhere)."

Nevertheless, Rose believes that the fish's reproductive drive will soon overcome the appeal of easy eats.

"Grand is right on the verge of busting wide open," Rose said. "This is one of the greatest lakes in this part of the country. I have heard talk of the shad kill and the lake almost freezing over; and that does have a severe impact on how fast they come to the bank.

"They have plenty of food out there. The 30- to 60-foot bottom is just full of dead shad. I can see them on my graph and I can see all the arches (fish marks on sonar) feeding on them. They don't have to do a lot, but there comes a time when they want to eat crawdads, bream and things like that. You know, I don't like steak every night, but I like it every now and then. The bass also like a little variety to their diet so they're going to come up shallow."

Gary Yamamoto hopes to tempt big bass with his 8-inch grubs and Swimming Senkos.Rose said he expects the Alabama rig (aka umbrella rig) to play a big role in this tournament, as prespawn fish leave the shad kill zone will no doubt delight in the appearance of bait clusters. FLW rules specify that umbrella rigs may comprise up to 5 wires, 5 blades, 5 baits and 3 hooks (some baits are hookless teasers).

Rose will also throw a mix of shallow crankbaits like the Strike King Redeye Shad lipless bait and the KVD 1.5 squarebill, along with a Strike King spinnerbait.

Texas pro Gary Yamamoto found some practice success with his 8-inch grub Texas rigged with a nose weight, or on a weighted Owner Screw-Lock hook. Today, he'll throw a black/blue grub in darker water and a pearl white one in clear water. Yamamoto also expects to find a few bites with his Swimming Senko Texas rigged on the Screw-Lock hook with a small nose weight.

"I'm optimistic because I know the conditions are changing and the fish are ready to come up," Yamamoto said. "Last night it was 72 degrees here and I'm sure the (water) temperature has increased considerably. The fish are ready to come up. They would have already spawned if it hadn't been so cold."

Tutt will also keep the Alabama rig handy, along with a jerkbait and a crankbait - mostly the classic Wal-mart pro Wesley Strader will work a spinnerbait into his day-one mix.Storm Wiggle Wart. Strader hopes to get the job done with a spinnerbait and a crankbait, but he, too, will have an A-rig on deck.

Logistics

Anglers will take off from Wolf Creek Park, located at 963 N 16th Street in Grove, Ok. at 7 a.m. each day. Weigh-in will be held at the takeoff location on Thursday and Friday beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at Walmart located at 2115 S. Main St. in Grove, Ok. beginning at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Pros will fish for a top award of $40,000 plus a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Co-anglers will cast for a top award consisting of a Ranger Z117 with 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $5,000 if Ranger Cup guidelines are met.

Bella joins Gary Yamamoto on every outing.The Rayovac FLW Series consists of five divisions - Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of three tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the opportunity to fish in the Rayovac FLW Series Championship. The 2014 Rayovac FLW Series Championship is being held Oct. 30-Nov. 1 on Wheeler Lake in Rogersville, Ala.

The Rayovac FLW Series tournament on Grand Lake is being hosted by the Grand Lake Association.

Thursday's conditions:

Sunrise: 7:04 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 66 degrees
Expected high temperature: 71 degrees
Water temperature: 52-58 degrees
Wind: S 15-20 mph
Day's outlook: Cloudy, scattered thunderstorms

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2014-04-03-grand-lake 

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