UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Kentucky / Barkley Lake

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Top 5 Patterns from Fort Gibson – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Fort Gibson – Day 1
Tommy Biffle

When looking out across Fort Gibson Lake on day one of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury, one word came to mind: stagnant.

For the last couple of weeks, the late-summer doldrums have set in across northeastern Oklahoma with warm, humid conditions. Current is virtually nonexistent in the lake. Aside from a couple of showers this morning and a little afternoon breeze, the lake was calm for much of the day. In all, things were pretty stale.

During the day, anglers struggled to crack the stagnant code. Local pros leaned heavily on their home field knowledge, pulling out all the stops by fishing brush piles, obscure rock formations and anywhere there might be a breath of current.

Local pro Kyle Cortiana compounded his home court edge into the tournament lead with 15 pounds, 8 ounces. Behind him, 11- and 12-pound limits were enough to earn a top-five spot on day one.

Complete results

 

2. Tommy Dickerson – Orange, Texas – 14-7

Tommy Dickerson is not a local, but he knows what kind of early fall patterns start to show up in Oklahoma this time of year. With that, the Texas pro went hunting shallow targets that he could hit with the short string. In doing so, he found one area that treated him especially well this morning.

“I went to my first place, caught a limit by 9 o’ clock, and then I left,” Dickerson says. “The number of fish in there is pretty thin, and there were some other boats fishing the area, so I didn’t see any sense in staying in there catching 2-pounders for no reason. I’m trying to conserve what I have the best I can.”

Dickerson says he has a couple of more areas that are similar in nature to what he fished today, but he didn’t even go to those.

“I’m trying to play the long game here,” he says. “If I can make it to Saturday, then I’ll pressure all my areas harder.”

Dickerson adds that if the water drops any more than it already has, it’s going to hurt his best areas.

 

3. Tommy Biffle – Wagoner, Okla. – 12-15

Legendary pro Tommy Biffle never misses an opportunity to fish on his home lake for big money. Today, he only had four fish, but they weighed enough to put him in third place.

Over the years, Biffle’s strategy on his home pond has changed. Many years ago you were more likely to find him running up the river and jumping sandbars and logs to get into the back end of creeks. These days, you’re more likely to find him out on the main lake dragging his namesake Gene Larew Biffle Hardhead jig tipped with Gene Larew Biffle Bug.

“A lot of the good creeks on this lake have all silted in,” Biffle says. “You can’t even get into them anymore. And the ones you can get in get beat to death. So I’ve started playing the offshore game, dragging around out there on the main lake. You might say I’ve kind of gotten into that kind of fishing. I have about 9,000 waypoints on my unit.”

Of those, Biffle says he hit about 40 offshore spots today.

“I had a real flurry on one spot. I caught two keepers,” he jokes.

Most of his places warrant just a few casts to hit the right stuff, and then he moves on.

“I actually spent too much time on a few places today,” Biffle adds. “If you’re going to play the numbers game, you’ve got to keep moving. The more spots you can hit in a day, the better your chances of running across a wad of them.”

 

4. Ryan Wilbanks – Wagoner, Okla. – 12-5

Ryan Wilbanks is another hometown favorite that has been fishing Fort Gibson for many years. He, too, spent his day rotating among offshore spots, some of which he found when he used to swim in the lake as a kid.

“I’ve got a few places out there I found with my feet,” Wilbanks says. “We swam out there for hours at a time in the summertime when I was little. Every now then, I would find a boulder that I could stand up on. When I got older and started bass fishing, I discovered those big boulders were pretty good fish attractors.”

In all, Wilbanks says he hit about 12 spots. Unlike Biffle, who is trying to hit as many as possible, Wilbanks is trying to do the opposite – slow down.

“I just know so many places, and I get in too big of a hurry and don’t fish the places like I need to,” he explains. “I’ll be fishing one while thinking about another. So my goal this week has been to really fish in the moment and focus on what I’m fishing right now instead of thinking about the next five places I’m going to hit.”

 

5. Casey Scanlon – Lake Ozark, Mo. – 12-1

Casey Scanlon grew up fishing in Kansas where he says many lakes look just like Fort Gibson.

“I’ve spent some time here, and I like this lake,” Scanlon says. “It’s a good dragging lake with a lot of points. The only problem is it gets beat down pretty well by local pressure. You can literally sit and watch boats just fish the same points over and over.”

Scanlon admits that the best points he fished today were all ones that no one had fished for a while.

“I just started watching areas of the lake and keeping up with which points hadn’t been fished in a while,” he says. “When I saw an area that had not been pressured for a couple of hours I’d go fish it.”

Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2018-10-04-ft-gibson-lake 

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