UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Pickwick Lake

5 Pros to Watch at Beaver Lake

5 Pros to Watch at Beaver Lake
Walmart pro David Dudley is hoping for some Beaver Lake magic as he makes a move down the lake.

The halfway point for the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour season is fast approaching as the Tour makes its annual trek to Beaver Lake. The third stop on the schedule is important because it reveals the real contenders in the Angler of the Year race as well as provides a better idea of who will be in contention to punch their tickets to the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita this August.

This tournament, which is presented by Rayovac, should shape up a little differently than recent Tour events held on the White River impoundment. With the tournament being held later in April, the consensus is that fish will be found in all three stages of the spawn. Sight-fishing the clear waters of Beaver Lake will likely be a factor, however, recent heavy rains have dirtied the water of nearly half the lake, which could make that pattern difficult if it doesn’t settle out before the tournament starts.

Regardless, bass of all three species will be found roaming the shallow cover in the backs of the pockets and rivers. Many anglers believe that similar baits as we saw used on Lewis Smith Lake will also play on Beaver, including swimbaits, wacky rigs, jerkbaits and jigs. Realistically, the field should be able to catch fish however it feels comfortable.

The Beaver Lake fishery has improved dramatically over the years, and the weights reflect that. This tournament should be no different, as another winning weight of near 60 pounds is likely. With that in mind, let’s take a look at five pros who should be on your radar this week.

If you haven’t finalized your FLW Fantasy Fishing team, there’s still time. Head over to FantasyFishing.com to make your picks.

 

1. David Dudley

Walmart pro David Dudley tells the crowd about his tournament strategy.

Beaver Lake is practically tailor-made for a guy like three-time Angler of the Year David Dudley. It’s a place where an angler can get dialed in on a pattern and replicate it throughout the lake, which is what Dudley does best. For proof just look at his finishes on Beaver over the last four years: third, 21st, first and ninth. Dudley loves to fish a wacky worm and utilizes it almost every time he comes to Beaver. His uncanny knack to adapt on the fly makes him one of the best in the game, and it becomes especially important in the Ozarks in April.

Fantasy Verdict: His price, $37, reflects the fact that Dudley is heavily favored. But don’t let that drive you away. Embrace it, and build your team around one of the best in professional fishing.

 

2. Wesley Strader

Strader slings another cast.

He’s currently leading the Angler of the Year race, but not by much. While Beaver Lake isn’t exactly his cup of tea, Wesley Strader does love fishing shallow, and he’ll get that opportunity this time around. His 14th-place finish on Lewis Smith should have given him a little confidence going into Beaver Lake since the two lakes are relatively similar. Like Dudley, Strader is great at following his instincts to adapt throughout the tournament, and that will be extremely helpful at Beaver. He has some serious momentum on his side after getting off to one of the best starts to a season of his career, so look for Strader to separate himself from the pack in this tournament.

Fantasy Verdict: At $33, Strader is a perfect pick if you’re looking for a well-rounded angler who has a hot hand.

 

3. Adrian Avena

By the light of his Rigids, Adrian Avena rigs up for the first morning.

Adrian Avena is in his fourth year on the Walmart FLW Tour and has shown that he has what it takes to make it in this industry. He’s had solid finishes in the AOY race as well as on Beaver Lake. Avena currently sits in eighth place in the points and has shown to be consistent this year by placing 24th and 18th, respectively, at Toho and Smith. “Jersey Boy” thrives in an environment where he can run a lot of water and keep plenty of rods on the deck, so Beaver Lake will be the perfect playground for him to crack the top 10. Beaver Lake has been the venue for many up-and-coming anglers to make their mark in this sport over the years, and 2015 could be Avena’s time.

Fanatsy Verdict: For $29, Avena is a strong mid-priced addition to a fantasy team.

 

4. Clark Wendlandt

Clark Wendlandt inched his way to the number two position at the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake after catching one of the three 17-pound sacks weighed in on day two. His sack tipped the scale at 17-5.

After dropping out of the final leg of the Tour last year due to a heart attack, Clark Wendlandt is back in full force. He had one of his best finishes in years on Lewis Smith, and he is looking to replicate that on Beaver. In fact, Wendlandt used to be known as Mr. Beaver Lake because of how dominant he was on the lake. Now after finding what seems like a new breath of air, it appears that Wendlandt is ready to reclaim that nickname. Aside from the wealth of knowledge Wendlandt holds on Beaver, he is also a phenomenal sight-fisherman. If the fish are strong on beds he could put on a clinic. He also has the ability to get on fish that are staging or have just finished spawning in the same areas – much like he did on Smith Lake. Look for this three-time AOY winner to teach the younger members of the field a thing or two in this tournament.

Fantasy Verdict: Surprisingly, $34 is lower than expected for this savvy veteran on a lake that he has dominated over the years. With the roll he is on, it could be a smart play to add Wendlandt on your roster.

 

5. Stacey King

Pro Stacey King holds one of the giants he caught on day one of the FLW Tour on Lake Toho. King ended his first event back from cancer in fourth place and was the feel-good story of the week.

Another veteran who is back on Tour after a medical hiatus is Stacey King. This Ozark stud got his year off to a fantastic start on Toho, though he slipped a little on Smith. The good news for King is that Beaver Lake is practically home. He lives just up the road on Table Rock Lake. If King has been out on Table Rock recently, he will likely have an idea of what the bass on Beaver are up to, considering they’re similar fisheries located near each other. King has several top-10 finishes on Beaver, and his ability to slow down and thoroughly work areas with a jig or finesse worm is a big factor as to why he has done so well on this Ozark fishery.

Fantasy Verdict: King’s worth his $33 salary based on his knowledge and experience, which make choosing him a safe bet to rack up some big points for any fantasy team.

 

Tags: beaver-lake  kyle-wood  pre-tournament  2015-04-23-beaver-lake 

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