Grove, OK. The XFL-Extreme Fishing League sponsored by Skeeter Boats held its 3rd event of the season on Grand Lake on Sunday, May 22. After enduring terrible weather for the first two events of the season, Mother Nature finally showed some mercy and provided the anglers with sunny to partly cloudy skies, light to moderate winds and warm temperatures. Making things more interesting was due to recent rains the lake had risen to almost 3′ above normal pool and flooding acres of willows, weeds and bushes. Water clarity ranged from downright muddy in the upper reaches to slightly stained in the lower end of the lake. The water and weather conditions gave the anglers lots of choices on a plan of attack. Early reports indicated lots of fish being caught out of the shallows and a few reports showing fish starting to get on their summer patterns. During the week the GRDA was releasing quite a bit of water through the dam and creating good current flows. This typically sets up for a good main-lake point and ledge bite during the post-spawn. However, the GRDA cut the flows to zero on Friday afternoon and maintained the zero flow rates through Sunday.
171 teams competed in this event. 88 teams brought a 5 fish limit to the scales with the average fish weighing 2.73 lbs. Total entry fees collected were $34,200, total payout of $57,021 yielding a 167% payout factor. Things were tight in the final standings as evidenced by only about 3 lbs separating the winning stringer from 10th place. Grand Lake sticks Curt Warren and John Pilcher bested the field with a 5 fish limit weighing 21.36 lbs. Their bag included Big Bass at 6.78 lbs. Curt and John took home $21,000 for their efforts. 2nd place and $10,000 went to the husband/wife team of Joe and Ginger Erwin with a 5 fish limit weighing 20.08lbs. The Skeeter Customer Appreciation Bonus money of $5000 went to the 4th place team of Matt Crawford and Brian Stedman for being the highest finisher competing out of a qualifying Skeeter Boat. Congratulations to all the teams that cashed a check at this event. I spoke with the winning team during the weigh-in and they shared some insight on how their day went.
Curt and John started out the day in great fashion by boating the 6.78lb tournament big bass fairly early in the morning. This fish hit a green pumpkin Gene Larew Biffle Bug fished on a Hard Head in about 5′ of water. By 9:00 am the team had 19 lbs of Grand Lake bass in the livewell. They fished from mid-lake towards the dam and concentrated on main lake points using the Biffle Bug/Hard Head combo, crankbaits and jigs. Early in the day they caught most of their fish in about 5′ of water. As the day progressed they had to move out a little deeper in order to get bit. They reported that they had to run many spots throughout the day to amass the winning stringer. Congratulations to Curt and John for their win.
The next scheduled event will be on Navigation Channel out of 3 Forks Landing in Muskogee, OK. on June 26th. This will be the first time the XFL has held an event on what the locals call “The Ditch”. The Ditch can be a very challenging fishery and will recently test everyone’s skills. It should be a great event and I encourage everyone to participate. Also, please note this will be the final regular season event. So, be sure to check the rules on the XFL website to determine if you can still qualify for the Championship.
On behalf of the XFL staff and Sponsors I want to thank all the participants in this event. Until next time, see you on water.