RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (May 12) — Weather conditions this weekend are really going to make it hard on the Bassmaster Elite Series anglers, but Cabela’s/GEICO For Your Boat pro David Walker thinks he will be one of the few who will be able to overcome and bring home a good finish May 15-18 at Lake Dardanelle.
Walker is already practicing in Russellville, enduring the elements and preparing for what will be a massive change in fishing conditions.
“The determining factor this week for sure will be the weather that is coming in,” Walker said. “We’re currently in a flash flood watch on Lake Dardanelle for practice. We’ve only had a couple of little showers, so evidently it’s moving slower than they originally thought and it could bring us more water.
“Unfortunately, because we are fishing a river system, the water levels here are affected dramatically. If we get two or three inches of rain, you’re going to know it right away, where on a regular lake it takes a while to notice the runoff change.
“Even on Monday, you can tell they are preparing for a lot of rain to come through because the water level has dropped significantly within a few hours. They’re really pulling the water down more to catch the potential runoff headed this way.”
Walker and the rest of the Elite Series anglers will brave the conditions this weekend when they launch at 6:15 a.m. CT from Lake Dardanelle State Park and weigh in at 3:15 p.m.
“The good news is that the Arkansas River fishery is very fertile and there are a lot of fish here,” Walker said. “I haven’t been here in a half-dozen years and it still looks exactly the same. A lot of the same little places I use to fish, I was able to fish again in practice. The problem is even over all those years, the fish seem to be consistently on the small side.
“It is fun because you do get bites and it’s not a struggle to catch fish; it’s just a matter of who can catch a bigger fish than everyone else.”