UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Eufaula

Spawn Looming at Beaver Lake

Spawn Looming at Beaver Lake
A Beaver Lake sunrise

As the pros who fish the Walmart FLW Tour begin practice on Beaver Lake, this jewel of northwestern Arkansas could be setting up for another spring spawn showdown.

But first, a lake snapshot:

The inaugural White River reservoir, Beaver Lake stretches approximately 73 miles long and two miles wide at its widest point. With approximately 28,300 surface acres, the Beaver offers 450 miles of shoreline for anglers to fish. The water temperature is in the low 60s with 6 to 10 feet of visibility.

Impounded in 1966 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Beaver presents a diverse menu of habitat, with several primary creeks arms and secondary creeks. There’s a mix of the usual shallow, woody river habitat and deep, clear waters near the dam.

 

Healthy and Heavy

Shane Long, a Rayovac FLW Series Central Division standout from Willard, Mo., has spent a lot of time on Beaver. In terms of bait, water quality and fish abundance, the lake’s as healthy as he’s seen it in several years.

Tour pro Wesley Strader agrees and points to the flood of 2011 as a significant contributor to the present bounty.

“They had a high-water spawn about four years ago, and that really helped the lake,” he says. “You can see how that affected the quality of the fish.

“The high water rejuvenated the lake [following a drought period], and they had a good rearing year,” Strader continues. “There were a lot of trees and bushes in the water. The lake stayed up for the whole summer, so the fry really had a chance to grow and survive.”

The lake’s mix of smallmouth, spotted and largemouth bass remains well represented, but Long says the largemouths are taking center stage nowadays.

“For several years it was mostly smallmouths and spots in tournaments, but in recent years the largemouths are becoming more prominent,” he says. “The big spots are not as plentiful, but the largemouths are more plentiful, so that is helping the tournament weights.”

 

The Spawn is On

Long says the Beaver fish started spawning in early April, but he suspects the tournament will see the continuation of bedding season, as well as some postspawn movement.

“There are going to be a lot of fish that are done spawning and moving out, but there will probably be another wave coming up,” Long says. “I think there’s a good chance it will be a sight-fishing tournament.”

Strader’s also optimistic about this possibility, but he’s keeping an eye on the weather.

“I’m pretty sure it will be a spawning tournament, but the water is rising and the fish tend to stall a little when this happens,” he says. “But if the water stabilizes, the fish might be spawning during the tournament.”

 

Community Holes and Options

The takeoff area in Prairie Creek is usually good for a few bites because of all of the release fish that tarry there – it factors into just about every Tour event that takes place on Beaver. Most anglers keep this area in mind as a safety valve to fill out a limit.

For the first two days of the tournament, Long expects to see anglers fishing a mix of river and main-lake spots, with the latter becoming more prominent later in the event as shallow fish upriver get picked off in the early days of competition.

Strader likes the options that Beaver presents.

“If you want to fish dingy water, you can run up the river. If you want to fish clear water, you go to the dam. If you want to fish the medium clarity, you stay near the Prairie Creek area,” he says.

If the spawn does become the main deal, rock transitions where edges of pea gravel, chunk rock and big boulders meet are the types of targets Strader will seek.

Sight-fishing with tubes, craws and finesse worms is hard to beat, but Strader points to drop-shots and shaky heads as solid Beaver options. Covering water with a spinnerbait can reveal active areas.

For bedding smallies, Long suggests small swimbaits or grubs on light ball-head jigs.

 

What it Takes to Win

Strader says an angler will need 11 to 11 1/4 pounds a day to make the cut and about 14 to 15 a day to win. He’s not looking for any 20-pound bags, but neither he nor Long are ruling out the possibility.

“Twenty-pound bags are not common on Beaver Lake,” Long says. “But if a guy found the right five and he was looking at them, it could happen in a hurry.”

Notably, with a likely mix of the three black bass species, amassing a big sack might be easier than normal.

“If those big smallmouths are on the beds, they could really play in this tournament,” Long explains. “Also, there are some extremely large spotted bass [4- to 5-pounders] that you never see until they come up to spawn.”

Balancing Beaver’s opportunity, Strader points to a couple of relevant considerations.

“The biggest concern I’d say will be weather,” Strader offers. “The river can muddy up pretty quickly, and for anybody who’s up there, this can hinder sight-fishing.”

Tags: beaver-lake  spawn  david-a-brown  pre-tournament  2015-04-23-beaver-lake 

College Fishing Returns June 14

College Fishing Returns June 14

As the tournament season begins to ramp back up across the FLW tournament platforms, Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI is also getting ready to get back in the swing of things come June 14 on Smith Mountain Lake. READ MORE »

Mixed Bags will Play at Neely Henry

Mixed Bags will Play at Neely Henry

Winding north to south on the Coosa River in Alabama, Neely Henry Lake is one of a number of Alabama impoundments famous for feisty spotted bass that love the current. Neely also has largemouths, and depending on where you’re at in the lake and river, there is plenty of grass and wood to fish. READ MORE »

Great Lakes Division Fires Up on Wolf River Chain

Great Lakes Division Fires Up on Wolf River Chain

The Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Great Lakes Division is preparing to get underway on June 13 on the Wolf River Chain of Lakes, and it promises to be a derby predicated on catching good numbers any number of ways. READ MORE »

Angler’s Delight at Eufaula

Angler’s Delight at Eufaula

Kicking off the Southeastern Division of the Toyota Series on Lake Eufaula should be quite the show. Early June at Eufaula offers anglers the chance to catch bass any way they like, from shallow to deep. With as many 4- and 5-pounders as this Chattahoochee River impoundment holds, there should be plenty of fireworks to watch. READ MORE »

Summertime Patterns Taking Over at Dardanelle

Summertime Patterns Taking Over at Dardanelle

Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine competition is returning to Arkansas when the Arkie Division picks up competition with a weekend doubleheader June 13 and 14. READ MORE »

Pickwick Will Produce in a Big Way

Pickwick Will Produce in a Big Way

The second stop of the Toyota Series Central Division ought to be a really good one. Set for Pickwick Lake in late May, the offshore bite ought to be in full swing, with plenty of shallow fish as well. READ MORE »

Pros’ Favorite Shad Spawn Baits

Pros’ Favorite Shad Spawn Baits

With the bass spawn winding down across the South, it’s time to capitalize on the shad-spawn bite. Shad spawn patterns usually don’t last long into the day, but fishing the shad spawn can be a fantastic way to catch a pile of fish and some big ones to boot. READ MORE »

Pros’ Favorite Baits for May

Pros’ Favorite Baits for May

Across the country, May is a great time for fishing, with tons of bass in and around the spawn and a lot of baitfish species spawning as well. With warming water, it’s a great chance to throw a topwater for the first time, or really to do just about whatever you want in some parts of the country. READ MORE »

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Martin

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Martin

The Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit's third stop goes down this week at Lake Martin in Alexander City, Ala. Here's how you can watch the action live. READ MORE »

Practice Report: Lake Martin

Practice Report: Lake Martin

March in Alabama can be boom or bust in terms of weather, but luckily this week’s forecast calls for mostly gorgeous springtime weather for the third stop of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Lake Martin. READ MORE »

Lake Havasu Midday Update – Day 3

Lake Havasu Midday Update – Day 3

It was another slow morning on Lake Havasu at the Toyota Series Western Division opener. Though, that was to be expected. Most of the top 10 pros have had their best luck in the middle of the day and early afternoon. Mornings have been tough. READ MORE »

An Okeechobee Slugfest Could Happen

An Okeechobee Slugfest Could Happen

Pre-tournament optimism can be hard to find, but this year, if the weather holds, the fishing might be really good for the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

College Open Prize Pool Bigger than Ever

College Open Prize Pool Bigger than Ever

The annual Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open returns to Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley in mid-March for the sixth consecutive season. This time around, however, the stakes are even higher, as teams compete for a brand-new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat, 20 spots in the 2021 National Championship and 20 spots in the all-new Major League Fishing College Faceoff presented by Wiley X in Raleigh, N.C., later this spring. READ MORE »

Volunteer Division Starts on Douglas

Volunteer Division Starts on Douglas

The kickoff event of the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Volunteer Division takes place on Douglas Lake on March 7. One of the most scenic lakes in the country, Douglas promises some good prespawn fishing. READ MORE »

Red-Hot Spawn Bite Expected at Havasu

Red-Hot Spawn Bite Expected at Havasu

Spawning bass and spring break will be the story lines at the Toyota Series Western Division opener at Lake Havasu in mid-March. Well, OK … the spawning bass will certainly be the main focus of the anglers. But dealing with traffic from pleasure boaters will definitely contribute to the pros’ decision-making, particularly on the weekend.  READ MORE »

Prespawn Showdown Coming to Ross Barnett

Prespawn Showdown Coming to Ross Barnett

The Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine kicks off its 2020 Mississippi Division schedule at Ross Barnett Reservoir on March 7. Ross Barnett is an annual early season stop for FLW and the first crack at gaining essential points in the race to qualify for this fall’s Regional. This time around, anglers might have to navigate tricky conditions due to a wet and rainy winter. READ MORE »

National Championship Starts This Week

National Championship Starts This Week

With the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event over, the best college fishing teams from across the country are starting practice on the Harris Chain for the 2020 Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI College National Championship presented by Lowrance. READ MORE »

FLW Live Schedule for Harris Chain

FLW Live Schedule for Harris Chain

The 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit picks up with stop No. 2 this week in Leesburg, Fla., at the Harris Chain of Lakes. This tournament is presented by Bad Boy Mowers. With it comes another weekend of FLW Live broadcasts with hosts Travis Moran and Todd Hollowell. READ MORE »

Exploring Harris with Tim Frederick

Exploring Harris with Tim Frederick

To say Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit pro Tim Frederick loves fishing in Florida would be an understatement. The Leesburg local and fifth-year Pro Circuit veteran calls the Harris Chain of Lakes home, and his only FLW win came just a bit farther south on Okeechobee in 2018. After a 22nd-place finish in the Toyota Series Southern Division opener on the St. Johns River last week, Frederick has fully turned his attention to his home bodies of water. READ MORE »

Prespawn Showdown Set for Hartwell

Prespawn Showdown Set for Hartwell

Spring can be one of the best times to launch a boat in the clear waters of Lake Hartwell. That’s why the Georgia-South Carolina border reservoir might be the perfect venue to start the Eastern Division of the Toyota Series on March 3.  READ MORE »