UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Champlain

Morgan gets ‘poetic justice’ at Beaver Lake

Duracell pro Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tenn., wins the 2007 Wal-Mart Open.

ROGERS, Ark. - Five years ago, if you had told Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tenn., that his first FLW Tour win would come on Beaver Lake with a spinning rod in his hand, he would have laughed in your face. Truth is, five years ago, Andy Morgan did not even own a spinning rod - or "fairy wand" as he called it - and he abhorred Beaver Lake's crystal-clear waters and dinky spotted-bass game. After collecting $200,000 for his first FLW Tour win at the Wal-Mart Open on Sunday afternoon, Morgan has a little different attitude about Beaver Lake, shaky heads, dinky spotted bass and fairy wands. The Duracell pro started 2 pounds, 7 ounces behind red-hot pro Jay Yelas this morning, and when Yelas' "magic dock" dried up, Morgan grinded past him with a five-bass limit weighing 8 pounds, giving him the win by a margin of 1 pound, 10 ounces. This marked Morgan's 11th top-10 on the FLW Tour. "I'm glad to finally get the monkey off my back!" Morgan announced after receiving his first FLW Tour trophy. "This win is really the result of making a concerted effort to become more versatile over the last two years," Morgan explained. "I grew up with a flipping stick and 25-pound-test, running up rivers and fishing for largemouth. But that kind of fishing will only get you so far.Andy Morgan grinded past Jay Yelas for the win with five fish for 8 pounds. "Two years ago I bought a bunch of spinning tackle and really worked on the finesse end of this sport, because you can't survive out on the pro tours without doing it." And as for Beaver Lake: "I used to hate it. It's been my nemesis for years on this tour. It took me seven years to learn to never go under that Highway 12 Bridge (up the river). Trying to catch largemouths up there on power tackle is like chasing a mirage. "So to come to Beaver and win my first FLW Tour event on a shaky head with a spinning rod is like some form of poetic justice," he laughed. Andy Morgan gets victory kiss from his wife, Missy.And that's exactly how Morgan caught his bass this week. Though he did catch a few schooling bass over the four days, today he settled down and relied on what he has spent two years perfecting: the shaky head. "I caught two on a Tiny `E' swimbait and the rest on a 1/8-ounce War Eagle shaky head with a Zoom watermelon-candy finesse worm," Morgan said. "I used my favorite set-up: 10-pound-test Spiderwire stealth braid tied to a leader of 8-pound-test Vanish fluorocarbon on a G. Loomis 822 spinning rod." Morgan fished around Prairie Creek most of the week to catch a two-day winning total of 17 pounds, 6 ounces. Yelas' hot spot dries up After taking the lead on day two of the Wal-Mart Open, Jay Yelas of Tyler, Texas, uttered some very prophetic words. "There was enough bass for Andy Montgomery and I to make the top 10 on that schooling hole, but I'm afraid neither one of us can win it by splitting those fish up." Yelas was right. This morning, when he returned to his magical dock that had produced Jay Yelashis quick limits, it was deader than a hammer. "Over the course of the tournament, between Andy and I and our co-anglers, we caught 40 keeper bass off that dock," Yelas said. "I knew it would eventually give out, but I thought I would at least catch one or two there this morning - never did." By day's end, Yelas ended up with just three keepers, leaving him in second place with 15 pounds, 12 ounces. "If you would have told me last night that I could not catch at least one keeper off that dock, I would not have believed it," Yelas lamented. On the bright side, Yelas collected $75,000 and now leads the Land O'Lakes Angler of the Year points race with 716 points, just seven points over none other than Andy Morgan, who is in second. Beehler third Catching the biggest limit of day four was local angler JR Beehler of Bella Vista, Ark., who weighed in five bass for 9 pounds, 4 ounces to give him a two-day total of 14 pounds, 14 ounces for third place, worth $50,000.Catching the biggest limit of day four was local angler J.R. Beehler of Bella Vista, Ark., who weighed in five bass for 9 pounds, 4 ounces to give him a two-day total of 14 pounds, 14 ounces for third place, worth $50,000. Beehler utilized his deep local knowledge of Beaver Lake this week to catch his fish. "I was fishing big trees on the edge of the main river channel," he explained. "The trees top out in about 35 feet of water, and the fish sit right over top of them." To access the fish, Beehler relied on a Mizmo tube and a Kinami single-tail grub, both rigged on a 1/4-ounce jighead and tied to 6-pound-test line. "When the fish are really feeding, they'll suspend over top of the trees, and I can count a grub down and they'll eat it on the fall," he said. "When they're not feeding, they get in the middle of the trees, and I have to send a drop-shot down there to catch them. But so many times they'll hang you up in the tree when you get a good one on, which happened to me several times this week." Powroznik fourth Bounty pro Jacob Powroznik of Prince George, Va., finished fourth with aBounty pro Jacob Powroznik of Prince George, Va., finished fourth with a two-day total of 14 pounds, 1 ounce for $40,000. two-day total of 14 pounds, 1 ounce for $40,000. Powroznik used a Tru-Tungsten shaky head to make the top 10, but once he got into the finals, he shifted his focus to schooling fish around Rocky Branch Marina. "For the schooling fish, I was using a Lake Fork Magic Shad swimbait, a Fluke and a Basstrix swimbait," Powroznik said. "A lot of fish were just slashing at the swimbaits, so I rigged up a stinger treble hook to hang off the back that caught a lot of the slashers. "Also, when the fish would come up and just follow the swimbaits, I'd suddenly start burning the bait, and that provoked them to slash at it." Montgomery fifth Rounding out the top five was Andy Montgomery of Blacksburg, S.C., who finished fifth with a two-day total of 12 pounds, 3 ounces, worth $30,000. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pros in the Wal-Mart Open: 6th: Chad Morgenthaler of Coulterville, Ill., two-day total of 12-3, $29,000 7th: Glenn Browne of Ocala, Fla., 11-8, $28,000 8th: Ray Scheide of Russellville, Ark., 11-8, $27,000 9th: Dwayne Horton of Knoxville, Tenn., 6-5, $26,000 10th: Alfred Williams of Jackson, Miss., 5-8, $25,000 The next event on the FLW Tour will be stop No. 5 at the Potomac River June 14-17.

Tags: headline-story  rob-newell 


Top Picks From ICAST

A few days of walking the floor at ICAST is enough to exhaust a body, but it isn’t enough to know exactly what’s worthwhile. For that, you need some time to reflect and probably a few tournament seasons to fly by to see what rises up. READ MORE »


Renfrew Fished to Win

Ian Renfrew of Phoenix, New York, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Northeast Division tournament on Oneida Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Renfrew earned $4,695. READ MORE »


Docks and Rocks Key for Synders

Rus Snyders of Nashville, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Music City Division tournament on Old Hickory Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Snyders earned $2,703. READ MORE »


Jig, Crankbait Carry Powroznik

Ryan Powroznik of Prince George, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division tournament on the James River. For his victory, Powroznik earned $7,507. READ MORE »


Persistence Pays for Arning

Ray Arning Jr. of Walnut Hill, Illinois, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Illini Division tournament on Rend Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Arning earned $5,804. READ MORE »


New Rod Roundup

Rod companies continue to impress each year with a new crop of lighter, faster and more affordable (sweet!) rods. On the subject of price, these days, a tournament pro or an average angler could be fishing with rods that cost less than $100 apiece, but without giving up anything in the realm of quality. READ MORE »


New Terminal Tackle

Don’t skimp where it counts the most – terminal tackle. Hooks, weights, jigheads and the like are the keys to taking all those new soft baits and swimbaits to the fish, hooking them and getting them in the boat. Here’s the best stuff we saw on the floor at ICAST 2015. READ MORE »


FLW Announces 2016 Tour Schedule

FLW announced the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour regular-season schedule today in a live press conference held at the 2015 ICAST show in Orlando, Fla. With the help of six veteran Tour pros, the company unveiled each of the six events, one-by-one, to a crowd of observers gathered around the FLW booth. READ MORE »


6 New Reels to Try

Whether you need to replace an old reel or you’re just looking to add to the arsenal, here are some of the latest and greatest from ICAST. READ MORE »


6 New Lines from ICAST 2015

Line might just be the most important part of the package when it comes to landing fish. From presenting the bait to getting them in the net, your line is involved the entire way. If you’re looking for something new to try, the following lines are worth a shot. READ MORE »


ICAST Best Of Show Winners

One of the highlights of ICAST is the annual “Best of Show” awards. Not everything at ICAST is of interest to bass anglers, but the below might end up being staples for a long time to come. READ MORE »


10 New Frogs and Toads

These days, frogs and toads aren’t just mimicking frogs and toads. They’re designed to be perfect imitations of rats, bream and various oddball creatures. New models at ICAST this season offer anglers some of these “alternative” species, as well as new sizes, colors, action types and degrees of realism. Here are 10 new models that we feel are of greatest interest. Click here for complete 2015 ICAST coverage. READ MORE »


7 Terrific Topwater Baits

If you don’t like fishing topwater, just give up fishing already. These seven new baits will help you get your surface-fishing fix next season. READ MORE »


Critters and Craws

Nearly everyone already has a tackle box overflowing with soft baits. That said, there are always more to try. If you’re looking for something new, the following might do the trick. READ MORE »


New Hard Baits for 2015

It doesn’t take long to find yourself overwhelmed on the show floor of ICAST. Hundreds of companies are here unveiling cool, new products. When it comes to the hard bait category it can be daunting to sift through all the new stuff. Its early, but here are a few things that might be worth adding to the tackle box. READ MORE »


ICAST 2015 Fishing Accessories

Check out these tools and accessory items that fill a variety of roles when on the water. We’ll update the list later tomorrow too. Click here for complete 2015 ICAST coverage. READ MORE »


Cool New Electronics at ICAST 2015

These days, anglers rely on cutting edge electronic devices not only to find and catch fish, but also to share their fishing experiences with the world. The following new products, as seen on day one at ICAST 2015, will help you do all of the above. READ MORE »


New Clothing and Sunglasses at ICAST 2015

Sunglasses and clothing that can resist all that Mother Nature throws at it are critical for hard-core anglers. Here’s what’s new in those categories at this year’s ICAST show. READ MORE »


Three New Finesse Worms

Though there is a ton of finesse worms already available on the market, but the following three from the first day of ICAST might be worth a look if you sense a gap in your arsenal. READ MORE »


Dance, Detweiler and East Win ICAST Cup

Weighing in midway through the 48-boat field, Bill Dance, Cody Detweiler, and Dave East repped Mystik Lubricants brought a five-bass limit for 17 pounds, 1 ounce to the scale for the win. The team focused on two shallow, grassy areas within sight of Big Toho Marina for the entirety of the event and caught about 10 bass and culled twice before 8 a.m. READ MORE »