Wednesday, February 20, 2013

2013 BASSMASTER CLASSIC: Late Winter on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees

Skeet Reese enjoying the spoils of victory.
(Photo: BASS)
A lot is unknown about this Classic lake. Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, situated in northeast Oklahoma lies in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. A typical highland reservoir with several large rivers, it has a surface area of 46 500 acre and 1300 miles (2100km) of deep, rocky shoreline. Much has been written of the famed willow tree fishing but that is after the warm spring rains elevate the lake above its normal pool of 742 feet. Lake levels will remain slightly below normal pool but the forecast does indicate rain or snow.
B.A.S.S. has held events at Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, the sight on the 2013 World Championship, but usually during the summer or late fall. This year, winter has been true to form. Cold, windy and snowy lake conditions are what the 53 competitors faced during recent days. This has been the first real winter we have had in three years, so comparisons to the last few Classics are mere educated guesses. 

In recent years, the lake has undergone a residential boom. Numerous luxury homes now dot most shorelines. Several areas have adopted special by-laws restricting boat speeds and limiting fishing access. How much will these by-laws come into play during the tournament? This can only be determined once competition starts.


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