Congratulations to Duke Jenkel for winning the Bass Fishing Archives Trivia Contest. Read below for the answer.
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.
Here’s the lure he threw to win at Grand.
Morton dominated by fishing a buzzbait in less than two feet of water. The lure produced all 15 fish he weighed in. Not only is a buzzbait a lure that rarely produces tour-level wins (at least not by itself), but few others thought to throw it at Grand that week. While the air temperatures were cold, the water temperature was in the low 60s after a series of fronts, which is still within typical buzzer range.
Grigsby used a spinnerbait and Reed relied on a couple of crankbaits to finish second and third.
While the February Classic will likely feature lower water temperatures than existed during Morton’s win two decades ago, a few intrepid qualifiers might remember his victory and pack a few buzzbaits. Unfortunately for them, the one he used – a 3/8 ounce white and chartreuse Spunky Bug – is somewhat tough to find. As reported in the February 1993 issue of Bassmaster, “(t)he lure, originally manufactured in McAlester, Okla., is no longer made, but Morton has a tacklebox full of them.”