So, who will win the Classic on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees?
Here are IBASSIN.com’s picks and why.
It is statistically proven that hometown favorites have a slim chance of winning. Boyd Duckett is the only Classic Champ to ever do it. With that in mind, Jason Christie is our huge favourite. Not sure if it is divine intervention of this southern FLW pro winning the Northern Open on smallmouth bass but that is very odd series of events not to be ignored. Christie has local winter time experience on Grand plus he recently won a pre-spawn FLW event two years ago. He is playing it too cool and that is a sure sign he is hiding something.
Tommy is another Oklahoma expert. He has the extra incentive of several missed Classic titles. Recently he has proven himself as an off-shore angler, mostly on the back of his Biffle Hard head and Bug, but who cares how he did it. He knows how to catch deep water bass. If he was still just a flipping expert, his chances would be limited. Plus, how fitting would it be for him to finally win a Classic in his home state. A definite career topper!
Kevin Van Dam
Come on, I would be a fool not to pick him. He is amazing a transitions and change. If the weather flickers from freezing to mild he’ll react accordingly. One down fall is the lack of grass in this lake. Van Dam is a master with grass. Grand is all rock, so that might be a downfall. In reality, KVD has no downfalls and this seasonal period is an off-shore jerk bait, crankbait and jig bite. He will get his fifth Classic and Grand Lake is a perfect setting for another KVD fest.
Aaron is a strong angler. He excels at light line and fine tuning of presentations. One of his sponsors is Megabass, creators of the Vision 110 Jerk bait. Grand Lake is one of the best jerk bait lakes in the world. For decades, anglers have been modifying minnow baits for cold water fishing. The Vision 110 or 110 plus might be the bait of choice during this event. Knowing what a fanatic Aaron is and how determined Yuki Ito, Megabass’ creator, is Aaron will be throwing custom or proto-type baits never seen in America.
Another huge plus is Aaron’s ability to catch suspend bass. Most power fish in Oklahoma but Aaron’s finesse approach might allow him to advance if fishing condition deteriorates.
Two redeeming qualities Faircloth has is patience and swim bait skill. Weather will be the most influential factor in the outcome of the winner. Peak windows of opportunity will open and the angler who says focused will be ready to capitalize. Todd has done well under a range of fishing conditions. Hailing from Texas, he has experience fishing this cold water period plus is seasoned enough in the game to perform well. Swim bait might be a huge factor. Too bad the Alabama rig cannot be used because it might have delivered the knock out punch. The next best thing is single swim bait. Many other pros have remarked how important the swim bait might be and in the hands of Faircloth, it might be pure gold.
Everyone likes a dark horse or long shot. So, here is my list:
- Jeremy Starks = loves weird cranking and deep water
- David Walker = very skilled with soft and hard swim baits. Livetarget is one of his sponsors.
- Skeet Reese = has deep clear water experience and is strong with a swim bait. His Sick Fish might become a Classic winner.
- Edwin Evers = I should have picked him as my #1 but I picked Christie. Another strong Oklahoma angler with two near misses for AOY. He should be very determined to win.