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Thursday, April 08, 2010
COUNTDOWN TO SHASTA APRIL 2-3
Friday, September 10, 2010
Lake Mead Pro AM - Spetember 10-11, 2010


COUNTDOWN TO MOHAVE MAY 21-22
Even more new photos have been posted together with the payouts for the WON BASS Nitro/Mercury Lake Mohave Invitational.


Tony Capparelli, right, credited Chad May's 3-pound-plus smallmouth for putting him into second place overall at Mohave.


Klayton Belden scored first place big fish money the second day and climbed into third place thanks to the 5.06-pound largemouth in his right hand.



Boulder City Pro John Mackey posted two solid limits to get in the money at fourth place.


Bradley Yang came through with quality fish each day to finish fifth.

Here are the payouts for the
2010 WON BASS Nitro/Mercury Lake Mohave Invitational. The awards ceremony finished up about about 6:40 and winner
Mike Folkestad made quite a haul considering there were 40 boats in the event.

Pro Division
Mike Folkestad  $3000 first place, $300 second place big bass second day, and $625 pro option.
Tony Capparelli $2000
Klayton Belden, $1500, $500 big bass second day, $300 pro option
John Mackey, $1000, $200 pro option
Bradley Yang, $1000
Paul Bailey, $1000, $200 pro option
Shad Berweger, $900
Tim Blanchard, $800, $200 pro option
Jim Hallauer, Ardent Reel
Justin Hanold, Ardent Reel, $250 third big fish first day

Other Big Fish Cash

Wayne Carey, $500 first day big fish
Dave Gliebe, $300, second big fish first day
Billy Skinner, $250, third big fish second day

AAA Division

Mike Powell, $700
Chad May, $500
Geoff Peterson, $400
Stephen Watte, $300, $500 pro option
John O'Brien, $300
Tami Curtis, $200
Herminio Romero, $200
Charlie Christy, $200



Mike Folkestad is the champion of the 2010 WON BASS Nitro/Mercury Lake Mohave Invitational. Full results will be posted on
www.wonbass.com. very soon. The officials are going over the final results and double checking the payouts, etc. before the awards meeting starts in a half hour down in the Rio Vista room of the Edgewater in Laughlin.

It was one heckuva tough event, but that's what many expected, including the many bass fishermen who opted not to show up. Those who did showed some remarkable skill and class, and Mike Folkestad is always at or near to the top of such a group. He caught just 8 keepers each day and his full pattern will be discussed at a later time. I will say he made the long run through the basin each day despite the wind and his 14.76-pound weight the second day was the biggest of the tournament.


2010 Lake Mohave Invitational Champion Mike Folkestad with a couple of his day two fish.

Another impressive day two weight, in fact second only to Folkestad, was the 13.50 pounds weighed by Paul Bailey. He pulled out a sixth place finish after a day one catch of only three fish for 7.83 pounds. Why is this important? An unofficial look at the Angler of the Year standings shows Bailey still holds a slim lead over Folkestad for the top spot.

In second was Mr. Consistency Tony Capparelli who put together two solid limits for a total of 23.36 pounds. Klayton Belden was third and had big fish the second day, John Mackey of Boulder City had an impressive tournament for fourth and Bradley Yang was fifth. More later. The data files have been sent to the WON BASS web manager and complete pro and AAA results should be up soon. It's time to head to the awards.

Day two is over. One of the last to weigh was Paul Bailey. He made a big turnaround, weighing just short of 14 pounds for the day. "Yesterday I missed some bites, but today I waited to see them eat it," said Bailey, who said he fished swim baits and spinnerbaits. "They were just swiping at it. You had to be on point and be ready to set the hook when they hit it. This was a big saver, dude."
 
Tim Blanchard was in the top 10 and just weighed a nearly 10 pound bag thanks to a 3-pound plus fish caught by AAA Chris Ricci. "We junk fished all day," said Blanchard.
 
The incredible Mike Folkestad just brought in 14.76 pounds topped by a 3.92 big fish. Combined with his 13.37  pounds from yesterday, Folkestad takes a commanding lead with a total of 28.13 pounds.
 
Mike Folkestad is here with a good sack of 5 fish and a big fish.
 
Jim Hallauer only two fish, but said three pounders jumped off. he was in second going into today. Justin Hanold just weighed. 3.45 pounds. "I ran up to my water the wind was worse, the water was chalk white. I had to junk fish and just couldn't get it done," said Hanold.
 
Tony Capparelli has the lead with another flight still to go. The conditions and the fishing were obviously very tough on the anglers today, but it's amazing how the pros can come through and still get weight to the scales. And  don't discount the efforts of the AAAs.
 
Dave Gliebe only weighed two fish and said his AAA caught both. Shad Berweger couldn't get his fifth fish and said two of the four were caught by his AAA Mike Gioai. But Bradley Yang and Capparelli brought in solid 11-pound or so limits and John Mackey, who also in the top 10, had a good limit at right around 11 pounds. Capparelli was helped by a 3-pound-plus smallie by his AAA Chad May. Yang caught his own big fish, while Oscar Delgadillo got a big fish contender, too.
 
John Morrow's AAA Ed Campbell just brought up the two fish they caught for the day, putting Morrow back in the Angler of the Year running with what will be some good points. It will be interest to see how the north and south points races shake out now that two events are in the bag in both regions.
 
Ralph Wells, Mike Sisco's Triple AAA, brought up two fish and said they took a beating. One of the fish didn't measure up to the 13-inch minimum. The other fish weighed 1.23 pounds, but with the penalty the total weight for the day was .23 pounds.
 
Big fish is now a 5.06 weighed in by Klayton Belden. He said it hit a Little E swim bait in fire tiger first thing in the morning. "We got all four of our fish first thing, then never got another bite," said Belden.
 
Klayton Belden is on his way up the dock with what looks like a good sack of fish.
 
Ken Phillips of Antioch is on his way in with some fish. He's looking for a good finish to bolster his Angler of the Year chances. Things will get going fast after this if yesterday is any indication.It turned out it was just a single fish. "The funny thing is I caught this fish on Thursday," said Phillips. "It was in the same cove in the same place. I caught it with a fluke the first time, but today I caught it on a jig. It didn't want the fluke."
 
We're just a little more than half an hour from the official start of the second day weigh-in and the wind is gusting good. We've already weighed one fish and by the sound of it we could see some good weights today despite the conditions.
 
Billy Skinner of Lake Havasu City got the one fish he needs to get in the points for Mohave and it even might hold up for the big fish cash he wants. The single bass weighed 3.67 pounds and ate swim bait early in the day.
 
"I actually found a lot of fish, but I destroyed my boat," said Skinner. "We made a move and I speared three four-foot waves. The impact collapsed my battery trays and then took out the livewell. And I already didn't have any charge in my troll motor, the charger didn't work again."
 
While the fish may hold up for some money (we had a handful over 4 pounds yesterday), Skinner is guaranteed a good chunk of points that with his second at Havasu should put him in good shape to qualify in the top 30 at the Lake Mead event Sept. 10-11.
 
Just a couple hours before the Day Two weigh-in for the 2010 Pro Circuit WON BASS Nitro/Mercury Lake Mohave Invitational. Here are some photos of the anglers at the top of the leader board.


Jim Hallauer of El Cajon was in second place going into the last day of competition on Lake Mohave thanks to 13.53 pounds of bass.


AAA Tom Elliott and Pro Shad Berweger put together the fourth place weight of 13.24 pounds on Day One.


Bradley Yang was in fifth place after Day One with 12.11 pounds.

Day Two is underway with early weigh-in available as of 2 p.m. and the first flight due back at 3 p.m. The wind is still up, but fishable (or at least survivable). John Cassidy and Billy Egan held the pack back this morning until they were able to make a test run in the Nitro Z-7 both north and south in the middle of the lake and once they deemed it safe started sending boats out at 5:40 a.m.

It should be noted that Mercury is also on hand here at the WON BASS Nitro/Mercury Lake Mohave Invitational, with Mark Nicoletti manning the trailer in case anyone needs any help with their motor. Fortunately, problems have been few and every Pro was able to get out on the water with his AAA this morning. Only wind has been a problem.

The main problem with the wind is that many, if not all, of the Pros were on a pattern of fish up shallow near the grass. Dick Watson, who had big fish on the day yesterday, said he that in pre-fish he was digging up mud to get back to deeper spots with laydown timber. Early yesterday that pattern held and produced the 5.26 largemouth, but Watson said it was falling apart as the day progressed.

Chris Ricci, who was leading the AAA Angler of the Year points race going into the Mohave event said the first day presented many opportunities for his Pro, Pro Angler of the Year points leader Paul Bailey, although they were only able to weigh three fish. "He threw that swim bait all day long and a lot of bass came up on it, but they just wouldn't stick," said Ricci. "He was fishing a lot of the same stuff Mike (Folkestad) was fishing in practice."

Folkestad was able to get one of the best limits of the day by drop shotting and dragging Carolina-rigged  Roboworms and Maverick worms, but as noted earlier, said the water he fished got beat up and he was worried that the wind would make things even tougher.

Ken Phillips said that during pre-fish there would be several bass in the scattered weed clumps in the backs of coves, but the wind rapidly changed the situation. "I came into one spot where I had seen a bunch of fish and they chased the bait and this time there was one bass and it was on the bottom of to the side of the weeds. When you threw a bait at it, it just moved away," he said.

It should be noted the top two anglers, Justin Hanold in first and Jim Hallauer in second, both expressed confidence going into day two. It's a tight race with only about a 7-pound difference between first and the 25th spot. The reputation Mohave has states someone will come in with a big bag regardless of the conditions and many others will struggle just to put 7 or 8 pounds in the bag. That means the standings could flip flop in a hurry. We'll see. Meanwhile, look for some more photos to be put up soon and we'll be reporting live from Katherine's Landing starting about 2 p.m.

Evening
recap
Day One of the WON BASS Nitro/Mercury Lake Mohave Invitational.
While our low entry fees and, unfortunately, low turnouts the last couple events might make the 2010 Pro Circuit seem like little more than a team event, the fact is our fields have been packed with a solid core of top pros from throughout the Western states, including the intrepid Ken Phillips of Antioch. Phillips chose not to take the easy way out and use Mohave as his throwaway. Instead he journeyed all the way to a brand new lake and stayed at the motel at Katherine's Landing. He got on some good fish during pre-fish and felt confident when he hooked up his charger to the outlet in his room and went to bed. At 8 p..m someone pulled the plug on his charger. Only the intercession of some kind souls kept his boat from being towed. He got out on Mohave with the wind coming up with a half-charge on his trolling batteries and said he had no choice but just to fish with the wind making the best casts he could.  He couldn't connect with his fifth fish, but still is in 20th and has a shot, God willing and a fully-charged battery.

Dave Gliebe had his fifth fish on the hook, one he said would have sized up nicely to the two biggest of the four already in his livewell, but he lost it. This is the real stuff my friends, the littlest mishap on a lake like Mohave meaning you're lagging behind the field. Gliebe is still in position to charge, especially considering his big fish touch. He weighed a 4.05 today.

Now for the real hard luck stories. Billy Skinner, the young pro who did so well at Havasu and who has been fishing teams with Shaun Bailey after moving from Yuma to Lake Havasu City, was found sitting on the picnic table behind the weigh-in at Katherine's Landing (what a beautiful facility they have) without ever walking through the weigh-in line. What happened Billy?

"I had the worst day ever," said Skinner. "I was on some great fish during pre-fish and today they were gone. I looked around and couldn't find anything. I'm going for a big fish tomorrow to hopefully make some money that way."

He was reminded that all he needs is a single fish to get some good points and practically lock in a spot for the Western Classic and a shot at the Nitro Z-7 with a big ol' Optimax Pro XS outboard on the back.

Someone who was in great shape in the south points race ran into some decidedly uncharacteristic bad fortune today. John Morrow missed the deadline for crossing the buoy line. The officials had called it time and pulled the troll motor, settled down and fired up the big motor when John crossed the entrance. He put a good bag in the water with no credit for his efforts. Fortunately, the small field means he can still stay in the race for the Western Classic and nobody deserves it more. He is just about the classiest angler this writer has ever met.

The wind kept getting up all day and was supposed to hit 50 mph. Hopefully it blows itself out before tomorrow morning. We'll have all the latest here. Meanwhile, check out all the big fish photos by scrolling down. Good night. -- Rich Holland

The full results are up, or should soon be up on www.wonbass.com.
For those staying at the Edgewater, you can get a printout from supervisor at the front desk.

Hopefully you saw an earlier post with the top 10, top 11 actually, pros led off by Justin Hanold of Rancho Cucamonga, where he works at the Bass Pro Shops store there. His boss Gerald Russell was here to watch Justin weigh in 14.21 pounds, by far the best weight. 


Justin Hanold of Bass Pro Shops with a couple of the fish that put him in the lead.

Hanold missed out on first day big fish money as that competition really heated up. After Wayne Carey weighed a 4.57, first year pro Andy Manahl came in with a 4.42 that fell just short. Mike Sisco trumped them both with a 4.69. Meanwhile, Dick Watson thought the locals had it wrapped up and sent his AAA up with the fish, only to find out his 5.26 was easily the biggest of the day.


Dick Watson with the big fish of Day One on Lake Mohave


Mike Sisco with his 4.69 that put him just ahead of Dave Gliebe in lucky 13th place.


Wayne Carey and grandson and the third biggest bass of day one, a 4.57 pounder.


Andy Manahl of Phoenix is sponsored by Mattress Depot and made a strong showing on day one with this 4.42 beauty of a Mohave largemouth.


There are three pros in close pursuit of  Hanold with over 13 pounds, including Mike Folkestad in third with 13.37 pounds. "It was tough, just a lot of drop shotting and Carolina rigging," said Folkestad, who's looking to take the lead in the Angler of the Year race.. "It's not going to get better with all this wind and I think the catchable fish took a beating today."

In second was Jim Hallauer of El Cajon who had a 3.50 to go with his total of 13.53. Shad Berweger of Boulder City weighed 13.24 topped by a 3.89.

Bradley Yang wasn't far behind with the only limit in the 12 pound range, weighing a total of
12.11. Tony Capparelli had a great day with  11.85 pounds, Jeff Klicka is right there at 11.64, Todd Woods posted 11.54, John Mackey of Boulder City had 11.28and Kevin Luby of Henderson had 11.09 to wrap up the top 10 and Carey and his big fish was the last one with 11 pounds and was 11th with 11.05.

Wayne Carey just weighed the biggest of the day so far, a 4.57. " I got it on a swim bait, got the one big one and four rats," said Carey, who posed with his grandson and the kicker fish. Paul Bailey and Chris Ricci only had 3 fish, but the weight was almost 8 pounds. That's the spread, between 8 and just over 14 pounds.
 
 It's hectic here and we've got several weights over 10 pounds.
 
 
The first flight is filing in right as the clock hits 3 p.m. here at the first day of the WON BASS Nitro/Mercury Lake Mohave Invitational.  Stan Boyd and Chris Bond will be the next two pros to weigh. Stan just said he has "five alive."
 
 
Justin Hanold, who works at Bass Pro Shops, just came in with the first bag of the day, a 14.21 sack bolstered by a 4.01 largemouth the pro caught. "I stayed close to home,
with the wind coming up  I didn't want to do that to my boat and my AAA (Charlie Christy of Las Vegas)," said the Rancho Cucamonga angler. "I'll go to my good
fish tomorrow." -- 2:50 p.m. Rich Holland.
 
 Just 45 minutes before the first flight is due in and the wind that built all day until it was in the low 20s came up with some good gusts to try and turn the Mercury
EZ-Up into a paraglider. We're all set up and ready to weigh, though, and it will be interesting to see who caugh what. They had plenty of time to get in
some good fishing as the windrose this morning, now it's a matter of getting back in one piece (and afloat) through the big basin.

"Six foot waves in Mead are easier than
four foot waves in the (Mohave) basin," said Colorado
River Region Team Director John Galbraith. "The waves
on Mohave are like nowhere else. They're really tight
together but every 20th one will be out of sync. You are
going to punch waves in the basin."
 
 
Day One of the Lake Mohave Invitational is underway after an uneventful (which is good) launch out of Katherine's Landing. There was only a slight hint of the southwest breeze that forecasters say could turn into a howling wolf, but let's hope they're wrong.

Billy Egan presents the colors during the National Anthem.

Tournament Director John Cassidy ran the show and Billy Egan, announced last night by Harvey Naslund as the new Director of Operations for WON BASS, had the privilege of presenting the colors on the brand new Nitro Z-7 that Gerald Russell of Bass Pro Shops in Rancho Cucamonga brought out for the occasion.

Who wins the Nitro Z-7 for Angler of the Year could come back to what happens the next couple days on Lake Mohave.

All but a couple of the boats in the three flights headed upriver to make the run across the big basin and look for the bigger fish that are supposed to live up that way. At least one boat ran all the way to the dam to start -- I know because I snapped a picture of it.

Early morning in a Mohave cove on Day One of the Nitro/Mercury Lake Mohave Invitational.
Cassidy told all the participants last night that he would have the scales ready to go at 2 p.m. even though the boats in the first flight don't have to be back until 3 p.m. That's in case the wind does get nasty and anyone who wants to dan get off the lake early.
Getting back to the big fish, John Morrow, that accomplished veteran of the river lakes, said he expects some real good ones to be brought to the scales in the next couple days. "Watch out for 'Big Al' Robinson," said Morrow. "He knows where the big fish are in Mohave."
-- Rich Holland, 7:30 a.m. Friday, May 21
Thursday night
It's past time to hit the hay since the long hours of sunlight mean Tournament Director John Cassidy will give competitors all the time they want with a 5:30 start for the first flight, weather permitting. After the draw, WON BASS Director Harvey Naslund posed with a photo with the "guys who got me started, the icons of bass fishing" Dave Gliebe and Mike Folkestad.

ICONS ALL: Mike Folkestad, Harvey Naslund and Dave Gliebe.

The cool part was I got to hang a bit with Folkestad and Gliebe sharing info and they both said that while the bite was tough, they were on some big fish. When Gliebe said he had a 6 pounder "well I had it on" then Folkestad had to concede. They both said they had seen more than one big smallmouth. The wind is the wild card, but as Cassidy said while giving out the rules, Havasu had steady 30 mph winds and produced the best day of fishing in the history of the lake.
Earlier, Naslund also had a photo taken with Gerald Russell, head of the marine department of the Bass Pro Shops in Rancho Cucamonga, which is far and away the number one Nitro/Tracker dealer in Southern California.
With $10,000 on the line, Harvey Naslund spent a decent amount of time explaining the rules surrounding the "Beat the Record Bass" competition within a competition, including the fact that strangely hungry bass that gulp down a chunk of lead will lead to immediate disqualification! While that is an unlikely circumstance, considering the caliber of fishermen at this event, which Naslund noted, there are requirements in order for the angler to claim the cash, including a lie detector test.
"Let me tell you, nothing would make more happy than to give one of you $10,000," said Naslund. "Not so much even for the guy who wins, but for the son of a guns who decided not to fish this event."
The draw is underway an in a twist of fate (and it was totally random, I watched the draw), the fourth boat in the first flight contains both the Angler of the Year leaders, Pro Paul Bailey and AAA Chris Ricci.
The pairings are done and just about double-checked as the check-in closed down at 5:15. One of the last groups to come through included a couple of the better young pros fishing our circuit, current Angler of the Year leader Paul Bailey of Willits and Billy Skinner of Lake Havasu City. Skinner has been fishing team tournaments lately with Bailey's brother Shaun.
Asked about his prospects, Bailey said with a laugh, "I hope I'm going to do well."
The big concern is the wind. It seems like the weather has been dogging WON BASS like the economy has been dogging just about everybody. The good news is that the forecast seems to have changed and instead of just whuppin' up out the north, this afternoon started out with a strong south wind and pro John Morrow said he heard the forecast has backed way off from the 50 mph horrors promised earlier in the week.
We sure hope our Pros and AAAs don't have to go through nasty conditions like faced us the first day on Havasu. Then again, nobody is coming in beaming about the great fishing they had in pre-fish here at Havasu.
Dave Gliebe was one of the first Pros to check in and when someone said "What's up?" he replied, "Not the fishing." The next question was, "Then what's going to happen tomorrow?"
"I don't know."
Guess we'll just have to let the scales tell the story. Meanwhile we've got some great products from Quantum, Sebile, Daiwa, Owner, Plano, Costa, Ardent, Yum and Vicious fishing to give away.
We'll start weighing in tomorrow afternoon. We'll have update here in the blog on pairings, etc. later tonight and a report on conditions and the launch tomorrow morning. A live blog from the weigh site will depend on signal strength and I'll know that by tomorrow morning, too. UPDATE 5:45 Just talked to our Colorado River/Nevada regions Team Tournament Director John Galbraith and he said reception is no problem at Katherine's Landing so you can look forward to a live blog. Weigh-in starts at 3 p.m. Friday.
-- Rich Holland
Check-in is underway at the Rio Vista Room of the Edgewater in Laughlin on the banks of the Colorado River. We've had a handful of pros and AAAs come through, sign in and get their freebies, which include awesome baits from Yum, Owner and Sebile. The traffic should pick up pretty soon, since in 15 minutes the pros have to pull their boats out of Mohave (2 p.m.) and get over here and check in.
Yum's soft plastic lineup is a featured giveaway at the WON BASS Nitro/Mercury Lake Mohave Invitational.
With the spawn over and the 20-pound bags it brought with it, many veteran tournament observers are saying the low turnout - half the Havasu field - can be blamed on Mohave's fearsome reputation.
And a lot of bass fishermen simply haven't fished the lake, which is an improving fishery but nothing like it was way back in the 70s. Dick Watson, fourth in the overall angler of the year race, says in 20 years of fishing club, team and pro events, this is the first time he's fished an event on Lake Mohave.
"I found a good pattern that fits my style of fishing, but they tell me the wind that's coming up will shut that down," said Watson. "I've got some other fish, though, and I can always use this as a throway (for the Angler of the Year race)."
We've got over 40 pros signed up for Mohave as of Monday night (May 17) and expect to get a bunch more tomorrow (the last day without a late fee) and will probably look generously (if you know what I mean) at anyone who lives in range of the Colorado River (Bakersfield, Phoenix, St. George -- we don't discriminate) and wants to sign up late.

It's going to be a great event one way or another.
How often can you win free entry into a tournament with a boat as the top prize? The top finishers — and right now every entry gets huge points if they catch a fish — who also fished Havasu will be sitting pretty when it comes to qualifying for the Western Classic and a new Nitro/Mercury boat and motor combo.

But we're going to get a
good local turnout in the last couple days before Mohave, that's just the way it goes these days. And remember, we've got a separate $10,000 for whoever has the biggest bass to beat the Mohave WON BASS benchmark (8.37 pounds or bigger).

Check-in starts at noon this Thursday (May 20) at the Edgewater Hotel and Casino, 2020 South Casino Dr., Laughlin, NV 89209. Call 800 677- 4837 and ask for the special WON BASS Fisherman's Rate. For more information or to sign up, call Sally at (949) 366-0030 ext. 28.

Signups pick up

With $10,000 up for grabs for a record bass and a chance to fish in the Western Classic as one of the 30 qualifiers from the WON BASS South Division, entries for the
WON BASS Nitro/Mercury Mohave Invitational have been coming in at a steady rate all week, but there's just one week to go and the more Pros and AAAs who sign, the more cash we'll be able to give away Saturday night (May 22) during the awards at the Edgewater in Laughlin.

One of the changes that WON BASS Director Harvey Naslund made when he took over again was to shift to a Friday/Saturday competition schedule. While it does put a crunch on the working man to take more time off, the change has made for the opportunity to kick back after the event and enjoy the awards presentation.

Not only do we give out the checks to both Pros and AAAs, but we also give out some great prizes and at Havasu Naslund "opened" the bar for the hour it took to tally up the results and sign the checks. That's not to say it will happen again at Lake Mohave, but the truth is having the Sunday open for travel has made Saturday night much less hectic.

The problem with the second day partner draw at Havasu won't be repeated again, since at Shasta the WON BASS staff went back to the old method of bringing both days pairings together at the initial draw at the Thursday night check-in party.

We're looking forward to a great event on Lake Mohave and we hope to see you there. Who's going to be the next WON BASS Pro Circuit champ and get their picture on the cover of Western Outdoor News?

To sign up for the WON BASS Nitro/Mercury Lake Mohave Invitational, call (949) 366-0030, ext. 38 and ask for Sally. Headquarters for the Lake Mohave event will be at the Edgewater Hotel and Casino, 2020 South Casino Dr., Laughlin, NV 89209. Call 800 677- 4837 and ask for the special WON BASS Fisherman's Rate. Tournament check-in starts noon May 20 at Edgewater and continues until 5 p.m. Draw for partners for both days will follow.


Qualifying for Western Classic gets serious at
WON BASS Nitro/Mercury Mohave Invitational

Top 30 Pros and AAAs in the South Division
After 3 events qualify for Western Classic

Crunch time is here. Every decision, every cast, can make the difference between winning a fully-rigged Nitro bass with a Mercury outboard on the back or wondering what might have been.

Let’s talk decisions. Deciding whether or not to fish the May 21-22 Lake Mohave event is of primary importance in determining who will ultimately end up owning not one, but two Nitro Z-7 bass boats with Mercury Optimax Pro XS 175 outboard motors.


First of all, a glance at the Angler of the Year standings shows that anyone in the Top 25 at this point still has a legitimate shot at taking the title, so Mohave could be pivotal in that race. But it’s qualifying for one of the Top 30 spots in the South Division of WON BASS that makes Mohave critical for anglers who are concentrating on fishing the three events on the Colorado River Lakes.

Anglers like Wayne Carey, who holds the 30th and final spot that will take anglers from the South Division to the Western Classic with it’s free shot at a Nitro Z-7 and 175 Mercury Pro XS. The Western Classic will be hosted out of Boulder Station in Las Vegas and take place Nov. 5-6 at Lake Mead and the winning pro will take home the Nitro/Mercury combo. The Top 30 AAAs from the three events in the South Division will also get free entry into the exclusive Western Classic and compete for cash and prizes.

The nearly 200 anglers who fished the initial South Division event at Havasu have a head start on other bass fishermen in the Tri-States region who still have a shot at cracking the Top 30 by finishing high at the last two events at Mohave and Lake Mead.

To keep that advantage and build on it, those anglers who fished Havasu and are serious about getting into the Western Classic have to show up at Mohave next week.

Then it’s on to Lake Mead Sept. 10 and 11 to find which 30 pros will fish against the Top 30 pros from the north for the Nitro Z-7 and Mercury Pro XS 175.

To sign up for the WON BASS Nitro/Mercury Lake Mohave Invitational, call (949) 366-0030, ext. 38 and ask for Sally or Ashley. You can also find a link to a Mohave entry form on the WON BASS Web site. Headquarters for the Lake Mohave event will be at the Edgewater Hotel and Casino, 2020 South Casino Dr., Laughlin, NV 89209. Call 800 677- 4837 and ask for the special WON BASS Fisherman's Rate. Tournament check-in starts noon May 20 at Edgewater and continues until 5 p.m. Draw for partners for both days will follow.

Mohave provides next chance at $10,000

Have you ever heard of a promotion that was almost too successful? That’s been the case with the WON BASS $10,000 Record Bass Award. The next chance at ten grand is at Lake Mohave May 21-22, the fourth stop on the WON BASS Pro Circuit, and all a Pro or AAA has to do is catch a bass 8.37 pounds or bigger during the competition.

That’s a big fish for Mohave, but crazier things have happened. For instance, take our first tournament of the year on the Delta. We got squeezed out of our usual winter debut up at Shasta and had to start out on Delta in early February. We lost boats when top pros who were pre-fishing couldn’t even catch a keeper, much less a monster. It seemed almost impossible that anyone would break the existing WON BASS record of 14.06 pounds.

Then Guyle Sternat shattered the record by more than half a pound and the next thing you know WON BASS Director Harvey Naslund has to give away ten thousand bucks. Well, first he had to arrange a lie detector test, since that was part of what the insurance company required.

Any big prize that is given away based on someone beating the odds rather than being the best of all of those who have pooled money is usually made possible with an insurance policy. The insurance company is willing to take a fraction of the possible outlay and bet that the catch of a record or the right tag, etc. doesn’t happen.

It’s a risky business and three times during Western Outdoor News events in the last year insurers lost out — we gave away a truck at the Big Bear TroutfesT, Costa Sunglasses gave away $50,000 when a local team brought a 386-pound tuna to the scales at the Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot and then WON BASS kicked out $10,000 to Sternat the very first time we offered the beat-the-record promotion.

The obvious result is the premium goes up, but it was still reasonable enough to offer $10,000 for the big fish at Lake Havasu. So, wham, the first day Mike Folkestad walks up with a fish that is just hundredths of a pound from taking the money and the next day Jeff Klicka fall short by just a half a pound.

Lake Shasta didn’t produce any such scare, as the cold spring meant the big fish were all spotties and all those swimbaits plopping in the water didn’t connect with the magic largemouth.

So here we are again on the way to Mohave with another $10,000 on the line and all it will take to win is a bass weighing 8.37 pounds. We’re talking about a lake that in the past grew Northern-strain largemouth to 8 and 9 pounds on a regular basis and now that smallmouth have changed the dynamic in the lake, some big largemouth are again showing up.

So it could happen. If it doesn’t, the good news is there will for sure be $10,000 on the line at the next Pro Circuit event at Lake Mead. Either way, we want to give away $10,000. We might as well give it to you.

To sign up for the WON BASS Nitro/Mercury Lake Mohave Invitational or to sign up for any Pro Circuit event or the U.S. Open, call (949) 366-0030, ext. 38 and ask for Sally or Ashley. You can also find a link to a Mohave entry form on the WON BASS Web site. Headquarters for the Lake Mohave event will be at the Edgewater Hotel and Casino, 2020 South Casino Dr., Laughlin, NV 89209. Call 800 677- 4837 and ask for the special WON BASS Fisherman's Rate. Tournament check-in starts noon May 20 at Edgewater and continues until 5 p.m. Draw for partners for both days will follow.

The WON BASS Pro Circuit heads back to the Colorado River May 21-22 for the Nitro Boats/Mercury Marine Lake Mohave Invitational and no pro is looking forward to fishing Mohave more than Mike Folkestad.

Folkestad’s impressive victory at Lake Havasu put him just one spot out of first place in the Angler of the Year race and he leads the pack when it comes to the 30 Pro anglers who will qualify for the Western Classic out of the South Region.

As you may recall, Folkestad claimed the first Pro Circuit title of 2010 in the South Region with over 43 pounds of bass from Havasu. Incredibly, that’s not the biggest weight Folkestad has ever taken from a Colorado River lake.

“Back in the day Mohave had the biggest bass in it of all the river lakes,” noted Folkestad. “When we had the Western States Championships I won it with a 44-pound bag of Northerns. You would catch 7 or 8 pounders all the time.”

Mohave faded in the 80s when striped bass decimated the shad population and the Northern-strain largemouth were out-competed.

Just like the other Colorado River lakes, however, smallmouth bass seem to have tipped the scales back toward the black bass side of things.

“Smallmouth don’t seem to be bothered by the lack of shad,” Folkestad commented. “Mohave needs the same kind of habitat work they’ve done at Havasu, things like sinking out cages of mesquite wood that give the baitfish a place to hide. You couldn’t ask for a better fishery than Havasu. But now that smallmouth make up half the catch at Mohave, the fishing is a lot better.”

When contacted, Folkestad was sitting in a hotel room watching Hank Parker catch bass on TV — yes, he watches fishing shows — rather than fish yet another day in the rain at Lake Shasta in preparation for another circuit’s event.

Folkestad was more than willing to look ahead to what should be warm late-spring conditions out at Lake Mohave.

“The weather and the water should be warm enough for the spawn to be over, it should all be postpawn fishing,” he said. “But the fish won’t be real deep, 20 feet or less, with some going out on structure, but others still back in the coves.

“If the water is up in the brush, that’s where the bass will be, but it’s hard to say what the water level will be at Mohave,” Folkestad. “Sometimes it’s up for a few days and then it’s down for a few days. Mead is different, it’s either down, down, down or up, up, up.”

Bureau of Reclamation forecasts call for Mohave to be slightly higher in May than April so water conditions should at least be fairly steady. For Folkestad the key is the temperature.

“The water will be warm and the bass will be feeding,” he said. “Jigs, worms, jerkbaits — the bass should be chasing, so there should be some topwater.

“It’s just a matter of which method will work best and will result in the bigger fish,” Folkestad concluded. “You better bring your purple Folkestad specials — and I mean it.”

To sign up for the WON BASS Nitro/Mercury Lake Mohave Invitational or to sign up for any Pro Circuit event or the U.S. Open, call (949) 366-0030, ext. 38 and ask for Sally or Ashley. You can also find a link to a Mohave entry form on the WON BASS Web site.


Mohave next up with another $10,000 Big Fish prize offered. WON BASS fall tourney schedule is now set.


The WON BASS 2010 Pro Circuit has reached the halfway point after intense tournaments on both Lake Havasu and Shasta and Paul Bailey of Willits has emerged as the leader in the Angler of the Year that will culminate at the Gran Finale on the Delta Oct. 22 and 23.

Both the Pro Angler of the Year and the winner of the last event on the Delta will win a Nitro Z-7 fully rigged with a Mercury outboard, Motorguide troll motor and Lowrance sonar unit. Bailey knows exactly what he’s shooting for, since he already runs a Nitro Z-7.

Halfway means there’s a long way to go, however, and that means two more tangles on the Colorado River with two of the best anglers ever to fish the desert a bow platform away from Bailey in the standings. Havasu Champ and three-time U.S. Open winner Mike Folkestad is in second place and Dave Gliebe, a former Open winner himself, is in third.

All three are probably looking forward to a warm few days in the desert town of Laughlin, NV heads to Lake Mohave May 21-22 for the second event in the Southern Division of the WON BASS Pro Circuit. Not only will the event start to shake out the contenders for the top 30 spots in the region — who will all qualify for the Western Classic scheduled for Nov. 5 and 6 at a site to be announced — but once again WON BASS Director Harvey Naslund has put up $10,000 in big fish money.

That’s right, the angler, Pro or AAA, that catches a fish a full tenth of a pound bigger than the WON BASS Pro-Am Mohave standard of 8.27 pounds will win $10,000! That means the biggest fish that’s 8.37 pounds or better takes home the 10 Gs.

We’ve already given away $10,000 at the Delta to Guyle Sternat for his monster 14.60 and we had two anglers make a good run at the Lake Havasu weight, with Folkestad at first just hundredths off the first day and Jeff Klicka sure he was going to score big right up until his lunker weighed 8.29 pounds, a half-pound off the 8.78 needed.

On the AAA side of things, Chris Ricci has emerged as the top points score in that division’s Angler of the Year race.

It’s important to remember that eventually only 5 events will be scored to determine the Angler of the Year. Many northern hot shots, like Robert Lee and Mark Crutcher, are right in the race with only two events to their credit and could be contenders if they head down to Mohave and fish out the rest of the Pro Circuit at Lake Mead Sept. 10-11 and the Gran Finale at the Delta Oct. 22-23.

And don’t forget the granddaddy of all the big bass events, the U.S. Open, is set for the middle of the summer July 18-21. You still have time to get your entry in by May 15 and qualify for the early bird signup drawing for a free entry (Pro and AAA) and a Lowrance HD-5 sonar unit (Pro only).

There’s a lot of great bass fishing left before the Western Classic, where the winner will get a fully-rigged Nitro Z-7 with Mercury outboard and the growing escrow account from the Pro Option (25-percent goes to the Western Classic fund) means there will be a sizeable cash payout to go along with a bunch more great prizes from sponsors like Ardent, Lowrance, Rapala, Hi-Seas, Daiwa, Sebile, Quantum, Plano, Owner, Pradco and more.

To sign up for the WON BASS Nitro/Mercury Lake Mohave Invitational or to sign up for any Pro Circuit event or the U.S. Open, call (949) 366-0030, ext. 38 and ask for Sally or Ashley.

LAKE MOHAVE ITINERARY

Tournament Dates : May 21 & 22
Headquarters: EDGEWATER HOTEL & CASINO
2020 South Casino Dr. Laughlin, NV 89029
For Special WON BASS rates:
Call: 800 677 4837 Ask For WON BASS

Tournament Itinerary:

Thursday, May 20th:
12:00 Noon – 5:00 PM: Registration and Check-in at Rio Vista Room, Edgewater Hotel
2:00 PM: All boats off the water.
4:00 PM : No-host Cocktails, Rio Vista Room
6:00 PM: Tournament Meeting/Pairing of Partners for both days. Attendance Required.

Friday, May 21st

04:30 AM: Commence Boat Inspection @ Catherine Landing
06:15 AM: Presentation of Colors
06:30 AM: First Flight Departs
3:00 PM: First Flight returns.

5:30 PM: Posting of First Round Results – No Host Cocktails @ Rio Vista Room

Saturday, May 22nd

06:30 AM: First Flight Departs
3:00 PM: First Flight returns.
6:00 PM: Awards Ceremony, Drawing for Prizes –No host cocktails @ Rio Vista Room







Reader Comments
I heard that KVD might be at this event? Or was I mistaken. I heard his name mentioned in connection with a WON event, Do you know which one? tnx, Pa
Phil Atencio

Rich, Thank you for all your hard work the BLOG is great! i am hearing that from a lot of people. I had a great time and a good tourny. Could you please forward me any pictures you have of me from the tounament at Mohave. Thanks again, Tony
Tony Capparelli

Thanks Tony. Send me an e-mail at rich@wonews.com and I'll get you those pics.
Rich Holland
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