A cold and blustery morning greeted anglers this morning for the start of the Walmart FLW Tour at Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. After the field of 154 anglers had crossed the weigh-in stage, pro Jacob Wheeler of Indianapolis, Indiana, stood alone atop the leaderboard after bringing a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 15 pounds, 14 ounces. Wheeler will begin day two with a slim 5-ounce lead in the four-day event, hosted by the Rogers Convention and Visitors Bureau, that features the best bass-fishing anglers in the world competing for a top cash award of up to $125,000.
“I went out with a game plan today and stuck with it,” said Wheeler, the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup Champion. “I caught a couple of key fish and really just had the right bites today. I got lucky with a nice 4-pounder, and that was the difference maker for me.”
Wheeler said that he caught eight keepers throughout the day on four different baits. He said three of his fish were caught by sight-fishing, including the 4-pounder.
“The fish that are on the beds here are very moody. One day they’re ready to bite, and then the next day they are not. I have five or six more fish that I think are 3½- to 4-pounders marked, so if I can catch them throughout the next few days I should be able to weigh a good bag.
“I’m fishing a 20-mile stretch of the lake and I’m running to a lot of different spots,” Wheeler continued. “I’m trying to keep my options open and just fish the conditions. Tomorrow is just another day. Hopefully I can catch a few more that keep me near the top of the leaderboard and in contention.”
The top 10 pros after day one on Beaver Lake are:
1st: Jacob Wheeler, Indianapolis, Ind., five bass, 15-14
2nd: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., five bass, 15-9
3rd: Quaker State pro Matt Arey, Shelby, N.C., five bass, 14-14
3rd: Quaker State pro Scott Canterbury, Springville, Ala., five bass, 14-14
5th: Rayovac pro Cody Meyer, Auburn, Calif., five bass, 14-7
6th: Darrell Davis, Dover, Fla., five bass, 14-6
7th: Darrel Robertson, Jay, Okla., five bass, 14-5
8th: Brandon Cobb, Greenwood, S.C., five bass, 13-10
9th: Stetson Blaylock, Benton, Ark., five bass, 13-8
10th: Jim Moynagh, Carver, Minn., five bass, 13-7
10th: Vic Vatalaro, Kent, Ohio, five bass, 13-7
For a full list of results visit FLWFishing.com.
Cobb won the Bridgford Big Bass Award on the pro side Thursday with a bass weighing 5 pounds, 5 ounces to win the $500 prize.
Overall there were 702 bass weighing 1,406 pounds, 6 ounces caught by 154 pros Thursday. The catch included 120 five-bass limits.
Timmy Thompkins of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, leads the co-angler division with five bass weighing 10 pounds, 7 ounces followed by Ken Harp of Springdale, Arkansas, in second place with five bass weighing 10-3.
The top 10 co-anglers on Beaver Lake are:
1st: Timmy Thompkins, Myrtle Beach, S.C., five bass, 10-7
2nd: Ken Harp, Springdale, Ark., five bass, 10-3
3rd: Cody Marshall, Cumming, Ga., five bass, 9-14
3rd: Bryan New, Belmont N.C.., five bass, 9-14
5th: Hector Delagarza, Rockwall, Texas, five bass, 9-12
5th: Tee Watkins, East Point, Ky., five bass, 9-12
7th: Joshua Weaver, Macon, Ga., five bass, 9-10
8th: Dustin Evans, Eads, Tenn., four bass, 9-6
9th: Kerry Barnett, Waldron, Ark., four bass, 9-5
10th: Charles Dubroc, Hessmer, La., five bass, 9-3
Scott Gibson of Wiggins, Mississippi, caught Thursday’s Bridgford Big Bass Award in the co-angler division with a bass weighing 5 pounds, 11 ounces to win the $250 prize.