UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Eufaula

Rose knows Beaver Lake

Rose knows Beaver Lake
Mark Rose leads day one of the Walmart Open on Beaver Lake with 13 pounds even.

ROGERS, Ark. - Eight feet of new water in Beaver Lake went a long way in diluting the weights at the day-one weigh-in of the Walmart Open on Thursday.

While plenty of limits rolled across the stage - 118 to be exact - many of the limits were made up of pip squeaks that required a lot of bump-board use.

Some pros are probably starting to wonder if they ever really left Lake Norman, site of the last FLW Tour event in North Carolina, where a deluge of small limits flooded the stage, but only those pros with a nice 3- to 4-pound kicker in their bags were the ones that separated themselves from the rest of the pack.

If nothing else, Beaver Lake is casting a spell of Lake Norman deja vu over the FLW Tour, as once again those at the top of the heap today used a solid 3- or 4-pound largemouth to pull ahead of their competition.

One of those pros fooling a couple of bigger largemouths Thursday was Mark Rose of Marion, Ark., who weighed in 13 pounds even to take the day-one lead.

Rose has been close to winning the Walmart Open in the past, finishing second in 2006, so he knows a thing or to about how to get a few in the bucket on Beaver Lake.

"The whole game at Beaver is to get started off on an even keel with everyone else and then get over the hump with a couple of quality fish," Rose said. "And that's exactly what I did today. I got an early limit of spotted bass - that let me get on par with most of the field and relax - then I tried to get over the hump by flipping for largemouths, and everything worked out."

After securing his early limit, Rose concentrated on Beaver Lake's plethora of debris pockets and flooded bushes.

"Once I had five swimmers, I picked up that flipping stick and hit as many trash pockets and bushes as I possibly could," he said. "But it's hard to start the day doing that with an empty livewell. Like I said, once I caught that limit I could really settle down and feel confident in flipping the bushes, knowing I had nowhere to go but up if I got a bite."

Rose did say he spent some time in practice looking for bedding fish and located a few, but he never went to them today.

"Sight-fishing is kind of a backup deal here for me," he said. "I'd rather keep fishing the way I am than to rely on sight-fish."

Day-one highlights



Le second Thanh Le of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., is in second place after day one with a five-bass limit weighing 12 pounds, 8 ounces.

Thanh Le of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., is in second place with a five-bass limit weighing 12 pounds, 8 ounces. His creel consisted of four largemouths and one solid spotted bass.

Le is catching his fish by sight-fishing and flipping.

"I found one pocket the second day of practice that had some good largemouth moving up in it," he said. "I ran straight to them this morning, because with this crowd out here, they will find them. I caught three or four sight-fishing, then went flipping and caught a couple of more doing that."

Kilby `hooks' third

Another pro who was able to upgrade his catch with solid largemouths today was Rob Kilby of Hot Springs, Ark. Kilby weighed in three largemouths, a spot and a smallmouth for limit weighing 12 pounds, 3 ounces.
Ranger pro Rob Kilby weighed in 12 pounds, 3 ounces for third place on day one.
Kilby secured a limit first by just fishing out deep, and once the sun got up, he ventured in shallower to pluck a few better largemouth spawners he found in practice.

"No one else found these fish because they were bedded in such heavy debris - under limbs, lay-downs and junk," Kilby said. "In fact, they were so concealed, I could not even make the right presentation to them without a little help from my hook."

The "hook" Kilby is referring to is a homemade iron grapple on a rope that he uses to pull debris off the bank for a clearer cast to bedding fish.

"I throw the big hook out there onto the pile of limbs, get it hung up and then just pull the whole branch out off the bank," he explained. "After a few minutes the fish settles back down and I can get a cast on it."

In all, Kilby caught three better quality largemouths by sight-fishing today and noted that he still has some left for tomorrow.

"There are a few left in there," he added. "There was no sense in burning them up today. Once I got to what I figured was 11 pounds or so, I quit picking on the bedders and left them for tomorrow. This tournament has always been a game of consistency, and this year is no different."

Morgan fourth

Former Walmart Open champion Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tenn., sits in fourth place after day one withFormer Walmart Open champion Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tenn., sits in fourth place after day one with a limit weighing 12 pounds, 1 ounce. a limit weighing 12 pounds, 1 ounce.

One thing Morgan has learned about Beaver Lake is to spend more time fishing and less time running.

"I guarantee you my trolling motor prop moved a lot more water than my stainless steel prop did today," Morgan laughed. "I simply did not run around a lot - I put it down and fished."

And as for Morgan's pattern?

"Well, I caught a couple on a shaky head, a couple on a topwater, a couple sight-fishing, a couple casting a worm, and my biggest fish came flipping," he added. "The game here is put your brain in neutral and let the rod and reel do the work. Look at all that water out there - there could be a bass anywhere - so don't think about it and just fish."

Thrift tied for fourth

Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C., is tied for fourth with a five-bass limit weighing 12 pounds, 1 ounce.Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C., is tied for fourth with a five-bass limit weighing 12 pounds, 1 ounce.

Thrift tried to get his day started with a limit of spotted bass early to make his largemouth hunt later in the day a little easier on the nerves, but at 10:30 he had just one decent spotted bass.

"That's when I hit the panic button and started running pockets for largemouth," Thrift said. "I caught a 3 1/2- and 2-pounder pretty quick and then decided just to run largemouth water the rest of the day, and it worked out."

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros in the Walmart Open on Beaver Lake after day one:

6th: Joe Thomas of Milford, Ohio, five bass, 11-15
7th: Brett Hite of Phoenix, five bass, 11-14
8th: Shin Fukae of Mineola, Texas, five bass, 11-12
9th: Gabe Bolivar of Ramona, Calif., five bass, 11-11
9th: Craig Powers of Rockwood, Tenn., five bass, 11-11

Big bass

Jay Yelas of Corvallis, Ore., caught the Folgers Big Bass in the Pro Division on day one weighing 4 pounds, 13 ounces.

Hawk leads co-anglers

Kevin Hawk of Ramona, Calif., leads the Co-angler Division of the Walmart Open on day one with a limiKevin Hawk of Ramona, Calif., leads the Co-angler Division of the Walmart Open on day one with a limit weighing 10 pounds.t weighing 10 pounds.

Hawk fished with Alabama pro Brent Crowe and said he owes his leading catch to him.

"I've got to thank Brent," Hawk said. "Everywhere he went, we caught fish. I used a Super Spook Jr. and a Zoom Trick Worm on a shaky head to catch my fish."

Rest of the best

Brent Bridgeman of Elkmont, Ala., is in second place after day one with a five-bass limit weighing 9 pounds, 14 ounces.

Dirk Davenport of Delaware, Ohio, is in third place in the Co-angler Division with a five-bass limit weighing 9 pounds, 11 ounces.

Ernest Cate of Springdale, Ark., and Alton Lackie of Germantown, Tenn., are tied for fourth place in the Co-angler Division, both with 9 pounds, 8 ounces.

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers in the Walmart Open event on Beaver Lake after day one:

6th: Moo Bae of West Friendship, Md., five bass, 9-5
7th: Mark Rouse of League City, Texas, five bass, 9-1
8th: Marty Johnson of Benton, Ky., five bass, 9-0
9th: John Jacobs of Birmingham, Ala., five bass, 8-13
10th: Dearal Rodgers of Camden, S.C., five bass, 8-12

Big bass

Patrick Majors of Rogers, Ark., caught the Folgers Big Bass in the Co-angler Division on day one weighing 3 pounds, 3 ounces.

Day two of the Walmart Open on Beaver Lake will begin Friday at 6:30 a.m. at Prairie Creek Marina located at 1 Prairie Creek Marina Drive in Rogers.

Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2009-05-14-beaver-lake 

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