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Beaver Lake Top 5 Patterns Day 2

Beaver Lake Top 5 Patterns Day 2
Jason Reyes

California pro Cody Meyer has a stellar track record at Beaver Lake that includes two top-10 finishes, and he has already secured another top-20 finish at the northwest Arkansas impoundment this week.

However, as much as Meyer would like to finally turn a quality finish at Beaver Lake into his first-ever FLW Tour win, he’s realistic about his chances and knows he’s at the mercy of Mother Nature’s wrath and a crew of 19 other hammers who are within one or two quality bites of his lead. On the weather front, severe thunderstorms are forecast for the Rogers, Ark., area on Saturday and Sunday, prompting a flash flood warning for the region Friday evening and threatening to raise the water level even more. It’s already come up about 9 feet in the last week. On the competitive front, Texan Jason Reyes is just 3 ounces behind Meyer.

Meyer has relied mostly on smallmouths, with a kicker largemouth or two each day, but the smallmouth pattern has nearly fizzled out. He’s fishing a tube, drop-shot, swimbait and flipping baits. Here’s how the rest of the top five got it done on Friday at the FLW Tour event at Beaver Lake presented by General Tire.

Meyer’s leading pattern

Complete results

 

Jason Reyes

2. Jason Reyes – Huffman, Texas – 28-6 (10)   

Jason Reyes is hot on Meyer’s heels and in contention for his first FLW Tour win thanks to a 14-pound, 9-ounce limit that was the day’s fourth-best catch.

Reyes, of Huffman, Texas, is targeting fish that are starting to move up, but he’s not fishing as shallow as some of his competitors. But he’s not really fishing “out,” either.

“I’m fishing the old shoreline mostly,” says Reyes, referring to the shoreline area from before the water level jumped up recently.

He’s catching prespawn and postspawn bass, as well as some spawners, and his catch today was entirely comprised of largemouths.

“I’m fishing about three baits: mostly flipping, a little swimbait and a shaky head,” he says. “Nothing secret at all, just basic stuff.”

Reyes’ best hope to catch Meyer rests on one of his “two or three key areas” that he thinks is starting to replenish. He went there first thing this morning and caught a 5-pounder, then returned in the afternoon and caught two more keepers that came to weigh-in. In between, he fished an area that produced on day one. If he’s right and more fish are coming to him, Reyes is in great shape going into the weekend.

 

Dean Alexander

3. Dean Alexander – Georgetown, Texas – 26-3 (10)  

Texan Dean Alexander was one of the last pros to weigh-in on day two, so he took advantage of his late boat draw to put together a 16-pound, 4-ounce limit that was the second round’s biggest haul and propelled him from 39th to third.

“It seems like they just finally started coming up,” he says. “I stayed in one creek and caught a good one early on a crankbait that seemed like it was staging to move up.”

That fish prompted Alexandar to pick up a Yamamoto Senko and start working trash mats in the backs of pockets. He also fished a lizard and wore out some smaller fish with a crankbait. The slower pitching baits outdid moving baits, though.

Alexander says he’s not running his pattern all around the lake, and though he’s on good quality fish, a lot of his success will have to do with the weekend weather.

“I’ve really been hammering them in three pretty small areas,” he says. “If they don’t bite [tomorrow] I’ll have to hunt and peck around the lake. If the lake doesn’t rise and the water doesn’t get cold I think there are more fish to be caught.”

 

Brandon McMillan

4. Brandon McMillan – Clewiston, Fla. – 24-13 (10)

Photo from day one

Though Brandon McMillan is fishing only his third full season on the FLW Tour, he’s already developed the sandbagging skills of a veteran pro. To ask the Florida pro about his success this week, he’d nonchalantly tell you he’s not really on anything – “just flipping the bank.” To dig a little deeper, it becomes clear that he’s actually pretty dialed in on how to get quality bites in his key area – the one area being his limiting factor. Today, he dialed in on a key bait change to catch 12 pounds, 11 ounces to add to his 12-2 day-one bag.

“I’ve just got one area that I’m fishing. That’s it,” he says. “I picked up a SPRO Bronzeye Frog today and got four or five bites on it. I hadn’t thrown it at all in practice or on day one.”

Previously, McMillan was flipping, and that’s what produced his biggest bite today. He also had what would have been an even bigger kicker chase a flipping jig back to the boat but not eat. So he’s definitely around some good bass. He suspects that the fish were a little more willing to bite the topwater frog today because the water has leveled off and they’ve started settling into shallow cover, with some good ones setting up on beds. That’s an opinion shared by several of the other top 10 pros.

Tomorrow, he says he’ll adjust as necessary but plans to stick with the area that brought him to the top 20.

“I’m not running new water right now because I tried to do that yesterday, because I caught them early, and I didn’t have a bite,” McMillan adds.         

 

Nick Gainey

5. Nick Gainey – Charleston, S.C. – 24-5 (10)

Photo from day one

Rising waters forced most of the pros to make adjustments to their tournament game planes between practice and day one. For South Carolina’s Nick Gainey, the adjustment didn’t require a location change or complete scramble. He simply slid up into the newly flooded waters.

“In practice I was catching them good on a wacky worm in front of the bushes,” he says. “On the first day I went to my best stuff, and they [the bushes] were all under water. I kept getting hung up.”

Gainey countered by flipping a jig into the bushes, where he was able to reconnect with the fish. He wound up catching four of his five day-two keepers on a shaky head fished on 8-pound-test in small bushy pockets off creeks, starting halfway back in the creeks and working his way clear to the farthest reaches.

“The backs of some of those pockets are just filthy,” he says. “They’re trashed, but they [the bass] are still there.”

Where the “trash” is too thick, Gainey flips the jig. He adjustment produced an 11-pound, 1-ounce five-bass limit today and has him 4-4 off the lead.

Tags: curtis-niedermier  headline-story  2017-04-27-beaver-lake 

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