UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Lake Lanier

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 

Fall Showdown Starts at Rayburn

Fall Showdown Starts at Rayburn

Takeoff for day one of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division finale on Sam Rayburn was about as perfect as it gets. Light wind paired with crisp, comfortable temperatures and plenty of sun provided an auspicious beginning to the Toyota Series event on the sprawling Texas reservoir. READ MORE »

Fall Junk Fishing Jam Starts at Norman

Fall Junk Fishing Jam Starts at Norman

The third and final Toyota Series Eastern Division event is off and rolling this morning on Lake Norman near Charlotte, N.C. While Norman has hosted a couple of past Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit events and is a popular stop for the Phoenix Bass Fishing League, this is the first time the Toyota Series has taken a crack at the large Carolina lake. READ MORE »

Plains Division Kicks Off on Dardanelle

Plains Division Kicks Off on Dardanelle

All the major bass tournaments Lake Dardanelle has hosted since 2004 have followed different scripts, and the Toyota Series Plains Division event that kicks off today will be no different. With a schedule full of changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this is the first event of the Plains Division season, and it’s the last division to kick off in 2020. READ MORE »

High Water on Tap for College Open

High Water on Tap for College Open

By mid-September, Kentucky Lake can be absolutely lights-out when you find a big school up on its many shallow bars. This week, during the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open, that’s probably not going to be the case – instead of locking a topwater in their hands, college teams are likely to take a much more varied approach. READ MORE »

Southwestern Division Hits Fort Gibson

Southwestern Division Hits Fort Gibson

The Toyota Series Southwestern Division rolls on with the Toyota Series at Fort Gibson Lake. Hosted by the Wagoner Area Chamber of Commerce, the three-day tournament will feature the region’s best bass-fishing pros and co-anglers casting for a top prize of up to $65,000, plus a $35,000 bonus if the winner is a qualified Phoenix Boat owner. READ MORE »

Southeastern Div. Wraps on Neely Henry

Southeastern Div. Wraps on Neely Henry

The Toyota Series Southeastern Division is wrapping its 2020 season with the third and final stop at Neely Henry Lake out of Gadsden, Ala., this week. While Neely Henry is often a perennial stop on Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine schedules, this is the first time the Toyota Series has visited the winding reservoir along the Coosa River in northeast Alabama. READ MORE »

Curveballs Ahead for Cal Delta Field

Curveballs Ahead for Cal Delta Field

The California Delta is a frequent stop for anglers in the Toyota Series Western Division. The storied fishery has hosted countless FLW tournaments over the years, but this year is different, as the event was rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of the traditional May or late-September dates for the stop, the rescheduled date is this week, right in the middle of August. The new time of year will surely make things different than previous years. READ MORE »

Another Erie Battle Begins

Another Erie Battle Begins

The Toyota Series Northern Division is going out of Sandusky Bay on Lake Erie once again. This week’s event takes place on August 18-20, and it is the second stop of the Northern Division. Like the last event out of Sandusky, Erie is in play, as well as the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair, with all Canadian waters being off-limits to fishing. READ MORE »

Dog days at Wheeler Lake

Dog days at Wheeler Lake

The second event of the Toyota Series Southeastern Division is off and running this morning on Wheeler Lake out of Ingalls Harbor. Many pros fishing the Southeastern Division this season agree that Wheeler will be the most challenging of the three events in 2020 due to the timing of the tournament. READ MORE »

Ready to Rock on Erie

Ready to Rock on Erie

The Toyota Series Northern Division has undergone more than its share of schedule shuffling this year, but the kickoff is finally here. Taking off out of Sandusky, Ohio, on the shores of Lake Erie, the time to chase smallmouths has arrived. READ MORE »

Eufaula Slugfest Kicks Off

Eufaula Slugfest Kicks Off

For the second week in a row, FLW’s Toyota Series is visiting one of Alabama’s premier bass fisheries at the perfect time of year for pros to hammer on big bags of postspawn largemouths. READ MORE »

Let the Ledge-fest Begin

Let the Ledge-fest Begin

With the start of the Toyota Series Central Division event on Pickwick Lake this morning, today marks the first day back to competition in the world of professional bass fishing. READ MORE »

Two Species Spawning at Havasu 

Two Species Spawning at Havasu 

The weatherman did it again. About two weeks prior to today’s kickoff for the Toyota Series Western Division season at Lake Havasu, the forecast called for highs in the mid-80s and sunshine for three straight days during the tournament. Instead, practice was rainy, and the current forecast calls for precipitation for at least the first two days and highs that likely won’t top 70 degrees.  READ MORE »

Game Day on Okeechobee

Game Day on Okeechobee

The second stop of the Toyota Series Southern Division is hitting Lake Okeechobee later in the year than usual for FLW. Typically, big, multi-day FLW events on the Big O go down in January and February, but this one runs March 12-14 and should offer a different look at the familiar and ever-changing body of water. READ MORE »

It’s Anyone’s Game on Overfull Hartwell

It’s Anyone’s Game on Overfull Hartwell

South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell kicks off the 2020 Toyota Series Eastern Division season this week with a three-day, mid-week showdown of the area’s best bass anglers, hosted by Visit Oconee South Carolina. Hartwell definitely has the potential to produce 20-plus-pound bags, but Mother Nature has decided to create some havoc with lake levels this winter, and it’s anyone’s guess as to how well the fishery shows out. READ MORE »

Despite Cold, Expect Mega-Bags at Chick

Despite Cold, Expect Mega-Bags at Chick

Freezing temperatures greeted anglers for the 2020 Toyota Series Central Division tournament on Lake Chickamauga this morning. As usual on Lake Chickamauga this time of year, every angler is hoping for a 30-pound-plus bag of bass during the Feb. 27-29 tournament. READ MORE »

College Championship Kicks Off on Harris

College Championship Kicks Off on Harris

Championship week for any sport is as exciting as it gets and it’s no different for the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance this week on the Harris Chain. Competing for a $30,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard, 162 college bass fishing clubs will have free range of the chain to vie for the title. READ MORE »

Warmer Weather Good Sign at St. Johns

Warmer Weather Good Sign at St. Johns

The cold front that moved through northeast Florida last week shut down the fishing on the St. Johns River in a big way, just as bass were starting to move up to the banks to begin spawning. With the weather that came through, many of those fish pulled back off the bank to wait for more stable conditions. Fortunately, stability arrived this week in the form of warmer weather, but it remains to be seen if those three or four days of warm, stable conditions are going to be enough to get fish back up on beds. For now, it’s safe to assume anglers are going to have to be adaptable over the next few days in the Toyota Series Southern Division opener. READ MORE »

Feast or Famine at Toledo Bend

Feast or Famine at Toledo Bend

It’s been nearly six years since the Toyota Series has been to Toledo Bend, but this week the Sabine River impoundment takes center stage to kick off the Southwestern Division season. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

All the talk leading up the final leg of the Costa FLW Series Central Division presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks was about the weather. And Mother Nature did not disappoint. READ MORE »