UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Grand Lake

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

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 

Morris Locks up Central Division AOY

Morris Locks up Central Division AOY

It’s not often an angler wins a Strike King Angler of the Year title in a Costa FLW Series division by chance, and while skill is what carried Jake Morris to his first Costa AOY title, chance definitely brought him to the opportunity. READ MORE »

Rampey Stays Red Hot on Hartwell

Rampey Stays Red Hot on Hartwell

After winning a T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Super Tournament on Lake Hartwell a few weeks ago, Jayme Rampey of Liberty, S.C., was certainly one of the favorites heading into the BFL Regional on the same pond this past weekend. Lo and behold, he wouldn’t disappoint, and notched his 11th career BFL win – five of which have come on Hartwell – and won a Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower motor, plus $20,000 cash for his efforts. READ MORE »

Eyes on the Weather at Lake of the Ozarks

Eyes on the Weather at Lake of the Ozarks

Wrapping up the Costa FLW Series Central Division with an early fall stop at Lake of the Ozarks has become a tradition over the last few years. This year, the final stop of the season is presented by Evinrude and takes place Oct. 10-12, which should be good timing for a number of patterns to play. READ MORE »

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 4

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 4

The final five T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Super Tournaments took place over the weekend, bringing BFL regular-season competition to a close. Regional tournaments will kick off Oct. 10, and by the end of the month the majority of the field for the 2020 All-American will be set.  READ MORE »

Transition Time at Grand Lake

Transition Time at Grand Lake

Grand Lake has been flooded for most of the summer, and, as a result, it hasn’t received as much fishing pressure as is typical for one of the premier fisheries in the region. Weights for the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, have the potential to be outstanding for this time of year, but it may all come down to what the weather decides to do leading up to the event. READ MORE »

The Cal Delta is Looking Good

The Cal Delta is Looking Good

This week the Costa FLW Series Western Division will conclude with the final event of the season on the California Delta. The tournament, which is presented by Power-Pole, should showcase a different side of the Delta, given that most of the Western Division tournaments on the famed fishery take place in the spring. That said, last year’s event on the Delta fell on nearly identical dates as this year and could be a good tease for how things may shake out this time around. READ MORE »

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 3

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 3

The third round of T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Super Tournament action saw smallmouths, spotted bass and largemouths all make an appearance as six divisions put a bow on the season with their respective two-day events. Here’s a quick recap of what all played out in the action spanning from the Detroit River down to Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 2

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 2

The second weekend in September saw seven more T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) divisions conclude their seasons with two-day Super Tournament events. From the Tennessee River to the St. Lawrence River and a few places in between, here’s a quick look at how the seven events were won. READ MORE »

Big Smallmouths, Big Water for Season Finale

Big Smallmouths, Big Water for Season Finale

Any tournament with smallmouths in it is a good one, but when the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits heads to the St. Lawrence River it's usually a show-stopper. This year’s event, which is presented by Realtree Fishing, shouldn’t be any different as the Northern Division looks to close its season out on one of the best smallmouth fisheries in the world September 19-21. READ MORE »

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 1

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 1

College football, hooded sweatshirts and the conclusion of the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) regular season are what come to mind as the calendar turns to September. This past weekend, six divisions put a feather in their cap for the year with their two-day Super Tournament events – where the payouts are bigger – but, more importantly, it’s the last chance to accumulate points to qualify for the Regionals this October. READ MORE »

How to Finesse Weed line Largemouths

How to Finesse Weed line Largemouths

When it comes to finesse baits that put fish in the boat, the Ned rig has certainly earned a spot as a go-to for bass anglers across the country. While it catches pretty much everything that swims, most of the attention gets put on catching northern smallmouths or Ozarks-region largemouths and spotted bass with it.   READ MORE »

The Smallmouth-Alewife Connection

The Smallmouth-Alewife Connection

Smallmouths across the Great Lakes region and North Country have no shortage of food to eat, but while they’re very opportunistic, they can also get locked in on certain forage from time to time. One of their favorites, when present, is the alewife. READ MORE »

Another Potomac Rumble Looms

Another Potomac Rumble Looms

Moving south from Lake Champlain, the second stop of the 2019 Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits is on the Potomac River. The tournament, which is presented by Lowrance and runs Aug. 22-24, should offer a fairly standard set of August conditions for the anglers, with plenty of quality largemouths to go around. READ MORE »

Smith Honored with Sportsmanship, Community Leadership Award

Smith Honored with Sportsmanship, Community Leadership Award

Capt. Blake Smith was presented with the 2019 Forrest L. Wood Sportsmanship & Community Leadership Award by the award’s namesake, Forrest Wood, at the 2019 FLW Cup pre-tournament banquet in Hot Springs, Ark. Smith, of Lakeland, Fla., has fished the FLW Tour since 2015. READ MORE »

Day 3 of Practice with Scanlon

Day 3 of Practice with Scanlon

Casey Scanlon won the FLW Tour season finale at Lake Champlain, which he almost had to do to make the FLW Cup. Now that he’s here at Lake Hamilton, he’s got a shot at $300,000 and a possible edge over the competition due to his momentum and extensive Ozark experience. READ MORE »

Hard Lessons and the FLW Cup

Hard Lessons and the FLW Cup

Two terrible tournaments to end the season cost Miles Burghoff his shot at the Polaris Rookie of the Year title. This week at the FLW Cup on Lake Hamilton, he's hoping to apply the lessons learned at the end of the season to his preparation for the championship event. READ MORE »

Thrift Roams Hamilton on Day 2

Thrift Roams Hamilton on Day 2

In seemingly any tournament that Bryan Thrift shows up to he is without a doubt one of the favorites to win. With two FLW Tour Angler of the Year titles, six Tour wins and five Costa FLW Series wins – including his most recent on Lake Champlain just a few weeks ago – it’s easy to understand why. READ MORE »

Riding Around Practice on Day 2

Riding Around Practice on Day 2

In a Ranger Z520L with a 250-hp Evinrude G2, it takes about 15 minutes to run from Carpenter Dam, which impounds Lake Hamilton, to the Blakely Mountain Dam that separates Hamilton from Lake Ouachita. If you stop and chat with 11 pros along the way, however, you’ll need most of the morning, but you’ll also wind up with a pretty sound idea of what’s going on at Hamilton for this week’s FLW Cup. READ MORE »

The First Morning with B. Lat

The First Morning with B. Lat

You won’t hear Brian Latimer complain about hot weather and tough fishing in Arkansas during this week’s FLW Cup at Lake Hamilton. For B. Lat, sweating it out on the water is vastly better than working in the heat installing landscaping and mowing lawns for a living, which is what he was doing just a few years ago. A lot’s changed since those days. Now, Latimer is an FLW Tour champion, with a growing fishing media company and his first shot at a Cup title. READ MORE »

Review: Storm 360GT Largo Shad

Review: Storm 360GT Largo Shad

While the 360GT Searchbait made some noise in the bass world, the Coastal line offers a swimbait that looks more than juicy for bass of all shapes and sizes. Enter the Largo Shad. After hearing some rumors about how good the swimbait is – and even some comparisons to Keitechs – I got my hands on a few packs and took them for a test ride. READ MORE »