UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Potomac River

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Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake Day 1
Russell Cecil fires a crankbait early on day one.

After day one of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Evinrude and hosted by the City of Grove on Grand Lake, the top five weights are fairly close. Nick Aber leads by a skosh over second place and behind those two are three limits in the 19-pound range.

Patterns within the top five are extremely similar, playing off a spawn that is just days away. All five anglers agree that small bucks abound on the bank, but it’s the staging females that count the most at weigh-in.

Here is a look at how the top five caught them on day one.

Aber’s leading pattern

Complete results

 

Drew Barnes (21-3).

2. Drew Barnes – Bella Vista, Ark. – 21-3 (5)

Drew Barnes is just one ounce off the lead and his pattern sounds remarkably similar to the leader’s pattern of targeting staging females.

“I fish this lake quite a bit and this is really the first time all year the water temperature has finally gotten where it needs to be to get these fish up out of that 10- to 15-foot zone and up a little shallower where we can target them,” Barnes says. “They are finally starting to pull up and they are finally starting to eat. This time next week they will be on beds.”

Barnes says he is targeting small stretches of staging banks where the females sit before being courted by the males.

“These are just little places at the mouths of spawning pockets and bays where they set up,” Barnes says. “I caught seven fish on the day and every one was on a different bait. I had to go more to moving baits this afternoon because of the wind.”

 

Russell Cecil (19-14).

3. Russell Cecil – Willis, Texas – 19-14 (5)

After struggling until about 10 o’clock this morning, Russell Cecil had to “drop back and punt,” and started searching for new water with wind on it.

“The places where I practiced had wind on them and I think the wind was helping position the fish,” Cecil says. “But this morning, it was so calm that I couldn’t get bit in the places where I practiced. So I started chasing the wind in areas I have never fished.”

“I don’t know this lake very well at all,” he adds. “But I had an idea of what to look for based on my practice. So I just started hunting that same kind of water with wind on it and it worked out pretty well.”

 

Jesse Wolfe (19-13).

4. Jesse Wolfe – Nelson, Wis. – 19-13 (4)

Jesse Wolfe weighed in just four bass on day one, but they weighed 19 pounds, 13 ounces. His four bass creel was made up of a 6-11 and a 6-8 which certainly helped the cause.

Wolfe had his success on Super K jig and a spinnerbait, adding that his four bites on the day were pure reaction bites.

 

Matt Arey (19-8).

5. Matt Arey – Shelby, N.C. – 19-8 (5)

After back-to-back wins on Beaver Lake the last two years and a third place finish in last year’s FLW Series event on Grand, Quaker State pro Matt Arey might want to see about buying a second home in the Ozarks.

Arey has an inherent knack for these impoundments and despite being from North Carolina feels right at home on their waters, especially in the spring.

“These lakes just pattern so well,” Arey says. “Especially during this pre-spawn to spawn time period. When I was here last year and the water was so clear, I literally looked at hundreds of fish on beds. During that time I learned the exact kind of places they like to spawn. I can’t see the fish this year because of the stained water, but I fished the same kind of places today and I’m pretty sure some of the ones I’m catching are on beds.”

Arey has made this determination based on the number of bites he gets that result in a “swing and a miss.” When he returns to the same exact spot later, he can catch the fish.

“They have got to be bedding,” he says. “That’s the only explanation. I can’t tell you how many times I got thumped today and when I set the hook there was nothing there. But if I kept pitching in there, I could finally get hooked up.”

Tags: grand-lake  spring  rob-newell  headline-story  2016-04-07-grand-lake 

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