Scorecard Snapshot – Chilling in Oklahoma

Jim Morton unhooks a fish at the 1992 Oklahoma Invitational on Grand Lake. Photo February 1992 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

With the 2013 Bassmaster Classic field nearly filled, it’s about time for the competitors to start thinking about how they’ll fish Grand Lake in February. The weather has the potential to be miserable – everything from heavy snow to crippling ice to bitter cold. Fortunately, B.A.S.S. has a history on Grand during inclement weather to look back upon.

The 1992 Oklahoma Invitational, held from November 4-6 of that year, marked the sole B.A.S.S. win of Jim Morton’s career. The promotions manager for Storm Lures had only fished seven previous B.A.S.S. tournaments, never finishing higher than 79th. After Grand, he fished 70 more tournaments with the circuit, and only cracked the top twenty one more time, in June of 1993 at a SuperStars tournament on the Illinois River (only 28 anglers competed).

Morton’s moment in the sun was hard-earned. The Grand Lake tournament was marked by horrible weather – heavy rains and winds on the first two days, along with 40 degree temperatures, and clearer skies but much lower temperatures on Day Three. The three hundred plus anglers managed a total of 32 six-fish limits over three days, with no single angler limiting out each day. Third place finisher Charlie Reed led the pack with 16 fish, while Morton and second place finisher Shaw Grigsby were the only two to tally 15. In the end, though, Morton won by over 6 pounds. In fact, he more than doubled the check weight.


Do you remember the lure he threw to win at Grand?

  • Chad Keogh

    I don’t remember what lure he used, but since he worked for Storm and the Wiggle Wart is a must-have on Grand, I’m going to say Wiggle Wart.


  • Duke Jenkel

    Buzzbait!! He threw a buzzbait Lunker Lure I think.

  • Jeff Hahn

    Morton won by throwing a buzzbait…even when it snowed!

  • Edward P. Cowan

    I remember because I was there. The 19th place trophy on my wall shows November 1992, this can only be discribed as a winter tournament. Although it was not as cold as the 1991 event (the ice bowl). The first day I fished with the 1991 winner, Ron Shuffield. Ron didn’t catch his fish in ’91 on a buzzbait but to everyones suprise Jim did. Jim told me later that that Buzzbait pattern was a good pattern on Grand Lake that time of year. Some locales tried to tell me in ’92 that it was never that cold there that time of year, Go figure.