UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir


Dirty Water has them Biting on Beaver

When the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Jack Link’s kicks off Thursday morning on Beaver Lake it will be under pretty atypical conditions for the Ozark impoundment.

Thanks to a wintertime flood that has left a line of driftwood and trash visible well above the normal shores of Beaver, the lake is significantly more colored than in years past.

“There’s probably close to half of the lake affected somewhat by colored water,” says Old Spice pro Greg Bohannan, who calls Beaver home and has seen about every up and down the lake has to offer. “Normally there is a little stain in the rivers, and you can see 10 feet down at the dam. Now, the midsection of the lake is pretty dirty, and you can see maybe 5 feet down there.”

Despite the dirtier water, some things are still the same. Up War Eagle Creek and the White River, where the tournament was won the last two seasons, the water color has returned to normal. There, normal is simply a comfortable stain that puts fish fairly shallow and gives anglers a little extra cover. Additionally, the water level is right on par with average. While there is certainly plenty of wood in the water, the lake isn’t flooded up into the trees, and there won’t be a picnic table pattern in play this week.

What might be in play is some awesome fishing.

“Throughout the winter the lake has fished as good as it’s fished since it ever existed,” says Bohannan. “It took 22 pounds to win one tournament about a month ago, and 13 pounds had you in 75th. It’s probably not quite that good now, but I still think we’ll see some of the heaviest weights we’ve seen since we’ve been coming here.”

Bohannan might well be right. Early reports have the lake fishing very well. Zack Birge and Gerald Spohrer are smoking them according to Snapchat, and from Matt Arey to Luke Dunkin, social media reports show that nobody is having trouble getting bites. With the dirtier water, power-fishing baits and techniques are much more in place, and many fish are shallower, less prone to suspend in the standing timber and more accessible than ever.

“You won’t seen near the usual dominance of finesse techniques,” projects Bohannan. “It’s going to be a power-fishing game, and I’d say it’ll be won power fishing with a spinnerbait or a square bill and not a shaky head with 6-pound-test line.”

Clark Reehm believes that Beaver Lake right now offers a rough parallel to a 2012 Bassmaster Elite Series tournament held in mid-April on Bull Shoals. There, he says an algae bloom colored the water somewhat and put a huge number of fish on the bank and within easy reach of a crankbait. For Reehm and many others who cashed checks, the event was about covering water and weeding through dozens of bass to catch five good ones. Brandon Palaniuk ended up winning that event, fishing somewhat against the grain off the bank in deeper water with a crankbait, so even if the fishing is easy right on the bank, it might not be the route to a win.

When Arey banked his first win on Beaver in 2014, he concentrated on more colored water with a jig. Though he was fishing fairly tight to the bank, he wasn’t moving fast or catching 30 or 40 fish per day. Even if catches are still easy to come by on tournament day, the slow-and-steady approach likely still has merit.

Regardless of exactly how the tournament is won, it sure seems like we’re headed for an epic week on Beaver Lake.

Tags: jody-white  pre-tournament  2016-04-14-beaver-lake 


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