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Saturday, April 25, 2015
2015 Walmart FLW Tour Beaver Lake Day 2: Morgan Climbs to Lead!
Andy Morgan Vacuums Shallows
by Rob Newell
FLW PRESS RELEASE
“Hidden largemouths” is quickly becoming the buzz term at the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac, as those atop the leaderboard are using the term to refer to spawning largemouths that are so well hidden that other competitors never found them. These hidden fish are covered by thick brush, hidden so deep that they were only found during the very rare windows of sunshine during practice or located off the beaten path. The latter are not in obvious pockets or places where one would expect to find beds, but rather out on the main bluff channels where few ever look.
Andy is moving a lot. Sight fishing when he can. (Photo:FLW)
On day one, Jacob Wheeler caught hidden largemouths to take the lead. On day two, former Beaver Lake champion Andy Morgan caught hidden largemouths to take over the pole position going into the weekend. His catch of 15 pounds, 7 ounces today gives Morgan a two-day total of 28-09 to take the lead by just 11 ounces.
“All the ones I’ve caught the last two days are spawning bass I found in practice and marked on my GPS,” says Morgan. “I never saw them because the water is just a touch too dirty to see them with all the cloud cover and wind. I would just fish along, and every bite I got I would shake off and mark on the GPS. In all I had about 15 of these fish marked, and I have caught just about every one of them now. I caught No. 15 just before weigh-in today, so I’m fresh out.”
The general consensus about the “hidden largemouths” is that they bite quickly because they have never been fished for. Morgan, Wheeler, Matt Arey and Stetson Blaylock all revealed that finding hidden largemouths in practice has been their tournament gold in the event. Even though none of these pros has very many hidden largemouths found, just having two or three “gimmes” per day goes a long way in supplementing their limits.
Morgan says he has violated his own No. 1 rule for Beaver Lake this year: Never go under the Highway 12 Bridge.
“Yes, I have been fishing in the river,” Morgan says. “I don’t normally do that because it always bites me. And with two tournament days left and no fish left to go to, it’s probably going to bite me again. But I knew the bites I was getting in practice were spawners, and I figured they would stay put. So far they have panned out, but the problem now is I’m out of those gimmes. Now it’s time to just go fishing.”
With no more marked fish, Morgan is now afraid that he has “painted himself into a corner,” in terms of his hidden largemouths.
“I knew I was working with limited resources with this approach,” Morgan adds. “But at Beaver Lake you can never really plan for four days. You just have to go out there and work with what you have to get through the day and hope it’s enough to get you to the next day.”
And with two Angler of the Year titles and a Beaver Lake victory already under his belt, Morgan has proven before that he has an uncanny way of working with what he has to survive another day.
Buck Knives Top 20
1: Andy Morgan – Dayton, Tenn. – 28-09
2: Darrel Robertson – Jay, Okla. – 27-14
3: Matt Arey – Shelby, N.C. – 27-02
4: Bryan Thrift – Shelby, N.C. – 26-04
5: Stetson Blaylock – Benton, Ark. – 26-01
6: Tracy Adams – Wilkesboro, N.C. – 25-10
7: Larry Nixon – Bee Branch, Ark. – 25-03
8: Scott Canterbury – Springville, Ala. – 25-00
9: Cody Meyer – Auburn, Calif. – 24-13
10: Peter Thliveros – Saint Augustine, Fla. – 24-12