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Feature Article: Striper Derby Recap

Back-to-back champs at WON Striper Derby

BY MIKE STEVENS/WON Staff Writer Published: May 22, 2019

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BRYAN AND KYLE SIMONS won the 2019 WON-Lake Havasu Striper Derby and are now back-to-back champions. Here’s the 24.23 pounder that put them over the top. WON PHOTO BYMIKE STEVENS

LAKE HAVASU CITY — Com­pe­titors in the WON-Lake Havasu Striper Derby were treated to solid fishing and relatively mild weather while a rare — but not unprecedented — feat in the 37th running of the popular event: a back-to-back winner. There was a common thread to all WON Striper Derbies, and that’s the fact that many participants went home with a sponsor-donated raffle prize (including a boat/motor/trailer package), a check (or several) or at the very least, the obligatory goodie bag.


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THE GRAND RAFFLE prize went to the father/daughter team of Bill and Aly Tarling of Vista. WON PHOTO BY MIKE STEVENS

The father-and-son team of Bryan and Kyle Simons of Las Vegas found themselves atop the leaderboard when the dust settled after weighing in a 2-day total of 80.33 pounds, which was anchored by a 24.23-pound kicker that took big fish honors.


Second place went to Bill McFarland and Steve Methey who totaled 67.29 pounds, and the team that finished second last year — Russell Nievar and Jorge Delgado — came in third with 62.24 pounds which included an 8.97 pounder that stood as the big fish for most of Day 1. A 14.48-pound lineside ended up taking second in the Big Fish Option standings, and that one was bagged by Tim Flemming, who was fishing with Robert Giovannetti.


The Grand Raffle Prize — a Klamath 16 EXW and trailer paired with a Suzuki 40 hp motor went home with Vista angler Bill Tarling who was fishing with his daughter, Aly. Bill is a 25-year veteran of Striper Derby and when asked what the best prize was he won over the years, he told WON, “I think I won a blind bogey one year.”


A full recap of the 2019 Striper Derby will appear in next week’s paper and go into more of the numbers, payouts, stats and interesting happenings (there are quite a few). To touch on a few, the second of the back-to-back victories by the Simons duo had a big similarity to last year: they did almost all their damage on one day, and barely anything on the other. There was also a couple who scored two blind bogey checks — one for each day of the event — that had also grabbed one last year with only one fish caught. There were also a pair of one-man-teams that won blind bogeys, and since they were flying solo, they won double the money.


After a windy pre-fish on Friday, Striper Derby competitors had perfect conditions on a relatively windless day in which the heat only topped out at 89 degrees. Sunday was overcast all morning and the mercury only reached 80, but there were some wind issues to deal with, and that resulted in a fair amount of teams calling it a day and hitting the scale early. The first team that weighed in on Sunday showed up before the scale was even set up.


As for some raw data, here are some key numbers that came out of this year’s installment: 126 teams entered the event, and of that, 116 weighed in fish. On Saturday, 747 stripers hit the scale followed by 651 on Sunday. That’s pretty impressive considering the fact that the weigh-in deadline is three hours earlier paired with the windy conditions that blew through Sunday. That made a total of 1,398 fish caught for a total weight of 3,215.4 pounds.


Overall, it was another successful Striper Derby with good times had by all. Even those who get skunked say they love it and are coming back. Stay tuned for the full recap in the next issue of WON.


repeatchmpionsREPEAT CHAMPIONS Bryan and Kyle Simons of Las Vegas. WON PHOTO BY MIKE STEVENS


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WON – LAKE HAVASU STRIPER DERBY welcomes boaters of all kinds, and everyone has a good time. WON PHOTO BY MIKE STEVENS


2019 Striper Derby Standings


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