Rookie Tim Klinger of Boulder City, Nev., walked away with one of bass fishing’s most lucrative cash awards Saturday as the $200,000 winner of the Wal-Mart FLW Tour’s $1.25 million Wal-Mart Open on Beaver Lake.

ROGERS, Ark. - Tim Klinger came a long way to compete in the Wal-Mart Open at Beaver Lake, but, out on the water, he didn't have to travel far to win the Pro Division and its $200,000 top prize. The FLW Tour rookie from Boulder City, Nev., caught 10 bass in the final round weighing 24 pounds, 1 ounce and edged out Craig Powers of Rockwood, Tenn., by 13 ounces to claim his first major tour victory. "I feel ecstatic," Klinger said Saturday. "I can't wait to get home. I'm going to go buy a Corvette." While a fast ride like that will serve the 30-year-old former electrician well at home on the outskirts of Las Vegas, Klinger didn't need nearly that much horsepower to win this tournament. For much of the week, his winning strategy was simple: Don't spend too much time running around and keep the bait in the water. In fact, the bulk of his bass came from a bay right outside of Prairie Creek Marina where the anglers took off every day. "In four days, I probably didn't burn more than 6 gallons of gas," he said. "That was one of the keys for me, fishing really close like I did." Tim Klinger's two-day total of 10 bass weighing 24 pounds, 1 ounce edged him past runner-up Craig Powers of Rockwood, Tenn., by 13 ounces.This was Klinger's first visit to Beaver Lake. He qualified for this year's FLW Tour via the EverStart Series Western Division, and he found similarities between the Wal-Mart Open's home lake and several venerable western bass fisheries. "This lake's kind of like a mixture of lakes Mead, Shasta and Oroville," he said, referring to the clear water and rocky bottom of this scenic Ozark impoundment. So, feeling right at home, Klinger proceeded to key on the jig bite that put many of the top anglers in contention this week. He practiced using mainly top-waters and jerkbaits, but on the first day of competition his co-angler partner, Katsutoshi Furusawa, showed him what would be his primary weapon in competition: a brown, 3/8-ounce Arkie flipping jig with a brown pork trailer. "In practice, they never bit on a jig," Klinger said. "But on the first day, my co-angler got bit on a jig, so I switched. ... I caught a big fish every day of the tournament." With the jig, he focused on brush piles in shallow water, 3 to 5 feet deep, targeting bigger prespawn bass. His biggest bass Saturday - about a 4-pounder - came off just such a brush pile in front of a dock. His limit on the final day weighed 14 pounds even. "They were in those brush piles. It was awesome," he said. "It was ideal for largemouths moving up to spawn." Craig Powers heaved the heaviest sack of the day to the scale - a limit weighing 14 pounds, 6 ounces - but ultimately fell short due to a 1-pound, 3-ounce deficit he faced from the day before. His final-round total was 10 bass weighing 23 pounds, 4 ounces.Powers rises to second, claims $100,000 For a while at Saturday's weigh-in, it looked like the opening-round leader, Powers, would be the man of the hour. He heaved the heaviest sack of the day to the scale - a limit weighing 14 pounds, 6 ounces - but ultimately fell short due to a 1-pound, 3-ounce deficit he faced from the day before. Powers' final-round total was 10 bass weighing 23 pounds, 4 ounces. He collected $100,000 for second place. "I'm just so happy to be here," said Powers, a former FLW champion at the Red River (2001). "This man right here (Klinger) deserves everything that he can get. The man's a road warrior; he lives in Las Vegas." Powers said that he caught the bulk of his stringer using top-water baits early in the morning. Schools of baitfish would come to the surface, and the bass followed them. "Early in the morning, they just came up to the food," he said. Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., caught 23-3 total in the final round and finished in third place.Monsoor third again Friday's leader Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., dropped two places after swimming his jig to a 10-pound, 11-ounce limit Saturday. He caught 23-3 total in the final round, finished in third place and collected $50,000. This was Monsoor's second third-place finish on tour in the last two years. "That was fun. I can't wait for the next tournament (at Kentucky Lake, where he earned his first third-place finish)," he said. "What can you say? This was only my second time on Beaver Lake, so, next year, you better look out." Mr. Beaver Lake finishes fourth While it wasn't his record third win, Clark Wendlandt's fourth-place performance gave him his fifth top-10 finish at Beaver Lake in six years, which nobody else can claim. The pro from Cedar Park, Texas - a two-time Wal-Mart Open champion - caught 10 bass weighing 19 pounds, 5 ounces in the finals this week and earned $40,000. Wendlandt has now earned a total of $467,500 in his career at the Wal-Mart Open alone. Pro Clark Wendlandt lands a fish Friday. Co-angler Mike Hawks is on the net."I had a great day. I didn't lose any fish and I fished well," said Wendlandt, who was working a crankbait bite that seemed to pick up in the afternoon. His limit Saturday weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces. "If I would have had two hours more to fish, I could have caught a big stringer of fish." For Wendlandt, timing seemed to be the biggest obstacle to claiming his third victory. It wasn't just running out of time on the water, it was the timing of the tournament, as well. He savors sight-fishing at Beaver Lake, but this year's tournament was held a little too early for the spawn. "I wish the tournament was held about April 15th every year," he said. Hardin fifth Mark Hardin of Canton, Ga., finished in fifth place with a final-round total of 10 bass weighing 18 pounds, 6 ounces. He earned $30,000. "I caught a lot of fish today, but I never could get those bigger ones to bite," he said. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pro finishers at the Wal-Mart Open are day-one leader Shinichi Fukae of Osaka, Japan, with a final-round total weight of 17 pounds, 12 ounces (6th place, $28,000); Jason Kilpatrick of Satsuma, Ala., with 13-15 (7th, $26,000); Mike Surman of Boca Raton, Fla., with 12-13 (8th, $24,000); Dion Hibdon of Stover, Mo., with 5-8 (9th, $22,000); and Jason Abram of Chuckey, Tenn., with 3-14 (10th, $7,000). Standings update With this tournament, Tracy Adams of Wilkesboro, N.C., took the lead in the FLW standings with 715 points thanks to his 13th-place finish here. Close behind him in second is Fukae with 712 points. Surman moved up to third with 679 points. Wendlandt (650 points) and Kilpatrick (645 points) also moved into the top 10, in sixth and seventh place, respectively. The leader before this week, Dean Rojas of Grand Saline, Texas, fell to 13th place in the standings (622 points) due to his 139th-place finish at Beaver Lake. The fifth FLW Tour stop of the season is scheduled for Kentucky Lake near Gilbertsville, Ky., May 12-15.

Tags: headline-story  jeff-schroeder 


Hanselman Trifecta Tops Texoma

Del Rio, Texas pro Ray Hanselman made history on Lake Texoma with a victory that completed his sweep of Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division. With victories in the previous two divisional events on Lake Amistad and Sam Rayburn Reservoir, Hanselman caught a 5-bass limit that weighed 18 pounds, 9 ounces today and finished with a tournament total of 58-13 and a 12-pound winning margin. READ MORE »


Hanselmania Closing in on Texoma Title

It aint’ over ’til it’s over. The fat lady has yet to sing. All the cliches still apply, so in fairness to nine other talented pros, we’ll make no predictions or insinuations about day-two leader Ray Hanselman and possible outcome of the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division tournament on Lake Texoma. READ MORE »


Big Bag Pushes Hanselman Ahead

It’s the question of the day, the question of the week; indeed, it’s the question of the 2015 Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division season: Will we see the trifecta from Ray Hanselman? With the Del Rio, Texas pro leading the final division event on Lake Texoma with 40 pounds, 4 ounces, it appears that the stage is set for a third installment of Hanselmania. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from Lake Texoma Day 2

Del Rio, Texas pro Ray Hanselman stormed into the lead at the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division event on Lake Texoma by adding 23 pounds, 2 ounces to the 17-2 he weighed on day one for a total of 40-4. READ MORE »


Texoma Midday Report

Lake Texoma is showing its stingy side as Rayovac FLW Series anglers ply this Ouachita River reservoir for day two of the final Texas Division event. The weather is nice, with sunny skies and moderate wind, but the first half of the day was painfully slow for the handful of boats we followed. READ MORE »


Setina Takes Day 1 Lead

Joe Don Setina, of Pittsburg, Texas leads day one of Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division action on Lake Texoma with a limit catch weighing 20 pounds, 9 ounces. Setina caught his fish by flipping flooded brush. Ryan Lejeune, of Eunice, La. leads the co-anglers with 12-4. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from Lake Texoma Day 1

Pittsburg, Texas pro Joe Don Setina took the day-one lead in Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division action on Lake Texoma with 20 pounds, 9 ounces. Setina was targeting spawning fish in flooded brush. READ MORE »


Buzzbait Brings Reitzell Some Hardware



Natural Colors Key for Stegall



Ledford, Wallen Tie for Title



Kicker Carries Anders to Top Spot



Poteat Fishes Conditions to Net Title



Hensley Targets Bank For Active Fish



Lake Texoma Midday Report Day 1

Early goings on Lake Texoma seem to be pretty tough for the Rayovac FLW Series field. From the water, FLW Website Content Manager Jesse Schultz reported seeing several anglers bed-fishing in the GrandPappy Point Resort & Marina area. Most were putting in a lot of time on each fish, which means the bass weren’t exactly snapping. Today’s calm, sunny, post-cold front conditions are, no doubt, helping anglers see their targets clearly, but the visibility works both ways. Someone’s going to find the right bank with just enough water tint to relax the fish and deliver a nice sack, but it’s likely that many will struggle through a tough day. READ MORE »


Arey Does it Again

Quaker State pro Matt Arey of Shelby, N.C., wowed the crowed in Rogers, Ark., today with an incredible 17-pound, 3-ounce five-bass limit to come from behind and win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake. This is Arey’s second consecutive Beaver Lake FLW Tour victory. Arey’s final-day surge was enough to surpass two-time reigning Angler of the Year Andy Morgan, who led yesterday but weighed in only 9-08 today and fell to third. Arey’s four-day total was 55-06, earning the pro $125,000. READ MORE »


Beaver Lake Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »


Gordon and Gagner Crowned TBF Champs

Two more anglers qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup today by winning the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship on Grand Lake in Grove, Okla. Shawn Gordon of Russellville, Ark., earned the TBF crown on the boater side by catching a three-day limit of 50 pounds, 2 ounces, capped by the largest limit caught today – 18 pounds, 10 ounces. Gordon earned $5,000 for his win, but more importantly, he’ll be competing against the best pros in the business in August at the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. Gordon also won the TBF “Living The Dream” package, which includes paid entry into the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour, a travel stipend, and use of a wrapped truck and Ranger bass boat. READ MORE »


Morgan Maintains His Lead

One of Andy Morgan’s fishing mottos is to make the best of what you have got “in front of you” to survive and fish another day. Beaver Lake doesn’t give much. So when an angler as resourceful as Morgan gets to a lake that doesn’t give out many resources, the two work well together. Instead of worrying about hitting it out of the park or putting immense pressure on himself to come up with a grand winning strategy, Morgan just scraps, scrapes and claws at the ground right in front of him, making the best of what he’s got. Morgan’s performance on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake was a prime example of his “make the best of it” attitude. After burning up the spawning fish he had located in practice during the first two days of the tournament, he was forced to fish by the seat of his pants today – something he thoroughly enjoys. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 3

Andy Morgan didn’t light up the world on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake, but he caught what he needed to maintain the lead and put a 1-pound, 9-ounce cushion between he and Matt Arey. Most of the rest of the top 20 scrambled today, abandoning their patterns and trying new options to try and make the final-day cut. Here’s how the top five got it done. READ MORE »


Beaver Lake Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »