Our Own Super Day is Coming

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By the time you read this the prognosticating will be over. Ray Lewis will be celebrating his retirement with a Super Bowl Trophy, or Colin Kapernick and his 49ers will have made San Francisco the home to both the World Series and Super Bowl trophies at the same time.

SuperDayBrowningThe pregame hype will have finally been put behind us, the game contested and the Monday morning quarterbacking will have assigned the heroes and zeros of the game.

Now, we can look ahead to our own Super Bowl, the Bassmaster Classic in Tulsa, Okla. and Grand Lake of the Cherokees. By the time you are reading this, there will be 19 days until Bassmaster emcee Dave Mercer calls out the name of 2012 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year Brent Chapman as boat one and send the field out to compete in our sport’s version of a Super Day.

I’m still processing my opinions on who I believe will do well in the event, let alone who will win, and I’ll make my own mind up on that later. But, there are some interesting topics or story lines that will come into play at the Classic that are worth looking at in the shadow of the Lombardi trophy.

Weather
The weather could be a factor at this edition of the Bassmaster Classic like never before. Lake Hartwell in 2008 registered two of the coldest days in Bassmaster Classic history, and Grand Lake could record three.

Grove sits at an elevation of 776 feet above sea level, and in the month of February, the city of Grove has an average high of 52 degrees, with an average low of 29 degrees, according to Weather.com. the area does have potential for extremes however. In 1996, Grove recorded its record high temperature for the month of February with a high of 85 degrees, but it also recorded its record low at -12 degrees the same year. The city also receives an average of 2.28 inches of precipitation in the month of February.

Accuweather.com reports current temperatures in Grove to be variable for the next few weeks. While the SuperDayBrownhigh is expected to be 48 degrees and the low is predicted to be 28 today, there are significant warming trends expected later in the week, then average temperatures again, followed by lower than average temperatures during practice week and a predicted warming trend leading up to the event and during the event.

Of course, weather predictions are notoriously errant, but it’s worth a look. The Farmer’s Almanac has long been regarded as a fairly accurate predictor of the weather trends in the country, and here is what it has to say about February weather conditions in the Tulsa area. FEBRUARY 2013: temperature 45° (5° below avg.); precipitation 1.5″ (0.5″ below avg.); Feb 1-4: Sunny, cold north; rain south; Feb 5-10: Snowstorm, then sunny north; rainy periods south; cold; Feb 11-16: Rain and snow north; showers south; cold; Feb 17-22: Sunny, cool; Feb 23-28: A couple of showers north, rainy south; cool. SOURCE –http://www.almanac.com/weather/longrange/region/us/11

What That Means to the Anglers
According to my sources locally, Grand Lake is known for being an excellent prespawn fishery. What the weather conditions will do is dictate how the anglers approach the fishing days. If the weather is cold, but clear, the fish will likely remain in their late winter, early spring mode, which means suspended bass. If the weather warms, then the fish will likely begin their moves shallow and that changes the outlook on the event altogether. If the rains become heavy; which it is not expected to do, then that becomes a different event with Grand lake receiving an influx of muddy water, and that changes things once again.

Clear and cold conditions will mean that anglers will need to focus on tossing suspending jerkbaits as that will be a primary means of catching them in clear, cold conditions. If the weather warms, jerkbaits may be used a little more aggressively, and spinnerbaits, squarebills, lipless cranks and flat sided crankbaits will become a factor. If the rains create rising muddy water, then a Flippin’ Stick will become the most deadly weapon.

SuperDayShortOne wild card technique could involve swimbaits. Grand Lake has a healthy population of three to five-pound bass, as well as plentiful bait sources – some of them larger than the average shad. As such, if the water remains clear, to lightly stained, a swimbait could become a hot technique. Baits in the three to five-inch range can be very effective on Grand.

The Layout of Grand Lake
Grand Lake is basically a river type of impoundment, that has a mixture of a lot of types of waterways. It features a lot of creek arms some of which are steep and some that feature shallow, sloping banks. The lake is full of structural features for anglers to target, but the most obvious cover on the lake is an abundance of boat docks.

Most of these docks are the floating variety, and with that being the case, many of the anglers in the field will target docks with some of the presentations mentioned earlier. There are many anglers in the field with a lot of history on the lake, and that could bring in the obscure location, presentation or technique, but we’ll cover that in a future Bassmaster Classic competition preview piece.

For now, as the sports world celebrates the coming and going of Super Sunday and its victors, or mourns SuperDayDockits defeated; we can begin to turn our attention to our own special event that is the Bassmaster Classic.