Steady showers the first three days of practice left several TBF anglers without fish and without plans going into the 2013 Federation National Championship. Today, Oklahoma’s Grand Lake O’ the Cherokee’s delivered as nearly 1,100lbs of bass were caught with over 60% of the field catching five bass limits.
Ninety-four of TBF’s best grassroots anglers compete this week for the coveted national champion titles, over $200,000 in cash and prizes, including the $100,000 “Living the Dream” prize package, and national bragging rights. Tomorrow, day two will push 14 anglers to the final day of competition and that much closer to making their dreams come true as the 2013 Federation National Championship continues in Grove, Okla., on Grand Lake.
Tournament big stick today was Robbie Robinson from Mobile, Ala., with a limit of bass weighing 23lbs 7ounces. Robinson struggled to find but five keepers in three days of pre-fishing leading up to the event. “I figured it out the first fish I caught in practice, but I just knew it wasn’t going to work; the weather was going to kill what I was doing,” Robinson said. “But by 9am I started to see the pattern emerge I had settled on with that first fish.”
Robinson had some trolling motor issues he said he should have check into before taking off this morning, because of that he was only spot on from about 9am to 1pm. “Before that I just had my crying towel out, crying out to the fish, “throw me a clue; give me a hint””. Robinson got his hint and then some. “I’ve been here and done this many, many times. I know what can happen out there; I’m just looking for a limit.” Tomorrow, he’s going to put it all together to see if he can secure a spot in the final round. “I’m not sure, but I’m not scared either.”
Just one ounce separates Robinson from the second overall contender, Roger Mezenen from Morgan, Utah with a limit weighing 23lbs 6ounces. “The biggest bag I’ve ever caught; this one,” Mezenen said as he walked across the stage to knock his career 14lbs out with a smile on his face. “I just got to go out there and get on them tomorrow; I’m around them, just got to get it done.”
Mezenen snagged a heavy drown early on before he caught the rhythm that led to his beauty and his solid second place finish. “Yeah, it was a quite a letdown reeling in that big drown, we don’t have those fish in Utah, but it didn’t take long after that.” Mezenen’s got a long, quiet stretch to cover tomorrow and he’s hoping the weather will stabilize. “I wished it would cloud up and rain, but as long as we got wind; just looking for some stable conditions.”
Stable isn’t exactly a word to describe Oklahoma weather as many have found out this week. But, one thing’s for sure, there are plenty of fish to be caught on Grand Lake.