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Photo by: Seigo Saito

> Day 2: 4, 11-12 (9, 29-09) Jones said his primary area may be running low on fish.

"They're still biting in my area, but there's just not as many," he said. "I've been sharing it with James Watson and Bernie Schultz and we've picked over all the easy stuff. It'd take something like the wind pulling another school up to replenish it, and that could happen.

"Where I'm fishing has better-than-average quality. I'll try it for 2 or 3 hours tomorrow and if I've caught three, I'll probably stay the rest of the day. If not, I'll go to plan B or plan C."

He's fishing extremely shallow and has done the majority of his work with a 3/8-ounce Booyah Bankroll jig with a YUM Craw Pappy trailer. He's plying both docks and isolated wood.

He had a shot at another strong bag, but lost a fish that he estimated weighed at least 5 pounds.

"I can't cry too much because everybody loses fish, and I know that one and some others will be out there tomorrow." Read more

> Day 1: 5, 17-13 Jones came into this event focused on figuring out what the Grand Lake bass would be doing during the midst of a week-long warming trend. So far, he feels like he’s piecing the puzzle together – and he’s not concerned about who he has to catch on the leaderboard.

“It’s a 3-day tournament for a reason and my job is to stay consistent,” said Jones, who finished 31st at Grand in 2013. “If I stay consistent, it really doesn’t matter what (the leader) does. I’m going to catch everything I can catch and we’ll see how the chips fall.”

Jones caught two limits’ worth of bass and culled three times (the other two didn’t help him) as he fished more methodically than some of his competitors.

“The fish were positioned exactly where I thought they would be and that’s been one of the keys for me – figuring out how they’re setting up so when I come into those little places I can fish them with a little more patience than maybe somebody who’s not really sure exactly what the fish are doing,” he said. “That’s been a big advantage for me.”

His confidence in his pattern is such that he went back through areas today that didn’t produce bite is in practice, but had the right mix of structure and habitat.

“I know where they’re supposed to be and not every place that has the right stuff has one, but for example, today I fished several places in practice that were set up right that I didn’t get bites out of, but I was able to go to them today knowing it was the right stuff and I caught a couple key fish where I didn’t get a bite in practice,” he said. “I hope I can stay on top of them. I fished my practice not based on what the fish were doing a week ago, but on what I thought they would be doing with a week of warm weather. I put my eggs in that basket and I knew it would work really well or not at all. Today, it worked really well." Read more

2016 2

Jones, who already owns a Classic trophy for his 2008 win on South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell, said his good opening round was a result of a good choice he made prior to competition.

“I made a decision in practice, with this warm-up that was coming, I was going to fish where the fish were coming to,” he said. “There were a few of them already in there in practice, and I felt like I knew where they would be setting up when the tournament started.

“It was sort of an educated guess as to where the fish were going, and it worked out well for me today.”

The tournament will resume Saturday, with a full field of a 55 anglers leaving Hard Rock Dock at Wolf Creek Park at Grove, Okla., at 7 a.m. The weigh-in is set to begin at 3:15 p.m. at the BOK Center in Tulsa.

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The ride from Grand Lake to the BOK arena

Posted by Alton Jones on Friday, March 4, 2016

Photo BASS Gary Tramontina - Alton Jones brought in five smallies that weighed 17-4 for a two-day total of 41 pounds, 8 ounces, keeping him in third place.

“By lunchtime I had to move to another location; as a whole, I had to work a lot harder today,” he said. “The bite is changing where I’m fishing, but I know the bass are still in the area — hopefully I can catch them again tomorrow.”

Jones caught his three biggest fish of the day on his first four drifts.

"Then it got tougher," he said. "I think I know why, but I'm not ready to talk about it yet. If it does set up right tomorrow, then I will know why."

He said the stretch that he, JVD and Scanlon are fishing is about 300 yards long with a 50-yard sweet spot in the middle that produces most of the best fish.

"It's getting a lot of pressure and it'll be interesting to see how it plays out," he said. "A real big key could be somebody finding another spot in the same area that's loaded."

His bag was topped by a 4 1/4-pounder. He missed a few bites, but doesn't know whether any would've aided him.

"They weren't committing to the bait today like they had been. Hopefully tomorrow, they'll commit." Read more

Load Your Live Well

Did that most recent cold front throw you a curve ball? Did the bite you were on suddenly disappear? There is always a solution to every problem, here’s one that has saved my day on many occasions. After severe cold fronts big bass almost always seek out the darkest shadows they can find. 

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