Classic pre-practice

About the time you’re reading this I’ll be exploring Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, home of the 2013 Bassmaster Classic. I'll be here for a few days putting the puzzle together. 

Actually, putting the puzzle together isn't exactly the right terminology. In fact, what I'll be doing mostly is eliminating past experience from my memory bank and developing new memories of the lake.

I’ve fished Grand Lake for many years, almost all of it prior to joining the Bassmaster Elite Series trail. Without question, I’m a different angler now than I was back then. I’m sure I’m going to see the lake in a different light this trip.

Besides my experience level and the fishing style changes within me, there are other differences. First, I haven't really spent much time on Grand Lake during the colder times of year. In the past, I have spent quite a bit more time in the late spring, summer and fall months. I expect it to fish different in the early part of the year.

There’s no telling how cold it might be when we arrive in February, but there’s a chance it'll still be in a winter phase. Then again, the fish could be in full spawn mode, so there’s a lot to keep in mind this week. What areas look good for a winter style tournament and what areas would be good in pre-spawn or even a full spawn are very different.

While I’m out here, I’m not looking for a magical spot or winning pattern. Instead, I’m trying to break down the lake into areas that I can focus on during the official practice days. Those days are short and time flies when you know you have to put the whole puzzle together for the biggest event of the year. Eliminating water now and finding key areas to focus on will go a long way toward a solid game plan.

We’re still over two months away from the Classic, but the excitement is building. I’m not sure how many of the competitors are coming out before the off limits go into effect, but I imagine I'll see some familiar faces. The Classic is the biggest bass fishing tournament there is, and I'd be remiss if I didn't do everything I could to give myself a shot to win. Of course, this week isn't exactly when we make magic happen. For one of us, February is when the magic will happen, but this week on Grand Lake is very important.

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