Champions Tour Open- Gull Lake Preview

Next up for the Classic Bass Champions Tour is an Open event on the Gull Lake Chain in Brainerd, Minnesota. The tournament is set to go out of the Quarterdeck Resort on the west side of Gull Lake. The Champions Tour Open will operate under the same format as all Champions Tour events, which is a catch, weigh and release tournament. Every boat will have an official that will weigh each fish and watch for infractions, such as fish landing penalty’s and other Champions Tour rules.

The Gull Lake Chain is full of bass, which can be caught in a wide variety of ways. This is an ideal setup for the Champions Tour format. We should see tons of fish catches and high weights when it’s all said and done. We expect most anglers to be targeting largemouth either by fishing docks and other shallow cover, or targeting deeper schools of fish with jig worms, drop shots and other slow-moving techniques.

In the 2017 Classic Bass Champions Tour event on Gull, we watched Tadd Johnson lean on a huge morning session to carry him to the victory. Tadd caught nearly 30 fish in the first half which gave him a comfortable lead that he protected in the afternoon. Tadd was one of the anglers that found a major school of fish just offshore that he targeted with finesse techniques. Other anglers such as Will Pappa and Andy Walls used dock fishing to carry them to strong finishes.

This year’s event should follow a similar pattern but overall, fish do seem to be a bit behind schedule in terms of their summer movements. Our cold, nasty Spring pushed the spawn back and ultimately delayed typical bass progressions. Fish will certainly be caught out deep but the numbers and schools may be a bit underwhelming for a tournament in very late June. Also, recent heavy rains have made for some interesting changes on the Gull Lake Chain. We’re hearing reports of strong current in the channels and other neck down areas due to rising water levels. Something that may end before tournament time but an interesting variable to keep an eye on.

As we mentioned earlier, the tournament will be headquartered at beautiful Quarterdeck Resort for the 2nd year in a row. If you’re in the area on Saturday, June 30th we highly recommend coming by the resort to take in the tournament activities, watch Live Scoring updates and enjoy Jake’s Beach Grill which is just feet away from the shores of Gull Lake. We will be posting photos, videos and other updates during the entire tournament at