The 2013 Bassmaster Classic on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake is only 65 miles from Tommy Biffle’s home. He won his share of tournaments on Grand Lake before turning pro a quarter of a century ago, but he enters the Bassmaster Elite Series Ramada Championship on Oneida Lake ranked 38th in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year points, putting him on the fragile bubble of a Classic berth and a chance to enjoy a little homecookin’ next February. The grey beard graciously shared his thoughts on the eve of the Oneida Elite that began today.
Tommy, you won the Bassmaster Elite Series event here at Oneida in July 2006 and shocked a lot of people with your ability to catch largemouth ultra-shallow in a lake better known for its offshore smallmouth fishing. How does this week compare to six years ago?
Biffle: The lake is a lot lower, a lot cleaner, has a lot more vegetation in it, and there are a whole lot more people fishing real shallow than there was before I won by fishing shallow six years ago.
What’s the best meal you’ve had since you came to Oneida?
Biffle: Chicken fried steak at the Cracker Barrel 500 yards from my hotel.
You averaged nearly 16 pounds a day when you won here in 2006. What do you think it’ll take to assure yourself a spot in the Top 12 this year?
Biffle: 12 pounds a day.
What rod and reel will get the most work in your boat this week?
Biffle: My 7’ 6” Quantum Tour Biffle pitchin’ stick with a 7.3:1 EXO reel.
How many spinning reels will you carry with you this week?
Biffle: None. I had one in the boat for practice but I took it out of the boat for the tournament.
When’s the last time you won a tournament on Grand Lake, Okla.?
Biffle: It was a long time ago. I caught ‘em flippin’ a jig.
Have you ever won a tournament on Grand Lake on the very popular early spring suspending jerkbait pattern?
Biffle: Nope. And I probably won’t, unless I win the Classic with a jerkbait, but I gotta qualify for it first. Jason Christie is the one they all better watch out for at Grand.
This is the last regular season Bassmaster Elite Series tournament of 2012. What are you looking forward to most when you leave here?
Biffle: There’s no break for me. I’ve got three tournaments in a row when I leave here. I’ve got the Major League Fishing event, followed by the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open on Fort Gibson, and then the PAA event on The Arkansas River at Muskogee.