Congratulations to Steve Quinn for winning this week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits! For the answers, please read below.
Many modern fishing fans know Oklahoma’s Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees primarily as the site of Cliff Pace’s career-defining Bassmaster Classic victory as well as for its recent role as a host of multiple Elite Series tournaments, but the lake has a long history as a site of B.A.S.S. competition.
B.A.S.S. first visited Grand Lake in November 1991 for an Oklahoma Invitational won by Arkansas pro Ron Shuffield. The circuit returned almost exactly a year later, for a tournament won by Jim Morton. As described in a previous Bass Fishing Archives trivia contest, Morton defied heavy winds, torrential rains, and temperatures that ranged from just above freezing to well below freezing to win with an unlikely buzzbait pattern.
B.A.S.S. returned again in 1995, this time for an April tournament in the heart of the spawn. Veteran Texas pro Tommy Martin, who’d first made a national name for himself over 20 years earlier by winning the 1974 Bassmaster Classic on Wheeler, won the 1995 Oklahoma Invitational. It marked the fifth win of his B.A.S.S. career, and might be his last if he doesn’t make a move soon. Martin continues to compete and fished the 2013 Central Opens.
We’ve previously featured Tommy Martin in the trivia contest this year, but Martin and Grand Lake have so much history that we’re going back to that well again.
In order to win this week’s trivia contest, be the first to answer the following three questions correctly in the comments section:
- While most of the other top finishers bed-fished, Martin used a different technique. What was it and what was his primary style of lure?
- Which Oklahoma pro led after the first day of competition?
- What was Martin’s heaviest winning weight in B.A.S.S. competition?
Here are the answers:
As others sight-fished, Martin used a Carolina rig to weigh in 15 bass for a tournament-winning creel of 52 pounds 6 ounces. He used 6-inch lizards from Bass Assassin and Zoom to amass his winning catch.
While Martin caught 20-15 on Day One, he was second to Oklahoma pro Tommy Biffle, who like Martin had decided not to try to catch bass he could see. Instead he flipped a Rattleback Jig up the river. Biffle only caught one bass the next day and three on the final day to fall to 12th overall at tournament’s end. Despite winning six B.A.S.S. events, he has never won on Grand. He finally earned a home state (backyard) win in 2010 when he won on Fort Gibson in an Elite Series tournament relocated due to high water elsewhere.
Martin moved into the lead after catching 16-14 on Day Two, and with 14-09 on Day Three managed to outlast another Oklahoma pro, Ken Cook, by a mere 14 ounces.
Martin caught 81 pounds 10 ounces over the course of three November days in 1981 to win the Texas Invitational on Toledo Bend, his home lake where he continues to live today. He won resoundingly, beating runner-up Harold Allen by nearly 18 pounds. Earlier that year Roland Martin (no relation) earned the 13th of his 19 B.A.S.S. wins on another tournament on Toledo Bend in which Tommy Martin finished 7th with 56-09.