Staff Picks: Beaver Lake - Major League Fishing
Staff Picks: Beaver Lake
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Staff Picks: Beaver Lake

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Anglers idle in the Beaver Lake fog on the morning of day two. Photo by Jennifer Simmons.
April 3, 2006 • MLF • Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit

Tournament site

Welcome back to Beaver Lake. This deep, clear, scenic impoundment in the Arkansas Ozarks has been the site of the annual Wal-Mart Open for nine years straight. It’s familiar territory on tour, and the biggest question each year is, sight-fishing or not? This year, apparently not. The water’s still too cold for the spawn, so expect the pros with strong prespawn patterns to do well. Jigs and finesse baits often play a key role – as has been the case for the winners the last few years – and we might see a strong crankbait contender or two this year. And keep your eye on those who excel at catching spotted bass, which is always a factor at Beaver. Whatever the case, there are definitely patterns of success exhibited by certain pros at this lake, so a glance at past results here won’t hurt your picks.


Wal-Mart FLW Tour stop No. 4

Wal-Mart Open

Beaver Lake, Rogers, Ark.

April 5-8

Rob Newell
Contributing editor
FLW Outdoors

Record: 3-0
Points: 2,227

FLW writer Rob Newell
FLW Associate editor Jason Sealock Jason Sealock
Associate editor
FLW Outdoors

Record: 2-1
Points: 2,031

1) JASON KILPATRICK.Low-water, prespawn conditions will line up right for Kilpatrick’s deep-jigging game.
2) MARK HARDIN.A jerkbait genius on Beaver Lake. Even when conditions get slick and calm, Hardin can make them bite a jerkbait when few others can.
3) RANDY BLAUKAT.A deep-water, finesse-jig specialist who’s due for a big finish close to home.
4) DAN MOREHEAD.Morehead can smell another AOY title in the air, and when he starts rolling, look out.
5) SHINICHI FUKAE.After a hiatus last season, Shin’s back on his game this year. Lanier was a warm-up for another top-10 at Beaver.
1) BRENNAN BOSLEY.Yeah, I’m still riding the shallow-water “bomber train.” Brennan has caught good limits here before and knows lots of places to look. This tournament will not be won sight-fishing, and the crankbait guys are going to shine.
2) JEREMIAH KINDY.He’s another Arkansan having a good year and another angler who fishes well on Beaver Lake prior to the spawn.
3) DAN MOREHEAD.After the momentum he gained at Pickwick Lake, he seems to be back in his top form again. He had success at Beaver under similar conditions in 2003, so Morehead could be real tough here.
4) SHINICHI FUKAE.He likes Beaver Lake, and the bass here obviously like his techniques. He’ll find them because, as he says, “I practice a lot.”
5) PAT FISHER.My fellow pundits are asking right about now, “Okay, where’d that pick come from?” He’s due and hungry to be back in the top 10. I call this my gut reaction. Had he got to his fish on day one at Pickwick he would have easily been in the top 10 there. He’s knocking on the door, and I think Beaver Lake might let him in.
Jeff Schroeder

Record: 1-2
Points: 2,081

FLW writer Jeff Schroeder
FLW writer Gary Mortenson Gary Mortenson

Record: 1-2
Points: 2,013

1) JASON KILPATRICK.Always does well at Beaver Lake. He just knows the place.
2) BRENNAN BOSLEY.Gotta go with the hot hand, especially since he’s heading home.
3) DARREL ROBERTSON.Also a hot stick right now, D-Rob is no stranger to the clear waters in the Ozarks.
4) JEREMIAH KINDY.I’m hedging my bets with this one. Since they share information, either Jeremiah or Brennan will certainly make the finals. With them both back home, that’s a lot of local knowledge being shared. I say they both make it.
5) MARK PACK.It’s April, and that means it’s time for Mark to squeeze in his annual top-10 finish at Beaver Lake.
1) JASON KILPATRICK.Eighth place, seventh place and 18th place represent Kilpatrick’s last three finishes on Beaver Lake from 2003 to 2005. Lock and load, Kilpatrick’s aiming for a tourney title in 2006.
2) DARREL ROBERTSON.At the Wal-Mart Opens past, D-Rob finished second in 2005, 32nd in 2004 and ninth overall in 2002. Currently, Robertson is also in second place in the AOY standings. He’s motivated to make a run at the 2006 standing’s title and he knows how to fish Beaver Lake.
3) CODY BIRD.The Bird is the word on Beaver Lake. Bird finished sixth, 18th and 13th the last three years on Beaver Lake. Very impressive, to say the least.
4) DAN MOREHEAD.Although he stumbled on Beaver last year, Morehead turned in a four-run at the Wal-Mart Open from 2001 to 2004 that was as impressive as anyone’s, securing one tourney title and never finishing worse than 28th place. Currently sixth overall in the 2006 AOY standings, he’s as sure a bet as there is to make a run for the title.
5) BRENT CHAPMAN.Chapman finished in 11th place in both the 2004 and 2005 season on Beaver Lake. Chapman is currently 12th overall in the FLW Tour’s 2006 AOY standings. No real genius needed for this pick.
Keith Lebowitz
“FLW Outdoors” on FSN

Record: 1-2
Points: 1,870

FLW editor Brett Carlson Brett Carlson

Record: 1-2
Points: 1,801

1) ANTHONY GAGLIARDI.He’s on fire, leading the AOY race and clearly the hottest angler on tour.
2) DAN MOREHEAD.After sitting in an edit room watching him dance and scream, “Who’s your daddy?” from the Pickwick Lake event, it’s clear that Morehead has his swagger back. He claims the last three events of the year are on his three favorite bodies of water. I believe him.
3) ANDRE MOORE.No only did he win here last year, but he’s got plenty of lures with the name “Beaver” in them, as well. Good omen? Probably not, but I’m giving Moore the nod anyways. When he wants to catch them, he does.
4) CLARK WENDLANDT.Owns this lake. I would be a fool not to take him here.
5) CHRIS MCCALL.Just a hunch, but Chris is overdue for an FLW Tour top-10. He has clearly turned his season around by cashing a 10-grand check at Pickwick and then winning the Stren Central event on Rayburn. Watch out for him.
1) CLARK WENDLANDT.After getting trounced by the mayor of Punditville in humiliating fashion at Pickwick Lake, I’ve decided to go with safe picks at the Wal-Mart Open. After turning the pages of the FLW Outdoors history book, there is simply nobody better than Clark Wendlandt when it comes to Beaver Lake. This could be Clean’s last chance to gain momentum and make a push to qualify for the championship. Nobody really believes Wendlandt will duplicate last year’s debacle, do they? My fiancee thinks I have a man-crush on Clark, but I insist I keep picking him because of his angling ability.
2) CHRIS MCCALL.After the recent Stren Series event on Sam Rayburn, the monkey is officially off McCall’s back. The Jasper, Texas, pro has fished this Arkansas impoundment well over the years and, without the pressure of winning the big one, McCall should be at his best. If the fish are finicky, look for McCall to pull out the Gambler Sweebo Worm and wacky rig his way to $200,000.
3) MATT HERREN.Once again, Herren proves to be too consistent not to be on my list. His last three finishes on Beaver were 25th, 30th and 30th. Forget winning, I think Herren’s goal at Beaver is to catch five 2-pounders each day and leave with a $10,000 check. If you’re looking for 150 points to beat Lebowitz – which I most definitely am – Herren’s the guy.
4) JEREMIAH KINDY.Much like Wendlandt, the young Land O’Lakes pro finds himself on the outside looking in at the 2006 FLW Tour Championship. He made the cut here last season, and its time for the Butter Boy to assert himself yet again.
5) DAN MOREHEAD.Sitting in sixth place in the AOY race is Paducah, Ky., pro Dan Morehead. I imagine that Morehead is salivating all over the schedule with Beaver and Kentucky Lake left on the docket. After that, the tour heads north to legendary Lake Champlain, where Morehead placed eighth in 2004. In the words of the Baldwin brothers on a Saturday Night Live skit, “What’s better than being Dan Morehead? Nothing!”


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