Major League Fishing announced today that Oklahoma's signature bass destination, Grand Lake O' The Cherokees, will host Stage Seven of the 2019 MLF Bass Pro Tour from May 31 through June 5.
Simply called Grand Lake by most, the 72-square-mile reservoir sprawls across much of Oklahoma's northeastern corner. It is the state's third-largest body of water in size, but offers the greatest diversity in depth and structure.
"We are so excited to have the MLF Bass Pro Tour coming to Grove and Grand Lake O' the Cherokees," said Donnie Crain, president of the Grove Area Chamber of Commerce. "Our lake has rightfully earned a reputation with professionals and amateurs alike as one of America's top bass fishing lakes.
"Hosting an MLF Bass Pro Tour competition solidifies that reputation even more because of the event's prestige and pro lineup. We look forward to hosting MLF's great anglers and invite everyone to come join us in Grove to meet them and see for yourself why Grand Lake is so wonderful to visit and fish."
High-profile, big bass events are no stranger to the 79-year-old lake, especially in more recent years since the City of Grove, the Oklahoma Dept. of Wildlife Conservation and the Grand River Dam Authority have teamed up to complete millions of dollars in improvements to the Wolf Creek Park and Boat Ramp area near downtown Grove.
"Few places can rival the venue, enthusiasm and expertise afforded by Grand Lake, the Wolf Creek facility and the folks of Grove," said Michael Mulone, MLF senior director, events & partnerships. "There's no doubt the red carpet will be rolled out for this event and that the fishing here will make for a genuine shootout among the country's very best anglers.
"Of course, we also like the fact that Grand is in MLF's own backyard, and that means our fans will have a chance to meet a lot of MLF staff from our Tulsa headquarters."
Among the Bass Pro Tour's 80-man field are six Oklahoma pros: Tommy Biffle (Wagoner), Zack Birge (Blanchard), Jason Christie (Park Hill), James Elam (Tulsa), Edwin Evers (Talala) and Jeff Kriet (Ardmore).
The Grand Lake Stage Seven event is the penultimate in the eight-event Bass Pro Tour season. Two have been held to date, with Stage Three taking place at the end of the month in the waters of Raleigh, N.C. The Bass Pro Tour season will culminate with a championship held in August.
The Grand Lake competition, as with each of the Stages, will result in its own two-hour television episode that will air on Discovery Channel in the fourth quarter of 2019. It will repeat on Sportsman Channel in first and second quarters 2020.