High water, tough fishing
Rising water at Beaver Lake threw a knuckleball at anglers on Thursday, the opening day of the Walmart FLW Tour bass tournament. That makes conditions and catching fish tougher than last year’s FLW contest.
Log jams in the water prevent anglers from fishing much of the south end of the lake. FLW pro Greg Bohannan of Bentonville said he motored as far south as Monte Ne and turned his boat around. No way was he traveling into that forest of floating trees and logs.
“I just turned around and fished some places that I’ve always liked and caught fish,” Bohannan said. He finished Thursday with five bass at 10 pounds, 8 ounces and is in 33rd place.
Tough lake to pattern
Pro division leader Cody Meyer weighed five bass Thursday that weighed 16 pounds, 1 ounce. He won’t count on catching today the way he did Thursday.
“I’ve been here so many times I know how this place is,” he said from the weigh-in stage. “I caught ’em today but I could go out tomorrow and not get a bite.”
Weigh-master Daniel Fennel summed it up. This year, it’s anybody’s tournament to win.
Bass need to get with it
FLW pro Tracy Adams of Wilkesboro, N.C., had a different take on the tough fishing. It’s not the anglers, it’s the fish.
“These bass just aren’t adjusting to this high water like they should,” he said, tongue in cheek. “They need to get on the stick.”
Adams weighed five bass Thursday that totaled 8 pounds, 14 ounces.
Arkansas well represented
Four Arkansas co-anglers are in the top 10 going into today’s fishing.
Scotty Villines of Ponca sits in fifth place with five bass at 9 pounds, 12 ounces. Scott Parsons of Rogers is in seventh with three bass at 9 pounds, 1 ounce. Scott Easter of Gentry is in eighth place with four bass at 8 pounds, 8 ounces. Steven Meador of Bentonville is in 10th with five bass at 8 pounds, 6 ounces.
Five more Arkansas co-anglers are in the top 20.
Get a seat, bring a lawn chair
Thursday’s opening round was seen by a sizable crowd at Prairie Creek park. Today’s weigh-in is at 3 p.m. at Prairie Creek. There is no charge and the Army Corps of Engineers has waived the day use fee to enter the park for today’s weigh in.
Fishing fans may want to bring a folding chair. FLW provides chairs, but there are more fishing fans than seats at the start of the weigh-in.
Good treats to eat
Rogers Noon Kiwanis has a concession stand at Prairie Creek for the tournament. FLW anglers lined up for pulled pork sandwiches, soft drinks and other treats sold by the Kiwanis group for their worthwhile projects.
Big bass won’t bite
FLW angler Tim Frederick told the best story at Thursday’s weigh in.
“Late in the day I saw this bass under a dock. I started fishing for it on one side of the dock. Nothing. Then I went to the other side of the dock. When I got there I saw the bass was on a stringer.”
Fishing for the weekend
Scott Canterbury of Springville, Ala., won the 2016 FLW tournament at Beaver Lake. He weighed five bass at 9 pounds, 5 ounces on Thursday and sits in 55th place.
Matt Arey of Shelby, N.C., is the only angler to win two consecutive Beaver Lake FLW tournaments. He won in 2014 and 2015 and placed seventh last year. He’s in 19th place going into today. Arey weighed five bass Thursday totaling 11 pounds, 9 ounces.
Mark Rose of West Memphis won the first two FLW Tour tournaments of the 2017 season. He’s the only angler in FLW history to win two in a row. Rose is in 39th place with his Thursday catch of five bass at 9 pounds, 15 ounces.
The top 20 pros advance to Saturday’s competition. The field is cut to the top 10 for the final day on Sunday.
Sports on 04/28/2017