UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

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Transition Time at Fort Gibson

Transition Time at Fort Gibson

Day one of the final Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Lowrance on Fort Gibson Lake hosted by the Wagoner Area Chamber of Commerce kicked off this morning out of Taylor's Ferry North Recreation Area. With clear skies and a bite to the morning air, it looks like a perfect autumn day for bass fishing.

 

About the Fishery

Impounding the Grand (Neosho) River, Fort Gibson covers about 20,000 surface acres. Located in northeastern Oklahoma, the lake presents a mix of rock and wood shoreline cover with lots of shallow points, flooded timber, stumps and docks. The Highway 51 Bridge and the Fort Gibson Dam offer additional habitat features that could come into play. One of the key elements is the vast smattering of planted brush piles — a piece of the puzzle held largely by locals.

 

Jeff Sprague

Current Conditions

Walmart FLW Tour pro Jeff Sprague says the cold front that arrived before the tournament will likely put some of the fish in a funk. Anglers launched in chilly, breezy conditions with the typical high, bright skies indicative of post-frontal high pressure.

“When we got here earlier this week, it was about 87 degrees, we were sweating in short sleeve shirts,” says Sprague. “Ever since then, the weather has gradually come down and this morning it’s the lowest temperature we’ve had yet.”

Such barometric ascension can really rattle the fish, but Sprague is hopeful that the change might actually improve the deal by nudging the fish closer to their fall patterns. Many, he said, remained deep during practice, but this week’s weather should see more bass moving shallow to chase shad schools.

“This could be the day that the fish start to move,” Sprague says. “The bait’s moving; the fish just haven’t quite caught on to start making that transition to the backs of creeks. So, if you find that little niche deal in between, I think you’ll do well.”

 

Chris McCall

Tactics in Play

Considering this week’s transitional period, Fort Gibson will likely offer a mix of offshore and shallow water opportunities. From offshore brush piles to long, flat points and lots of shallow cover, anglers will have the opportunity to fish a range of reaction baits and bottom-oriented offerings.

FLW Tour pro Chris McCall, currently second in points, says he’s whittled his bait selection down to eight rods — a mix of Santone spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and swim jigs, along with a few slower presentations.

 

Critical Factors

Fort Gibson tends to fish small, so after the opening round, weights usually decline. Therefore, anglers that produce good weights on day one will position themselves well for the long haul.

However, as the productivity tightens, locals with clandestine offshore honey holes will see their advantage amplified.

Also important is mobility. Camping in one area for three days isn’t going to happen on Fort Gibson, so consistency depends on a diverse menu of options and the discipline to move as conditions and productivity dictate.

McCall says he has solid options from about mid-lake to the Grand (Neosho) River and he’ll visit the majority of his areas today.

“I’m going to burn a bunch of gas today and I’m going to hit a bunch of spots,” McCall says. “I’m going to do a lot of junk fishing and hope I can catch them.”

 

Dock Talk

Sprague expects to see a lot of fish caught on crankbaits and wobble heads, but he’s also looking for an early surface bite.

“I think you’ll see some topwater fish caught in the morning,” he says. “There will be quite a few guys who do that, but the guys who don’t are going to struggle, because it’s going to be a grind to get five throughout the day once some of that dies off.”

McCall says he’s hoping to catch 14 to 15 pounds on day one. Two days like that and he’ll make it to Saturday’s top-10.

 

Tournament Details

Format: All 112 boaters and co-anglers will compete for two days. The top 10 boaters and co-anglers based on cumulative weight after two days of competition will advance to the third and final round, with the winner determined by the heaviest cumulative three-day weight.

Takeoff Time: 7:30 a.m. CT

Takeoff Location: Taylor's Ferry North, Dock Road, Wagoner, OK 74467

Weigh-In Time: Days one and two at 3:30 p.m. CT, 4:30 p.m. CT on day three

Weigh-In Location: Days one and two at Taylor's Ferry North, Dock Road, Wagoner OK 74467, day three at Walmart, 410 S. Dewey Ave., Wagoner, OK 74467

Complete details

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2016-09-29-fort-gibson-lake 

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