UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Pickwick Lake

Christie pulls ahead at Beaver Lake

Christie pulls ahead at Beaver Lake
Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., now leads the Walmart Open on Beaver Lake with five bass weighing 12-15.

ROGERS, Ark. - Going into day three, it became apparent that the 2009 Walmart Open on a flooded Beaver Lake was going to be a heated contest between those pros flipping bushes and those pros fishing a hit-or-miss shad-spawn pattern.

And after day three, both patterns are still neck and neck.

FLW Tour sophomore Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., grabbed the lead this afternoon by weighing in five largemouths for 12 pounds, 15 ounces.

Christie is committed to flipping Beaver Lake's floating debris mats and flooded bushes with a Yum tube and Wooly Hawg. But today the bushes proved better than the debris mats.

"I've been fishing the matted debris in the backs of pockets the last two days when it has been sunny," Christie said. "But today, it was cloudy and I never got a bite out of my debris mats, so I started fishing new water that had flooded bushes and willows, and that's where I caught them."

Christie only had six bites all day and converted on every bite. His last fish was a small keeper that he did not need.

"I'm fishing one pattern, and I'm looking for five bites," Christie said. "I've got everything else out of mind - no spots, no smallmouth - just largemouths up shallow."

When asked what $200,000 would mean to him should he win, Christie only paused and said, "I can't even say it."

Rose second

Mark Rose of Marion, Ark., continued to milk his shad-spawn pattern on flat, gravelly banks today for 7 Mark Rose trails the leader by almost 2 pounds.or 8 pounds and then capped the day off with a 4-pounder that brought his weight up to 11 pounds, putting him behind Christie by 2 pounds.

"I thought that shad-spawn bite was getting stronger, but unfortunately it's not," lamented Rose. "The first day it was easy, yesterday it was tough, and today it was even tougher. I don't know if this little cold front has stunted that pattern or what, but it's not coming to me like I thought it was."

Rose is using the shad-spawn feeding frenzy first thing in the morning to catch a limit on a topwater. But the fish are small.

"The biggest thing with that shad-spawn spot is that it helps me get a limit quickly, and then I can really settle down and hunt a big fish," he said. "But it's getting harder and harder to get a decent limit early. And if that morning topwater bite goes away, it's going to leave me in a precarious position of having to scramble just to get a limit."

Rose noted that he has been flipping later in the day in hopes of finding a bigger fish, but his kicker today was actually a "gift" fish that bit a shallow-running crankbait on an obscure point.

Bolivar third

Pro Gabe Bolivar of Ramona, Calif., heads into the final day of Walmart Open competition on Beaver Lake in third place.Pringles pro Gabe Bolivar of Ramona, Calif., is in third place with five bass weighing 9 pounds, 15 ounces.

Bolivar is in the flipping camp, dedicating most of his day to flipping a key quarter-mile shoreline of flooded bank.

"I've got one place where I'm throwing a shaky head for some small filler fish, but most of my quality fish have come from flipping shallow water with a Berkley Chigger Craw. Today I caught my three best fish flipping."

Bolivar noted that his biggest problem is not being able to isolate exactly what the fish are on.

"Every day when I fish this one particular bank, the largemouths come off something different every time," Bolivar said. "One might come from a lay-down, one from a bush, one out of a matted bunch of leaves and the other from just bare bank in between all the cover - it's just crazy in that there is no predictability to it at all."

Scheide fourth

BP pro Ray Scheide of Dover, Ark., is in fourth place with five bass weighing 8 pounds, 13 ounces.BP pro Ray Scheide of Dover, Ark., is in fourth place with five bass weighing 8 pounds, 13 ounces.

All week Scheide has been in the flipping camp, making long pitches with a Berkley Chigger Craw into thick debris mats into which other anglers will not venture.

But now Scheide is thinking of switching parties based on some fish he caught this morning.

"Late this morning I think I discovered a little something going on that I'm going to spend some time on tomorrow," Scheide said. "My co-angler got a few quality bites on something that I have not seen work all week. So I'm going to start with that tomorrow. But once the sun gets up, it will be back to flipping and pitching.

Yelas fifth

Chevy pro Jay Yelas of Corvallis, Ore., rounds out the top five pros in the Walmart Open with three bass weighing 8 pounds, 3 ounces.Chevy pro Jay Yelas of Corvallis, Ore., rounds out the top five pros in the Walmart Open with three bass weighing 8 pounds, 3 ounces.

Yelas' bass are quality when he can get them to bite.

"I'm fishing way up the river in flooded fields and yards," Yelas said. "I'm flipping a 3/8-ounce Berkley Gripper jig to isolated targets in those flooded areas. If I could just get a couple more bites each day, I'd be right there. I've got the quality up there where I'm fishing; I just need a touch more quantity."

Rest of the best

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

6th: Glenn Browne of Ocala, Fla., five bass, 7-3
7th: Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif., five bass, 7-1
8th: Rob Kilby of Hot Springs, Ark., five bass, 6-7
9th: Keith Combs of Del Rio, Texas, five bass, 6-4
10th: Clark Wendlandt of Leander, Texas, four bass, 5-0

The fourth and final day of the Walmart Open on Beaver Lake will begin Sunday 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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