The Fishing League Worldwide has returned to Grand Lake.
Costa FLW is in the middle of the 2019 Costa FLW Series Southwest Division Finale, set for Thursday through Saturday, October 3-5. More than 400 boats were expected to launch from Wolf Creek Park during the competition. The prizes for the pros were up to $50,000 in cash and a Ranger Z518C boat with 200 HP Evinrude outboard, while the co-anglers duked it out for a Ranger Z175 boat with a 90 HP Evinrude Outboard and, if the co-angler is qualified for the Ranger Cup, up to $5,000.
The anglers will have their work cut out for them as the weather changes across Grand Lake. Thankfully, Grand has a large population of large-mouth and small-mouth bass and bass like to feed at this time of year.
Oklahoman pro angler Jeff Reynolds has this analysis of Grand Lake:
“There are shad everywhere; there’s more shad than I’ve ever seen on any lake in my life,” said Reynolds. “You can catch fish, but it’s a matter of competing with the shad. If you get in the right spot, you can catch fish, but it’s really hard to pattern anything right now.”
Shad is a type of anadromas clupeid fish that naturally appears in North America. Reynolds says it is just that time of year for shad to be abundant.
Reynolds also talks about the weather, with Grove having a cold front move through, dropping the temperatures nearly 20 degrees.
“The highs on tournament days are going to be in the low 70s and it’s going to be getting down into the upper 50s,” Reynolds says. “You never know what that’s going to do to them this time of year. I think if we have clouds, they’ll bite pretty good and the weights will be better, but if the wind doesn’t blow and it gets sunny, it’s going to be tough.”
Thursday had a high of 68 and a 20 percent chance of rain, followed by a partly cloudy Friday with a high of 76 and a 20 percent chance of rain. Saturday, the final day of competition, the high is 79, but there is a 50 percent chance of rain. The humidity ranges anywhere from 68-79 percent.
There are five local anglers competing in the pro division: Sheldon Collings is from Grove and is currently ranked thirteenth in the Costa FLW Series SW Division. Collings has won $3,610 this season. In twenty-sixth is Darrel Robertson from Jay, followed by Brad Cook from Afton in 106 ($2,450), John Pilcher from Kansas in 113 ($1,828) and Toby Hartsell from Afton in 172.
The lone local angler competing in the co-angler division is Ronnie Weisinger. Weisinger is currently ranked 198 and is from Miami.
Weigh-ins are at 3:30 p.m. each day at Wolf Creek Park.