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Beaver Lake FLW Tour Major

Jay Yelas -- Competition Wrap-up
Monday, April 30, 2012

It was a good week. I weighed 14 pounds on day 1 and I caught them all on a square-bill crankbait, but on the 2nd and 3rd days, the fish I was on were transitioning from a crankbait bite and flipping to more of a topwater bite. On day 3, when I weighed 10 pounds, the crankbait bite was dying and I caught some fish flipping. If Iíd have went to the topwater on day 3, I mightíve given myself a better chance at it today, but the guys that win are the guys that make those quick adjustments.

Today, I caught them all on a Spook. I was fishing the same creek, but the fish seemed to have moved off the bluff banks and more to the flats.

The lake is fishing better than it ever has and I think there are a couple reasons for that. One is the high water theyíve had the last few years and also I think the Alabama Rig helped to extract some extra weight out of the lake this year. I only weighed one fish on it this week, but it was a big factor among the Top 5 finishers.

I also weighed some fish this week caught on a Berkley Gripper jig with a Chigger Craw trailer.

Luke Clausen - Practice Wrapup
Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A lot of it depends on the weather. Iím fearful if itís calm and slick. Itís going to be tough to catch much. If it gets overcast and windy, there are opportunities that will present themselves.

Iíve caught several every day. I caught a few nice ones actually. I just donít really know where theyíre going to come from. If we get some weather, it gives you a chance to run around and fish stuff. I donít have anything Iím married to at this point. Iím going to just fish the conditions. Iíll probably only have four or five rods on the deck, but itíll depend on the wind and water color what I throw.

The biggest decision will be to either go fish for a limit or go focus your efforts on bigger largemouths. Or you can hold up and try for a limit of spots. I donít see myself doing that unless it gets real bad. I donít want to concede defeat and go fish for spotted bass. Iíd much rather go and put myself in position to catch a 3- or 4-pounder.

The downfall here is trying to get all of the memories out of your head. Youíve been to a place so many times and you try to throw the stuff out of your mind about what youíve caught them on or what you havenít caught them on in the past and go out and fish. Itís one thing I donít like about it.

Jay Yelas - Practice Wrapup
Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Iíve fished here so many times over the years I know what to do. Itís just a grind every day when you go out there. You donít know if youíre going to catch a good fish or not. What a guy wants to do here is be on about 11 or 12 pounds and catch a 5-pounder so it gets him to 14 or 15. If you can do that, youíre on the right fish. Itís always that way here and itís the way it is this week, too.

There are a lot of times here when Iíve had two fish at noon and theyíll both be 2 1/2 pounds and Iíll think, ĎI should go catch those little spots on a shakey-head.í I just canít do that. I have to keep fishing for the big ones, but you donít know if youíre going to get five of them.

There are very few secrets out here. There have been so many tournaments here over the years. Itís just a grind. You have to do whatever you have the most confidence in. Usually, the largemouths win here, but Iíve seen guys do well on smallmouths.

There are fish shallow and deep. A guy can do well both ways this week. Nothing holds up for 4 days here. You have to move around and have a pattern to fish in different areas.

I enjoy this lake because it is so tough. This lake is a total mental game because there are no secrets. Everybodyís fishing the same stuff. You have to have faith in your gameplan and stick with it even if youíre not catching them. You wonít catch fish all day long here so if you can catch five good ones in 8 hours, then youíve had a good day.

Jay Yelas - Day 1 Practice
Sunday, April 22, 2012

FLW/Gary Mortensen
Photo: FLW/Gary Mortensen

It seems like the same old Beaver Lake to me. I donít know how many times Iíve been here over the years, but every year itís a little different in that the waterís at a different height or the fish are in a different stage maybe. Some years, the waterís muddy and other years itís clear. This year, it seems like a middle-of-the-road deal. The lakeís at normal pool and itís fairly clear. Itíll be the same old Beaver Lake. The same weights that normally do well here will probably prevail this time.

For some reason, this lake doesnít have the bass the other lakes on the White River have. Thatís okay. I caught a lot of fish today, but you just donít catch many over 2 pounds. I think if you can catch 25 pounds over the first 2 days, youíll definitely be in the Top 10. I think the whole lake is fishing well. You can catch them from one end to the other.

Praire Creek is where all the local tournaments go out of and every year it seems three of the Top 10 finishers fish right there near takeoff catching released fish. Everybody knows that, but it seems no matter how hard it gets fished, three of the Top 10 will come out of there on released fish. It can be a grind, for sure, trying to find good fish out here. You have to fish for 2 1/2- to 3-pound largemouth. Thatís what it takes to do well. Thatís what I generally try to do. Today was a good first day of practice.

Luke Clausen - Day 1 Practice
Sunday, April 22, 2012

Photo: BassFan

It blew probably 20 miles an hour most of the day. It was blustery and fairly chilly. The windís supposed to let up and it's supposed to get warmer. I caught fish today and it wasnít that hard to catch fish. As far as Beaver goes, they werenít that terrible of quality, but Iím not that optimistic because there will be a lack of wind and highs of 80 (degrees) by the middle of the week so things are going to change drastically.

It seems every time we come here, the first day of practice itís easy to catch something and come the tournament, it gets a lot tougher and a lot of it is just the pressure that we put on it over that many days.

It looks a lot like Table Rock, but itís so much smaller and has about one-fourth of the fish that Table Rock has. Table Rock is just full of fish compared to this. It fishes fairly similar, but itís smaller and youíre fishing for fewer fish, smaller fish and probably more pressured fish because it is smaller.

These fish really arenít that healthy right now, at least the ones I caught.A limit of keeper largemouths isnít going to weigh more than 8 pounds, which is probably what it'll take to get a check, I think.

The fish werenít really healthy and it was hard to see if any were on beds. Iím sure there are some somewhere. I didnít catch any fish today that looked as if theyíd spawned at all. Not that they were fat, but they didnít have any torn-up tails or anything. I tend to think that a lot of them havenít spawned yet. A lot of people think that the waterís warm enough that they shouldíve spawned or are going to spawn. Iím a believer in the time of year. There may be a lot of males that are ready to get up on beds, but these females may not be ready yet.

Thereís not much stained water. The river didnít look that dirty. I covered a lot of water today and none of it was that dirty. I donít think itíll be that big of a factor simply because itís pretty non-existent.

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