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Matt Massey’s Grand STQT Win

Posted by on July 24, 2013

Matt_Massey2.jpg     The Colorado Bass Nation State Team Qualifying Tournament at Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, OK offered many options for the contestants when it comes to fishing styles and pattern choices, but only one takes home the top spot.  Matt Massey tells the story of how he put together a winning pattern.

     Grand Lake, OK has been one of the favorite choices of recent years for participants in the Colorado Bass Nation (CBN) State Team Qualifying Tournament (STQT) and is a large enough body of water to let the contestants really spread out.  June 9-13, 2013 saw the return of the Colorado B.A.S.S. Nation to the Northeast Oklahoma fish factory.
     Shallow, warmer, muddier water and deep, cooler, clear water is usually found at each end of the lake, from the river to the dam, with all options and variations in between.  Cover and structure options are just as varied and Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees offers almost everything: from rocky banks, shallow flats, humps, steep bluffs, uncountable points, cuts and coves, scattered vegetation, brush, trees and endless docks for cover.  There are so many options to choose from that anglers may end up with a deck covered in rods and lure choices just to be ready to effectively fish every technique and style of fishing available in
just one cove.
     So with all these options available what did Matt Massey do different to win the whole she-bang.  The winner of the 2013 CBN STQT tells what he did to make it happen, catching a total weight of 49.55 pounds and capturing First Place with 3.57 pounds to spare.
Massey_Day_1_weigh_in.jpg     Massey narrowed all of these options down to focusing on finding sandy points and casting his lures into three feet of water or less.  “There are always fish shallow on any lake.  You just have to figure out how to catch them,” Matt says.  But fine-tuning the pattern was the key to success.  “I would spend hours dissecting areas until I found the sweet spot,” he explains, looking for isolated spots of baseball to softball size rocks that more bass were relating to on those sandy points.
     Keeping updated on changing conditions and making adjustments each day played an important role as the lake level dropped consistently.  “I would say the only thing that affected my pattern was the consistent lowering of the lake. It just made me work a little harder to keep up with the fish and where they were moving to as the lake level dropped. I checked the Grand Lake dam website every morning when I woke up to see how much the lake had dropped over night.”
     Once the right locations are determined finding the right presentation is the next step.  Grand Lake may have played right into Massey’s strengths because, “I am a power fisherman, crank baits and jigs are my favorite way to catch them. I am very versatile and can adjust to any conditions, but if I can catch them
shallow on my favorite baits, look out!”
     Matt used a one-two punch in this tournament to catch his limit of bass each day, he said, “I fished a Strike King 2.5 KVD square bill and a Lucky Strike RC2 Series 4 on sandy points that didn't look like anything,” backed up by a 3/8 oz. green pumpkin FT jig by Falcon Tackle.
     Massey stuck to his pattern even when that nagging doubt would creep in when the bite slowed.  Matt had, “Extreme confidence in my pattern and patience that it would pay off,” and between bites, “never second guessed my pattern, even if it felt like I should be doing something different.”  Confidence and
patience are often hard to maintain, but just as often can pay-off with the desired outcome.
     How does Matt feel about fishing at this lake?  “Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees is my favorite lake to fish. It has everything you want to fish; dirty or clear water, deep or shallow. I would like to retire on Grand!” Matt says with affection.
     This is Matt’s fourth time on the Colorado BASS Nation State Team and in 2009 he was the Colorado State Champion representing the state at the BASS Nation National Championship held at the Harris Chain of lakes, FL.  “Qualifying for the team is a great accomplishment. Colorado has great anglers and to make the team or win the event is a great confidence builder,” Matt says.  To the CBN organizers: “Audrey and Dave did an amazing job organizing the event and I would like to thank them for their hard work!”

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