UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Potomac River

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Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 1
Ouch! The one that got away from pro Bryan Thrift; let's hope it doesn't cost too much on day one of the FLW Tour on Beaver Lake.

Though there were plenty of fish caught off beds at Beaver Lake on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac, the top five is rounded out by a group of anglers who relied on sight-fishing very little.

Opinions on where exactly bass are in the spawning cycle at Beaver Lake vary greatly from angler to angler, but a few common denominators did come to light on day one.

For starters, most agree that one major spawning cycle has already occurred. Plenty of empty beds and a lot of gaunt, postspawn fish at the scale were evidence of that. Second, there are still some bass (of all species) trying to spawn, but the ones left on beds are extremely wary. Finally, the order of difficulty to catch each species ranks as follows: smallmouth bass – extremely easy; spotted bass – not as easy; largemouth bass – extremely difficult.

Jacob Wheeler figured out the spawning largemouths well enough to take the day-one lead with 15 pounds, 14 ounces. Click here to read about his day.

Here’s how the rest of the top five got it done.

 

2. Bryan Thrift – 15 pounds, 9 ounces

Some anglers, including runner-up Bryan Thrift, believe the fish they are catching are spawning, but they’re not looking at them.

Thrift weighed in 15 pounds, 9 ounces today, and his species mix included two smallmouths and three largemouths, all of which he did not see when he caught them.

“I did sight-fish a little today and lost a 5-pounder after I got it to bite,” Thrift says. “Other than that, I just caught them fishing slowly in areas where they should be spawning in 5 to 10 feet. But instead of getting right up there and trying to see them, I feel my chances are better by backing way off and casting up there where they should be. It’s just such a slow way to fish, and I’m not real tolerant of that.”

 

3. (tie) Matt Arey – 14 pounds, 14 ounces

Last year’s Beaver Lake champion Matt Arey is looking to defend his title this week. Though Arey is tied for third and in contention, he says the way he is fishing is completely different this year.

“Last year, those were prespawn to spawn fish,” says the Quaker State pro. “This year, the way I’m fishing is much more of a spawn to postspawn pattern.”

Arey had all largemouths today, and only one came from pure sight-fishing.

“I looked down the lake for a couple of days of practice and found some,” Arey says. “But I just didn’t think it could be won that way. So I came back up here in the river and started to put together a little pattern late on the third day of practice, and it seems to be working. Certainly, if I come across a spawner I’ll fish for it. But bed-fishing is a secondary thing for me.”

 

3. (tie) Scott Canterbury – 14 pounds, 14 ounces

Ironically, another Quaker State pro, Scott Canterbury, also caught 14 pounds, 14 ounces on day one and is tied with Arey for third place.

Canterbury, too, says he gave sight-fishing an honest effort for two days of practice but didn’t find enough fish to make anything out of it. So he went back to quintessential Canterbury: running and gunning for largemouths.

“I went up into the river today like it was another practice day.” Canterbury says. “I ran some old memories up there and also fished some places where I’ve never wet a line. In fact, my best fish today came from a place I’ve never seen before.”

Canterbury did say two of his fish came sight-fishing today, but only because he unintentionally ran across them.

“The river is a lot clearer this year, so every now and then I’ll see a fish and mess with it for a minute,” he adds. “Two of the ones I weighed in did come sight-fishing, but it’s not like that’s what I was trying to do.”

 

5. Cody Meyer – 14 pounds, 7 ounces

Rayovac pro Cody Meyer is the only angler in the top five who caught his limit entirely by sight-fishing today. He marked four nice smallmouths during practice and caught all of them first thing this morning before finishing his limit with a spotted bass.

“I’ve pretty much caught all the ones I had on beds,” Meyer says. “So I’m just going fishing tomorrow. I caught plenty of fish today – probably 10 keepers – but there is just no size to the ones I’m catching that way. Maybe I’ll find another smallmouth or two tomorrow.”

 

Complete Results

Click here for complete results.

Tags: flw-tour  beaver-lake  rob-newell  headline-story  2015-04-23-beaver-lake 

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