FROM STAFF REPORTS
CNHI News Services
The Walmart FLW Tour on Grand Lake presented by Castrol will visit the Grove, Okla., area June 6-9 for the fifth event of its 18th season. Hosted by the Grand Lake Association, the tournament will feature a full field of the world’s best bass pros and co-anglers casting for top awards of up to $125,000 cash in the Pro Division and up to $25,000 cash in the Co-angler Division.
“We’re going to be hitting Grand Lake at the perfect time,” said Rayovac pro Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., who has five career tournament victories on Grand Lake in FLW competition. “The spawn is happening late this year and I expect that we will see quite a few fish still spawning. There will be a lot of fish that will be post-spawn as well, but I believe that a lot of the fish will be caught shallow in this tournament.
“We’re going to catch fish on Grand from one end of the lake to the other,” Christie continued. “It’s not like some other lakes around the country where the fish will group up. Grand fishes good, from the dam all the way up to Miami. It offers so many different areas, and a guy can fish however he wants to. You can go down the lake and fish in the clear water, or go up into the river and fish the stained water. I think that the final top-10 anglers will be split – half of them will be fishing shallow and half will be fishing deep.”
Christie suggested that shallow-water anglers would be targeting the shallow laydowns and rock beds, while deep water anglers would be looking for the man-made brush piles as well as stumps and ledges.
“There will be fish caught on square-bill crankbaits, spinnerbaits, flipping baits, jigs, crankbaits, football jigs and umbrella rigs,” Christie said. “We’re going to see fish caught on all kinds of different baits.”
Christie predicted that an angler will need around 33 pounds in order to make the top 20 cut after day two. He said that the winning four-day cumulative weight would be right around 75 pounds.
“The lake will fish really good,” the Rayovac pro went on to say. “Anglers are going to be spread out all over the lake, and this is going to be a great tournament to showcase Grand Lake. In my opinion, the Grove area is the heart of bass fishing. This is the first FLW Tour event where we’ve visited a lake that I am extremely familiar with. I’m not going to have to wonder where or how the tournament will be won. For me, it’s just going to be figuring out how to catch them.”
In FLW Tour competition, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing. The 2013 Forrest Wood Cup will be in Shreveport, La., Aug. 15-18 on the Red River.
Anglers will take off from Wolf Creek Park located at 963 N. 16th St. in Grove at 6:30 a.m. each morning. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-ins will be held at Wolf Creek Park beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s final weigh-ins will be held at the Walmart located at 2115 S. Main St. in Grove beginning at 4 p.m.
Fans will also be treated to the FLW Outdoors Expo at the Walmart on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. prior to the final weigh-ins. The Expo includes Ranger boat simulators, the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and fans can learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public. Also on Sunday, country music artist Dylan Scott will perform a free live concert on the Walmart weigh-in stage at 3 p.m.
As part of the FLW Tour’s community outreach initiative, FLW will be working in conjunction with the Grand Lake Association and the Grove Rotary Club to participate in a cleanup event at the park directly in front of Walmart in Grove. The park is very overgrown, and the Rotary Club would like to make this park available to the local community. FLW Tour pros will be on hand cleaning up trash and assisting with landscaping duties on June 5 from 8-11 a.m.
Coverage of the Grand Lake tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network when “FLW” airs July 28 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. ET. The Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show is hosted by Jason Harper and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.