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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

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 

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