2013 Bassmaster Classic Grand Lake O' the Cherokees - Tulsa, OK, Feb 22 - 24, 2013

Patterning the Classic with BassGold

The applicability of either winter or March pattern info will be determined by the exact conditions at tournament time. If the lake is warmish, look for a shallower bite, though fish can still be caught deep. As Open qualifier and for-sure local favorite Jason Christie says, "The water temperature that time of year can be anywhere from 37 degrees to 50 degrees, and there's 15 different patterns in that span of temperature."

That means if it's super cold, fish will be deeper – but again, there's always some shallow fish at Grand. Mark Zona discovered that when filming an episode of his show there in the winter: "BassGold knowing they bite shallow at that time of year is dead on," he says. "Those fish act way more northern than southern."

Knowing that is important because it's counterintuitive. In other words, BassGold doesn't show us what we think will work or "should" work. It shows us what has definitely worked. In fact, if Grand is cold for the Classic, the bass might be shallower than you'd think, just on a different bite (like jerkbaits vs. spinnerbaits).

Classic Weight and the 'Elite Factor'

Common sense tells us if it's a warmer Classic, weights will be higher than normal and vice versa. Is that what the BassGold data indicates?

In a way. If you look at a "Weights By Month" graph for average winning and placing weights on Grand in March, you see a wide range, from less than 10 pounds per day to 25. But winning weights cluster around the low 20s per day to win, with placing weights in the high teens.