(Apr 15, 2016 - Rogers, AR)
– Last year when the FLW Tour visited Beaver Lake, Oklahoma pro Darrel Robertson was in second place as the tournament progressed into the third day of competition. Robertson struggled on day three and didn’t advance to championship Sunday. Friday, at the Walmart FLW Tour at Beaver Lake presented by Jack Link’s, Robertson earned a shot at redemption.
After catching 14 pounds, 14 ounces Thursday, good for 12th place, Robertson added four largemouth and one spotted bass weighing 16-4 Friday and vaulted into the lead with a two-day total of 31-2.
Right behind Robertson looms the entire Quaker State pro fishing team – Scott Canterbury of Springville, Alabama, (31-1) in second, Jimmy Houston of Cookson, Oklahoma, (30-0) in third and Matt Arey of Shelby, North Carolina, (29-14) in fourth. Arey has won this tournament in the FLW Tour’s last two visits.
The field is now cut to 20 as the tournament heads into day three of the four-day event that featured 166 of the best bass-fishing anglers in the world competing for a top cash award of up to $125,000.
“I felt like I had a little bit better of a day yesterday because the quality of my fish were better, but today I caught two big ones,” said Robertson, who won the world championship of bass fishing, the Forrest Wood Cup, in 1999. “One was a 5½-, one was a 4½- and the rest were 2-pounders. Yesterday, I weighed in 14-14 and they were all alike.
“The Good Lord has blessed me, though,” Robertson continued. “I’ve had bites that I probably should not have caught – the 5½-pounder today came out of a bunch of trees, on very light line. I have a plan for tomorrow and I’m confident that I can go out and catch 8 or 10 pounds. If I could have done that last year, I would have been fishing on that fourth and final day.”
Robertson said that he was fishing slow, throwing a Yamamoto Senko worm.
“I have two areas that I have been fishing. I caught three bass yesterday out of some muddy water, but when I pulled in there today there was 20 boats already in there. I left and decided to fish the clear water and that is where I caught all of my fish today. The area isn’t very big, but there are a lot of fish there. I’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”
The top 20 pros that made the Buck Knives Cut and will fish Saturday on Beaver Lake are:
1st: Darrel Robertson, Jay, Okla., 10 bass, 31-2
2nd: Quaker State pro Scott Canterbury, Springville, Ala., 10 bass, 31-1
3rd: Quaker State pro Jimmy Houston, Cookson, Okla., 10 bass, 30-0
4th: Quaker State pro Matt Arey, Shelby, N.C., 10 bass, 29-14
5th: Keystone Light pro Jeff Sprague, Point, Texas, 10 bass, 28-8
6th: Bryan Schmitt, Deale, Md., 10 bass, 28-5
7th: Kurt Mitchell, Milford, Del., 10 bass, 27-15
8th: J.T. Kenney, Palm Bay, Fla., 10 bass, 27-11
9th: Livingston Lures pro Stetson Blaylock, Benton, Ark., 10 bass, 27-11
10th: Jeff Gustafson, Keewatin, Ontario, 10 bass, 27-11
11th: Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., 10 bass, 27-9
12th: Chris Whitson, Louisville, Tennessee, 10 bass, 27-6
13th: John Cox, Debary, Fla., 10 bass, 27-5
14th: Andrew Upshaw, Sapulpa, Okla., 10 bass, 27-5
15th: Jacob Wheeler, Indianapolis, Ind., 10 bass, 27-3
16th: Kerry Milner, Bono, Ark., 10 bass, 27-3
17th: Livingston Lures pro Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 27-2
18th: Brandon Cobb, Greenwood, S.C., 10 bass, 27-1
19th: Power-Pole pro Darrell Davis, Dover, Fla., 10 bass, 26-13
20th: Jim Moynagh, Carver, Minn., nine bass, 26-12
Robertson earned the Big Bass Award on the pro side Friday, weighing a 5-pound, 8-ounce largemouth to win the $500 prize.
Overall there were 739 bass weighing 1,596 pounds, 2 ounces caught by 164 pros Friday. The catch included 122 five-bass limits.
Joey Cifuentes of Clinton, Arkansas, won the co-angler division and $25,000 Friday with a two-day total of nine bass weighing 25 pounds, 12 ounces, followed by Mike Devere of Berea, Kentucky, who finished in second place with 10 bass weighing 23 pounds, 6 ounces worth $7,500.
Cifuentes said that the nine bass that he weighed came on three different lures – a 1/2-ounce pro’s choice-colored War Eagle Spinnerbait, a 3/8-ounce Missouri craw-colored Jewel Bait Football Jig with a green-pumpkin Zoom Fat Albert Twin Tail Grub and a green-pumpkin Jewel Baits Squirrel Head Jig.
The top 10 co-anglers finished:
1st: Joey Cifuentes, Clinton, Ark., nine bass, 25-12, $25,350
2nd: Mike Devere, Berea, Ky., 10 bass, 23-6, $7,500
3rd: Jerry Reagan, Byrdstown, Tenn., 10 bass, 18-10, $5,000
4th: David Larson, Mound, Minn., eight bass, 17-10, $4,000
5th: Tim Cales, Sandstone, W. Va., 10 bass, 17-8, $3,000
6th: Bryan New, Belmont, N.C., eight bass, 17-1, $2,500
7th: Jason Sandidge, Centerton, Ark., six bass, 16-0, $2,000
8th: Jaime Luengo, Mexico City, Mexico, seven bass, 15-14, $1,800
9th: David Hudson, Jasper, Ala., eight bass, 15-13, $1,700
10th: Rocky Hopkins, Fayetteville, Ark., six bass, 15-7, $1,600
Cifuentes also caught Friday’s Big Bass in the co-angler division, a bass weighing 5 pounds, 4 ounces to win the $250 prize.
Overall there were 412 bass weighing 663 pounds, 10 ounces caught by co-anglers Friday. The catch included 36 five-bass limits.
In addition to casting for top awards of up to $125,000 cash in the pro division and up to $25,000 cash in the co-angler division, anglers are also competing for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing. The 2016 Forrest Wood Cup will be in Huntsville, Alabama, Aug. 4-7 on Wheeler Lake.
Anglers will take off from the Prairie Creek Park Marina located at 9300 N. Park Road in Rogers at 6:30 a.m. each day of competition. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins will be held at Walmart, located at 2110 W. Walnut St., in Rogers beginning at 4 p.m.
Fans will also be treated to the FLW Expo on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. at Walmart prior to the final weigh-ins. The Expo includes a 100-yard Lew’s Casting Lane, the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by FLW sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public.
Also for youth, the FLW Foundation’s Unified Fishing Derby will be held at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) Bentonville Community Lake, located at 2805 West Oak St., in Rogers on Saturday, April 16, from 9-11 a.m. The event is hosted by FLW Foundation pro Cody Kelley along with other FLW Tour anglers, and is free and open to area youth 15 years of age and younger and Special Olympics athletes. Rods and reels are available for use, but youth are encouraged to bring their own if they own one. All bait is provided by the DMF Bait Company.
Coverage of the Beaver Lake tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) September 14 from 1 p.m.-2 p.m. EST. The Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show airs on NBCSN, the Pursuit Channel and the World Fishing Network and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.
The Walmart FLW Tour at Beaver Lake presented by Jack Link’s is being hosted by Visit Rogers.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2016 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 235 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.