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Thursday, April 08, 2010
COUNTDOWN TO SHASTA APRIL 2-3


COUNTDOWN TO HAVASU MARCH 19-20
5:45 DAY TWO IS OVER and I don't if the blogs I posted earlier were ever up, but I know they are gone now.

So here you go, Mike Folkestad locked things up pretty early when he came in with 16.66 pounds to end up with 43.28 pounds. One interesting side note is that Folkestad wasn't in the big fish option, so he missed out on a grand besides the 10 K.

Early on in the weigh-in we had a thrill when Jeff Klicka said he had the 10 grand fish. It sure looked like it when Cassidy pulled it out of the bag, but the monster 'only' weighed 8.29 pounds. A Triple A weighed a huge fish two, as Ben Broom, grandson of Don Payne, weighed a bass over 7 pounds. But he wasn't in the option either.

Billy Skinner was in the Big Fish Option and he scored another big fish and locked down second place with a 5.67 that brought his day two weight to 18.71 and his overall total to 37.59.

Paul Bailey was the first to weigh today when his livewells broke and he slid from second to third with a 16.61 sack for a total of 36.35. John Morrow had another solid day posting another 17 plus sack with 17.76 and totaled 35.23 for the tourney. Dave Gliebe didn't have the big kicker today (he took $1000 for first day) and tied Morrow for fourth.

In sixth was JJ Gibbs, as the local had 34.67 pounds. Danny Locatis made the big move, capturing big fish money with a 6.19 pounder worth a grand and ending up seventh with 34.15 pounds.

Terrence Rath posted 16 plus to go with 17 plus the first day to finish eighth with 33.32 pounds. Justin Hanold said he had a tough day, but still managed more than 15 pounds to get a total of 33.24 and Aaron Heath of Phoenix nailed a solid sack of 17.41 pounds to take the 10th spot.

Sight fishing beds was the number one pattern, but the number one angler, Folkestad, said he targeted the staging areas for his big fish and top weight. Look for complete results on www.wonbass.com soon. We promise and hopefully we come through. 


DAY TWO The big fish
really made the difference the first day and will surely have an impact on the final results today. Just about the only way someone will be able to catch Folkestad is to catch the fish that will pay $10,000. Folkestad sits 6.88 pounds ahead of Paul Bailey, who managed almost 20 pounds with 'only' a 4.39 pounder for his kicker. In third and fourth place are the two pros who will share in the Day One big fish pool with Folkestad.

In third is local pro Billy Skinner, a 22-year-old who moved to Lake Havasu City from Yuma to try to establish a career as a full-time bass pro. His 5.67-pound largemouth was the third biggest fish of the day and gave him a total weight of 18.88 pounds.

Billy Skinner with his big fish and another quality Havasu bass that put him in third place after Day One.

The second biggest fish of Day One went to someone who established himself as a bass pro decades ago and obviously hasn't lost his touch -- Dave Gliebe. Gliebe sits fourth with 18.65 pounds thanks to his 6.77-pound largemouth.

WON BASS Director Harvey Naslund with one of the most successful Lake Havasu competitors in history, Dave Gliebe. Gliebe's first day big fish weighed 6.77 pounds.

Folkestad, Gliebe and Skinner are all guaranteed some cash at day's end, but there's a lot more money at stake. First place pro will take home $6500, $4000 goes to second, $3000 to third and $2000 to fourth. Fifth gets $1750, sixth $1500, seventh $1000 the last three top 10 spots get $750. And there's still the chance someone will catch an 8.78-pound bass (or bigger) and claim $10,000. It's happened before.

Day Two Noon Update 
We sent out 90 boats this morning give or take a pro or two who dropped out the day before only to watch it glass off last night and change his mind and show up this morning. It worked out great because we were able to get every Pro paired up with a Triple A and vice versa. There's a breeze up today, but nothing like yesterday, which had gusts to 30 and sustained winds from 20 to 25 knots. It cooled off quite a bit after that front went through, so we'll see what that does to the fishing, which was absolutely great the first day. We had limits as deep in the standings as 75th (Ricky Shabazz with 8.15 pounds. There will be live updates from the weigh-in again this afternoon. In the meantime some more quotes and photos will be posted.


TOP 60 DAY ONE PROS
 

Mike Folkestad            26.62

Paul Bailey                   19.74

Billy Skinner                 18.88

Dave Gliebe                 18.65

Justin Hanold                18.18

John Morrow               17.67

Terrence Rath               17.22

Bob Porter                   17.03

Todd Woods                16.80

Dick Watson                16.80

Jim Hallauer                  16.41

Mark Dotterer              16.30

Michael Knight 16.19

Shaun Bailey                 15.90

Mike Goodwin 15.75

Scott Brownlie  15.43

Brent Becker                15.40

Aaron Heath                 15.37

Mitch Southern 15.30

Michael Caruso            15.22

John Perkins                 15.05

Danny Locatis              15.00

Bradley Yang               14.99

Wayne Carey               14.98

Tim Wilsterman            14.97 (withdrew/boat problems)

Cameron Karber          14.94

Brian Noller                  14.90

Mike Sisco, MD           14.82

Sean Stafford               14.65

Richard Lester              14.52

Ronald Berg                 14.49

Kevin Caruso               14.47

Jim Waits                     14.44

Andy Manahl                14.31

Rick Mason                  14.23

Clint Goodwin              14.00

John Turner                  13.93

Tom Pryor                    13.92

Chris Kinley                 13.80

Klayton Belden 13.76

Tony Capparelli            13.62

Dale Merry                   13.57

Jim Savoini                   13.56

Jimmy Walker              13.54

Stan Culling                  13.23

Duane Dunstone           13.17

Paul Tassie                   13.17

George Diller                13.10 (4/4)

Todd Harris                  12.91

Tim Blanchard  12.83

Ed Shaver                    12.82

Jeff Klicka                    12.77

Stan Boyd                    12.66

Ron Hammett               12.82 (5/4 -.20)

Gary Pinholster 12.78 (5/4 -.20)

Marvin Carter               12.19

Shawn Lee                   12.08

Gary Boyd                   12.00

Ken Phillips                  11.98

 
INTERVIEW WITH MIKE FOLKESTAD

Here's Mike Folkestad's 8.not enough largemouth.

Mike Folkestad nearly won $10,000 with the new record for a Lake Havasu bass in a WON BASS Pro Am. WON BASS caught up with Mike right after he weighed in the best limit of the day, unofficially 26.67 pounds.

Mike was asked whether there was another fish in Havasu that might break the record.

"Oh it's in there," he said.

Will someone catch it tomorrow?

"No I don't think so," Folkestad admitted.

Will the fishing be better or worse tomorrow?

"It will be worse, it has to be worse for me, I'm not going to do as well as I did today," he said, laughing. "That 26 pounds I weighed is the new lake record for a five fish weight. The most anyone has ever weighed for five fish was just over 23 pounds.

"I'm not going to catch another fish like that, but they're out there. There are 10 pounders out there. Just not a lot of them."

-- Rich Holland, WON BASS Editor

Note: the WON BASS tournament staff is double checking the results and we'll have them up as quick as we can on www.wonbass.com

Meanwhile I'm going through and cleaning up the live blog notes that were not easy to get posted with all those fishing coming in, so if you notice changes if you run back through, that's why.

DAY ONE WEIGH-IN UNDERWAY 4:37 Jimmie Walker just weighed the last limit and day one is over. More plus photos to come. We've got one helluva fishing contest going here.
 
4:35 Mike Goodwin just weighed almost 16 pounds and said he was on a 6-pound fish at the end of the day that he hopes to start with tomorrow morning. "There are a lot of fish," he said, "You just have to get the right ones. I only worked three or four spots today upriver. I have some stuff downriver I'm going to fish if it lays down."
 
4:20 We almost gave away $10,000. Folkestad broke the existing record, but last night Harvey announced it had to be by a tenth of a pound, so Mike was .03 off with his 8.75 (the old record was 8.68). Naslund granted a reweigh and it came up lighter at 8.67. It will still be a money fish but Folkestad was disappointed to say the least.

4:15 Okay, the photographer was jaded at the point Shaun Bailey weighed almost 16 pounds. Then Mike Folkestad came up with a kicker WOW a real kicker 8.75.

Earlier John Morrow's bag of fish tipped the scales past 19, but a readjustment by the weighmaster showed the true weight to be 17.67, helped a lot by a bunch of largemouth pushing the 4 pound mark. We've got a big crowd here as the pros hang out to watch and there's a line to get their partners for Saturday.
 
4 p.m. Todd Wood just weighed a 4.87 for 16.80.
 
 3.55 Dave Gliebe says he's won at least six tournaments on Havasu and he obviously still feels real comfortable, just weighing a 6.77-pound largemouth and posting an 18.65 sack weight. "I love this lake, it's easy to fish," said Gliebe.
 
3:50 More big fish are on the way says Brent Becker, who says his 4.9 largemouth won't hold up.  JJ Gibbs just weighed 18.88 pounds and we had another sack over 17 pounds. The leader board is shaking out. 16.72 just went on the scale for Dick Watson.
 
3:35 BRUTAL That's what Bradley Yang had to say about the conditions but he still weighed a limit with a 3.99 largemouth for the usual 14 plus pounds. Everybody is still in this one! If they survived.
 
3:30 Shad Berweger is up and just weighed a 3.23 for a total of 11.91. Stafford joined the gang at right around 15 pounds. He said he made a lot of mistakes he looks forward to correcting tomorrow. Clint Goodwin is at the scales right now with a kicker. 3.21. Looks like you're going to need a real big one or all solid fish like Bailey had today to be at the top tomorrow. Goodwin is right there about 14 pounds.
 
3:20 The wind is blowing and they're lined up at the tanks with full speed limits, Andy Manahl is up at the scale right now, with a 4.16 kicker. Quite a few fours to sort out after the 6-pound plus big fish on the books. Stafford is right behind to weigh. Manahl ended up with 14 pounds. Lots of pros in contention with 14 or 15 pounds.
 
3:15
Hectic, lots of good weights. Leader is Paul Bailey with 19.74, followed close by Billy Skinner with 18.88 anchored by a 6-plus largemouth, biggest so far. More later.
 
 
2:30 Several boats have come in early because of the wind and John Cassidy got them weighed in. We have two bags over 14 pounds out of the handful of boats to pull up. Klayton Belden, Paul Leader's grandson has the big fish a 4-pound smallmouth.
 
DAY ONE 2 PM  An hour to the weigh-in and the wind probably picked up a bit during the day and veered more down the middle of the lake. A boat was pulling off a Windsor Beach area point and blew downswell when I took the photo below about 1:30. I'm headed over to the weigh site to set up and check out my  internet connection. Should be interesting when the boats come in.

Windor Beach, Lake Havasu

DAY ONE NOON UPDATE 
It's still howling out there but there's no doubt some great weights are in more than one livewell, considering the quality of competitors on the water. This is the first event in the South Region, which will send 30 anglers to the Western Classic, but it's the second in the overall Angler of the Year race and the results here at the Nitro/Mercury Lake Havasu Invitational will give the first indication of the ultimate champion. In the lead and on the water is Delta Champ Sean Stafford, looking to follow up the first WON BASS Pro Circuit victory of 2010 by hoisting the winner's trophy yet again.

Delta Champ Sean Stafford looks back for the go-ahead to take off  on Day One of the Lake Havasu Invitational.

Ken Phillips, who was in second place after the first day of the Delta, is another northener committed to a shot at the AOY title. Phillips, you may remember, left a bass in the livewell the second day at the Delta and weighed only 4 fish. He explained he let his AAA sack one of the wells and took his word for it when he said he got them all. In the end the misstep only cost him a single place in the standing and just one point in the AOY standings.

That point went to Ricky Shabazz, the Angler's Marine team pro who has stated he's shooting for nothing less than Angler of the Year.

Anglers Marine pro staffer Ricky Shabazz turns and heads downriver at the start of the Lake Havasu Invitational.

Of course he's up against the likes of Mike Folkestad and Dave Gliebe, both also here at Havasu and both top 20 finishers at the Delta. Dave Nollar is also here and there plenty of other familiar names, including locals like Mike and Clint Goodwin and Arizona legend Fred Ward.

Last night it was one of the Goodwins that said, "That wind's going to mess things up -- but that's okay."

What will the change from easy sight fishing in flat calm weather -- the predominate condition during the pre-fish period -- to lots of wind and reaction baits produce? We'll find out in a few hours.
Fri. Mar 20 9:30 a.m. The wind came up like promised and made for a delayed start, but all five flights were off and fishing by 7:10 after John Cassidy asked for a moment of silence for our fallen service personnel as the colors were presented. It was too rough to even pass the flag to one of our sponsor Nitro's boats in the competition, for an idea of the wind and waves. Yet conditions were well in the realm of  'fishable' and though there was grumbling that Cassidy should have just let the boats go, he did the right thing and battled the conditions to get the flights off in order, meaning there was no instant time advantage to those in the last flights. Considering he started letting boats go at 6:45, he did a good job. Just seems longer bouncing around in the wind chop. Gary Boyd's tow vehicle broke down but was able to launch with another truck and was out on the water by 7:25. Three other boats experienced mechanical problems and were trying to get those resolved. The first flights will start to weigh at Windsor at 3 p.m. this afternoon. We'll do our best to get updates posted live. If not, there will be a post soon after.

Boats head upriver during the first morning start of the WON BASS Nitro/Mercury WON BASS Lake Havasu Invitational.

Thurs. March 18 10 pm Evening update: 99 boats
will head out at 6:30 a.m. tomorrow from Windsor Beach's North Ramp and the first flight is due back at 3 p.m. With the forecast for possibly gusty winds, the superintendent of the park said he will open the South Ramp's two lanes if necessary for safety. It will be an "in boat" weigh-in -- that is with the fish kept in the boat's livewells and the boats on the trailers. John Galbraith, our local regional director, will have a live release boat on hand, while South Region Tournament Director John Cassidy is running the show. Hopes are high for great fishing with an emphasis on safety. More tomorrow.

 4:45 pm The check-in is going full speed and it looks like we'll have right at 100 boats for the Mercury/Nitro WON BASS Lake Havasu Invitational. John Cassidy has been giving away product from our sponsors until it's just about gone, inlcuding big Yum stick plastics, brand new WON BASS patches, Western Plastics and coupons for discounts with local merchants. Everyone is eyeing the Hi-Seas bulk spools of line, Quantum rod and reel combos, Sebile lures, Ardent reels and Smart Culls, Rapala lures and the Beat Mike Folkestad Daiwa drop-shot outfit that will be given out in drawings and as awards later.

3 pm
"It's going to be a bloodbath out there," said John Morrow when he checked in about an hour ago. A young local fishing his first AAA said he stuck a four-pound smallie this morning. Temp is 90 degree and its flat calm, but forecast is for wind and cooler temps for the tournament. "It will just be a different bunch of guys on top of the leader board if the wind blows," said Morrow.


WE STILL NEED AAAs!
High Noon in the desert and we're just about to start check-in at the Quality Inn and Suites at 271 So. Lake Havasu Dr. in Lake Havasu City. For $100 you can fish Friday and Saturday with one of the top bass pros in the West and chances are you're going to catch a lot of fish. The lake has been on the rise since yesterday and is back up over 47 feet. I talked to an angler who prefished all last week and fished the lake when it was both rising and dropping. He said when the water was on the drop you could see plenty of fish off the bank but there was no getting them to go. Once the water started to come back up "it was game on". It's time to get your game on. We'll be taking signups until the end of check-in just before 5 p.m.

We're headed to Lake Havasu! Look for live updates from the weigh-in site  Friday and Saturday on this blog. We'll have a recap here each night and will also post the full standings every night on wonbass.com.

The Pros and AAAs pre-fishing Havasu are looking at an interesting set of conditions as the lake levels have fluctuated wildly in the last week or so, going up a couple feet at the Parker gauge just a week ago and dropping as much as an entire foot in a single day (March 16). As of this writing (March 17), the lake has leveled out at just under 47 feet -- which has been the 'normal' level most of the winter. Here's the USGS graph:



Meanwhile the last week of winter has been the host to the first heat wave of the year. And that's leading into one of the strongest periods of lunar influence all year. Saturday's the first day of spring, followed just a few days later by the first quarter of the moon.

Those poor bass must be caught up in a tug of war of natural instincts, with one set of conditions telling  them to charge the bank and the other pulling them away. The one constant is the ability of the WON BASS anglers to figure the puzzle out and bring fish to the scale.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

--  Rich Holland, WON BASS  Editor

March 12

We've got more pros than AAAs! The Havasu entries are coming in at a fast pace as the first event of the South Region of the WON BASS Pro Circuit is less than a week away. In fact, the number of pros signed has sped past the number of AAAs, blowing past the dozen on the waiting list in a single day. So if you're a AAA angler, get on board. If you're a pro who hasn't signed up, what are you waiting for?
 
"You're going to have way more than 100 boats," said longtime Southern California pro Dave Nollar Wednesday during a shoot at Vail Lake for Ronnie Kovach's FX (Fishing Expedition) show that airs on Fox Sports West.
 
The event was a mini-tournament put on by Kovach and Dennis Yamamoto of Owner American to spotlight the WON BASS sponsor's new lineup of Owner Soft Baits that includes the Ribeye swimbait, Shiver Tail drop-shot finesse worm, the super-floating Shaky Worm (designed to be fished with the Owner Shaky Head) and the Yuki Bug. The rules for the eight boats were that only Owner products could be used.
 
The Yuki Bug was the top producer on a frosty-cold post-frontal day on Vail. WON BASS Editor Rich Holland was paired with Malcom Smith. Smith shares something in common with WON BASS Director Harvey Naslund -- they were both brought into bass fishing by Nollar. Smith also has a connection with Kovach, seeing as they are both members of the Inland Empire Bass Club.
 
Kovach admitted Malcom taught him everything he knew about Vail and Smith went on to show his expertise, as he flipped the Yuki Bug deep into flooded timber for five good bites, four of which made it to the boat. The biggest fish he pulled out of the middle one tree was a solid seven pounds and practically could have won on its own merit. As it was the four fish weighed close to 18 pounds.
 
Malcom Smith of Oak Hills with the bigmouth he flipped out of a Vail Lake tree with the help of Owner's new Yuki Bug.
 
John and Tammy Morrow had just over 10 pounds taken drop-shotting the Shiver and fishing the Shaky Worm on a Texas rig to take second, narrowly beating out Nollar and Kovach, who had almost 10 pounds fishing the finesse worm on Shaky Heads. Next biggest bass was a fish about 4 pounds caught on a Yuki Bug by Joe Uribe, Sr.
 
Smith, who fished his first bass tournament -- a Western Bass event when it was still run by WON and Naslund -- in 1977, won't be at Havasu since his club is fishing Martinez the same weekend.
 
John Morrow, however, said he's looking forward to the WON BASS Nitro/Mercury Lake Havasu Invitational.
 
"At the least there should be some really good fishing," said Morrow. At best, Morrow could be the one walking away with a nice paycheck and the overall lead in the Angler of the Year and South Region points races.
 
Of course, there will be at least 100 pros looking to prove otherwise.
 
For an entry form for the Lake Havasu Invitational, go to the WON BASS Web site or to sign up over the phone call 949 366-0030 ext 38 and ask for Sally Urena.

NOTE: Headquarters for the 2010 WON BASS Mercury/Nitro Lake Havasu Invitational March 19 & 20 will be at the Quality Inn & Suites, 271 South Lake Havasu Ave, Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403. For reservations call: 928 855 1111 or 800 528 5169 and be sure to ask for the WON BASS group rate.
 
Mead and Havasu catches explode
the old image of desert reservoirs

When contacted by WON BASS, Dean Rojas predicted the upcoming WON BASS Pro Circuit event on Lake Havasu March 19 and 20 would produce a 20-pound bag and might even kick out a 9 or 10-pound largemouth.

The words were barely out of Rojas’ mouth when the team of JJ Gibbs and Ray Lillard took first place honors in the Lake Havasu WON BASS Colorado River Region Team Tournament event Feb. 27 with a sack weighing 20.17 pounds.

And that came when anglers were still buzzing about the Nevada Region’s team event on Lake Mead that saw Moses Mokuahi and Stephen Camden weigh a 5-fish limit that tipped the scales at 20 pounds even.



Stephen Camden and Moses Mokuahi blew away the field and blew some minds with this 20-pound limit on Lake Mead.

What the heck’s going on along the Colorado River? There’s no doubt that smallmouth bass have shifted the paradigm on the river’s many reservoirs, what with the bronzebacks seemingly muscling aside the striped bass to carve a niche that seems to be getting bigger every year. For some reason that has gone along with bigger and bigger largemouth bass to provide the kicker fish needed for heavyweight sacks.

Largemouth/smallmouth hybrids have also entered the scene and Gibbs and Lillard’s sack included a 5.72-pound hybrid. While there hasn’t been time to dig up any scientific viewpoint on the Colorado River’s changing fishery — could it be the drought years have actually helped, for example — why look a gift horse in the mouth? It’s time to go fishing and take advantage of the action.

Both Mead and Havasu play prominent roles as the WON BASS season gets going in the South, what with Mead playing host to the  U.S. Open July 17-21 and the final event of the South Region on Sept. 10-11.

As noted, WON BASS pros and AAAs will be heading to Lake Havasu March 19-20 to kick off the South Region and the points race for the top 30 qualifiers for this fall’s Western Classic. Points in the South Region tourneys also count towards the Angler of the Year race. Both the winner of the Angler of the Year and the Western Classic will be awarded a fully-rigged Nitro Z-7 bass boat with a Mercury outboard on the transom.

Getting back to heavy weights and big bass, in addition to the regular Big Fish Option open to both Pros and AAAs at at the Lake Havasu Nitro/Mercury Invitational, WON BASS Director is offering $10,000 to the Pro or AAA who breaks the WON BASS Pro/Am Lake Havasu record big fish of 8.68 pounds.

Rojas was right when he said Havasu would be giving up 20-pound sacks, was he right when he said he thought some angler might weigh in a 9 or 10-pound bass? We’ll see.

For an entry form for the Lake Havasu Invitational, go to the WON BASS Web site or to sign up over the phone call 949 366-0030 ext 38 and ask for Sally Urena.

NOTE: Headquarters for the 2010 WON BASS Mercury/Nitro Lake Havasu Invitational March 19 & 20 will be at the Quality Inn & Suites, 271 South Lake Havasu Ave, Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403. For reservations call: 928 855 1111 or 800 528 5169 and be sure to ask for the WON BASS group rate.

Rojas predicts heavy weights for Lake Havasu
Invitational, big field for the U.S. Open

Dean Rojas was back on his home waters of Lake Havasu after fishing the BassMasters Classic in Alabama when WON BASS caught up with him to talk about upcoming tournaments on the Colorado River lakes chain.

“The fishing in the Classic was a little tough, the water was a little cool, but I had a half-way decent showing,” said Rojas. “I managed to make the cut for the final day and weighed in more than 20 pounds for the tournament.”

What’s surprising is that while tuning up for the big event, Rojas caught nearly 20 pounds in a single day fishing a WON BASS Team Tournament on Havasu — in January. 

“We won with 18 ½ pounds of smallmouth and that was in January,” said Rojas, who fished with Justin Locatis in that event. “I remember it used to be if you caught 10 pounds in January you would win hands down.”

The chance to fish year-round and keep finely tuned for the Eastern circuit was the main reason Rojas moved to Havasu. And it looks like he started a trend among bass pros.

“Seems like everyone is moving to Havasu, it’s a fantastic fishery,” said Rojas. “The smallmouth have played a big role in the lake’s development, plus the largemouth keep getting bigger and bigger.”

That means the WON BASS Team Tournaments held on Lake Havasu not only offer a chance to fish, but to fish against some of the top pros in the  West, with sticks like Shaun Bailey, Justin Kerr, Mike Rooke, Roy Hawk, Mike and Clint Goodwin and Shad Berweger competing.

But the draw at Lake Havasu is the fishery, and though his commitments back East won’t let him fish the WON BASS Nitro/Mercury Lake Havasu Invitational March 19-20, Rojas said Havasu should be more than on its top game come the tournament.

“There are going to be some huge weights, you might even see a 9 or 10 pounder,” said Rojas. “It depends on the weather, but there are sure to be some fish on beds and a lot of pre-spawn fish.

“Weightwise you’re going to need 14 pounds or more a day,” he added. “You can catch them on anything. Everyone will have limits, it’s just a matter of catching that kicker fish one day and bringing in 20 pounds.”

If that kicker fish happens to top the existing WON BASS Pro/Am record of 8.68 pounds, the lucky angler will be awarded $10,000.

Rojas said there are a number of factors that have contributed to the improved fishery at Havasu besides the burgeoning population of smallmouth bass.

“I think all the habitat enhancement, the brush piles and all, has really helped,” he noted. “I also think striper population has declined. Now even in the winter it takes 15 pounds to get in the top ten of a Team Tournament.”

While he can’t make the Lake Havasu March 19-20, Rojas has his eyes set upriver for the two WON BASS events on Lake Mead, the first of which is the U.S. Open July 17-21.

“Yes I’ll be at the Open, I think it’s great that it’s right after ICAST,” said Rojas. “There should be a lot more of the big pros there. You’re going to get a lot of the big names. Of course you’ll get Western guys like (John) Murray, Ish (Monroe) and me, but you’ll also get top Eastern pros. You’ll get Klein and Clunn and probably a dozen more from back East.

“The U.S. Open will easily have over 100 pros compete this year,” said Rojas. “I love that it’s back in the summer, back to the true U.S. Open. It’s the biggest tournament on the West Coast, and I hope they never change it from Lake Mead.”

For an entry form for the Lake Havasu Invitational, go to the WON BASS Web site or call 949 366-0030 ext 38.

NOTE: Headquarters for the 2010 WON BASS Mercury/Nitro Lake Havasu Invitational March 19 & 20 will be at the Quality Inn & Suites, 271 South Lake Havasu Ave, Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403. For reservations: Call : 928 855 1111 or 800 528 5169 BE SURE AND ASK FOR WON BASS GROUP RATE

-- Rich Holland, WON BASS Editor, rich@wonews.com


WON BASS Nitro/Mercury Pro Circuit
headed to Lake Havasu March 19-20

Smallmouth fishing will be great. Question is, will a $10,000 largemouth be found?

The biggest change in the Colorado River lakes in the last decade has been the emergence of smallmouth bass in the fishery, and nowhere is this more evident than at Lake Havasu, next stop on the WON BASS Nitro/Mercury 2010 Pro Circuit.

“It’s going to be a wide open smallmouth spawn, it should be crazy good,” said John Galbraith, who directs the WON BASS Team Tournament circuits along the Colorado River. “Normally if we get a premature warming trend, the smallmouth can come up in late February, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. That means the moon phase and a warming trend in March should really turn it on.”

Galbraith said all the smallmouth caught in his most recent team event on Lake Havasu were all pre-spawn fat smallmouth ripe with eggs.

“The smallmouth come up in waves, and since the spawn will be a little later than normal, the smallmouth spawn will be on right through April,” Galbraith noted. “Big smallies spawn as deep as 8 to 10 feet, smaller fish in 2 to 6 feet.”

Not only will the shallows of Lake Havasu be loaded with smallmouth, but the chance at one of the lake’s big largemouth is very good. Havasu has the biggest largemouth of the river lakes and the WON BASS pro-am record stands at 8.68 pounds.

“Although they usually spawn after the first smallmouth wave, some of the bigger largemouth will come up the same time as the smallmouth, or at least be up and catchable,” noted Galbraith. “We get a lot of the big female largemouth that are up cruising when the smallmouth spawn and fishermen get a lot of them on swimbaits and jerkbaits.”

The odds are pretty long that someone will beat the record 8.68 largemouth, but then again that’s why WON BASS Director Harvey Naslund is willing to put $10,000 on the line. That’s right, if the biggest bass of the tournament beats the WON BASS record, the angler will get a check for $10,000.

That’s in addition to all the great cash awards, prizes from sponsors such as Quantum, Owner, Daiwa, Ardent, Plano and PRADCO that will be handed out and awarded. And the payouts should be considerable, since the fishing is good and everyone is excited about the return of a WON BASS pro event to the Colorado River.

“Everyone’s talking about the WON BASS Havasu tournament, I expect there will be over 100 boats,” said Galbraith. “All the new guys around here are talking about fishing AAA , and all the guys with boats say they are going to fish Pro.”

The Lake Havasu Invitational, while the second on the WON BASS Pro Circuit, is the first in the South Region. The top 30 Pros AAA from the South will compete against the top 30 Pros and AAAs from the north in this fall’s Western Classic — for no additional entry fee.

Entry for the WON BASS Nitro/Mercury Lake Havasu Invitational is just $350 Pro and $100 AAA, with the $100 Pro Option and $50 Big Fish Option open to all competitors. To sign up call Ashley or Sally at (949) 366-0030 ext. 38 or go to www.wonbass.com to get an entry form.

Headquarters for the 2010 WON BASS Mercury/Nitro Lake Havasu Invitational March 19 & 20 will be at the Quality Inn & Suites, 271 South Lake Havasu Ave, Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403.  For  reservations: Call : 928 855 1111 or 800 528 5169

Tournament check-in March 18 will be at the Quality Inn commencing at 12 noon until 5 pm. Pairing of partners to follow.
 All boats must be off the water by 2 pm March 18.

Reader Comments
I'm looking foward to getting back into the swing of fish at won bass level .
renck jeffrey

Check your Records. DV 05 13+ If that kicker fish happens to top the existing WON BASS Pro/Am record of 8.68 pounds, the lucky angler will be awarded $10,000
Rodney Scott

Rodney -- not exactly sure what you mean. The 10K is for a fish that beats our Havasu pro am record of 8.68. We just had a 14.6 at the Delta, which is probably the overall record, although I can't say for sure. I do know that Guyle Sternat won ten thousand dollars for catching it.
Rich Holland

Hey, Tony Capparellio weight and placement didn't make your website standings for day one. BTW I dig the blog stuff. Very cool. But the total weights and placements out quicker, please.
Andy

As you can see from above, Tony had 13.62 pounds, which put him 42nd going into day two. We've had some trouble with our software, but should have the glitches worked out and have today's results up on WON BASS ASAP.
Rich Holland

This was my first and my last Pro Am. Being a AAA that finishes in the money is totally reliant on drawing a good pro. The comment that pissed me off the most was from the tournament director Harry Naslund. He said, " All you AAA's out there, you guys need to chip in for fuel to the Pro's, where else are you going to get a guided fishing trip for fifty dollars a day." First of all not all of us got a guided fishing trip. Second, not all of us had what I would consider to be a PRO. After all it just takes a boat(not even a nice one) and $350.00 to be considered a PRO with WON bass that is. Congrats to all the AAA's that had a good draw. Seeing as how I have already paid the $45.00 yearly membership at this tournament, maybe I will fish a Team Tourney before my membership expires. Never again a Pro Am....

Dave -- Much does depend on the luck of the draw and luck overall -- with 100 boats there will be boat problems, etc. One guarantee is there will be expenses, primarily fuel. But the AAA division is not really set up to provide cushy guided fishing experiences. It's to provide an opportunity to compete, learn and motivate bass fishermen to get their own boat and compete at the top level. 

-- Rich Holland, WON BASS Editor

Dave Crunden


Where will the Mohave tournament be held out of?

Steve, it will be at Katherine's Landing, with the host hotel the Edgewater.
steve
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