Morgan Takes Lead on Beaver Lake


The weather threw anglers another curveball Friday morning at the Walmart FLW Tour at Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. After cold and wind greeted anglers on Thursday, heavy rainfall and lightning was the story today, prompting FLW Tournament Director Bill Taylor to delay takeoff 45 minutes due to the lightning and low visibility.

After the morning storm passed, 154 anglers embarked on day two of the four-day competition. After starting the day in 15th place, pro Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tenn., brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 15 pounds, 7 ounces to vault to the top of the leaderboard in the competition, 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.

Morgan’s two-day cumulative total of 10 bass weighing 28 pounds, 9 ounces gives him a slim 11-ounce cushion over second place, former Forrest Wood Cup Champion Darrel Robertson of Jay, Oklahoma , who has weighed 10 bass totaling 27-14.

“I caught my fifth fish on my very last cast of the day,” said Morgan, the reigning back-to-back FLW Tour Angler of the Year winner. “The rain delay this morning hurt me bad because I was in the first flight to check in today. It was storming and nasty, but the fish were biting.

“I’m mostly spawn fishing and looking for bedders,” Morgan continued. “All of the fish that I had marked are gone, though. I came in with around 15 marked. I caught 10 keepers yesterday and five today, so I’m going to have to start from scratch (tomorrow).”

The top 20 pros that made the Buck Knives Cut and will fish Saturday on Beaver Lake are:

1st: Livingston Lures pro Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 28-9
2nd: Darrel Robertson, Jay, Okla., 10 bass, 27-14
3rd: Quaker State pro Matt Arey, Shelby, N.C., 10 bass, 27-2
4th: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 10 bass, 26-4
5th: Livingston Lures pro Stetson Blaylock, Benton, Ark., 10 bass, 26-1
6th: Tracy Adams, Wilkesboro, N.C., 10 bass, 25-10
7th: Larry Nixon, Bee Branch, Ark., 10 bass, 25-3
8th: Quaker State pro Scott Canterbury, Springville, Ala., 10 bass, 25-0
9th: Rayovac pro Cody Meyer, Auburn, Calif., 10 bass, 24-13
10th: Peter Thliveros, Saint Augustine, Fla., 10 bass, 24-12
11th: Darrell Davis, Dover, Fla., 10 bass, 24-8
12th: Vic Vatalaro, Kent, Ohio, 10 bass, 24-3
13th: John Cox, Debary, Fla., 10 bass, 24-3
14th: Brandon Cobb, Greenwood, S.C., 10 bass, 24-2
15th: Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tenn., 10 bass, 23-10
16th: Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., 10 bass, 23-10
17th: Clark Wendlandt, Leander, Texas, 10 bass, 23-9
18th: Mike Surman, Boca Raton, Fla., 10 bass, 23-5
19th: Lowrance pro Ishama Monroe, Hughson, Calif., 10 bass, 22-14
20th: Keystone Light pro Chad Grigsby, Maple Grove, Minn., 10 bass, 22-13

For a full list of results visit

Nixon won the Bridgford Big Bass Award on the pro side Friday with a bass weighing 4 pounds, 10 ounces to win the $500 prize.

Overall there were 601 bass weighing 1,094 pounds, 6 ounces caught by 147 pros Friday. The catch included 87 five-bass limits.

Pro Drew Benton of Panama City, Fla., has his day one weight disqualified from the tournament Friday for violating FLW Tour rule No. 13, which contains provisions regarding permitted fishing locations. FLW officials were made aware that Benton fished within 50 feet of a marked No Fishing Zone in a commercial marina on Thursday. Benton caught two bass for 3 pounds, 8 ounces Friday and finished in 153rd place.

Walmart pro Mark Rose of West Memphis, Arkansas, and co-angler Nick Loeffelman Jr., of Valles Mines, Missouri had their day two weights disqualified, also for violation of rule No. 13. After mechanical failure both Rose and Loeffelman left the boat, leaving it unattended and violating the rule regarding abandoning a boat and leaving it adrift without proper tie-off or anchoring after a mechanical failure.

Rose finished in 142nd place with five bass weighing 8 pounds even. Loeffelman weighed one bass totaling 1 pound, 12 ounces and finished in 141st place in the co-angler division.

T-H Marine’s Luke Dunkin of Lawrenceburg, Tenn., won the co-angler division and $20,000 Friday with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 18 pounds, 2 ounces, followed by Todd Lee of Jasper, Alabama, who finished in second place for the second consecutive tournament with 10 bass weighing 17 pounds, 15 ounces worth $7,500.

“It’s hard to describe my feeling right now,” said Dunkin, who earned his first win as a co-angler on the Walmart FLW Tour. “I have a bunch of friends and family calling and texting me right now with so many messages. This is awesome.”

The top 10 co-anglers finished:

1st: Luke Dunkin, Lawrenceburg, Tenn., 10 bass, 18-2 $20,000
2nd: Todd Lee, Jasper, Ala., 10 bass, 17-15, $7,500
3rd: Dustin Evans, Eads, Tenn., eight bass, 16-4, $5,000
4th: Clint Williams, Fayetteville, Ark., 10 bass, 15-0, $4,000
5th: Billy Dehart Burlingame Calif., 10 bass, 14-15, $3,000
6th: Bryan New, Belmont, N.C., eight bass, 14-13, $2,500
7th: Kerry Barnett, Waldron, Ark., seven bass, 14-9, $2,000
8th: Alan Lane, Church Hill, Tenn., eight bass, 14-9, $1,800
9th: Timmy Thompkins, Myrtle Beach, S.C., nine bass, 14-8, $1,700
10th: Sean Richards, Carson City, Nev., eight bass, 14-8, $1,600

For a full list of results visit

Lee caught Friday’s Bridgford Big Bass in the co-angler division, a bass weighing 5 pounds, 5 ounces to win the $250 prize.

Overall there were 341 bass weighing 530 pounds, 4 ounces caught by co-anglers Friday. The catch included 23 five-bass limits.