GROVE, Okla. — Despite the heavy rains and thunderstorms, Brandon Pedigo weighed in the biggest bag he’s ever had on Grand Lake Wednesday and leads the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Central Regional with 19 pounds, 7 ounces.
The Lawton, Okla., angler holds a slim lead over second-place Doug Thompson (18-11) and third-place Joe Conway (18-7). While he doesn’t live on the lake, Pedigo has been fishing Grand for 10 years through various trails but hasn’t been able to translate success in practice to the tournament.
“I can usually find them in practice, but it is a very humbling lake where it changes day to day,” he said. “I had that in the back of my mind that we were going to have to try something different all day. That’s why there are 12 rods on my deck right now.”
This time around, Pedigo struggled to find bites during practice. But he made adjustments when the tournament began and filled his limit by 10 a.m.
“We did a lot of running and gunning today,” Pedigo said. “I finally got in an area where I got a few bites and settled down. I was fortunate enough to catch a couple good ones to start the day off. I bounced around a few more spots and culled my little one with an hour and a half left.
“The rain was brutal, but we got soaked and had a good time.”
After going through multiple baits, Pedigo said the bass finally gave him a sign and he was able to catch the majority of his weight on three different baits. He added that he had his areas largely to himself.
More heavy rains and storms are in the forecast for Thursday. But Pedigo said he hopes the sun comes out at some point during the tournament so he can utilize a specific technique.
“I’m waiting for the weather to clear up,” he said. “There is a bait I really want to throw if the sun comes out. It could be fun.”
Fourth-place angler Mike Webster anchored his 17-15 bag with a 6-4 largemouth, putting him in the lead for big bass of the tournament honors on the boater side.
Ben Parker of St. Amant, La., leads the co-angler standings with 11-7, followed by Louisiana teammate Jason Campbell, who caught 10-14. Colorado’s Kirk Albrecht is third with 10-10. Parker anchored his bag with a 6-2 largemouth, the big bass of the tournament thus far among co-anglers.
The Louisiana Nation leads the team division with 189-2, while Arkansas is second with 174-12. And Texas is third with 171-9.
The full field will launch from Wolf Creek Park starting at 6:15 a.m. CT and return for weigh-in at 2:15 p.m. After Thursday’s weigh-in, the field will be cut to the Top 16 boaters and nonboaters plus the Top 2 boaters and nonboaters from each state if they are not already in that range.
On the final day, the top boater and nonboater from each state will advance to the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Championship, which will be held on Lake Pickwick Nov. 9-11.
This week’s event is being hosted by the City of Grove.