VanDam is ripping his jerkbait pretty quickly. With the low pressure system upon us, the fish ought to be chewing, but we have yet to see a fish caught. However, it is practice day and many competitors are likely leaving their primary spots alone, maybe checking them once. Their baits may even have the hooks bent in on them. VanDam is fishing around some boat docks right now, being cautious of the many cables securing them to the bank. Though he’s fishing fast, he’s not trolling fast. Snow is accumulating in Tulsa, and it’s just now starting to spit flakes here. The water temp is 45.5 where we are.
Marty Robinson says he's cold but you wouldn't know it from how deftly he's skipping a jig into dock crevices. He's consistently threading it into 6-inch gaps no more than 3 inches high
With all the talk about what it's going to take to win the 2013 Bassmaster Classic, a lot of the buzz seems to hover around the 20-pounds-a-day mark. It might take more, I think it will take less, but that seems to be the number this year. It's important because it's interesting. It's interesting because it fuels conversation. It's interesting because it will disappear as a topic of conversation after the Day 1 weigh-in if no one -- or just a few anglers -- have 20 pounds. I can tell you this, though: In five previous B.A.S.S. events on Grand, no one has maintained a four-pound average with his catch, and that's what it takes to catch 20 pounds a day. The closest was Mike McClelland in 2006. He was just barely under that mark. Catches could also be bigger in February than they were that early June. It's hard to say, but most of the anglers I've talked with would take 20 pounds a day and expect to get the trophy and $500K check.
Classic catch predictions usually go a little something like this: (1) When the location is announced, bassers everywhere (except those in the state selected) ask, "Why would they have it there? We've got a lot better lakes than that!' (2) After the buzz dies down a little, the voices of the anglers from the area selected are finally heard: "It's a good lake. It's gonna take 60 or 65 pounds to do well." (3) Then the local pundits (who rarely fish the lake) chime in: "It's one of the two or three best lakes in the country. When it's right, it takes 40 pounds a day just to make a check. A friend of my nephew-in-law had 35 pounds there the other day and they flat refused to weigh his fish because they knew he wouldn't be close to the money." (4) When practice finally rolls around, expectations are often so high that the competitors think they need a lot more weight to do well than is actually the case. The quest for 25 pounds a day becomes the search for 20 and then the hope for 15. Eventually, the best daily catches you're hearing about are roughly 16 pounds. More in a moment.
We just came across JVD, fishing tight to the bank and carrying on a conversation with a spectator walking the bank.
We left Evers with a stickbait in his hand and have picked up KVD who just rocketed from the back of Drowning Creek. VanDam is fishing what Meador says he’s fishing obvious stuff, like the main-lake point he’s throwing to just at the mouth of Drowning. Even though it’s practice day, VanDam has a following of four boats.
Jeremy Starks was in the back of a cove throwing a crankbait along the shoreline.
The water temp was approaching 45 degrees and it was clearer the farther back one goes. The air is still and there's no signs of the impending snow. We're off to locate other anglers.
The biggest bass ever caught in a Grand Lake B.A.S.S. event weighed 7-15 and was caught by Teddy Cloide on the first day of the 1995 Oklahoma Invitational. Except for one outlier, the big fish on Grand have been remarkably consistent. In the five previous events here, they weighed between 7-2 and 7-15. The outlier came in 2007 when the biggest bass of that tournament weighed just 6-4.
Pete Gluszek, fishing a swimbait across the mouth of a cove in Courthouse Hollow, said his No. 1 mission today was locating bigger fish. Catching fish has not been the issue for many anglers here on Grand Lake; it's finding the size that will win the derby.
Jeremy Starks was in the back of the cove, so we're going to go back and check on his morning so far.
As we've moved downlake we've come across a few boats — Ish, Crews and a couple of others. The sky is incredibly gray and bleak and nobody seems to be moving too fast. I suspect it'll be different of Friday, no matter the weather