By midday, the prospects were unclear for Jon “Scooter” Griffith here in The Bass Federation National Championship on Grand Lake, but in a roundabout way it provided just the clarity he needed to dial in a pattern that helped him take the day-one lead with an 18-pound, 13-ounce limit.
Griffith began his day by sight-fishing the clear water down by the Pensacola Dam. This opening move, he says, gave him some early comfort, as it matched the transparent water he’s used to fishing near his home in Mesa, Ariz. Targeting windblown points, Griffith got his early bites with reaction baits in about 4 to 8 feet of water. Unfortunately, the plan turned out to be less productive than he had expected.
“I thought I was going to struggle today because I only had three fish at noon, but then I just started catching them,” he recalls. “I caught five more, and a couple were pretty good size.”
The key to his afternoon rally was moving back up the lake to areas of dirty water.
“I don’t know if it was just because it was the afternoon or because it was the dirty water,” Griffith says. “I think people are afraid to fish it [dirty water]. It’s really dirty – I mean it’s chocolate.
“I think a lot of these fish haven’t been pressured as much as I thought they were, so I’m going to go back to those first thing tomorrow. If that doesn’t work, I have two bed fish that I can go back to and catch anytime.”
In the dirty water, Griffith found that the fish had pushed extremely shallow. Some of his bites on reaction baits came in mere inches of water.
“There were a couple of casts where I threw the bait up in there and was surprised my bait didn’t hit the bottom. The bites were a lot more aggressive in the shallow water. And they’re stronger,” he notes. “The biggest fish I caught were in the muddy water, so that makes me want to gamble tomorrow and go. You can’t win if you don’t gamble a little bit.”
Griffth leads the boater side of the event but the big sack of the event goes to a Co-Angler from Alabama named Wes Logan who managed to bag 19 even from the back of the boat today, look out for Wes if he catches them on Day 2 he will be hard to beat for the co-angler National Championship title on Saturday.
For a detailed Day 1 story by our Partners In Fishing at FLW click here
Day 1 standings for the Boaters CLICK HERE
Day 1 standing for the Co-Anglers CLICK HERE
For the Full day 1 photo gallery CLICK HERE