Pro Matt Arey Wins the FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake
In front of a packed John Q. Hammond Center in Rogers, AR, Evinrude pro Matt Arey took home his first victory on the FLW Tour with a three-day total of 59 pounds 3 ounces outpacing runner-up, Livingston Lures pro Andy Morgan by 1 pound 9 ounces. Along with his first victory, Arey hoisted a massive $125,000 check to pad his bank account.
Rounding out the Top 5 were in third Ranger pro David Dudley who weighed 54 pounds 14 ounces. Fourth went to World Gym pro Travis Fox with 54 pounds 8 ounces. Fifth was captured by Mercury pro Casey Ashley with a three-day total of 53 pounds 2 ounces.
Arey wasn't sure.
"I didn't think I had enough to win today," said Arey. "I thought I had maybe 13 pounds. If I had 14 pounds, I would've been surprised. The 15 pounds I had, I didn't think I had that weight."
Transitions key for Arey.
"I looked for transition areas this week," said Arey. "I primarily fished areas where bass could stage before spawning, or in some cases where they could spawn. I wanted to find areas that were not so influenced by the weather since I knew it would be changing a lot this week.
"I had heard about a big shad kill here and looked for areas where crawfish would be present for the bass. I had about 30 pairs of crawfish pincers in my livewell at the end of the tournament."
Arey fished the Prairie Creek area and other locations close by. His primary cover for the week in the transition areas were bluff-type banks in pockets with some stained water, little cave areas where fish could stage or even spawn, and some chunk rock and gravel, too.
The primary approach for Arey was flipping a Whackem Baits twin-tail on a ballhead jig. The top color was green pumpkin. He used a hopping retrieve and 15-pound fluorocarbon line with baitcasting gear.
Emotions were flying.
Tears of joy streamed down Arey's face as he accepted the trophy and check for $125,000. "To win this, this is what I've dreamed about since I was a kid," said Arey. "Standing on the stage winning this, against these anglers. It's unreal."