By Craig Day, The News On 6
FORT GIBSON LAKE, OK -- There are some big changes for a big bass tournament set to begin Thursday.
Safety concerns are prompting a switch in location for the Bass Masters tournament, which draws the top anglers from across the nation.
The event has been moved from the Arkansas River to Ft. Gibson Lake.
At the Wicked Sisters cafe at the Sequoyah Bay Marina, Cyndi Reed, and sister Gina Ramming are gearing up for an unexpected surprise. In a last minute move, the Bassmaster Elite Series professional fishing tournament is coming to Ft. Gibson Lake.
"Busy. It's been really busy." Ramming said. "We're used to really big crowds from holiday weekends and just weekends in general, we get huge crowds. Probably nothing like we'll get now."
More than 90 professional anglers from all over the country will compete for a $100,000 top prize.
The Wicked Sisters are scrambling because they weren't expecting the big event.
"Getting all the orders," Ramming said.
"We're going to be doing a lot of extra ordering of food," Reed said. "Convenience items. Make sure that we have plenty of fuel on hand."
The tournament was going to be held on the Arkansas River, but recent rain is bringing rapidly rising water levels.
There is also a lot of debris on the river. So with safety concerns, the location was changed to from the river to Fort Gibson Lake, with weigh-ins at Sequoyah Bay Marina Thursday and Friday. The Saturday and Sunday weigh-ins and weekend festivities, will still be held at Three Forks Harbor on the River.
For the marina, it will almost be like a bonus holiday weekend. The Wicked Sisters predict big things, and a lot of excitement, if only they can get everything ready.
"The bass have been really good on the lake this year, so we'll see what they bring in," Reed said.
The event runs Thursday through Sunday. Boat launches at the lake will happen at 6:30 each morning, with weigh-ins scheduled at 3:30 p.m. each day.
Weekend activities start at noon at Three Forks Harbor.