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Sooner Run leftovers

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ORG XMIT: 1006190039037089
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Fort Gibson Lake impresses
Tommy Biffle was not the only big winner from the Sooner Run. So was Fort Gibson Lake.
Many of the pros admitted that when the decision was made to switch the tournament from the Arkansas River, they didn’t expect Fort Gibson Lake to be much of a fishery, including Kevin VanDam, who called it too small for an Elite Series event.
Most of pros had never been on Fort Gibson Lake. The few that have (with the exception of Biffle and Terry Butcher ) hadn’t fished it since the last BASS event there in 2001, when the lake was still feeling the pain of the largemouth bass virus.
But after fishing the lake, the pros seemed to be unanimous in singing its praises.

Fans impressive, too
Anglers also seemed impressed with the Oklahoma fans at the Sooner Run.
Almost 60 spectator boats were following Biffle on Sunday and VanDam always is a huge draw.
Biffle said the fans were great, stayed back and allowed him to fish. VanDam agreed, and even called the Oklahoma fans the most courteous of any he’s seen.
He said the same thing at the Sooner Run in 2007. I asked a BASS official if the pros say the same thing everywhere they go.
He told me that some do, but if VanDam said it, he means it.

Garbage man

Mike McClelland did scold them a litte. He showed Sunday’s crowd the trash that  he had picked up on the lake that day. He urged everyone to carry a bag on their boat and pick up trash when they find it to help keep the lake clean.

Big crowds
An estimated crowd of 3,600 attended the weigh-ins both Saturday and Sunday at Three Forks Harbor.
BASS said the Oklahoma crowds are not the largest on the Elite Series, but they are among the best. So why not come back more often?
One BASS official told me the crowds might dwindle if they came to Oklahoma every year. But BASS likely will be back. They sold enough merchandise. I wanted to buy an Elite Series T-shirt before the weigh-in Sunday and they had already sold out of my size, extra large.
Oklahoma is not an Elite Series stop in 2011, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Sooner Run didn’t return in 2012 and try to fish the Arkansas River again. Hopefully, there won’t be a flood next time.

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Ed Godfrey

Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more... Read more ›