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


Muddy Water Still the Story on Grand

Just last year at about this time, the first Central Division event of the Costa FLW Series kicked off on Grand Lake with a sight-fishing slugfest that reached epic proportions. A few days of warming weather and clearer-than-usual water had Grand’s healthy population of bass crowding the banks and easy to see. Though rain hampered the bite for everyone but eventual winner Bradley Hallman, the entire field reported untold numbers of 3-pounders hitting the banks and dozens of pockets with three or four beds going at a time. The Oklahoma lake showed out.

This year, the second stop of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division presented by Evinrude and hosted by the City of Grove hits Grand under very different conditions. Despite warm weather that pushed the spawn forward across much of the Southeast, the Ozarks haven’t enjoyed such a warm-up, and the lake is likely to be squarely in prespawn mode for the competitors. With water temps in the 50s through most of the lake and daily highs forecast to be right about 70 all week, that probably isn’t going to change too much by the time game day rolls around.

A stable playing field is a good thing, so the pros shouldn’t have a problem adjusting to the wild card thrown at them this time.


Grand is still muddy

“It’s terribly colored right now, not normally what it is this time of year, and definitely nowhere close to what it was like a year ago,” says Walmart FLW Tour pro James Watson in reference to the muddier-than-usual water. “There is poor visibility from Horse Creek [about mid-lake] to the dam.”

FLW Tour pro and least year’s winner Bradley Hallman mostly agrees, saying that the demarcation line between muddy water and a lighter stain is about at Shangri-La in the center of the reservoir.

“It’s left over from the floods we had in December,” explains Hallman. “It’s the opposite of normal now, and the lower end is actually muddier. The closer you get to the dam the worse it gets.”

Despite plenty of dirty water down the lake, the upper portions are clearer and, according to Hallman, fishing a little better than the dirtier sections in the lower end of the lake. In fact, the water up the lake (especially in the Elk River and other tributaries on the east side) ranges from clear to a normal stain and will likely attract a lot of anglers looking to escape the dirty water.


The fishing report

Despite the high water in December, the water level is right about normal at the moment, leaving the willow bushes high and dry, but there are plenty of rocks, docks and laydowns left in the lake as potential bass targets.

The Grand Lake staples of spinnerbaits, jigs and crankbaits will be major players this week without a doubt, but there will be plenty of diversity in the fishing as well.

“I think it will certainly be won with some kind of prespawn pattern shallow,” says Hallman. “There are places where the water is clear enough up the lake that the umbrella rig may play, and that would be the only deeper bite I see. Overall, the bite has been less for me, but the local tournaments have had decent weights, and a lot may happen this week because it should warm up every day.”

Though he still believes the overall weights will be good, FLW Tour pro Randy Blaukat thinks the fishing might be a touch tough.

“Compared to last year it is a lot different, but this year is really more normal,” says the Joplin, Mo., pro. “Grand is about quality, not quantity, and there will be good bags that are the result of only four to six bites. It’s a grind to fish now, because there is a lot of dead water and a lot of boats. There are some true staging prespawn fish, but I don’t think the tournament will be won on straight staging fish. I think it will be won on a combination of prespawners and spawners that you can’t visibly sight-fish for.”

Last year, Jason Christie finished fifth by coaxing spawning bass in dirty water to reveal themselves with a YUM Swurm before catching them on a creature bait. Though fish in a true spawning phase were probably much more prevalent in 2015, similar tactics might play this year even though Grand is a little cooler and dirtier.

Watson suspects the fishing should be pretty good.

“I would expect prespawn patterns will be stronger, but there is some spawning going on,” says Watson. “We’ve had pretty cold weather lately, and it looks like it is going to get a little cool before the tournament. Normal moving baits will be good, and I expect some guys will be able to pitch to the bank and have a good tournament on fish coming up to spawn. It should be pretty wide open for about everything but topwater. I expect there will be a lot of weight and a lot of fish caught. This is going to be a good one.”

Though we aren’t headed for the sight-fishing bonanza of 2015, this year’s FLW Series stop at Grand Lake might well produce similarly excellent weights, albeit from much dingier water. Whatever happens, it will be a good one to watch, because Grand is always a great place for a tournament and the premier lake in Oklahoma.


Tournament Details

The Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event on Grand Lake is a three-day tournament held April 7-9. All pros and co-anglers fish the first two days, and the top 10 anglers in each division based on cumulative two-day weight qualify to fish on day three. The heaviest three-day cumulative weight wins.

Anglers will take off from Wolf Creek Park at 963 N. 16th Street, Grove, Okla., 74344 at 7 a.m. CT each morning. Weigh-ins will take place at Wolf Creek Park each day starting at 3 p.m. CT.

Fans at home can tune in to the weigh-ins via FLW Live.

Click here for complete details.


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Tags: grand-lake  jody-white  pre-tournament  2016-04-07-grand-lake 


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