Fishing conditions were bad enough Thursday and Friday with high water and debris. Heavy rain and lightning, as if Zeus himself was throwing the bolts, added to the challenge on Saturday.
The FLW Tour event went on as scheduled. Some anglers at Saturday’s weigh-in said they took shelter during the worst of the storm.
Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C.was not one of those fishermen.
“It was fun out there today. I fished right through the storm and caught a lot of smallmouths, sometimes one on every cast,” Thrift said. He weighed five bass Saturday that totaled 9 pounds, 9 ounces and is in seventh place.
Weigh-in today is at 4 p.m., at Prairie Creek park. The FLW expo is from noon to 4 p.m. at Prairie Creek. The winner gets $125,000.
Cagey Beaver Lake bass
The mantra this FLW week has been that the bass don’t bite the same two days in a row. Scott Ashmore of Broken Arrow, Okla., and Tim Frederick of Leesburg, Fla., proved it on Saturday.
Frederick found a hot pattern late Friday and couldn’t wait to get on the lake today. When he returned to his honey hole Saturday, he found the water had turned muddy. The fish were gone.
Ashmore said he caught a lot of bass Friday but didn’t get a bite on Saturday until the last hour of fishing. Neither angler made the top 10.
Few bites, big fish
John Cox of Debary, Fla., isn’t catching a lot of fish, but he’s in fourth place and is gunning for that $125,000 check.
“I’m only getting five or six bites a day, but they’re all from good fish,” Cox said.
He had a quality five bass limit on Saturday that weighed 12 pounds, 1 ounces, the second heaviest limit weighed Saturday behind Johnny McCombs’ catch of 18 pounds, 15 ounces.
Going for two
Scott Canterbury of Springville, Ala., is in the hunt to win his second consecutive Beaver Lake FLW Tour event. He won in 2016 and is in sixth place going into today’s final round.
“I fished upstream in the muddy water,” Canterbury said Saturday. “That’s where I’ll go tomorrow — if I can get under the highway 12 bridge.”
Canterbury’s five-fish weight Saturday was 11 pounds, 10 ounces.
Matt Arey is the only FLW pro to win back to back at Beaver. He won in 2014 and 2015.
Splitting the uprights
Keith Bryan of Novato, Calif., is glad to be fishing in Arkansas. In fact, he’s trying to move here.
Bryan played football at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia in 1984-85. He was a field goal kicker and an All American his senior year.
He sits in eighth place and weighed five bass at 9 pounds, 4 ounces on Saturday.
Fishing League Worldwide is the largest bass fishing tournament organization in the world, according to the FLW website. FLW provides anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2017 across five tournament circuits.
Headquartered in Benton, Ky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 274 bass fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea.
In February, FLW established a new record for the largest college bass fishing tournament when 248 teams participated in the Yeti FLW College Fishing Southern Conference tournament at Lake Guntersville, Ala.
Event benefits children’s hospital
The tournament ends today, but several FLW pros will fish at Beaver Lake for a good cause on Monday during the Will Fish For Kids tournament to benefit Northwest Arkansas Children’s Hospital being built in Springdale.
People pay a $1,000 entry fee to fish with an FLW pro. Profits go to the dental unit of the hospital, said Joe Opager with FLW.
Sports on 04/30/2017