Saturday, March 5, 2011

FLW Beaver Lake Day 3: A Legend Take the Lead

Arkansas’ Blaylock wins co-angler title, $20,000, in second event of season

3/3/11 - 3/6/11 -- Beaver Lake
Prairie Creek Park, Rogers, AR
Official FLW Press Release

Ron Shuffield Take Day 3
(Photo: Brett Carlson FLW)

EverStart pro Ron Shuffield of Bismarck, Ark., caught a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to capture the lead at the Walmart FLW Tour on Beaver Lake presented by Straight Talk and advanced to the top 10 as the crucial No. 1 seed. With a three-day catch of 13 bass weighing 41-6, he now holds a 13-ounce lead in the tournament going into the final day of competition.

“It was frigid, it was windy, it was cloudy and it was the kind of day going in that I thought was an opportunity to catch a pretty good sack of fish,” said Shuffield, who is looking for his first FLW Tour win. “These fish in the northern lakes, especially in the clear water where I’m fishing, tend to bite a little bit better in these conditions than they do on a bright, clear bluebird day. So I was optimistic.

“I had a new area that I practiced in but had not fished during the event,” Shuffield added. “It had all the ingredients of what I was looking
for. And I could tell it hadn’t been touched.”

Shuffield said he had most of his weigh fish caught by 9:18 a.m. He said he culled “once or twice” during the course of the day and spent the majority of the day looking for particular structure and types of pockets for Sunday’s competition.

“I’m trying to fish new water every day,” Shuffield said. “I’m not trying to do much repeat stuff at all. These fish are trying to move into their spawn areas, so they’re staging halfway to the backs of the coves. But they’re on really weird stuff. Some of them are suspended under boat docks in 30 feet of water. One will be on a laydown tree and one will be on a rock formation that’s isolated all by itself. That’s the kind of stuff these fish are keying on.”

Shuffield said he’s keeping three rods ready on the deck of his boat. One has a Storm Wiggle Wart tied on and the other two feature jerkbaits. He said he finds the random objects he wants to target then approaches the structure with both types of baits to trigger strikes. Despite the water temperatures, Shuffield said he’s using a moderate retrieve for the baits.

“The fish are pretty quick to react,” Shuffield said. “They’ve seen so many jerkbaits this week in competition that I think they’re really kind of shying away from it. Each day I’ve caught a few more fish on the Wiggle Wart – especially some better quality largemouth.”

Chevy pro Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C., advanced to the final round of 10 pros in the No. 2 spot with a three-day total of 13 bass weighing 40-9.
20th: National Guard pro Mark Rose, Marion, Ark., 10 bass, 22-7, $12,000

Overall there were 76 bass weighing 192 pounds, 14 ounces caught by pros Saturday. The catch included 11 five-bass limits.

“I’d been catching some fish off of some shallow places and I knew with it being cloudy and windy that the fish should still be up shallow where I was catching them,” said Thrift, who is the reigning Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year. “And that’s what I’m doing. I’m running a shallow pattern and catching them in 10 feet of water or less and throwing a jerkbait and having a good time.”

Thrift said he caught a total of 20 fish during the course of the day, including seven keepers, and most of them came during the early part of the day. Thrift said he’s staying in one area and running “just a couple of hundred yards here and there.”
Stacey King is the God Father of Jerkbaits.
(Photo: Brett Carlson FLW)
“The wind helped me a lot,” Thrift said. “I definitely need the wind blowing in on the banks. I think that helps them get up shallow a lot better.
“Me and Ron are both catching big fish, so I’m just ready to get out there tomorrow and see how it goes,” Thrift added.

Rounding out the top 10 pros and advancing to the final day of competition are:

3rd: Stacey King, Reeds Spring, Mo., 14 bass, 35-10
4th: Matt Arey, Shelby, N.C., 15 bass, 35-10
5th: Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes pro Dave Lefebre, Union City, Pa., 14 bass, 33-12
6th: Pickens Plan pro Randy Blaukat, Joplin, Mo., 15 bass, 33-11
7th: National Guard pro Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala., 14 bass, 33-6
8th: AMP Energy pro Stetson Blaylock, Benton, Ark., 10 bass, 31-13
9th: Walmart pro Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tenn., 15 bass, 31-12
10th: Castrol pro David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 14 bass, 31-4

Finishing in 11th through 20th are:

11th: Shad Schenck, Waynetown, Ind., 12 bass, 31-0, $12,500
12th: Brad Roberts, Nancy, Ky., 15 bass, 30-11, $12,500
13th: Nick Larson, Ball Ground, Ga., 12 bass, 30-9, $12,666.67
14th: Shane Long, Sarcoxie, Mo., 15 bass, 30-4, $12,500
15th: Roy Hawk, Salt Lake City, Utah, 11 bass, 29-9, $12,500
16th: Sean Hoernke, The Woodlands, Texas, 14 bass, 29-1, $12,000
17th: Todd Auten, Lake Wylie, S.C., eight bass, 26-5, $12,000
18th: Bo Cross, Knoxville, Tenn., 11 bass, 24-12, $12,000
19th: Walmart pro George Cochran, Hot Springs, Ark., nine bass, 22-10, $12,000

Pros are competing for a top award of up to $125,000 this week plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of bass fishing. This year’s Cup will be in Hot Springs, Ark., Aug. 11-14 on Lake Ouachita where pros are competing for a top prize of $600,000 – the sport’s biggest award. Pro anglers are also vying for the prestigious 2011 Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year presented by Kellogg’s that will be determined by the most points accumulated over the six Tour Majors with the winner receiving $100,000 for their accomplishment.

Keeton Blaylock of Benton, Ark., won the Co-angler Division and $20,000 Saturday with a three-day total of nine bass weighing 23 pounds, 6 ounces followed by Mark Horton of Nicholasville, Ky., in second place with eight bass weighing 18-0 worth $7,500.

“I had practiced in the dirty water the whole practice,” Blaylock said. “I wanted my pro to go to dirty water today, but I ended up winning it in the clear (water

“I mean, to go out the first day and catch 12 or 13 keepers and think everybody else is doing it … ,” Blaylock added. “I came in and everybody else hadn’t caught them and I knew the Lord had blessed me so much.”

Blaylock said he fished a swimbait on a jighead during the three days of competition. He fished the bait through trees or whatever cover he was presented and fared well on the swimbait except on the final day of competition where he failed to land a fish. In fact, he said he had only one bite Saturday and broke that fish off and lost it.

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers are:

3rd: Brandon Hunter, Benton, Ky., seven bass, 17-10, $5,000
4th: Philip Jarabeck, Lynchburg, Va., five bass, 16-15, $4,125
5th: Moo Bae, West Friendship, Md., six bass, 15-7, $3,000
6th: Van Foster Jr., Dalton, Ga., nine bass, 14-13, $2,500
7th: Mark Shelton, Fayetteville, Ark., seven bass, 14-11, $2,000
8th: Brian Wilson, Somerset, Ky., five bass, 14-8, $1,800
9th: Brock Bertrand, Fayetteville, Ark., six bass, 14-4, $1,700
10th: Ronnie Lawson, Hollister, Mo., five bass, 13-15, $1,600

Overall there were 19 bass weighing 40 pounds, 10 ounces caught by co-anglers Saturday. The catch included no five-bass limits.

Co-anglers are fishing for a top award of $25,000 this week plus valuable points that could help them qualify for the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup. The Walmart FLW Tour Co-angler of the Year presented by Kellogg’s will be determined by the most points accumulated over the six Tour Majors and the winner will receive a new Ranger 198VX with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.

The top 10 pros will take off at 7 Sunday morning from Prairie Creek Park located at 9300 N. Park Rd. in Rogers. Sunday’s final weigh-in 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 John Q. Hammons Center on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. prior to the final weigh-in. The Expo provides the opportunity for fans to interact with professional anglers, ride Ranger boat simulators, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. The first 300 kids 14 and under to the Expo will receive a free rod & reel courtesy of 105.7. Plus, one lucky fan will win a Can-Am ATV compliments of KNWA-TV following the final weigh-in. You must be present to win. All activities are free and open to the public.

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.

For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow FLW Outdoors on Facebook at and on Twitter at .

About FLW Outdoors

FLW Outdoors is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world offering anglers worldwide the opportunity to compete for millions over the course of 191 tournaments in 2011. FLW Outdoors has taken fishing mainstream with the world’s richest fantasy sports game, FLW Fantasy Fishing presented by Straight Talk, where competitors can play for free as well as sign up for Player’s Advantage to gain an edge. For more information about FLW Outdoors and FLW Fantasy Fishing, browse or visit

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