UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Erie

Schenck soars to first

Schenck soars to first
Pro leader Shad Schenck caught a five-bass limit Friday weighing 14 pounds, 14 ounces.

ROGERS, Ark. - Many of the 150 pros fishing the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake are running up the White River and targeting largemouth bass. A few others are heading towards the dam and fishing for a combination of spotted and largemouth bass in deep water. But pro leader Shad Schenck is staying close to the launch and maximizing his fishing time. And thus far, the plan has worked to perfection.

On day one Schenck caught a 13-pound, 9-ounce limit and he followed that up with 14-14 today. Anchoring his catch was two 5-pound largemouths that were flanked with a pair of spotted bass and a nice smallmouth. Schenck said he's keying in on a few subtle things that make a big difference. But most importantly, he's got two prime areas all to himself.

"I'm fishing deeper brush with Berkley fluorocarbon line," he said. "I'm not covering a lot of water and I'm fishing slow and very thorough. In fact, I've never fished so thorough in my life. That's all I'm going to say right now. Later in the afternoon I found a little key that allowed me to catch the other 5-pounder and fill out my limit. It was another fun day of fishing on Beaver Lake."

In total, Schenck received seven bites today and nine yesterday. He's unconcerned with the impending cold front that's supposed to rock the Ozarks region tomorrow.

"It doesn't bother me at all. I'm geared up and ready to go."

Schenck, a five-time Forrest Wood Cup qualifier, has never won on the FLW Tour. And he's also never led at the halfway point in a tournament.

"It doesn't really matter if I'm first or fifth. I still have to catch them again tomorrow and again on Sunday. It's a cumulative weight tournament.

"I want to win and I have the ability to win - that's my mindset. But there are so many variables to contend with. I'm just going to control the ones I have control over."

While Schenck has a backup pattern, he'd prefer not to use it. He's hoping to win the tournament right in Prairie Creek.

"The best thing about fishing a tournament this time of year is that more fish are coming. These fish are coming to the bank."

Lefebre slips to second

Frosted Flakes pro Dave Lefebre caught a five-bass limit Friday that weighed 10 pounds, 2 ounces - Second-place pro Dave Lefebre shows off his biggest bass from day two on Beaver Lake.pushing his total weight to 26 pounds, 6 ounces. Lefebre went to his best area this morning and caught a limit of spotted bass by 8:30. He then moved off it and upgraded his catch elsewhere with two largemouths.

"I'm not disappointed at all," said the Erie, Pa., native. "I just think the fish bit better yesterday. The largemouths where I'm fishing just didn't go today. That's all there is too it."

Lefebre's best spot is a tree sandwiched between two giant boulders in 20-25 feet of water. Like Schenck, he's not willing to divulge what baits he's throwing. But he's making precise casts where he feels every nook and cranny of the brush and boulders.

"This is your classic prespawn gang-up type of spot. And I really haven't leaned on it too much yet. This is starting to get fun. And tomorrow I'm going to sit there and beat on it a little bit."

While Lefebre has left this area to rest each of the last two days, he's starting to think it's a spot he doesn't have to leave.

Hawk third

Thus far, the most successful pro playing the shallow-water largemouth game up the river is Roy Hawk. The Salt Lake City, Utah, pro caught 11-12 today after sacking 12 pounds yesterday. That kind of consistency is uncommon in the stained, shallow water.

"I got less bites today, but I caught one nicer fish," Hawk said. "Beyond that one good one it was just all average keeper largemouths."

Hawk is mostly fishing a shallow-running crankbait, but he'll occasionally use a jig. While he covers a lot of water, he has one productive stretch of steep bank that forms a tiny point.

"That point is about 3 to 7 feet deep but there's access nearby to deep water. And I've also caught some fish in the pocket next to it. But it's a very small area."

Like many, Hawk is unsure what the change in weather will do to his bite. But he's hoping for clouds and not sunshine.

Fourth-place pro Stacey King has a two-day total of 23 pounds, 5 ounces."The good news is that I should have plenty of room up the river."

King fourth

Table Rock legend Stacey King is finding nearby Beaver Lake to be a suitable companion. While King doesn't fish Beaver often, he's deadly with a jerkbait. He used that, along with a crankbait and a Little George tailspinner, to catch a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 23 pounds, 5 ounces.

"I've weighed in three largemouths and two spots both days of the tournament," said the Reeds Springs, Mo., pro. "It's been good, but I think fishing's going to change some the next two days. I'm not exactly sure what's going to happen, but I've got to figure them out."

King reported that he's focusing his efforts down lake and that the bite was much better the first day of the tournament.

Shuffield jerkbaits for fifth

Fifth-place pro Ron Shuffield used a jerkbait to catch a 16-pound, 4-ounce limit Friday.After catching only 6 pounds, 8 ounces on day one, EverStart pro Ron Shuffield rallied to fifth on the strength of a 16-pound, 4-ounce sack. Four of his keepers came on a jerkbait, the other on a Wiggle Wart.

"I'm fishing different water every day," said Shuffield, who finished second in similar conditions last year on Table Rock. "I'm keying in on little short rocky areas close to deep water where fish are moving up."

Shuffield's bag consisted of three largemouths, one spotted bass and one nice smallmouth.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros in the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake after day two:

6th: Matt Arey of Shelby, N.C., 22-2
7th: Wesley Strader of Spring City, Tenn., 21-10
8th: Justin Lucas of Guntersville, Ala., 21-7
9th: Randy Blaukat of Joplin, Mo., 21-2
10th: Shane Long of Sarcoxie, Mo., 20-15

Blaylock widens co-angler lead

Co-angler leader Keeton Blaylock caught four bass Friday that weighed 10 pounds even.After bringing in a limit worth 13-6 on day one, Keeton Blaylock, brother of Amp pro Stetson Blaylock, caught four more bass Friday weighing 10 pounds even. His two-day total weight of 23 pounds, 6 ounces is nearly 6 pounds ahead of second place.

It's entirely possible that the 20-year-old Blaylock can sleep in tomorrow and still win the tournament, just like his brother did three years ago.

"Today started off crazy," Blaylock said. "I made my first cast and then I started to take my jacket off and I got a bite with the rod wedged between my legs. That fish weighed 4-4 and was my biggest of the day."

Blaylock's entire morning was productive, but then the bite shut down.

"I had three in the first few hours and at noon I caught my last fish. It was much tougher today. I caught 13 keepers yesterday and only four today."

Of those four keepers, two were largemouths and two were spotted bass. Blaylock wouldn't reveal what he caught them on but would say it feels amazing to be leading a tournament of this magnitude. He did allow that he is fishing deep, clear water and targeting mostly suspended fish.

"You never know, but I'm thinking tomorrow is going to be a tougher day. I still think I need to go out and catch a few more fish."

Hunter rises to second

Co-angler stick Brandon Hunter of Benton, Ky., is back on track after catching a five-bass limit weighing 12 pounds, 2 ounces. Hunter's limit was the only one in the entire Co-angler Division. Combined with his 5-8 from day one, he'll start the final day with 17 pounds, 10 ounces.

Hunter won the 2009 FLW Tour event on Kentucky Lake and finished sixth at last year's Forrest Wood Cup.

Horton, Jarabeck, Cummins round out top five

Fourth-place co-angler Philip Jarabeck holds up a 5-pound, 7-ounce Beaver Lake largemouth, the Snickers Big Bass of day two.Mark Horton of Nicholasville, Ky., caught four bass Friday weighing 12 pounds, 14 ounces to push his total weight to 16-3.

Behind him with 15 pounds, 2 ounces is Philip Jarabeck, nephew of David Dudley. Jarabeck managed 13 pounds Friday on only three fish, one of which was the Snickers Big Bass of the day weighing 5 pounds, 7 ounces. Jarabeck caught his fish twitching a jerkbait around standing timber.

Jeffrey Cummins fell three spots from second to fifth after he caught two bass weighing 3 pounds, 9 ounces. The Marion, Ohio, native has a total weight of 13 pounds, 8 ounces.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers in the Beaver Lake event after day two:

6th: Mark Shelton of Fayetteville, Ark., 12-11
7th: Brock Bertrand of Fayetteville, Ark., 12-7
8th: Moo Bae of West Friendship, Md., 10-15
9th: Tony Nation of Springdale, Ark., 10-13
10th: Van Foster Jr. of Dalton, Ga., 10-7

Day three of the FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake will begin Saturday at 7 a.m. from Prairie Creek Park located at 9300 N. Park Rd. in Rogers.

Tags: brett-carlson  headline-story  2011-03-03-beaver-lake 

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