by Don Lowe

Once again, Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees in Grove, Oklahoma, is gearing up for a fantastic weekend of competitive fishing with its seventh annual Big Bass Bash set to take place Saturday, May 22, and Sunday, May 23, with more than 1,000 anglers ready to cast their lines into the waters.

Donnie Crain, president, Grove Area Chamber of Commerce, says, “We expect between 1,000 to 1,200 participating. Most of them are from the Four-State Region (Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma).

“But they do travel here from outside the region, as well, including Ohio, Texas and West Virginia, among others.”

As far as the experience level of all those competing, Crain says, “The anglers in this tournament vary from pros to novice.” And, Crain adds, “The biggest fish wins.”

Participants will try to reel in the overall first-place winning payday that’s guaranteed at $50,000, followed by second-place earnings of $15,000, with a $10,000 check for third place.

“There will be more than $180,000 in cash and prizes to be given away,” Crain says. “And, every paid entry into this tournament also gets one entry into a drawing to win a brand-new Phoenix 818 with 150-HP Mercury engine and upgraded tandem axle trailer valued at $40,000.”

Crain says, “This is one of Grand Lake’s most popular tournaments. It’s popular with all anglers. The Big Bass Bash gives weekend anglers a chance to win big cash prizes, just like the pros.”

Crain says this is a grand opportunity to “come out and experience the fun and excitement the Big Bass Bash has to offer. It could be your chance to catch the bass of a lifetime.”

Residents of Grand and visitors alike are welcome to watch the fishing and see how the tournament unfolds both days. Crain says, “There is usually a large crowd present. But, people will be asked to social distance and be considerate of others.”

Not surprisingly, it takes a great deal of time, effort and energy to put together an event like this, and Crain applauds “the City of Grove, Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) and Midwest Fishing Tournaments” for all their support.

Crain believes this is an ideal location for tournaments. “Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees offers great fishing, first and foremost.

“The large size of the lake allows many people to participate and enjoy the fun. It’s also an opportunity for many people to fish the same waters where the pros fish.”


Big Bass Bash Fast Facts

Tournament Hours

6 am to 2 pm Saturday, May 22, & Sunday, May 23. Awards ceremony held at Wolf Creek Park & Boat Ramp Sunday at 3 pm.

Weigh-In Locations

Wolf Creek Park & Boat Ramp, and Southwinds Marina

Entry Fees (Per Person)

$190/2 days & $140/1 day;
17 and younger, half off entry fee;
kids’ division (12 and younger) is $10/per day
(kids’ division ends at 1 pm).

How to Register

Online at; Complete and mail an entry form with payment; all mail-in entries must be postmarked by Monday, May 10, 2021; no checks accepted after this date.

In-Person Registration

Enter at these Timmons Oil Co. locations until May 10, 2021 (13003 E. Admiral Pl., Tulsa, OK 74116;
830 W. Henri De Tonti Blvd., Springdale, AR 72770).

How This Tournament Works

  1. Register for the tournament online, by mail or in person.
    2. On the tournament morning, you can take off from anywhere on Grand Lake. You cannot trailer your boat once you are in for the day and you must come to weigh-in by water. First cast time is at 6 am. 3. Start fishing. Each angler is allowed to weigh in one fish per time slot. 4. Keep an eye on the Timmons Oil Co. Live Leaderboard on our website to see if you placed for a cash prize. 5. Repeat for the second day of competition and hopefully catch the biggest bass of the event.