February 22nd, 2013
Grand Lake o’the Cherokees a Challenge – 2016 Bassmaster Classicby Grant Pentiricci March 3, 2016
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Well folks, it’s Bassmaster Classic time and the 2016 Bassmaster Classic on Grand Lake o’the Cherokees is shaping up to be an exciting tournament. Unseasonably cold temperatures are not really a factor for this classic, however anglers may find that nature has thrown them a different curve ball this time.
Grand Lake, as it’s often called, is situated in the Ozark Mountains. Work was completed on Pensacola dam in 1940 and Grand Lake was created behind it as a result of damming the Grand River.
Fish species in the lake include: largemouth bass, white bass, channel catfish, crappie and bluegill. The Bassmaster Classic was last held on this lake in 2013 when Bassmaster Elite Pro Cliff Pace won the tournament. Cliff won the tournament using a combination of Jerkbaits, crankbaits and jigs.
2016 Grand Lake Conditions
This year Grand Lake has had high water throughout December that reached historic levels. This has caused some interesting changes in the lake that have muddied areas of Grand Lake that aren’t usually muddy. The lower part of Grand Lake has remained muddy since December, which causes the water to stay colder because sunlight is unable to penetrate the water column. Bigger fish tend to be in the muddy water, but are harder to catch. Classic competitors who can figure out how to pattern those larger fish in muddy water will probably do best and bring in bigger bags.
Practice days will prove critical for anglers who are trying to figure out what is happening on Grand Lake. If anglers such as Edwin Evers, a hometown favorite, can pattern out the fish, then he has a strong chance of winning in my opinion.
In a recent Bassmaster Article by Steve Wright, several anglers expressed excitement over the changes Grand Lake was experiencing. Mike Iaconelli described the changes on the lake as “..flip flopped from normal”. In the same article, Edwin Evers described the water levels on Grand Lake as: “..on the verge of it busting wide open”
Whatever happens at this year’s classic, it is very evident that impoundment fishing is somewhat of an art. You really have to be able to tune into what is happening and decode the pattern quickly if you are to be successful. It will be interesting to see who has it dialed in for this classic.
Feature Photo: Bassmaster.com
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Grant is the Founder of AnglingAuthority.com. While he primarily fishes for large mouth and small mouth bass, he’s passionate about sport fishing in general and an avid multispecies angler. Learning about new tactics, gear, species and conditions is all part of what makes the sport challenging and enjoyable. Grant also loves to travel, particularly to prime fishing destinations. Grant participates in regional tournaments and is a proud pro staff member of State Apparel, Power-Pole and Gambler Lures. Grant is a member of B.A.S.S, Canadian Bass Anglers Federation and Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters.More by Grant Pentiricci