Cha-Kling!

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 

/news/2015-05-23-brown-rallies-for-seminole-win

Brown Rallies for Seminole Win

When the Rayovac FLW Series event on Lake Seminole started on Thursday, hot, slick conditions prevailed. The air temperatures pushed into the 90’s, water temperatures hovered between 80 and 85 degrees – summertime was on. Or was it? READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-23-jeter-takes-co-angler-crown

Jeter Takes Co-Angler Crown

Call it a local’s sweep at the Rayovac FLW Series on Lake Seminole. While local pro Clint Brown of Bainbridge, Ga., won the boater Division, his Bainbridge neighbor, Greg Jeter won the Co-angler Division to make it a local twofer. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-23-lake-seminole-day-3-midday-update

Lake Seminole Day 3 Midday Update

Second place pro Clint Brown was gaining some serious ground on Reneau as Brown had boxed four solid keepers for about 11 pounds on his very first spot – all caught from protected backwaters with a topwater. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-22-reneau-grabs-lead-on-seminole

Reneau Grabs Lead On Seminole

Though Reneau has weighed in 15-1 and 20-7 over two days for a total of 35 pounds, 8 ounces, he says he is only getting about six bites per day. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-22-top-5-patterns-from-seminole-day-2

Top 5 Patterns From Seminole Day 2

A shake-up occurred on day two of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Lake Seminole. Day one was all about slow, summertime fishing in the lake’s deep timber. Overnight a frontal passage dropped water and air temperatures and left a north wind howling down the lake. As a result, the timber bite cooled off and those fishing shallower waters climbed up the leaderboard. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-22-lake-seminole-day-2-midday-update

Lake Seminole Day 2 Midday Update

The hot summer at Seminole turned back into spring this morning as a cold front blew through the area dropping air temps some 10 degrees with a blustery north wind. Sweatshirts were needed again as the cold air felt more like April than May. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-21-enfinger-leads-on-seminole

Enfinger Leads On Seminole

Enfinger said he got off to a “fast start” this morning, sacking a limit by 10 a.m., but he only upgraded twice after that, catching about eight keepers on the day. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-21-top-5-patterns-from-seminole-day-1

Top 5 Patterns From Seminole Day 1

Bradley Enfinger took the day-one lead at the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Lake Seminole fishing suspended bass in timber. Others in the top-5 fished both wood and grass on day one. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-21-lake-seminole-midday-update

Lake Seminole Midday Update

Lake Seminole is known to be more of a quality lake than a quantity lake and that trait showed on the morning of day one as anglers who were catching fish were not necessarily getting many bites, but 3-pound pluses seemed to be the norm for the ones hauled in over the gunnel. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-ledges-lift-wilson-to-top

Ledges Lift Wilson to Top

Tim Wilson of Gas City, Indiana, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 29 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Choo Choo Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Guntersville. For his victory, Wilson earned $5,584. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-two-in-a-row-for-fox

Two in a Row for Fox

Dwight Fox of Gainesboro, Tennessee, weighed four bass totaling 16 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Mountain Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Cumberland. For his victory, Fox earned $4,463. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-bluff-walls-carry-meredith

Bluff Walls Carry Meredith

GROVE, Okla. – Mitch Meredith of Hulbert, Oklahoma, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 18 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Okie Division tournament of 2015 on Grand Lake. For his victory, Meredith earned $7,165. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-tidwell-slows-down-for-title

Tidwell Slows Down for Title

MCCORMICK, S.C. – Brian Tidwell of Seneca, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division tournament of 2015 on Clarks Hill Lake. For his victory, Tidwell earned $3,021. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-ginter-gets-the-win

Ginter Gets the Win

CELINA, Ohio – Gary Ginter of Maplewood, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division tournament of 2015 on Grand Lake. For his victory, Ginter earned $3,963. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-jig-does-the-trick-for-roselle

Jig Does the Trick for Roselle

MARBURY, Md. – Mike Roselle of La Plata, Maryland, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Shenandoah Division tournament of 2015 on Potomac River. For his victory, Roselle earned $6,235. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-17-thrift-by-3

Thrift by 3

The “numbers game.” It’s a term that Bryan Thrift used to describe his fishing on Lake Eufaula back in 2013 when he finished runner-up to Randy Haynes in a Walmart FLW Tour event. The method to his numbers madness was to hit as many solitary objects – stumps, brush piles, rocks, logs – on the bottom of Lake Eufaula as humanly possible in an eight-hour tournament day. When Thrift saw that Lake Eufaula was back on the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour schedule for May of this year, he grinned that patented Bryan Thrift grin because he already knew how to crunch the numbers at Eufaula. And Thrift is still grinning. After sacking up a final-day catch of 15 pounds, 5 ounces to top off 69-14 for the week, Thrift made the numbers work for his fourth FLW Tour win. He added another $125,000 to his bank account. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-17-lake-eufaula-day-4-coverage

Lake Eufaula Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Eufaula presented by Quaker State. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-16-morrow-thrift-neck-and-neck

Morrow, Thrift Neck and Neck

Georgia pro Troy Morrow brought in 15 pounds, 4 ounces on the third day of competition at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Quaker State on Lake Eufaula to increase his tournament total to 54-13. Morrow maintains his lead for the second consecutive day, but he won’t sleep comfortably tonight with North Carolina hammer Bryan Thrift just 4 ounces off the lead with 54-09. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-16-top-5-patterns-from-lake-eufaula-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Eufaula Day 3

Troy Morrow is leading the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Quaker State on Lake Eufaula. However, with one day left to fish, he has a big problem going into the last day: Bryan Thrift. The Shelby, N.C., pro is just 4 ounces behind Morrow. Here’s how Thrift and the rest of the top five caught their fish. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-16-lake-eufaula-day-3-coverage

Lake Eufaula Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Eufaula presented by Quaker State. READ MORE »