Zeroes to heroes at Beaver Lake - Major League Fishing

Zeroes to heroes at Beaver Lake

7 UP bubbles to top of Division I; Banana Boat cruises into Division II win
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Chris McCall - Kevin Vida
April 20, 2005 • Patrick Baker • Archives

The traditional Wal-Mart Open at Beaver Lake has become a safe haven for pundits along the FLW Tour because of its relative predictability. Success has a way of repeating itself on this lake in northwestern Arkansas. To list only a few cases in point, last week Andre Moore was able to reprise his 2001 win there; Clark Wendlandt also has two Beaver Lake wins on his resume; and this year’s No. 6 finisher, Cody Bird, has three top-10s and has never finished worse than 18th on the fishery in his last six attempts.

But leave it to Beaver to turn the sponsor-team competition on its head; left in the wake of this annual meeting of the world’s best bass anglers were striking shifts of power in both divisions.

After going flat with a second-to-last-place finish at the Ouachita River, Division I’s Team 7 UP tasted sweet victory at Beaver Lake. And the role reversal was even more dramatic in Division II, where Team Banana Boat slid into a win at Beaver after having slipped and fallen into last place at Ouachita.

With four events completed in sponsor-team competition, each sect will have to go for broke to either retain a lead or usurp it in the final two regular-season tourneys of 2005.

The FLW Tour’s 17 sponsor teams, competing against one another unofficially, are divided into two divisions: Division I, comprising teams of three or more professional anglers, and Division II, comprising teams of fewer than three pros. Competition will resume May 11-14 when the FLW Tour visits Decatur, Ala., for the fifth event of the season on Wheeler Lake.

Results from Beaver Lake, as well as an explanation of team scoring, are detailed below.

Division I

Team 7 UP handily beat out Division I powerhouse Team BFGoodrich Tires for an event win at Beaver Lake, leaving more than a dozen points in between the No. 1 slot and the runner-up position.

The key to 7 UP’s success was a strong team showing, with two anglers cracking the top 20 and earning valuable points. Jasper, Texas, pro Chris McCall led the charge with an 18th-place finish, and Frostburg, Md., pro J.T. Kenney nailed down the 20 slot for 7 UP. Kenney, a past FLW Tour winner on Lake Okeechobee, is having a season to remember, currently sitting in first place in the FLW Tour points standings and having posted a tour top-10 at Lake Toho and two runner-up finishes in the EverStart Series Southeast Division this year.

In addition to racking up an event win, 7 UP’s stellar finish on Beaver pushed them up a notch in the overall standings for the season to No. 2 and now trail No. 1 BFGoodrich Tires by about 105 points.

Division II

Team Banana Boat rocketed out of obscurity to grab a win at Beaver Lake, edging out second-place finisher Team Lawry’s. Prior to last week’s tournament, Banana Boat’s best event finish was fourth place at the season opener.

Kevin Vida of Clare, Mich., was a pro in the know at Beaver Lake, earning his second FLW Tour top-10 with an impressive fifth-place finish after a slow start to the season. Vida is a Wal-Mart BFL Michigan Division standout, where he has totaled four wins and countless top-10s, and an EverStart success story, having earned two Northern Division wins and several top-10s.

After a dismal showing at the Ouachita River in March that left Team Banana Boat at the bottom of the standings pile, Beaver Lake provided the mojo necessary to climb a full three places to fifth, 121 points out of the top spot currently held by Team Skippy.

Explanation of team scoring

Points in the 2005 sponsor-team race will be earned during the FLW Tour’s six qualifying events and monitored throughout the season. Standings are based on the average number of points earned by a team’s anglers as assigned in the FLW Tour’s Land O’Lakes Angler of the Year competition.

Beaver Lake results

Sponsor teams competed in the most recent FLW Tour event at Beaver Lake near Rogers, Ark., and results from that event have been tallied:

Division I (teams with three or more anglers)

1. 7 UP – 139.33

2. BFGoodrich Tires – 127

3. Kellogg’s – 121.60

4. Chevy – 109.20

5. Castrol – 103.80

6. Tyson – 97.33

7. Fuji – 92.20

8. Snickers – 72

9. Land O’Lakes – 41.75

Division II (teams with fewer than three anglers)

1. Banana Boat – 196

2. Lawry’s – 193

3. Wet Ones – 186

4. Ozark Trail – 168.50

5. Weed Eater – 145

6. Skippy – 129

7. Pedigree – 100.50

8. Hawaiian Punch – 2

Anglers on sponsor teams were all over the top end of the leaderboard at Beaver Lake. Other notable performances not mentioned above include the following: Team Castrol’s Darrel Robertson of Jay, Okla., who finished second and missed the win by a mere 9 ounces; Team Kellogg’s ace Alvin Shaw of State Road, N.C., who earned an impressive seventh-place finish; Team Lawry’s pro Jason Kilpatrick of Satsuma, Ala., who earned his second consecutive FLW Tour top 10 with an eighth-place finish; Castrol’s fishing machine, David Dudley of Lynchburg, Va., who landed in 13th; and Team Wet Ones’ Brennan Bosley of Benton, Ark., who fished his way into 15th place.

Seasonal standings

Current overall standings for sponsor teams competing on the 2005 FLW Tour have been tallied:

Division I (teams with three or more anglers)

1. BFGoodrich Tires – 572.67

2. 7 UP – 467

3. Kellogg’s – 451.60

4. Castrol – 430.80

5. Tyson – 409

6. Fujifilm – 408.40

7. Snickers – 397.17

8. Chevy – 393.60

9. Land O’Lakes – 301

Division II (teams with fewer than three anglers)

1. Skippy – 582

2. Pedigree – 548

3. Wet Ones – 533

4. Lawry’s – 494

5. Banana Boat – 461

6. Ozark Trail – 438.50

7. Weed Eater – 435

8. Hawaiian Punch – 281