Todd Hollowell came into the Beaver Lake FLW Tour in 85th place in Angler of the Year points. He knew if he were to start making a move upward, he'd need to leave northwest Arkansas with at least a Top-20 finish.
Things didn't look so good after day 1 as the Indiana native found himself in 124th place after catching four fish for 6-14. His fortunes turned around completely on day 2 as he bagged a historic 22-15 that carried him to 3rd place, a jump of 121 spots.
He slipped to 12th after day 3 finishing with 36-07, but accomplished what he set out to do – he rescued his season. He's now 47th in points with three events left.
"It turned it around for me and that's what I was looking for," he said. "Typically, I struggle early on until they make it to the bank. For some reason, they just don't speak the same language as me until they move shallow. Unfortunately for me, we've had a cold spring. The water temperature in a lot of these lakes is still in the 50s.
"These first three events have just been a grind, but the second half really suits my strengths. We've got a Tennessee River lake, some grass and off-shore stuff. I feel like I'm back in contention for the (Forrest Wood) Cup now."
He wouldn't be if not for a key 100-yard stretch of docks in the back of a creek that contributed to his massive day-2 catch that stands as the heaviest stringer weighed in during Beaver Lake FLW Tour competition.
"It was just a transition bank and it was the last deep water in a creek," he said. "A lot of guys overlooked it. Some of the docks had timber around them. It didn't look like much, but some docks also had brush piles on them, too. I caught them off four or five docks, but on this one little stretch, for whatever reason, they were suspended on docks."
His chosen bait for the week was a Castaic Jerky J School Flash umbrella rig from which he hung an assortment of shad-colored swimbaits.
"There wasn't anybody fishing any further back than me," he said. "A lot of guys were focused on spotted bass and smallmouths. It was an interest event because all three species came into play. That spread the field out a lot. I was focused on largemouth in this creek."
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