Sunday, March 30, 2008

Preparing for the Pre Season at Grand Lake, Oklahoma

Now we're talking! Tomorrow I leave for Grand Lake o' the Cherokees, just outside Tulsa, Oklahoma. This is my pre season for what is to come of a pretty hectic tournament season. My good friend Matt and I are meeting up with our other two buddies, and headed down to where the ice doesn't exist. I was at Grand Lake last year for a few days and had some pretty descent success. There were no five pounders, or even fours for that matter. However I had huge expectations the weeks previous last year. I was watching the weather and it was in the 70's and 80's for three weeks prior to our arrival. Keep in mind when you are coming of the tail end of a Minnesota winter that type of weather seems a bit like heaven. Well when we pull into our cabin right on Grand Lake it was snowing! We dealt with a viscous cold front. The four days we were down there the high never got over 40 degrees. The first day I really sucked and only boated a few small bass on jerkbaits and shakey heads. However the second day I started figuring things out a bit. I could tell that most fish moved from the shallow water out to the deeper staging areas. They wanted to spawn but with that drastic of a cold front they were in no major hurry. I ended up having all my success by fishing main lake points in 10 to 30 feet with a 5/16 oz. Jewel Jig, casting it out along the edge of the points and slowly creeping it back to the boat. From there on I was on a good pattern that I feel would have done pretty good in a tournament at that time.

This year is going to be something different all together. The weather has been very mild for a few weeks and we're looking at highs in the 60's and 70's. My assumption is that we will be fishing shallow and possibly even some spawning action. Grand Lake is a great lake but is like none I've ever fished because of it's extreme lack of vegetation. Not to mention it has really stained water. The lake is known for it's largemouth and spotted bass, but also has a small population of smallmouth bass as well. Grand Lake is also an impoundment, that is known for it's deep water and abundance of baitfish. I'm counting on a variety of ways to catch fish. First I think I will probe the shallows. One exciting thing about this year from last is the amount of rain they have received in the past year. So much that it has elevated up past the shoreline and into the trees. This is nice for me to get up in the heavy stuff and search out those toads with a 3/8 oz. Ten K Jig. Also I could imagine that I can do well around the many boat docks with a Ima Flit jerkbait. If I get the opportunity to bed fish I already have tied on a texas rigged Amp Lures Craw. The great thing about this bait is the claws are equipped with air pockets that make the Craw's hands float. If the bass isn't interested in my bait at first once I bump a Craw claw in her face then we'll see if interested. Although I expect to still do most of my damage with two baits, a 5/16 oz. Jewel Jig and Amp Lures Midshooter Crankbait.

Well I suppose I better get to my gear. I leave in 24 hours and still have to tie up all my rod and reels and pack up the boat. The best part is I get to break in my new Ranger Z20 for a whole week. When I get back it's all business. I will start prefishing for the St. Jude Bass Classic on the Mississippi River in Wabasha, MN. Hopefully when I get back I will have some nice (heavy) stories to tell about Grand Lake!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Fishing for an Excellent Cause, The St. Jude Foundation

During the weekend of May 3rd and 4th, I will be fishing in the 10th Anniversary Dick Hiley St. Jude Bass Classic. This two day event takes place on the Mississippi River pools 4 and 5, in Wabasha, MN. I am very excited to fish this particular event, not just because it's my first tournament of the season, but more importantly I'll have the opportunity to fish for such a great cause. I get much pleasure being able to chase my childhood dream, that it hurts to think there are kids that may not get the opportunity to do the same.

The St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is the first institution established for the sole purpose of conducting clinical research into catastrophic childhood diseases, mainly cancer. They are also the largest childhood cancer research center in the world in terms of numbers of patients enrolled and successfully treated.

I will be accepting donations to present to the St. Jude on behalf of myself, my family and friends, and anyone else who wishes to do the same. The hospital's daily operating costs are $1,216,247.00, which are primarily covered by public donation. If interested in contributing to the St. Jude Children's Research Center please contact me at for more information.

If you are interested on receiving more information on the Dick Hiley St. Jude Bass Classic go to Zumbro Valley Bassmasters and for more information regarding the St. Jude Children's Research Center go to

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