UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir


The Spawn is on at Grand Lake

Grand Lake Preview

When the Rayovac FLW Series Central Division competitors arrived in Grove, Okla., to start practice for the 2015 opener on Grand Lake this week, they didn’t have to look far to figure out the predominant pattern.

Literally, they just had to look into the backs of shallow pockets throughout the lake to find plenty of Grand’s big girls parked on beds because the spawn is in full swing right now.

Naturally, odd weather, angling pressure and other factors could spoil some of the fun come tournament time, but according to Rocky Thomas Jr., a Grand Lake local who owns Thomas Guide Service (ThomasGuideService.com), the fish were up and locked on this past weekend when he was on the lake.

“The water temp is running from about 61 to 71,” says Thomas, “with 71 being up on the upper end from Sailboat Bridge, which is near the mouth of Wolf Creek where they’ll take off, and further north. The dam is at the south end. It’s about 61 down there. By the time you get to Drowning Creek and Duck Creek, it’s about 64. When you get to Horse Creek, it’s 68 to 69.

“It [the spawn] usually takes place over a two- to three-week period,” he continues “We are actually a little bit earlier than normal this year. Usually it’s about the middle of May when they get up. But we’ve had some really warm weeks and some really warm rains – days when it’s 70 to 80 degrees and raining – and that’s really got the water temperature shooting up. The crappie are on beds, and the bass are up there with them.”

The water level on Grand is about normal as of now, says Thomas, at about 743 feet, which is a foot below summer pool. A little rain fell in the area Monday, and The Weather Channel predicted highs in the low 60s to low 70s for the rest of practice, with mild winds and a chance of rain today. The tournament forecast calls for highs in the mid- to upper 70s, with sunshine on Thursday and scattered thunderstorms Friday and Saturday.

That means Thursday’s opening round will be the day to make hay for sight-fishing, as easy fish will get picked off early and reduced sunlight could make the pattern a bit tougher in the later days.

The other factor for anglers to consider isn’t something that could hurt the bite, but it’s worth mentioning from a tactical standpoint: docks.

“There are more than 7,000 on the lake,” Thomas says. “The fish will be in and out around the cables and docks and under the walkways. That’s about the only major thing that the anglers have to deal with as there’s almost no vegetation in the lake.”

Barring extreme rain, water clarity should be just right for sight-fishing. Thomas reports about 7 feet of visibility at the lower end, which has the bass bedding 3 to 4 feet deep. Far upstream, clarity dwindles back to about 1 foot, so some other “no-see” spawn-related patterns might be in play there. Other than that, a few anglers might target heavy prespawn bass staging on points at the mouths of spawning pockets as a back-up pattern.

If a 263-boat tournament hosted by boat dealer Nichols Marine last weekend is any indication, the weights should be pretty stout this week too. The winning two-man team weighed in 23.8 pounds and was one of 17 teams to crack the 20-pound mark. Another 16 teams caught at least 19 pounds. Big bass of the event weighed 7.16, while eight other 6-plus-pound fish were recorded.

According to a news story about the event on GrandLakeNews.com, the winning team fished a Carolina rig and a crankbait, but other teams who finished high in the tournament sight-fished almost exclusively. The mid-lake area produced the winning stringer and several others in the top of the standings.

This is tournament fishing, so there are never any guarantees as to what types of patterns to expect. But for now at least, it appears that this tournament will favor the “lookers,” though they’ll need to have a plan for if Mother Nature decides to drop rain and rumbling thunder on the region. 

Editor’s note: If you’re interested in a guided trip for big bass, slab crappies, giant spoonbills or other species found throughout Oklahoma, contact Rocky Thomas Jr. at 918.837.0490 or thomasguideserviceok@yahoo.com.


Tournament Details

Date: April 16-18

Host: Grand Lake Association

Takeoff location: Wolf Creek Park, 963 N 16th Street, Grove, OK

Takeoff time: 7 a.m. CT

Weigh-in location days 1 and 2: Wolf Creek Park

Weigh-in time days 1 and 2: 3 p.m. CT

Weigh-in location day 3: Walmart, 2115 S. Main Street, Grove, OK

Weigh-in time day 3: 4 p.m. CT

Tags: grand-lake  spawn  spring  curtis-niedermier  pre-tournament  2015-04-16-grand-lake 


How to Fish Power Plant Lakes in Winter

Some of the power-plant lakes throughout the Midwest are borderline legendary. If you live near one or are willing to travel to keep your open-water season alive, Colby Schrumpf’s system could work on just about any of them that have grass. READ MORE »


Top 10 Patterns from Lake Toho

While the Lake Toho FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats fell basically right on top of a wave of spawning bass piling into the shallows, many of the top finishers targeted bass that were staging out or transitioning to or from their beds. READ MORE »


Top 10 Baits from Toho

The second stop of the 2019 FLW Tour landed right on the spawn on Lake Toho and the other lakes on the Kissimmee Chain. Top finishers caught bass in all phases of the spawn. Collectively, they used just about every bait you’ll ever need if you want to catch a bass this time of year in the Sunshine State. READ MORE »


Gross Wins Second Tour Title

Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, Ga., won the 2019 FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats at Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla., with a four-day total of 20 bass that weighed 85 pounds, 12 ounces. READ MORE »


Gross Grabs Toho Lead

Day three of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho was tough on the leaders, but Buddy Gross stayed steady, rising to first from fifth with 19 pounds, 12 ounces. In total, Gross has amassed 62 pounds even through three days, which is just about a pound ahead of Darrell Davis, who caught 25-12 for a 60-15 total and rocketed up to second from 13th. Going into the final day, everyone in the top six is within 5 pounds of the lead, and the way the Kissimmee Chain is pumping out big ones, that counts as the slimmest of margins. READ MORE »


Cox Stays Ahead on Toho

Day two of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger on Lake Toho featured not one, but TWO 10-pounders, one caught by Casey Scanlon and the other by Jamie Horton. READ MORE »


Cox Leads Toho Slugfest

Day one of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho was the slugfest many expected. Leading the way is sight-fishing extraordinaire John Cox, who caught 31 pounds, 9 ounces and the day one big bass – a giant that went 10-9.  In second, John Voyles wrangled up 24-15, and Scott Martin is close behind him with 24-12. READ MORE »


Roaming Kissimmee with Douglas

Hailing from Minnesota, Josh Douglas is in his third year on the FLW Tour and looking for his first FLW Cup qualification. Were it not for a disqualification in the final event of the year at St. Clair in 2018, Douglas would have sailed into the Cup. After a tough start to the year at Rayburn, he’s planning to get back on track at the FLW Tour event presented by Ranger on Lake Toho. READ MORE »


Burghoff Checks Out Toho on Day 2

FLW Tour rookie Miles “Sonar” Burghoff kicked off his freshman season with a strong performance on Sam Rayburn, where he just missed fishing the final day with a 12th-place finish. Now, the Tour is on a system he is more than familiar with, having spent countless hours on Lakes Toho and Kissimmee while attending college at the University of Central Florida. READ MORE »


A Look at Lake Toho

Stop No. 2 of the 2019 FLW Tour takes us to Lake Toho and the several other lakes strung along the Kissimmee River. Presented by Ranger Boats, the tournament will take off from Big Toho Marina on the north end of the namesake lake, but competitors will be able to spread out down the Kissimmee River into Cypress Lake, Lake Hatchineha (Hatch), Lake Kissimmee, and perhaps even Tiger Lake and Lake Rosalie if they’re feeling adventurous. READ MORE »


Spawn on the Horizon at Okeechobee

Florida is a familiar place for FLW competition, and Lake Okeechobee is probably the best-known fishery the Sunshine State has to offer. So there shouldn’t be many surprises when the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division kicks off the season Jan. 31–Feb. 2 on the Big O with an event presented by Power-Pole. READ MORE »


By the Numbers: Lake Toho

The FLW Tour season opener on Sam Rayburn was a slugfest for sure. Fortunately for fans and anglers alike, the second stop of the season could be just as good, as the Tour heads to Central Florida and Lake Toho and the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes in Kissimmee, Fla., on February 7. READ MORE »


2019 Lake Toho Preview

Lake Tohopekaliga (Toho for short) is the first of four lakes on the menu for pros in the second stop of the FLW Tour. At the south end of Toho, a lock and a series of canals leads to Cypress Lake, Lake Hatchineha (Hatch) and Lake Kissimmee, which are all fair game for the pros. READ MORE »


2019 BFL Season Kicks Off This Weekend

While much of the northern United States is locked in a deep freeze, Southern bass anglers will be kicking off their 2019 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League season with the Gator Division tournament at Lake Okeechobee in Clewiston, Fla., and the Cowboy Division tournament at Toledo Bend Reservoir in Many, La. READ MORE »


Pro Tip: How Wes Logan Ties a Jig

Wes Logan is particular about his jigs. So particular that he pours his own heads and ties his own skirts. Logan’s tying method keeps the skirt from slipping down or spinning around – a pet peeve of his. Some folks do the same with wire, but Logan prefers using light braided line. READ MORE »


Beight Rings in Marshal Program in Big Way

Timmy Beight won the FLW Tour Sam Rayburn Marshal prize after marshaling for Jordan Osborne and Terry Bolton. READ MORE »


Cecil’s Final Morning of Practice

Russell Cecil is one of a number of standout Texas anglers fishing the FLW Tour opener this week on Sam Rayburn. After a lackluster rookie campaign in 2018, fishing near home is a great opportunity for the Willis, Texas, pro to get the year started off strong. Though the conditions are far from normal, a few hours on the final day of practice reveal that Cecil certainly has a read on the bass. READ MORE »


FLW Live Schedule for Sam Rayburn

The 2019 FLW Live seasons kicks off on the big bass factory of Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Brookeland, Texas. Watch your favorite stars such as Scott Martin and Bryan Thrift weigh-in at the FLW Tour season opener, and then follow the weekend action live with the top pros. READ MORE »


Figuring Out Rayburn with Powell

Hensley Powell has quickly and quietly amassed quite a record with FLW. In just three years fishing the Costa FLW Series, he’s earned over $90,000, and he got a win at Table Rock in the Central Division in 2018. READ MORE »


Sam Rayburn Lake Tour

This year, the FLW Tour kicks off in Texas with a showdown presented by Polaris on Sam Rayburn. Big Sam hasn’t hosted too many FLW Tour events in the past, but it’s loaded with bass and bass fishing history. The lake is much higher than normal right now, which will no doubt produce different fishing than is typical for winter on Rayburn. READ MORE »