Grand Lake makes for a grand Classic

I was really excited to hear that Grand Lake o’ the Cherokees will be the site of our 2013 Bassmaster Classic. Here are five reasons why:

1. It’s like Hartwell

There are a couple of reasons I say that. The first is that I’m thinking positive. That means I intend to be in Oklahoma fishing my heart out. That’s the way it happened in 2008, and I see no reason that 2013 can’t be the same. That makes Grand Lake grand regardless of what else is said or written about it.

The other reason I compare it to Hartwell is that the water will be cold, and the lake has little or no grass in it. The thing about a lake like that is that there are limited ways to catch the fish, at least the ones you need to win. It’s not like you need a dozen rods, reels and lures on your deck. Just two or three will get the job done. That breeds a sense of confidence in anglers.

2. It holds plenty of bass

Grand Lake is full of 3- to 5-pound bass. In fact, many anglers will tell you it’s the best cold water, weedless lake in the country. I haven’t fished it enough to say that myself but I have been there a few times and I can say it’s a darn good bass fishery.

Fishing like that makes for an exciting Classic, one that could go down to the wire and be determined by a matter of ounces. That’s the way a Bassmaster Classic should be.

3. The weather’s no big deal

For those of us who fish in the Midwest, the weather will be no big deal. I know it’ll be cold and windy but we’re used to it. We fish 40-degree water several months of the year, and we all own good long underwear. After that, it’s a matter of attitude.

4. It’s in the heart of bass fishing country

There are plenty of great bass anglers from Oklahoma. (I’m not going to try to name them because I’ll leave someone out sure as the devil.) Our sport is popular out there. I’m sure we’ll draw big crowds. That’s good for the sport, the sponsors and the individual anglers.

5. It’s full of paddlefish

Paddlefish, sometimes called spoonbills, are about as neat as anything that swims. They’re right out of a prehistoric movie with their paddle or spoon-looking nose, weird mouth and eyes, leather-like skin and immense size. A big one will go 100 pounds. (The Grand Lake record is 112 pounds.)

And, we’re going to be there for the early prespawn. That could be a good thing. They eat zooplankton and insect larva so I don’t think anyone will actually hook one, but it’s always possible one will get snagged during the tournament. How neat would that be?

I’m ready to pack my boat and head west!

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