Back on FLW Tour down at Beaver Lake

While it was nice to be home for a couple of weeks, I’m back on the road again this week getting ready for the third FLW Tour stop of the season at Beaver Lake in northwest Arkansas.
Beaver Lake has become a staple on the FLW Tour over the years—hosting a tournament in all but one year of the circuit’s 20-year history. Rogers, Ark., the host city for the event, also is home of the Walmart headquarters, which is the tour’s title sponsor.
Located in the Ozarks region near famous bass-fishing lakes like Table Rock and Bull Shoals, Beaver Lake is a fun place to have a tournament because it has a little bit of everything. There are three species of bass and one end of the lake has deep, super clear water. The other end is more like a river and is known for its shallow, muddy water.
I’ve fished three tournaments on Beaver Lake while I’ve been fishing the FLW Tour over the past few years, with some mixed results. The first two times we were here, I squeaked into the prize money while last year I missed it with an 80th-place finish.
It’s a lake I feel comfortable on because it has clear water, where light line finesse fishing—like we do quite often at home in Ontario—can be very productive. Although the fish do not grow that large on Beaver, the numbers are pretty good.
After a great start to the season, I find myself in sixth place in the points race after two events. At the end of the six-event season, the top 35 anglers qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup—a no entry fee championship tournament with some big prize money on the line.
My goal for the season is to qualify for this tournament, which will take place in August.
In each of the past couple of years, I’ve finished around 60th in points thanks to a bad tournament or two throughout the season. Usually, I start out with the tough finishes and then get better as the season progresses, so hopefully that trend of getting better continues.
I do like the rest of the schedule as it features a few lakes that I’m familiar with.
After a couple of days of practice at Beaver, the fishing has been decent. My dad and Jamie Bruce made the drive down from Northwestern Ontario this week to fish in the tournament on the co-angler side and spend the week fishing out of a boat.
My dad has been fishing with me for a couple of days while Jamie has been fishing with our friend from Florida, Brandon McMillan.
If anybody from home is trying to get a hold of Jamie, you might have to wait a week. Late on the first day of fishing down here, he managed to fall out of the boat and into the lake.
His phone was in his pocket and needless to say, it’s no longer functioning.
The fishing has been good for all of us so far, so hopefully it continues that way into the weekend!
After the last tournament a few weeks ago, I left my boat and truck at a friend’s place in Birmingham, Ala., so I had about a 10-hour drive up to northwest Arkansas.
I came a couple of days early and fished for two days at nearby Table Rock Lake. It was a good warm-up for Beaver because it’s a similar body of water.
Though the fishing was not awesome, I did manage to catch a four-pound plus fish of the three most common species of bass all in one day, so that was pretty cool.
There are not very many lakes in North America where an angler can do this, so it was my lucky day for sure!
The tournament this week on Beaver Lake starts tomorrow (April 14). Check out the results online at