GARLAND, Texas — Practice on Lake Tawakoni has been going about as expected for the third stop on the PAA Bass Pro Shops Tournament Series presented by Carrot Stix.

“The only thing I have to say is I spent more time on Sunday idling around to not hit stumps than I did fishing,” said Ranger/Mercury pro Jason Christie of Oklahoma. “Fishing for me was tough. I don’t know the lake and never have been there, so I spent more time navigating and eliminating areas than anything else.

“The way the lake looks, I’m scared to jerk on anything. But I don’t think I was on the most productive area of the lake. Later in the day I saw better water … I think I was lost during the first part of the day.”

The tournament begins Thursday, going out of West Tawakoni City Park where the daily launches and first two weigh-ins will be held at 3 p.m. The final weigh-in featuring the Top 30 pros will be held at Bass Pro Shops in Garland beginning at 4:30 p.m., with free seminars from the pros starting at noon along with other pros in attendance to meet the fans.

Early expectations were for a shallow bite and with Tawakoni’s vast, shallow shoreline that looks to be on target. Christie said a lot of bait already is shallow and anglers were making the rounds in coves or hitting shallow cover in practice. A deep bite might be possible.

It may become a situation where the field takes what it gets Thursday morning and builds on that afterward.

“I think guys will catch them shallow and a few could catch some deep,” Christie said. “If we have some fresh water coming in and it continues with these cooler nights, it could get pretty good up shallow. There’s a lot of stuff to fish. But maybe after one day, there may be stuff that doesn’t have fish on it. You can fish three or four areas and not get bites, and then pull into an area and get four or five bites.”

Mike Thompson has lived on Tawakoni for years and fishes local events on the lake. He believes the tournament could be a 15- to 18-pound per day event if things stay as they are now.

“I think it may be a cranking tournament with a little bit of flipping going on,” Thompson said. “What’s been real interesting is the fishing has been very tough throughout August. We have a couple of weekly evening tournaments going on with a lot of good local anglers and it’s been extremely tough.

“These little cool fronts coming in the last two weeks have helped knock the water temperature down 10-12 degrees. It put the fish on the fall pattern, and the fall pattern on Tawakoni is not much different than other lakes. It makes the fish school up. The ones I’ve seen schooling are small, maybe around 3 pounds or so.”

Christie said he found water temperatures in the 74- to 75-degree range Monday. Thunderstorms and rain up to 1.3 inches are forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday coming off Tropical Storm Hermine. The storm is building in the Gulf of Mexico, expected to make landfall along the U.S.-Mexico border Monday night and then move north-northeast.

Current forecast models show it to be situated over the Garland area about 10 p.m. Wednesday night. Extensive rain and wind could drastically change fishing strategies.

“If we happen to get some wind, this little ol’ lake will get rough,” Christie said. “If we got a 20 mph wind out of the south it could get really rough. On some lakes that may be what you want to get them moving, but as shallow as this one is as it is you’d be looking to fish out of the wind. It’s flat about 30 yards off the banks and would get rough pretty quick.”

Tournament facts: The tournament is the third of four in the 2010 PAA Bass Pro Shops Tournament Series presented by Carrot Stix. The winner will earn a prize package worth $45,000 including cash and a new Phoenix 719 Pro XP boat powered by a Mercury Optimax 225hp engine and outfitted with a T-H Marine Atlas Jackplate. Eligible anglers also may benefit from the Bass Pro Shops Tournament Rewards and Phoenix Boats First Flight bonus payout programs.

Daily launches and the first two days’ weigh-ins will be at West Tawakoni City Park. Saturday’s final weigh-in featuring the top 30 pros will be held at the Bass Pro Shops in Garland. All launches and weigh-ins are free and open to the public. Free seminars will be held at Bass Pro Shops beginning at 12:30 p.m. prior to the Saturday weigh-in.

Free seminars featuring Bradley Hallman, Pete Ponds, Edwin Evers and Jason Quinn will be held at Bass Pro Shops on Wednesday, Sept. 8. The seminars begin at 5:30 p.m. inside the store.

About the PAA – The Professional Anglers Association is a non-profit organization that gives professional anglers a unified voice in order to aid in the growth of the sport of professional bass fishing. The PAA also aims to administer educational programs to the average angler, to increase enjoyment of the sport, and to embrace sound conservation practices to further the future of the sport. Web:

PAA Associate Sponsors: The PAA Tournament Series is sponsored by Bass Pro Shops, E21 Carrot Stix, Lazer Trokar, Markel Insurance, Phoenix Boats, Nitro Boats, T-H Marine, Fishouflage, SolarBat, U.S. Reel, Sign Designs, BoatU.S. Foundation, Mercury Marine and Jasper Engines and Transmissions.

PAA Hosts: The City of Garland, Texas