“Say things aren't working out,” said Christie, who is making his debut in the Bassmaster Classic. “You have a hundred places you know you can go. By the end of the day, you've spent most of the day driving place to place and not fishing,” he said.
Evers also said that knowing a lake well could become a disadvantage if an angler just relies on old honey holes.
“I have to make sure I'm fishing the fish, not memories of where the fish were,” he said.
Grand Lake won't be completely unfamiliar to the field of 53 Bassmaster Classic contenders. The northeastern Oklahoma fishery has twice been the site of two Bassmaster Elite Series professional tournaments.
In 2006, Mike McClelland, who lives in nearby Bella Vista, Ark., dominated the field in winning the Sooner Run tournament and admitted at the time having a home lake advantage.
Living only an hour and 10 minutes a way, McClelland had spent a lot of time over the years learning the lake and had numerous spots to fish.
In 2007, however, the Sooner Run on Grand Lake was won by now four-time Bassmaster Classic champion Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Mich., who overtook Ardmore's Jeff Kriet on the final day of the tournament.
When: Feb. 22-24.
Where: Grand Lake.
Launch: 7 a.m. daily from Wolf Creek.
Weigh In: At BOK Center in Tulsa. Doors open at 3 p.m. daily.
Prize: $500,000 to the winner.