ROGERS, Ark., April 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
A full field of the best bass-fishing professionals from all across the United States, Canada, Spain and Japan opened the Walmart FLW Tour Major on Beaver Lake presented by Straight Talk on Thursday. Anglers used a variety of strategies and tactics beneath the sunny Arkansas skies as they began the competition for a top cash award of up to $125,000.
Despite the multiple techniques the professionals employed, the results were very similar – just 2 pounds 3 ounces separated first place from 10th. At the end of the day, EverStart pro Randall Tharp of Gardendale, Ala., held the day one tournament lead with a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 7 ounces. Tharp has a 12-ounce lead over Snapple pro Jacob Powroznik of Prince George, Va., who caught five bass weighing 14-11."I'm pretty pleased with my weight today," said Tharp, who has career winnings of more than $640,000. "But I believe I can catch more fish tomorrow, especially if the wind is blowing. I don't think anyone else is doing what I'm doing. I'm fishing a certain bait on certain banks and it's real unique." Tharp said he fished areas that he had not targeted in practice. Although he chose to start his day near areas where he had found fish during practice, most of his fish came from areas that he had not fished before. "I had a real good practice coming into this tournament," Tharp continued. "I'm known for practicing from daylight to dark, but for this event I was finishing up around 4 p.m. That was mostly because I did not want people to see where I was fishing. I made sure that I was real cautious today as well – I tried not to stay in one spot for too long. "I caught four today very early – within the first 15 minutes. I had a limit by 8:15 a.m." Tharp went on to say. "I ran pretty far up the river and I caught some up there, and I caught some in the clear water down in the lake. The lake is really unique right now due to the water conditions and the (water) level being down. Several of the bass that I weighed in today were pre-spawn, I saw two spawners and there were quite a few post-spawn fish as well. All five of my bass were largemouth today." Despite the odd conditions, Tharp is still extremely confident about the remainder of his tournament.