TH-Marine BFL Grand Goose Egg
I just got back from the TH-Marine BFL on Grand Lake in Oklahoma. The tournament did not go at all like I had anticipated. I was really disappointed in the fishing. I failed to weigh in a single fish in the tournament. As a matter of fact I didn't catch a single fish in two days of fishing on Grand Lake.
After my 7th place finish on Ouachita I came down with a bad case of the stomach bug which really took it's toll. Then all last week I was battling a cold up until we headed out of town on Thursday night. It's been a bad year when it comes to stuff going around and usually I hardly ever get sick but I've been sick twice in the last month. I'm just finally getting my strength back up.
We left out of St. Louis Thursday night and arrived into Grove, Oklahoma at about 11:30 at night. One of my buddies Brian who was fishing the tournament as a boater was already passed out in his bed. It didn't take long for us to get to bed. We split the room three ways so being the youngest I got the floor. I tossed and turned all night in my sleeping bag but finally got some sleep. We got up at 6 am on Friday ready to start our practice day.
Last year I notched a check in the March Okie division BFL on Grand Lake and I was hoping that I was going to be able to fish similar baits. I went in thinking that I would be able to throw shallow running crankbaits like wiggle warts and shad raps. Typically this time of the year I like to throw crankbaits a lot and also jerkbaits. These usually produce for me on Grand Lake. When we launched the boat on Grand Lake the water was really muddy.
My buddy Steve and I headed on down the lake and we stopped in a couple of long coves where the water was still pretty muddy. We fished small jigs and big jigs on the rocks around the secondary points and channel swings without much luck. We ran to another creek and Steve was able to connect with a Grand Lake giant on a Berkley Wild Thang crankbait. The fish was just off a little rocky point at the mouth of a spawning cove. We put the fish on a scale and she weighed over 6lbs. We didn't stick around long because we didn't want to sore mouth anymore fish.
We made the run up towards the dam and saw a lot more boats in the clearer water. The water was significantly clearer up towards the dam. We tried a rigs and jerkbaits and just about everything else in a couple of the coves. It was pretty windy so we were unable to get out on the mainlake points. We failed to find anything good down by the dam so we made the run up the Elk river to try and find some shallow fish. We got up past the bridge and the water was clear up there too. We fished all around hitting points and channel banks without any success.
It had been a long day. I'd failed to catch any more fish and my buddy Steve had just caught the one nice one. When we got back to the room our buddy Brian said he'd only caught one fish all day as well. Heading into the tournament I knew it was going to be tough. At the pretournament meeting everyone was talking it being really tough.
My tournament day was pretty uneventful. My boater decided to stick it out in one creek all day. He rotated three banks throwing a spinnerbait up on the rocks in about 2 foot of water slow rolling it back to the boat. I was trying to throw everything under the sun behind him from crankbaits to jigs to try and get a bite. It was till about 11:30 he finally caught a keeper. Then he caught another pretty quick on the blade. He gave me one of the spinnerbaits to try and so we kept pounding the same banks for a couple of hours and at about 1:30 he caught his third keeper. The spinnerbait was a 1/2 oz Accent Baits spinnerbait in chartreuse and white with double willow leaf blades. It was pretty crazy because we had already fished the same bank about 3 times with no luck. He kept chunking away with the spinnerbait and he caught his last keeper at about 2:00. I could hardly believe that he was able to get 4 keepers on such a tough day and I don't think I've ever seen anyone fish as slow as that man in my life. His ability to slow down and commit to fishing those three banks earned him a 18th place finished on the boater side and a check for a little over 300 bucks. When we got back to the weigh in I talked to my buddy Steve who had also failed to catch a fish. It was just downright tough.
While Grand Lake wasn't much fun I will be in Kentucky in 5 days so I quickly need to shake off this past weekend. I am fishing the TH-Marine LBL Division BFL on Kentucky and Barkley Lake. They had a FLW College tournament there a week ago that took over 50lbs to win for a two days so hopefully I will get a boater that is around those kind of a fish. This season has started out a little slow as far as fish catches go but I'm hoping to get things going in Kentucky.
Some of the things that I can take away from my trip to Grand Lake are that when the fishing is really tough make sure that you slow down a lot. I mean WAY DOWN. When it comes to fishing a spinnerbait in a cold muddy water make sure that you fish it deliberately on the bottom and fish it really slow. Sometimes we as anglers get in too big of a hurry to run around the lake and find that magic spot so recognizing when you need to stay and grind it out or move around is another big thing. Another thing is I'm glad I'm sleeping in my own bed tonight. While sleeping on the floor at a motel is a great way to save a couple bucks it's not worth it anymore. I be sure to get a bed when I go to Kentucky and my body will thank me.