Live now : TACKLE WAREHOUSE PRO CIRCUIT 2020 Harris Chain

Walmart FLW Tour Preview: Beaver Lake

Walmart FLW Tour Preview: Beaver Lake
Randy Blaukat of Joplin, Mo., snared fourth place overall with a total catch of 20 pounds, 3 ounces during the first day of Grand Lake competition.

Editor's Note: The writer's opinions and observations expressed here are his own, and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views, policies or positions of FLW.

After the bitter cold much of the nation experienced during the past winter, the dogwoods of April will be a welcome sight for the Walmart FLW Tour anglers arriving at Beaver Lake this weekend. With the exceptions of just a couple events, April is traditionally the month that the Walmart FLW Tour stops at Beaver, and it's become one of the more predictable destinations.

Despite such regular visits, from year to year anglers often find different conditions to test their skills. Sometimes the water is high; in other years, low. Some April events at Beaver have been prespawn, with others have occurred right on the spawn, and even a few in the postspawn. The spawn is several weeks behind schedule in most lakes around the country this year, and Beaver is no exception. The 2014 Walmart FLW Tour presented by Rayovac will be dominated by prespawn techniques. The pros will see Beaver a couple of feet low, with water temperatures in the 50-degree range, depending on what part of the lake they're fishing.

Since we've visited Beaver so many times in past springs, the methods and areas anglers choose will be fairly predictable. Next week, all the anglers will be faced with the following choices:

• Do I go down the lake where the fishing pressure is less, even though fishing in that clear water is so dependent on wind and clouds?
• Do I stay around Prairie Creek and take a number to fish a bank in the zoo that is the release area?
• Do I go up the river and go after the very unpredictable and reclusive river fish?

Such are the questions of those who fish Beaver Lake each year and, depending upon an angler's style, the answer usually involves one of the three options mentioned above.

The 2013 Tour event had inflated weights because umbrella rigs were allowed then. They're not now, so I look for the weights to be down a bit from what we saw last year. Look for the top 20 cut to be around 25 or 26 pounds, and the 60th place $10,000 check weight to be approximately 19 or 21 pounds.

There will be several dominating patterns. If we have some wind and clouds, jerkbaits and squarebills will account for some good catches. Light winds and abundant sunshine will see shaky heads, drop-shots and grubs bringing in the consistent limits.

Speaking of shaky heads, you can never underestimate their effectiveness on Beaver. It's one of the few lakes we visit where you can win with it. Consequently, I expect half of the top 10 to have relied on shaky heads to make their way into the finals.

While the shaky head will produce from one end of the lake to the other, power-fishing on Beaver is very conditional on the weather. It's a gamble, but it's a good gamble if things line up right. Most pros are like amateur meteorologists, and will study the extended forecasts in great detail before deciding to go big.

Power-fishing with shallow crankbaits, spinnerbaits and various flipping baits could win this event, especially if an angler can survive massive pounding that 180 of the best bass anglers in the world will inflict on the lake during the first two days.

Given this, the winning technique will be totally dependent upon the weather, and we can't control that. At this time, it looks like we're in for normal winds, partly cloudy skies and air temperatures a bit on the cool side. If conditions stay as they are, I see half of the top 10 making it with a spinning rod, the other half by fishing skinny water.

Regardless, the Walmart FLW Tour anglers once again will experience what has become almost a spring ritual for us: trying to coax reluctant bass to bite while enjoying the beauty of Beaver Lake's rugged shoreline and clear water.

Best of luck to everyone!

Tags: randy-blaukat  blog 

Carrying Momentum into Florida

Carrying Momentum into Florida

Despite the solid start to the year, and the confidence that comes with overcoming adversity, Miles Burghoff knows very well how a good start to a season can either create positive momentum, or open the door to complacency, which often can result in a loss of motivation and focus. With the Harris Chain event kicking off this week, he's determined to keep that focus and motivation. READ MORE »

New Year, Same Feel

New Year, Same Feel

Ending 2019 on a bad note wasn’t how I pictured last season going. I was in contention to qualify for the FLW Cup going into the last FLW Tour event on Lake Champlain, but after coming in 97th at the finale I finished the season 51st in the Angler of the Year points and missed my chance for the Cup. Not going to lie, it stung a little bit and made for a LONG drive home, but it also made me hungry for 2020. READ MORE »

Vlog: Rayburn Recap, Practice to Pattern

Vlog: Rayburn Recap, Practice to Pattern

Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit pro Josh Douglas and his wife, Bri, created this baller recap video from Sam Rayburn and the first Pro Circuit event of 2020. In the video, which includes footage from practice and the tournament, Josh dishes on how he used his practice time to eventually uncover a productive trap pattern that helped him earn a 42nd-place finish, which is a big improvement on the 114th he posted at Rayburn in the 2019 FLW Tour event. READ MORE »

Why You Shouldn’t Second-Guess Your Gut

Why You Shouldn’t Second-Guess Your Gut

In tournament fishing, you can beat yourself up for days with the “what if” scenarios that cause you to second-guess your gut. Well, in this case, I guessed wrong. I finished the Lake Champlain event in 145th place. It knocked me all the way down to 60th in points and out of Cup contention. READ MORE »

More Fishing, More Focus in 2020

More Fishing, More Focus in 2020

People talk a lot about the offseason in professional bass fishing, but when you do this for a living you pretty quickly realize there really isn’t much of an offseason anymore. READ MORE »

New Challenges, New Opportunities

New Challenges, New Opportunities

Now with 2019 in the rear-view mirror, 2020 is in the crosshairs, and I look forward to the challenges ahead. With the rebranding of the Tour to the new FLW Pro Circuit, there are some great new opportunities that both fans and competitors will benefit from. READ MORE »

Why I Chose FLW

Why I Chose FLW

My name is Richard Dunham, but most people know me as Dicky D. I currently live in Palm Harbor Florida where I work for the Folsom Corporation, one of the largest fishing distributors in the country. In 2020 I am fishing as a boater in Southern Division of the FLW Series. READ MORE »

Prepping for the 2020 Fishing Season

Prepping for the 2020 Fishing Season

This is one of my favorite times of the year, the (not so) calm before the storm before the tournament season kicks off down south in January. READ MORE »

I’m Signed up and Ready to Go

I’m Signed up and Ready to Go

Following a great season in 2019, I just signed up for the FLW Pro Circuit for 2020. Foremost, I’m excited about the opportunities that are being provided by MLF and FLW. I see overall growth in the platform as we strive to be a bigger and better industry. READ MORE »

FLW Foundation Volunteers Have a Big Impact on Youth

FLW Foundation Volunteers Have a Big Impact on Youth

For the past several years, the FLW Foundation has been working diligently on a mission to introduce young people to their local natural resources. One strategy employed by the Foundation is to host free youth fishing derbies across the country. READ MORE »

4 Easy Ways to Store Soft Plastics

4 Easy Ways to Store Soft Plastics

One of the easiest and most controllable ways to save time and be efficient on the water is to keep tackle organized and accessible. Hard baits are easy to organize in Plano boxes, but soft plastics can sometimes cause a bit of a headache. Here are some tips for doing it based on how I go about tackling the issue.  READ MORE »

How to Land More Bass

How to Land More Bass

My technique for fighting a bass depends significantly on the equipment – my Dobyns rod, Ardent reel, Seaguar line and Cornerstone Baits – that I’m using at the time. READ MORE »

God, Grace, Grit

God, Grace, Grit

Life isn’t always easy, and we all find ourselves in situations that seem impossible to overcome. But with God, grace and grit we have not only persevered, we have risen. And we are continuing to rise together, and can commit to uplifting one another along the way. No matter what you are going through on or off the water, know that with God, grace and grit, but most of all God, anything is possible. READ MORE »

How to Prepare for Big Water 

How to Prepare for Big Water 

As many of you know, fishing big water for giant smallmouths is my favorite type of fishing. Competing on the Great Lakes, 1000 Islands, St. Clair, Champlain and other big Northern fisheries is not for the faint of heart. Sometimes it gets rough, which is why it’s critical that you have the correct equipment and understand how to use it. READ MORE »

How to be a Pro Angler 

How to be a Pro Angler 

I get a lot of questions from young and old anglers alike about the steps to becoming a pro. I guess maybe sometimes I take it for granted. The process seems somewhat obvious to me. How to execute on it might not be simple, but the steps you need to take really are. There are only a couple of ways to get into this sport, and they all start at the grassroots level, in $200 and $300 tournaments.  READ MORE »

Introducing Myself

Introducing Myself

I want to start off by telling you a little bit about myself. I grew up in Pennsylvania about 45 minutes north of Philadelphia. I grew up fishing for whatever would bite with my grandfather and in middle school I had a friend who started taking me with his dad down to the Chesapeake Bay. That was my first time ever on a bass boat, and I was immediately hooked! READ MORE »

Riding the Roller Coaster

Riding the Roller Coaster

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog, although it seems like the last one was just yesterday. This season has flown by, and I finally have some down time before the last stop on the FLW Tour at Lake Champlain. This Tour season has been full of ups and downs, and I’ve learned a lot. READ MORE »

The History of the Drop-Shot

The History of the Drop-Shot

FLW Tour pro James Niggemeyer recalls his first introduction to the drop-shot, as well as what came before it and how he developed his tackle to have better success with this capable finesse bass bait. READ MORE »

From Dead Last to Making Money

From Dead Last to Making Money

If you were hanging out with me at the FLW Tour event on Seminole recently, you would have thought I won the tournament. I was congratulated by every pro I saw, and they were being genuine. READ MORE »

Fishing the Worst Conditions

Fishing the Worst Conditions

Watching giant bags of bass caught down in Texas and Florida on FLW Live during FLW Tour events has many anglers dying to get on the water. The only problem is that a lot of people are still facing some of the toughest conditions for catching a bass – cold, muddy, moving water.   READ MORE »