Once more into the breech - Major League Fishing

Once more into the breech

Hot hands, Beaver specialists lock and load for final round of Wal-Mart Open
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The finalists take off for the final round of the 2005 Wal-Mart Open. Photo by Jeff Schroeder.
April 15, 2005 • Jeff Schroeder • Archives

ROGERS, Ark. – A Wal-Mart FLW Tour rookie, Clifford Pirch, led the opening round of Wal-Mart Open competition at Beaver Lake, but the well-heeled competition that followed him out of Prairie Creek Marina Friday morning to begin the final round must have given him pause.

Four pro finalists this week are riding a hot streak. Darrel Robertson, Jeremiah Kindy, Alvin Shaw and Jason Kilpatrick all finished in the top 10 at last month’s contest at the Ouachita River and are each competing in their second consecutive final round.

If that wasn’t enough, several more of them already have an established history of success at Beaver Lake and are poised for a win. Cody Bird has claimed two top-10 finishes and never finished worse than 18th place in six years of FLW competition here. Mark Pack, also with two Beaver Lake top-10s to his name, is very strong. Kevin Vida top-20ed here last year and seems to have figured out the smallmouth bite again this year. On top of that there’s Andre Moore, who won this tournament in 2002.

Throw in Alton Jones, who’s a certified threat to win almost anywhere, and it makes for some stiff competition.

All eyes are on Darrel Robertson, already a million-dollar man on tour, who might have a few more tricks up his sleeve to win another big one.Making things even more interesting will be the bed-fishing bonanza most people are forecasting for the next two days as the weather improves. Bass have been moving up to spawn all week, so, while deeper patterns have led to success the first two days, expect sight-fishing to control the outcome of this high-stakes event.

The top 10 pros and 10 co-anglers start over at zero today, and co-angler competition will conclude at this afternoon’s weigh-in, with the winner taking home $40,000.

Pros will continue their competition Saturday with the winner determined by the heaviest two-day weight. The $1.25 million event will award $200,000 to the pro winner.

Anglers will weigh in their catches today beginning at 5 p.m. Central time at the Wal-Mart Supercenter located at 2110 West Walnut in Rogers. The free Family Fun Zone – which features interactive displays, product samples and games – opens to the public at 3 p.m.

Here at FLWOutdoors.com, weigh-in coverage on FLW Live begins at 5 p.m. Central time.

Immediately following the weigh-in Friday, fans are invited to a free concert featuring country-music recording artist Craig Morgan. Morgan’s current single, “That’s What I Love About Sundays,” hit No. 1 on the country radio charts in recent weeks.

A sight-anglerFriday’s conditions:

Sunrise: 6:42 a.m.

Temperature at takeoff: 49 degrees

Expected high temperature: 71 degrees

Water temperature: 57 to 61 degrees

Wind: SE at 5 mph

Maximum humidity: 50 percent

Day’s outlook: sunny