UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - James River

Coulter in control on Beaver

Coulter in control on Beaver
Pro leader Brandon Coulter holds up part of his 14-pound, 12-ounce day-two stringer.

ROGERS, Ark. - With this being the second day after a front, most people figured the bite would slip on Beaver. To degree that was the case with several of the top pros from day one failing to match their early success. But day two of the Walmart FLW Tour on Beaver Lake was highlighted with consistent catches, some big stringers and the Alabama rig.

Coming into this tournament a lot of the focus was on how big of a factor the A-rig would become. The general consensus was the rig could hold up early in the derby but would slowly dwindle throughout the event. Today was a case of several anglers making huge moves on the leaderboard including Brandon Coulter who has utilized nothing but the rig to move into the lead.

With 17 pounds, 3 ounces on day one, Coulter went back to work to haul in 14-12 today. The Tennessee resident kept the same three rods on his deck consisting of umbrella rigs and now holds a total weight of 31-15 and the lead by 1-12.

"I think the momentum I have really started at the beginning of the year for me," said Coulter. "My son told me to just go out and catch 12 pounds on the second day of Okeechobee and just cash a check. That made me realize all I have been doing for the past few years is just trying to cash a check and not win. Since then I have been fishing much more relaxed, calm and comfortable - I put no pressure on myself."

With a less than favorable track record on Beaver, Coulter opted to arm himself with three different umbrella rigs and target transition areas where the bass are staging to spawn. So far the decision is paying off.

"I went to a lay-down this morning that I caught my second biggest bass on yesterday," the Knoxville, Tenn., native said. "I figured I could start there and catch a limit quick like I did yesterday, but it was nothing but crickets this morning. I went back there later and caught a solid fish off it. On my next cast back at the lay-down I got hung up and one eats one of the free swimbaits and pulls it off the tree. On my very next cast after that I caught a 4-pounder. You can't create stuff like that; sometimes things just go your way."

Coulter knows that anything can happen on this lake and hopes that his areas will continue to replenish quality fish. He will continue to focus his efforts about 5 miles up the lake.

"On Beaver Lake you can't be confident. I know tomorrow I could zero or catch 17 pounds. One thing I thing that is helping me is having no preconceived notions on this pond."

Terry up to second

Texas pro Austin Terry sits in second place with a two-day weight of 30 pounds, 3 ounces.After a day one catch of 15 pounds, 5 ounces Austin Terry of San Angelo, Texas nearly duplicated that stringer today with 14-14. His two-day total stands at 30-3 and surprisingly he has done it without the help of the A-rig.

"I guess I caught one fish one the A-rig yesterday," said Terry. "I played around with it in practice but it's not the deal for me."

Though he isn't tossing the rig, Terry is still chucking and winding a bait that he asked to remain silent for now.

"I'm targeting largemouths and every time I get a bite it's a good one," Terry continued. "I hardly catch many short fish. I had five keepers on the first day and I caught seven today. Two of those fish came in the last 30 minutes."

Terry is moving a lot throughout the day but they are small moves within a larger area.

"The first day I hit a certain spot several times because when I get bit there they are big ones. Today though, I tried not to hit anything twice. I basically went looking for new areas and I found some stretches of bank that setup the same. I have a very specific bank I'm fishing and I learned some more about it today."

His bites have generally come early in the day but Terry managed to locate some locations that produced in the afternoon when he decided to look around. One thing he is excited about is that he found some areas that he caught a few good fish from but didn't have time to hit all of it today. With some untouched places to fish tomorrow Terry could make a run up the leadboard if he can stay on the same quality fish.

"There are people fishing some of the same stretches I am but they aren't fishing them right. I have gone behind them and caught fish and I think tomorrow those areas will have a lot less pressure. The fish should be reloading in those areas so I'm looking forward to getting back out there."

Hollowell sacks record catch for third

Todd Hollowell crushed a 22-pound, 15-ounce limit Friday on Beaver Lake. Despite catching only 6-14 on day one, Hollowell sits in third place.Todd Hollowell of Fishers, Ind., caught 6 pounds, 14 ounces on the first day of competition at Beaver Lake. He sat quietly tied in 124th place as he launched his boat for day two. After a change of plans in the morning, Hollowell sacked up the largest bag ever weighed during a Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake with 22-15. He leapfrogged almost the entire field to sit in the top 5.

"The lord blessed me, I prayed for a comeback last night," said Hollowell.

His week started off with a decent practice. Hollowell found some fish throwing a jerkbait and carried that pattern into day one. When he arrived at an area he caught a few good spotted bass off in practice and easily believed he could find a limit. Instead, Hollowell caught two spots and stuggled for the rest of the day. That led Hollowell to believe he needed to switch gears.

"I started out throwing a jerkbait for probably the first 30 minutes today," Hollowell said. "I didn't have any luck so I picked up an A-rig and hit a 200-yard stretch of bank. In like six or seven casts I had a 5-pounder, another 5-pounder, a 4-pounder and a 3 1/2-pounder. I basically had my limit by 8:45 a.m., though I did cull around 11 but it was only a few ounces."

His umbrella rig of choice was a Castaic Jerky J School Flash. Surprisingly, after he caught his bag for the day he put the rig down and went back to the jerkbait.

"When the wind really started to blow after 11 I went to some clearer water to check some other places," said the Indiana native. "I just went practing and I think I stumbled on something. I got some areas I think I can catch a decent bag from tomorrow. After today, anything is possible."

Gagliardi fourth

Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi with two nice representatives of this Beaver Lake fishery. In a stark contrast to the many anglers chasing the largemouths of Beaver Lake, Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi has been targeting smallmouths this week. His weight after day one was 15 pounds, 5 ounces and consisted of four smallmouths and a spot. Today, the Chevy pro wrangled up 14-5 to give him a total weight of 29-10 for the week.

On his first day of practice Gagliardi got on the smallies. He said that he could get a lot of bites with the brown fish and with good size. Gagliardi ran a lot of that water on the first day of the derby.

"I went back to a lot of the areas I fished on day one," said Gagliardi. "I did that for a few hours today and then I ran some new water. The smallmouths have been getting a lot of pressure so I wanted to find some new stuff."

Gagliardi has utilized an umbrella rig to some degree this week and landed three fish he weighed today on it.

The main factor in helping the Chevy pro in his bite is the wind. He says he needs it to blow and direction of the wind can help dictate which areas he fishes.

Kreiger fifth

Koby Kreiger got off to a hot start Friday morning.After making the top-five cut at the last Walmart FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake, Koby Kreiger continues to stay hot. Kreiger has also produced consistent catches of both 13-15 and 14-15 from days one and two, respectively. He now has a two-day total weight of 28-14.

Kreiger threw an umbrella rig on Smith Lake to climb the ranks and he is doing the same this week.

"Every fish I have caught this week has been on an umbrella rig," said Kreiger. "I'm fishing it a little different than other people though. I'm only throwing it 15 to 20 feet and working some dirtier water. You got to be real careful when you are target fishing like I am otherwise you get hung up a bunch and cost yourself a lot of time trying to get it out."

In almost identical fashion to Smith Lake, the Okeechobee, Fla., resident plans to keep making precise casts with the rig towards cover near the bank.

Rest of the Best

Rounding out the top 10 pros on Beaver Lake after day two:

6th: Christopher Brasher of Hallsville, Texas, 28-3
7th: Mark Rose of West Memphis, Ark., 27-15
8th: Shawn Murphy of Nicholasville, Ky., 27-7
9th: Barry Wilson of Birmingham, Ala., 27-4
10th: Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., 27-3

Rayovac pro Jason Christie earned the 3M ScotchBlue Big Bass Award for day two with a 6-pound, 8-ounce largemouth.

Johnson takes co-angler lead

Jason Johnson of Gainesville, Ga., leads the co-anglers after day two with a total weight of 27 pounds, 1 ounce. Jason Johnson of Gainesville, Ga., is no stranger to deep, clear impoundments. Back home he has plenty of experience on Lake Lanier which is very similar to Beaver and probably why he feels so comfortable here.

On day one Johnson caught 11 pounds, 8 ounces putting him in eighth place. Today he fished with Stacey King who is one of the best at finesse fishing Ozark lakes and Johnson brought a 15-9 limit to the stage. His two-day total weight sits at 27-1 and he holds a 3-pound lead heading into the final day.

"I grew up watching Stacey (King) so to draw him today was awesome," said Johnson. "I have watched videos of him but to see him in a tournament situation will go in the memory bank forever."

Sticking with his guns, Johnson fished finesse stuff on day one like drop-shots and shaky heads. He started with that same approach today until King gave him something to try. Johnson didn't want to revile what that bait was since King made the top-20 cut.

Johnson has yet to throw an A-rig and would like to stick with his light line and light rods. He has been throwing 6-pound Sunline Sniper fluorocarbon line.

"I'm a finesse guy so to spend time in a boat with Stacey was awesome," Johnson continued. "We talked all day and I can't say enough about the guy. The fact that he gave me a few of the baits he was throwing was so cool and I hope I can put them to good use tomorrow."

Meador idles in second

Second-place co-angler Steven Meador holds up a spotted bass and a smallmouth bass.After two days of fishing Steven Meador of Bella Vista, Ark., holds a total limit of 24 pounds, 1 ounce. His total limit consists of catches like 13-8 on day one and 10-9 today. A three-pound deficit can usually be hard to overcome on Beaver Lake but this year it seems well within reason, especially for anglers like Meador who haven't slipped much each day.

Lauer, Bagay and Keirsey round out top five

David Lauer of Loxahatchee, Fla., brought in 12 pounds, 10 ounces on day one and 7-14 on day two to give himself an overall weight of 20-8. He currently sits in third place heading into the final day of co-angler competition.

Rommel Bagay of Pleasant Hill, Calif., has a two-day total weight from Beaver Lake of 20-1.

Ken Keirsey of Owasso, Okla., has 20 pounds worth of Beaver Lake bass for his two-day total weight.

Rest of the Best

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers after day two:

6th: David Lashua of Leesburg, Fla., 18-13
7th: Andrew Owens of Dividing Creek, N.J., 18-13
8th: Richard Peek of Centre, Ala., 18-6
9th: Benjie Seaborn of Guin, Ala., 17-14
10th: Jonathan Henry of Grant, Ala., 17-3

The 3M Peltor Big Bass Award for the co-anglers on day two belongs to Jack Minnig of Levitown, Pa., for a bass weighing 6 pounds, 6 ounces.

Day three of the Walmart FLW Tour will begin at 7 a.m. from Prairie Creek Park located at 9300 N. Park Road in Rogers, Ark.

Tags: kyle-wood  headline-story  2013-04-11-beaver-lake 

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