GROVE, Okla. – Targeting fish across different stages of the spawn, the top anglers bagged another round of solid limits on Day 2 of the Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E. event on Grand Lake. Depending on the area of the lake, some pros are targeting bass that are on beds, while others are casting to likely spots and picking up transition fish on the way.
Nicky Parsons leads the pack with a two-day total of 42 pounds, 5 ounces. He has found success in dirty water, blind casting to bass on deep beds. Dragging his bait along slowly has been key, but Parsons isn’t wasting too much time in one place.
Here’s how the rest of the pros stacked up behind him:
Cade Alsbury has been “Mr. Consistency” over the first two days, catching sizeable limits by noon and spending the rest of the day practicing for the next morning. He’s targeting fish on deep beds, flipping standard springtime staples.
“For me it’s been bed fishing 101,” Alsbury said. “You couldn’t really see the fish. The beds are too deep. You can see the beds, but can’t really see the fish.”
He started the event a little worried that his prime spots may dry up, but changed his tune on Day 2.
“There’s more coming, more than I thought in practice,” Alsbury said. “I saw some good stuff this afternoon, so I’m looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow.”
If things do go south on Championship Saturday, he has a backup plan.
“I can do some other things to catch fish if need, as fillers,” he said. “It’s just covering water and finding a good one here, a good one there. You can go down the bank and catch 2-pounders all day, but finding the right ones is key.”
After shocking the scales with 21-15 on Day 1, Jeremy Johnson scrapped out a respectable 14-12 bag on Day 2 to keep himself in contention. Targeting mid-lake areas in stained water, he’s been fishing slowly around key structure.
“Most of the fish we caught were in 10-12 feet or less,” Johnson said. “Not super shallow, but not too deep either.”
He found the spawn stage a bit confusing, but was satisfied to find the fish there no matter what.
“It’s really weird right now, it looked like a few of our fish had spawned out, but a few still had big ‘ol bellies,” Johnson said. “Usually on Grand it’s about mid-May when the main spawn hits. I know guys are talking about seeing them on beds, but I think it’s just a small first wave.”
Concerned he’s milked his main locations dry, Johnson plans to target new areas on Day 3.
“I feel like I’ve burned up the couple spots where I was catching them,” he said. “I’m on to new water tomorrow. It’s time to just go fishing.”
Staying within striking distance for the second straight day is Kyle Schutta, who flipped the script early and never looked back.
“I had ‘em going on reaction baits in practice and that just didn’t pan out,” Schutta said. “So I made an adaption over to flipping mostly and that’s what has put all 10 bass in the livewell so far.”
Fishing mid-lake, almost all of his success has happened in one pocket. He believes fish are “100% dead-smack in the middle of the spawn.” With most fish being caught on beds, but others being picked off in transition too.
“I feel really good about everything after today,” Schutta said. “I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to back up Day 1, but my area seems to be reloading and there’s fish coming and going.”
Michael Harlin rounds out the top five with a two-day total of 36 pounds. He’s found success in the shallows, covering a lot of water down-lake.
“I’m staying shallow all day,” Harlin said. “If we have good conditions tomorrow I’ll go looking for them.”
He’s been fishing slowly, flipping around likely structure, but managed to pick up a valuable kicker on the way back to the ramp.
“I just culled at the end of the day on a red crankbait,” Harlin said. “I had two 14-inchers, and that put me over the top.”
Finishing off the day 6 pounds out of the lead, he’s doing to have his work cut out for him on Championship Saturday.
“I think I burned my spot to the ground today,” Harlin said. “I don’t know where I’m doing or what I’m doing tomorrow.”