Colorado River Freshwater

Las Vegas brothers both nab personal-best smallies at Lake Mohave

BY MIKE STEVENS/WON Staff Writer Published: Apr 19, 2018

BULLHEAD CITY, Ariz. – As far as the fishing goes, Lake Mohave has been a ghost town for weeks, and even the anglers that know the lake best have been opting for other fisheries like the Colorado River until it bounces back. Signs of that happening are popping up with increasing frequency, mainly in the form of spawning smallmouth bass to football size. Locals are sneaking back out there and making the most of it on the down low before the bulk of spring angler pressure reappears.


BROS ON BRONZE — Personal-best smallmouth were caught by Las Vegas brothers Jesse Gatdula (Top/Bottom) and Brandon Gatdula who were fishing finesse plastics out of Cottonwood Cove on Lake Mohave. Jesse’s went 3.9, and Brandon’s went 3.7.

A couple Las Vegas anglers, brothers in fact, are among the Lake Mohave faithful getting out there ahead of the masses, and a recent trip turned out to be more than just a successful day on the water.

“We launched from Cottonwood Cove at 6:30 a.m., and it was a very special day because I got to take my big brother, Brandon Gatdula, along on this fishing trip,” said Jesse Gatdula. “Brandon was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in April 2016, and he has been battling longer than his doctors expected. He has made a point to fish as much as his treatments and body will allow him to.”

Brandon was feeling well enough between chemotherapy sessions to get out on a boat, and Jesse had been fishing a specific area the week prior with excellent results.

“I took him directly to a cove that I had marked that had a beautiful smallmouth bedded in it not more than two miles from the launch, and there she was, waiting for us,” said Jesse. “It wasn’t more than a few well-placed casts to the bed, and Brandon got her to bite, and he landed his personal best smallie at 3.7 pounds. I remember what he said to me, ‘I don’t care if I catch another fish all day,’ but luckily, we both caught fish all day, and I also landed a new personal best smallie at 3.9 pounds.”

The brothers combined for over 20 bass, and half of them weighed over three pounds, and Jesse also hauled in a 4.1-pound largemouth. They were fishing plastics including finesse worms and tube jigs under sunny, clear conditions and with 20 feet of visibility and light winds.

“He was more than pleased to say the least,” said Jesse. “This fishing trip will forever be in my memory bank because I may not get many more trips like this one with my brother. A perfect day indeed.”

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