Mark's Grand Lake - Major League Fishing
Mark’s Grand Lake
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Mark’s Grand Lake

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Castrol pro Mike Surman hooks a big bass. Angler: Mike Surman.
May 30, 2013 • Mike Surman • Angler Columns

Our next stop on the FLW Tour is Grand Lake in Oklahoma. I am really looking forward to this tournament but maybe not for the same reasons all the other guys are. Yes, Grand has a giant population of 3- to 6-pounders and is a lake that you can fish deep or shallow, but I am looking forward to it because of my good friend, Mark Leach.

Mark was a high school friend and fishing buddy that passed away two years ago after battling brain cancer. He got to travel with me and fish as a co-angler in a couple of tournaments over the years and we always had a great time together. Mark bought a cabin on Grand and it was his pride and joy. When BASS came to Grand he hosted my good friends, Kevin VanDam, Davy Hite and Scott Rook for the week. He had been battling his cancer, but all he could think about was these three great fishermen staying at his cabin. They were very gracious and Mark got to hang out with these legends of bass fishing. He must have been a pretty good host as VanDam won the tournament and Scott and Davy both finished very high.

So next week, when Clark Wendlandt and I arrive I am sure Mark will be looking down with great joy to see his cabin filled with tournament fishermen again. Over the years Mark would call and tell me all his fish stories and he always tried to get me to come to the lake. I managed to get there for two days right before he passed away, but during this time we only spent time 30 minutes on the water due to his failing strength. However, he insisted that we take that boat ride so he could show off his beloved lake. He took me to a spot where he caught the biggest fish of his life. I am hoping that one spot will pay off this week, but if it doesn’t I know Mark and I will still be happy that I’m on his lake, fishing his spot, and staying in his cabin. Miss you, Mark.