The Walmart FLW Tour on Beaver Lake will visit Rogers on March 3-6 for the second tournament of the season. Hosted by the Rogers Convention and Visitors Bureau, the tournament will feature as many as 320 top bass anglers casting for top awards up to $125,000 cash in the Pro Division and up to $25,000 cash in the Co-angler Division.
“You’re going to see bigger stringers than we’ve had in the past there,” said Diet Mountain Dew pro Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla. “Somebody may even bust a 20-pound bag.
“One of the things that’s going to hurt us, though, is the fact that the lake’s 10 feet low,” Christie added. “Beaver usually fishes pretty small anyway, but I think it’s going to fish smaller this year than it ever has.”
Although Christie predicted fans will see some large sacks come across the stage, he did say some anglers will struggle because the fish in early March will still be in a “full-blown” winter pattern.
“The past few days we’ve had some warm weather where I live, which isn’t far from Beaver, but we will get some colder weather between now and then,” Christie said. “And that’s a guarantee.”
Pop-Tarts pro Greg Bohannan of Rogers echoed Christie’s thoughts.
“We’ve had such a cold winter that I think the jerkbait is still going to be the dominant bait,” Bohannan said. “Going across the lake the other day I noticed there’s still ice on the lake in certain places. If we don’t get some warm rains, we’ll be looking at some really cold temperatures.”
Bohannan said the bait choices for the Beaver event will be pretty simple – a jerkbait, crankbait and a jig will be a common sight. Bohannan said many anglers will choose to use a jig around trees, points and channel swings.
“There will be a mix of football-head jigs and finesse-type jigs thrown,” Bohannan said. “I’m looking forward to seeing some really big weights. I predict we’ll see the biggest stringer we’ve ever seen weighed in at Beaver.”
Anglers will take off from Prairie Creek Park located at 9300 N. Park Rd. in Rogers at 7 each morning. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-ins will also be held at Prairie Creek Park beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s final weigh-ins will be held at the John Q. Hammons Center located at 3303 Pinnacle Hills Pkwy. in Rogers beginning at 4 p.m.
Fans will be treated to the FLW Outdoors Expo at the John Q. Hammons Center on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. prior to the final weigh-ins. The first 300 kids 14 and under on Sunday will receive a free rod and reel combo compliments of Power 105.7. Fans can also register to win a Can-Am ATV courtesy of KNWA-TV which will be given away following the final weigh-in. The Expo includes Ranger boat simulators, the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and fans can learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public.
In FLW Tour competition, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing. This year’s Cup will be in Hot Springs, Ark., Aug. 11-14 on Lake Ouachita where they could win as much as $600,000 – the sport’s biggest award. Anglers are also vying for the prestigious 2011 Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year title that will be determined by the most points accumulated over the six Tour Majors.
Coverage of the Beaver Lake tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS. “FLW Outdoors” will air April 10 from 1 to 2 p.m. ET. “FLW Outdoors,” hosted by Jason Harper and Laura Schara, is broadcast to more than 500 million households worldwide.