FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE
Tervin triumphant on Grand Lake
GROVE, Ok. – Completing his impressive comeback story, Bill Tervin, of Pocola, Ok. made a big move up from seventh place to win the Rayovac FLW Series Central Division tournament on Grand Lake.
Tervin, who placed 39th on day one with 11 pounds, 9 ounces, hauled in the biggest bag of day two – a limit of 19-10 – and added 17-2 in the final round to finish with a tournament total of 48-5 and a 13-ounce margin of victory.
Fishing shallow and targeting pea gravel banks with occasional chunk rock was his game plan. Tervin caught his fish on a Reaction Innovations Little Dipper swimbait (sprayed grass color) Texas rigged with a light bullet weight.
“I was swimming the bait in one to two feet of water, bouncing it off rocks and they ate it,” Tervin said. “It would skim across the tops of a lot of the rocks and they would just crush it.”
Tervin said he figured out his winning pattern on the second day of practice.
“I pulled into a little spot with a do-nothing little bank and I thought ‘What the heck, I’m just going to spend a little time here.’ On my first cast, I catch a 5-pounder and I think: ‘Whoah, I think I’ve got something figured out.’
“I then went looking for other spots that are (similar). Basically, I fished three areas the whole week.”
Basically, Tervin found most of his fish on those transitional banks outside of spawning coves. Fishing about 10 minutes from the launch site, Tervin found himself with four keepers late into the final round. He didn’t want to go in with a short bag, so he ran across the lake to another prespawn area with similar gravel/rock banks.
Here, he bagged his biggest bass of the day – a fish that likely sealed his win.
The tournament began with a warming trend that had anglers encouraged following a dismal practice week during which Grand Lake was still showing the effects of Oklahoma’s extreme winter. April should be spawn time – at least more widespread prespawn staging – but a lot of fish had been holding out deep, rather than making their usual shoreward movement.
The warmer conditions that arrived the day before the tournament raised hopes and had anglers chomping at the bit with anticipation of Grand unleashing its vernal potential. Unfortunately, a strong weather system that just skirted the area brought rain during the last hour of the day-one weigh-ins. Once the precipitation cleared, a blast of cold air sent temperatures plunging and ushered in the high, bright skies that can really make the fishing tough.
Tervin combatted the unfavorable conditions by seeking leeward shorelines and grinding it out. Nevertheless, he said his final round proved the most challenging.
“I worked hard to catch the five I caught,” Tervin said. “It was a tough day for me.”
Robertson rises to second
Castrol pro Darrel Robertson, of Jay, Ok. caught the biggest bag of day three – 17-11 – and moved up the standings from eighth place to second. Along with his first two days’ weights of 17-4 and 12-9, he tallied a total of 47-8.
“My fishing has been really odd,” Roberston said. “The first day I didn’t have a fish at noon and then I caught about 12 keepers. (Day two) I caught five keepers all day long. Today, I didn’t have a fish about 10:30. I caught my limit by 11 and I didn’t have another bite since then.”
Robertson caught his fish on a Gene Larew Biffle Bug on a Biffle Hard Head (a football style head with a hook attached to swing loosely).
“I was just reeling it along slowly like a crankbait, just dipping it along to hit rocks,” he said. “Most of my fish came out of shallow water – about 2-3 feet.”
Strader slips to third
Day-two leader Wesley Strader said that what he saw and heard during practice led him to believe that this event would be dominated by Alabama rigs and jerkbaits. Both surely produced weight fish for various competitors, but Strader ended up fishing quite differently.
“Today, I caught one on a Strike King Pure Poison vibrating jig with a Zoom Speed Craw trailer,” Strader said. “I had to switch up and go to a crawfish color today because they seemed to be gravitating to crawfish now and they weren’t eating shad as much as they were (recently). The rest of them, I caught by flipping a Zoom Z-Hog with a ¼-ounce Reins tungsten weight.”
Strader said he stayed on the fish by patterning their preference. At least in the areas he fished, the bass were digging the pea gravel banks with fist-sized chunk rock mixed in.
“What that tells you is that they’re starting to feed on crawfish,” Strader said. “When they do that, you need to fish more crawfish patterns.”
Strader sacked up 11-13 in the final round and finished third with 46-14.
Fox falls to fourth
Arkansas pro Travis Fox earned his final-round berth by catching the second-largest sack of day two – 19-9 – and improving from 20th to second. On day three, he faltered a little and missed his limit by one fish. His four fish weighed 11-14 and wrapped up his tournament total of 45-11.
Fox caught his fish shallow the first day, but found them moving back deeper with the cooler weather. His best bait was a Rapala Shad Rap in a natural shad color.
“I started catching them off the ends of docks, Fox said. “I would sit out there in deep water and throw up to those docks and they’d run out there and eat it.”
Kenney finishes fifth
In fifth place with 45-4, Straight Talk pro JT Kenney favors grassy lakes like those of his Florida home state. Grand Lake does not fit that profile; nevertheless, Kenny paid the host site a high compliment.
“The first day really showed what Grand Lake has and it’s an amazing lake – I think this is the best lake in the country that doesn’t have grass in it,” Kenney said. “Literally, my hands were raw (from lipping bass). I don’t know how many 15-pound limits I threw back the first day.
Kenney said he caught his fish “really, really, really shallow.” He fished a Castle Baits vibrating jig and a Strike King Redeye Shad lipless crankbait. Important to his success, Kenney notes, was fishing the vibe jig on the same Halo cranking rod he uses for the lipless bait. The rod’s flexible design allows fish to load up on the bait without pulling it away from them.
“The fish really weren’t eating that vibrating jig very well and that Halo cranking rod really allowed them to get it,” he said. “That was the key switch for me and I seriously think that I wouldn’t be standing here if I hadn’t switched to that rod.”
Best of the rest
Rounding out the top-10 pro leaders at the Rayovac FLW Series Grand Lake event:
6th: Ricky D. Scott, of Van Buren, Ark., 44-2
7th: Dan Morehead, of Paducah, Ky., 41-2
8th: Dale Hightower, of Manford, Ok., 40-2
9th: Koby Kreiger of Bokeelia, Fla., 36-8
10th: Stuart Arthur, of Benton, Mo., 35-7