The 24th season of Fishing League Worldwide’s competitive tour will be taking over Grand Lake March 28-31.
Bass anglers, representing the world’s best, will be vying for a top prize of $125,000 while they aim to qualify for the 2019 FLW World Cup. The total purse of the Grand Lake event is more than $860,000.
This is only the second time the FLW Tour has visited Grand, with the previous visit coming in 2013. The 2013 tourney was won by pro Jason Christie, an Oklahoma native who now competes on the Bassmaster circuit.
Among the 168 listed on the 2019 roster, there are several Oklahomans who will compete beginning Thursday: Scott Ashmore (Broken Arrow), Sheldon Collings (Grove), Kyle Cortiana (Coweta), Jeff Dobson (Bartlesville), Derek Fulps (Broken Arrow), Bradley Hallman (Norman), Brandon Mosley (Choctaw), Jim Moynagh (Carver), Darrel Robertson (Jay), Andrew Upshaw (Tulsa), Chad Warren (Sand Springs) and Alton Wilhoit (Noble).
“We’ve got a big warming trend happening in the days leading up to this tournament, and by the time it rolls around, it should be lights out,” said 21-year-old Tour pro Sheldon Collings of Grove.
Collins said he expects squarebill crankbaits and jerkbaits will produce for the tourney, but he doesn’t think the pattern can hold up all four days. According to Collins, the jig bite – especially banks on bluff ends to laydowns on chunk rock banks – will be strong.
“If I had to predict, I think 90 percent of the fish that we will see caught will come on a Wiggle Wart, a big spinnerbait and a jig. The water’s stained right now, and there’s only so much you can do with it,” Collins said.
The full field of 168 compete in the opening rounds on Thursday and Friday. The top 30 will move on to Saturday’s competition, and Sunday will feature the top 10. Ranking for the tournament is determined by heaviest accumulated weight.
Collins predicts the winner will need to average around 20 pounds per day, with 75-80 pounds over the four days.
Start time will be 7 a.m. Thursday-Sunday, and anglers will take off from Wolf Creek Park in Grove. Weigh-ins will be held at the park Thursday and Friday at 3 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday weigh-ins will be at 4 p.m.
There also are family activities planned at Wolf Creek Park throughout the tournament, including a kids’ fishing derby on Saturday from noon-2 p.m. Pro angler Cody Kelley will be there for a meet and greet.
You can find out more about the tournament by clicking here.
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