The 12-inch pattern

The game plan for any tournament is putting bass in the livewell. At Lake Tenkiller that has a rogue meaning. Let’s call it the 12-inch pattern. That is the minimum size to keep spotted bass. There are plenty of them in this lake, actually too many, according to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. The minimum size for largemouth and smallmouth is 16 inches. There are plenty of them, too, it’s just that those size fish are tough to come by.

So it comes down to this. Some anglers are deliberately choosing to fish in areas where spotted bass are likely to be. Among them is Carl Jocumsen. He just put a 1-pound spot into his livewell.

“It might make the difference,” he said.

Indeed it might. Every ounce is going to count this week, even when it takes a 12-inch spotted bass to add weight to the overall score.