When Mike McClelland won last year's Sooner Run Elite tournament here, leading all four days and boating 79 pounds, 7 ounces, he may have unwittingly unlocked the secret of summer fishing at Grand Lake: long points and brushpiles.
With this year's event scheduled at nearly the same time, a lot of pros will look for that type of cover and structure, and they'll find it in abundance, along with a lot of other equally attractive places to fish. Those "other" attractions, including flooded willows, rocky points, sandy flats and stair-stepping ledges, hold bass, too, which is what makes fishing here so much fun. Grand Lake consistently ranks as one of Oklahoma's best bass reservoirs.
One area of the lake, Sailboat Bridge, contains enough different types of cover and structure that some anglers never fish anywhere else. Two shallow, stump-filled bays, deep coves with long points and a generally rocky bottom make this a year-round magnet for both largemouth and spotted bass.
Bass also live year-round in Horse Creek, the lake's major tributary south of Sailboat Bridge. In this area the lake is more open and deeper; Carolina rigging the rocky points is usually productive.
North of Sailboat Bridge, the lake narrows and the pros often fish the Elk River, one of the three rivers forming Grand Lake. Here the flooded willows and boathouses line practically every point. Such varied cover and structure allow the pros to choose the lure they want to use, then find water where it will work. While McClelland won with a jig, others will easily find areas to fish Carolina rigs, crankbaits and even spinnerbaits.
From antique shopping along Grove's tree-lined streets to strolling through Lendenwood Gardens, visitors will find much to keep them busy here. Har-Ber Village, one of the largest antique museums in America (over 100 buildings and exhibits), is located on the lakeshore, while paddlewheel riverboat excursions provide non-fishing visitors a chance to see the lake.