The Oklahoma OPEN was the first road runner of the season, originally scheduled for Okemah and Prague lakes. Due to record rainfall and slow draining, Okemah lake unexpectedly remained closed and forced a last minute change. In response, the OKA board opened up Sportsman, Holdenville, and Dripping springs lakes. These lakes were chosen because of their proximity to the meeting location in Paden, and the bass population was similar to Prague. Two captains meetings were held; one the evening before the tournament to allow the anglers to go straight to their location, to await first cast, and an early meeting the morning of. After both meetings 35 anglers were signed up and ready for first cast at 6 am.
Tournament day proved to be warm, muggy, and partially cloudy following a weak cold front the day before. Water temps hovered in the mid 80's and water clarity was stained at all reservoirs due to recent heavy rainfalls. Despite these conditions, several large bass over the 20" mark were caught and we had reports of a few schools chasing shad around the time of the 6am first cast. Of the top 5 anglers all of them fished in relation to the grass, 3 reported that a topwater frog was successful for them and the other two anglers reported success on a weightless fluke. 4 of the top 5 anglers fished Prague lake and one fished Dripping Springs.
At the end of the day, Tou Yang brought 68.5" to the scale and walked away with 3rd place taking home $130. Danny Bowen brought 70.25" and went home with 2nd place and $260. First place was taken with 81" and a 22.75" monster Hook1 Big Bass! The winner was also our OKC Kayak Top Youth angler Chris Montogmery! Chris was the only angler to weigh-in 5 fish.
Tou Yang and Houa Xiong took home the top team prize with 87.5", I mistakenly announced and payed out to Kevin and Bryan Maguire. They were kind enough to return the pot and will receive an OKA hat, when they become available for their sportsmanship.
With the recent rainfall we had to find lakes on short notice, I'd like to thank the board members who stepped up to find us suitable lakes. The OKA would like to thank the town of Paden for hosting us at their pavilion, Brad Rumenapp for taking the pictures at the weigh-in, and the Oklahoma Lip Rippers for cooking everyone hamburgers!
Of course none of this would be possible without the sponsors and they kicked in some great gear for this event! Whether your looking for a kayak or gear check these guys out!
Oklahoma Kayak: Top Youth Angler gift card, Door prize gift card
Hook1 Oklahoma: Hook1 Big Bass gift card, door prize gift card
Redbud Marina: 2 door prize gift cards
Hobie: Hobie H-crate, Hobie inflateable pfd, and a captains bag with hobie road flags. Yakattack: Visicarbon Pro
Supernova Fishing Lights: Delux Blue Lighting Kit
Jackson Kayak: Cruise Angler 12
Everyone that participated in the OKA spring series received a ticket into the drawing for each time they participated and a number was randomly drawn to determine the winner of the Jackson Cruise Angler. Congratulations to Joe Ross on being the lucky ticket out of 150+ entries and a huge THANK YOU to Jackson Kayak for your support of the OKA.
After the opens results fell, only 1 circuit leader was left standing for each division. Tou Yang barely pulled ahead of Scott Moseman, beating him by one single point and earning the right to fish as the NE circuit leader against the CE circuit leader Randal Farley Jr. Results of the AOY fish off, AOY circuit standings, and invites earned to fish the Championship to follow tomorrow evening.