College anglers tackle Fort Gibson Lake

WAGONER, Okla. – This week, Wagoner, Okla., will host its first college fishing event at Fort Gibson Lake with the 2012 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Central Super Regional, May 11-12.

“It’s an excellent recreational and fishing lake,” said Cyrina Lang, Wagoner Area Chamber of Commerce tournament and tourism director. “Bass are good and plentiful. We have a lot of bass tournaments, and it’s nothing for 5- to 8-pound fish to come in. An average stringer out here is between 18 and 24 pounds.”

With recent rain, Fort Gibson, a flood-control lake, may have a change in pool level. If the water is up, bass may move into shallow, flooded cover. But if rain comes from the north where the Grand River feeds the lake, the Army Corps of Engineers may have to open the flood gates, creating current through the lake. Current often stirs up both baitfish and bass, which makes the bass more active.

“Fort Gibson has been seen to come up 28 feet,” said Lang. “We’re right about normal pool now, but if [it rains heavily], there’s a chance that we could see a significant rise in the water level."

At stake is a spot in the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship, where anglers from participating teams will vie for a berth in the 2013 Bassmaster Classic on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees next February. That berth will mark the second time a collegiate angler has fished in the Classic. The first was when Andrew Upshaw of Stephen F. Austin University fished Louisiana’s Red River this past February.

Launch will be held at the Taylor Ferry North Access at 6 a.m. CT each day. Weigh-ins will be held at 2 p.m. CT.

The Midwest Super Regional takes place the following week, May 18-19, on the Mississippi River in Wisconsin.

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