Beaver Lake Day 1 Coverage - Major League Fishing

Beaver Lake Day 1 Coverage

The fishing has been pretty strong despite the rising water
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Jimmy Houston Photo by Chris Burgan. Angler: Jimmy Houston.
April 27, 2017 • MLF • Archives

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Tournament details

Key areas of Beaver Lake

Practice coverage on the muddy water and day one

Practice stories with Casey ScanlonClark Wendlandt and Matt Arey


2:30 Time to head to weigh-in

We’re about headed to weigh-in to put a bow on day one at Beaver Lake. It’s going to be pretty tight, so every ounce every day is going to be key. We’ll also get to discover exactly how some of our missing pros have done. Bryan Thrift and Clark Wendlandt are of prime interest on that front.

So tune to at 3 p.m. CT or come on down to Prairie Creek and watch some bass get weighed!

Weigh-In Time: 3 p.m. CT on days one and two; 4 p.m. CT on days three and four

Weigh-In Location: Prairie Creek on days one and two; Walmart, 2110 W Walnut St., Rogers, AR on days three and four


2:25 Dunkin caught one!

Luke Dunkin finally caught one! Now he's got one fish. 


2:15 A limit for Johnson

Jason Johnson has a small limit with a bunch of spotted bass. Not anything special, but for sure something to build on tomorrow or with a kicker today. 


2:00 Webster takes the lead!

It’s extremely unofficial, but Joseph Webster says he’s got 12 pounds and that should put him in or close to the lead. His kicker is a nice 4 pound largemouth, and he’s looking for more. 


1:55 Martin has a limit

Scott Martin has a limit worth about 10 pounds now. It’s looking like weigh-in will be wicked tight, so 10 pounds might set an angler up really well – it’s likely not a leading bag, but it’s going to be a good start toward making the cut. 


1:38 The logjam is gone, missing anglers

Weigh-in starts at 3 p.m. CT today, so time is starting to wind down on our coverage and the fishing. Up the lake, the logjam has finally busted up, so travel up towards War Eagle is open, but not necessarily without risk.

So far today we haven’t found three of Beaver’s most notable hammers: Scott Martin, Bryan Thrift and Clark Wendlandt. As of now, nobody has really jumped forward and set the pace – one of those missing pros could be the guy to do it. 


1:23 Three for Neal

Michael “Real Deal” Neal has just three so far. Nicely, he’s got one of each species, but no remarkably large specimens. 


Jeff Sprague

1:15 Sprague update

This is from earlier and out of date, but at least worth mentioning. A while back Jeff Sprague had four keepers (one good one), all caught in Prairie Creek. He planned to stay nearby until he limited out and then roam in search of a kicker. 


10:10 Reese in pieces  

Jimmy Reese has zero fish in the boat. He’s 44th in the standings and looking to make the Forrest Wood Cup – he’s got to get it together quick. 


1:05 A limit for Schmitt

Bryan Schmitt was one of the few to really push it up the river and through the logs. Now, he’s back down in the clear (undamaged) and has a limit with four smallmouths and one largemouth. 


Blake Nick?

1:00 McMillan has a limit, Nick update

Brandon McMillan has a limit that’s bigger than anything he’s ever weighed on Beaver Lake. Per Big Mac, that’s not saying much.

Blake Nick has missed a bunch of fishing recently. He’s flipping along, and he’s pretty sure a lot of the fish he’s encountering are bedding deeper and out of sight. 


12:53 Wooley, Birge and Young

Michael Wooley just culled up past 8 pounds with small spotted bass. Zack Birge only has four, but one of them is a 4-pounder. Andy Young has three in the box. 


12:40 Four for Horton

Jamie Horton has four in the box. They’re all 2-pounders, so he’s a kicker away from a pretty solid day. 


12:35 Two for Warren

Chad Warren has a pair of keepers on the day. He’s coming off a great finish in the Costa FLW Series on Grand Lake, so he’s like to keep the momentum rolling at Beaver. 


12:30 Another for Morehead, Meyer has a limit

Dan Morehead just added to his bag with a keeper smallmouth. Down in the clear, Cody Meyer has filled out a limit worth about 10 pounds. 


Jordan Osborne

12:15 Nick, Osborne, Peter T

Blake Nick has four in the boat today. His best is a 4-pounder and he’s got two spotted bass and a 2-pounder to go with. Jordan Osborne has three for about five pounds. Peter T has a limit that goes 10 or 11 pounds. 


Nick is pretty excited – he started in the clean water and just moved up unto the dirty water. Since the move, he's boxed up one keeper and lost a 4-pounder. 


John Cox

12:10 Two for Cox

John Cox has two in the boat – he usually likes to fish up the lake, and most of that area is either difficult to access or super muddy right now. Not that he doesn’t like going the extra mile, but even his eyes can’t see through chocolate milk. 


12:00 Two for Morehead, Bryan is cooking

Dan Morehead has a couple in the boat – a 3+ largemouth and a keeper smallie. That’s decent quality for Beaver, but he’s going to need a few to go with.

Keith Bryan is having a really good day – he’s slinging a drop-shot and says he’s got more than 10 pounds in the boat. 


11:53 Farrow report

Ron Farrow totaled his boat and lost a pile of tackle in a collision the way to Beaver Lake. Now, he’s fishing out of an FLW boat and has about 10 pounds in the box today.


11:50 Zippo for Douglas

Josh Douglas is sitting on an empty livewell so far today. It’s almost noon, so the pressure is on. 


11:40 Nick and Ponds

Blake Nick is slinging a spinnerbait and is stuck on two after his hot start. Pete Ponds has four at the moment, and one of them is a pretty good one. 


11:35 Make it 8 for Gagliardi

Anthony Gagliardi just boxed up a nice smallmouth and culled up about a pound.

Matt Arey started the day up the lake a bit, and it’s been decent to him, but he’s headed back down now. He’s looking for a different water color. 


11:25 Gagliardi and Shin have limits

Anthony Gagliardi and Shin Fukae each have a limit. Gags says he’s got about 7 pounds, and Shin thinks he has 9 pounds (one of his keepers is pretty good). 


11:22 Dudley has a kicker

David Dudley just checked in with four fish – three little ones and a 4-pounder. No word on his technique, but the ol’ wacky rig was pretty hot in practice, and Dudley is one of the best with it. Notably, Dudley says he's also lost a 6-pounder. 


11:18 A whole pile of stuff is working

The pros are really throwing the tackle box at them today. Up and down the lake we’ve got everything from shaky heads, drop-shots and Ned rigs to jigs, jerkbaits, buzzbaits and Wiggle Warts. From the looks of it, the bass at Beaver are a long way from dialed in. 


11:10 One for McCoy

Rookie pro Michael McCoy has only managed one keeper so far today. Grae Buck is also a rookie, and he’s got two small ones. 


Clark Reehm

11:00 Two more limits

Billy Hines has a limit with three largemouths and two spotted bass. Shawn Murphy also has a limit, and his goes about 10 pounds.

With four now, Clark Reehm has about 9 pounds. Derrick Blake has two, and his co-angler Charley Slaton has a 5-11 monster to start his limit. 


Matt Arey

10:50 A limit for Arey

Matt Arey has limited out with a 3-pounder, a 2-pounder and three spotted bass. Looks like he’s at it again. Of course, it’s not easy – the North Carolina pro just checked on a bedding bass from practice that was in inches of water – now he can’t even see the laydown.


10:45 Nothing for Mosley, two for Whitson

Brandon Mosley is plugging along, but he hasn’t landed a keeper yet. Chris Whitson, who did so well here in 2016, has two small ones so far. 


10:39 Mitchell has a limit

Kurt Mitchell is sitting on a limit already worth about 9 pounds. He’s gone one small spotted bass, but the rest of his fish are all decent. A kicker or two would set him up really well going into day two. Lucky for him, he’s got plenty of time left to hunt. 


Carl Jocumsen

10:28 Jocumsen has four

Carl Jocumsen has a decent little bag going. He’s got four now – a pair of little spots and a pair of 2-pounders, one a spotted bass and one a largemouth. 


John Voyles

10:20 Voyles limits

John Voyles is fishing out pretty deep with a Carolina rig to get his day going. So far, it’s working to the tune of a decent limit. For some reason, this has been the year of the Carolina rig on the FLW Tour, and it looks like we’re going to see a few caught on it at Beaver as well. 


10:10 Another for Voyles, Reehm has three

John Voyles just popped a small largemouth in the boat for his fourth keeper. Clark Reehm is up to three for about 7 pounds now, and Andrew upshaw has three as well. 

So far today, it seems like Beaver is producing well, but not at the same rate as last year. Though the rising water is a tough card to draw, the pros are figuring it out as they so often do. 


John Voyles

10:08 More updates

John Voyles has three in the boat early, one largemouth and two spotted bass. Buddy Gross has a pair of dinkers. Cody Meyer has his third now, and Jay Kendrick has two in the boat. 


Casey Scanlon

9:53 A pair of limits

Casey Scanlon and Cody Bird have each limited. Scanlon says he’s got about 11 pounds and Bird thinks he has about 7 pounds. 


9:50 Johnson and Suggs

Jason Johnson has four 2-pounders in the boat. Scott Suggs has a pair in the boat, both pretty small. 


Evan Barnes

9:33 Reehm boats his second, Barnes adds one

Clark Reehm just boated a decent smallmouth for his second keeper. He’s pecking away at it, and all his fish have been pretty decently sized. Evan Barnes also has two in the boat now – his second was a solid 2.5-pounder. 


9:25 There’s another one

There are at least two big logjams up the lake. The first is beginning to break up and plenty of pros have eased their way though. The second is farther up and is about 60 yards wide and basically impassable. There’s one small section that Jason Lambert has gone through, but nobody else has tried that hard, or been willing to risk it that much. 


Curtis Richardson

9:18 Kenney has three, Richardson strikes 

JT Kenney, who’s love for Beaver Lake is well known, has three to get his day going. One is a quality largemouth, one is a small largemouth and one is a spotted bass.

Curtis Richardson is also on the board, starting his day with about a 2-pounder on a drop-shot. 


9:00 Scanlon is still rolling, Morgan and Frederick with two

Casey Scanlon just landed his fourth keeper of the day, and they’re all solid 2-pounders. Looks like he’s going to do his best to keep the pressure on ol’ Bryan Thrift in the Angler of the Year race.

Andy Morgan has started out with two keepers, though he says they aren’t of much consequence. Tim Frederick also has two, and he’s deliberately targeting the fresh sawdust and crap raised up by the new water. 


Cody Meyer

8:41 Two now for Meyer

Cody Meyer has moved on down the lake out of Prairie Creek and added two small keepers to his livewell. Reports have a lot of fish suspending and acting funny because of the rising water – if anyone is well equipped to deal with suspending fish it’s Meyer. 


Bryan Schmitt

8:30 Logjam update

We went up to check on the reported log jam above Monte Ne, and while it is pretty significant, it no longer blocks the whole lake. If pros want, they’ll be able to get up and work toward War Eagle and the upper reaches of the White.

Down in Prairie Creek, Scott “Hammerbury” Canterbury is sitting on zero so far. Up the lake some, Billy McDonald has two small spots in the boat. 


8:15 Nothing for Atkins

Up the lake a ways, Justin Atkins is flipping trash and has broken two off so far. The trash bite could be a good one this week, and if today is as sunny as forecasted, it might tuck a lot of bass up in it.

Down the lake Tracy Adams is bummed about the rising water covering up bedding bass and sitting on a goose egg. Chase Brooks and Eric Jackson also have no fish.


8:04 Reehm is still bed-fishing

Clark Reehm sted with a largemouth he caught blind-casting to a bed he marked in practice. Per our reporter, Reehm has marked a bunch of beds physically and with his GPS, but the rising water is messing with his system a fair bit. 


Clark Reehm

7:50 A largemouth for Reehm

Clark Reehm has one largemouth to start the day. Largemouths and smallmouths on Beaver Lake have to be 15 inches to keep, while spotted bass can be just 12 inches. With that in mind, anything that’s not a spotted bass is a pretty decent fish to have. 


7:45 One for Cortiana

The conditions might be tough on Beaver right now, but the lake is still full of fish. Proof of that is that nearly every angler has at least caught a short or something to get the day rolling. One of those folks is Kyle Cortiana, who has one small spotted bass in the ‘well and a handful of other short fish to his credit. 


7:35 Weisenburger on the board

Kyle Weisenburger also has a smallmouth to his credit so far, and he says he lost another good one.

A lot of boats seem to be running back down the lake now – either they also ran into the log jam or they’ve simply decided that the upriver mud isn’t for them. 


Larry Nixon

7:33 One for Nixon

In Prairie, Larry Nixon just got on the board with a keeper smallmouth to start his day. 


Greg Bohannan

7:30 The first major issue

The first big consequence of the high water that we’ve heard of this morning is pretty major. According to Greg Bohannan, there’s a logjam up the lake that is literally blocking the whole lake. His plan was to start the day in Hickory Creek, but for now that’s out the window. Down the lake, there’s not very much trash, but we also haven’t seen many anglers. 


Joshua Weaver

7:25 Bird is on the board

Fishing near Greg Bohannan, Cody Bird has gotten on the board with a small spotted bass keeper. Bohannan doesn’t have anything yet, nor does Josh Weaver. 


7:10 Nothing for Meyer

The day has barely started, but so far Cody Meyer has no fish. As he often does, the California pro started out in Prairie Creek. He has plenty of company in that decision – an unusually large number of anglers seem to have decided that fishing by takeoff is the way to start. 


Blake Nick

7:00 Nick leads things off

Fishing right near the Highway 12 bridge, Blake Nick has out first observed keeper of the day. Elsewhere, throwing a spinning rod, Dylan Hays has released a short.

There is some patchy fog still lingering on the lake. Though it’s not too bad, there are some areas that are thick enough to force a bit of a slowdown. 


6:35 Rising water is likely to challenge the field

Coming to Beaver Lake year after year, many FLW Tour pros have seen just about every variation the Ozark lake has to offer. This year, for the FLW Tour presented by General Tire, the lake will be dishing out as big a challenge as ever. Since Friday, big rains in the region raised the water level of Beaver about 5 feet. More rain on Tuesday night and Wednesday is pushing the lake even higher – it has now risen about 2 feet since practice ended on Tuesday. 

Though the actual water level isn’t too far above normal – there aren’t going to be any bass caught off picnic tables – the rising water is going to have an effect. Most of the water coming into the lake is a little colder than the water in the lake, which might stunt the bite some. The water coming in is also pretty muddy and has lifted a lot of trash off the banks. That’s not to say there won’t be fish caught in the mud, but it’s going to be tricky. Down on the lower end where the water is clearer, the rising water has covered up quite a few spawning bass that could have been easily seen and picked off last week.

Now, the FLW Tour pros are the best in the world, so they’re going to figure it out, but it won’t be easy. Conditions figure to change every day as well, with more water coming in and increasingly warm temperatures moving spring along as the tournament goes along. While practice will turn out to be a waste for many pros, it’ll pay off for some, and others will dial it in as the week goes along. The only real guarantee is a competitive tournament – blowouts are a rare thing on Beaver, and the huge influx of water figures to throw even the top-10 regulars off their game. It’d be foolish to say that Andy Morgan, Matt Arey and David Dudley won’t be fishing on Sunday, but they’ll have less history than ever to run off. That makes it anyone’s game – figuring things out on the fly will be the deciding factor this week.



Temperature at takeoff: 40 degrees

Forecast high: 69 degrees

Sky: partly cloudy

Precipitation: 20 percent chance of rain

Wind: S at 9 mph

Water level: 1,125.49 feet at takeoff


Tournament details

Format: All boaters and co-anglers will compete for two days. The top 10 boaters and co-anglers based on cumulative weight after two days of competition will advance to the third and final round, with the winner determined by the heaviest cumulative three-day weight.

Takeoff Time: 6:30 a.m. CT

Takeoff Location: Prairie Creek Recreation Area, 9300 North Park Road, Rogers, AR

Weigh-In Time: 3 p.m. CT on days one and two; 4 p.m. CT on days three and four

Weigh-In Location: Prairie Creek all days


Check out the FLW Expo and Evinrude Test Rides

Test rides – Evinrude will be hosting test rides for its popular E-TEC G2 motors at Prairie Creek Recreation Area on Saturday, April 29, from 7 to 11 a.m. All participants will receive a free Evinrude hat. Come demo Evinrude’s most powerful and fuel-efficient two-stroke motor in history.

Expo – The FLW Expo will take place at Prairie Creek on Saturday and Sunday, April 29-30, from 12 to 4 p.m. Kids’ activities include a Ranger Boat simulator, casting pond and more. Concessions will be available, along with vendors selling tackle and other outdoor gear.

Complete details