My, oh, Meyer

LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. - Lake Havasu threw a lot of hurdles at EverStart Series anglers this week: heavy rain, then sun, even a high-speed water-ski race. But the biggest hurdle of all was the season; the bass just don't like to bite here in January. One by one, all of the contenders fell prey to the Havasu winter bass blues except one: Clayton Meyer, who worked his little brown jig pattern into a decisive, $9,600 pro victory at the Western Division season opener Saturday. "I feel pretty good," the 39-year-old auto repairman from San Diego said after his first EverStart victory. "I was a little dizzy up on the stage, though." Meyer spun everybody's heads when he brought in another five-bass limit Saturday worth 12 pounds, 2 ounces and defeated second-place David Kromm by almost 5 1/2 pounds in the finals. Meyer totaled 25-10 over the last two days while Kromm, his closest competition, tallied 20-5. Most impressively, Meyer was the only angler out of the field of 330 to catch limits all four days of the tournament. "I'll tell you what about these Lake Havasu bass: When they don't want to bite, they are tough," said pro Gary Dobyns, who caught the day's biggest limit but ultimately finished in fifth place due to a weak day three. Arizona pro Gregg Warne, who finished 10th, put it this way: "I'd rather take a whipping than fish this lake in the wintertime." Then he credited recent fish-habitat rebuilding efforts and added: "But this lake has really turned around in recent years with the quality of the fish and I did have a great week." Clayton Meyer threw the same bait the entire week: a 3/8- or 1/2-ounce, brown-on-brown jig.The greatest week, of course, belonged to Meyer. How he managed to catch fish when almost everyone else couldn't seems simple enough on the surface, but one wonders if there's more to it. All week long, he said that he fished points, cuts and humps on the main lake south of Lake Havasu City. He threw the same bait the entire week, as well - 3/8- and 1/2-ounce, brown-on-brown jigs that he received from a friend - and fished in between 5 and 15 feet of water. "I've been using it for years," he said. "And every time I've come here I've caught fish with it." Still, a lot of anglers were throwing jigs this week, probably a lot of brown ones, too. What likely separated Meyer from the rest were his locations. He found spots that were veritable highways for prespawn smallmouths - and some largemouths - moving up for the spring. "I was just fishing the sides of points, and that's about it," he said. "They just kept coming up and coming up and coming up." Clayton Meyer, 2005 EverStart Series Lake Havasu pro championHe said the areas he fished are "common areas" on Havasu, and he focused exclusively on the Arizona side of the lake the first three days. The fourth day, however, he moved to the California side of the lake. "I only caught five fish today," Meyer said. "And I caught them all on spots that I hadn't fished before." A lot of the key was timing. When the sun came out Friday, most anglers said it was either a morning or afternoon bite - with nothing in between. The same was true of Saturday, where Meyer caught just one fish early then had to wait until after the water-ski race was done around 12:30 p.m. to move. Then he ran to the other side of the lake, caught his second one - a 4-pound kicker smallie - and eventually filled out his limit. Said the winner, who also won a new Ranger 519 VX for his efforts: "I'm beginning to really, really like this lake." Pro David Kromm tallied 20-5 in the final round and finished second.Kromm bogs down in the backwater Kromm, of Kennewick, Wash., had the best shot to catch Meyer, but ultimately fell short when he made a long run upriver to some backwaters and failed to catch a keeper. Eventually, he retreated closer to the main lake and landed three bass that weighed 7 pounds, 1 ounce, but it wasn't nearly enough for victory. "I didn't get a fish on my water," he said. "I wasted a lot of time trying to get up there and now I wish that I hadn't." Kromm, who fished out of an aluminum boat in order to access the remote water, caught his fish this week on a variety of presentations: drop-shots, split-shots and a few on spinnerbaits. "I found a lot of areas that people overlooked," he said. "The key for me was just going in on stealth mode. I made a lot of really long casts and had to be really patient." He earned $9,600 for second place. Art Roland finished third in the Pro Division with a final-round total of six bass weighing 18 pounds, 5 ounces.Roland flips to third Art Roland of Brentwood, Calif., finished third in the Pro Division with a final-round total of six bass weighing 18 pounds, 5 ounces. He earned $8,650. "I just fished really shallow," he said. "I was flipping docks with a ¼-ounce purple jig and a crawdad trailer." Kerr fourth After finishing third at this tournament last year, Justin Kerr of Simi Valley, Calif., slipped to fourth place this year at Havasu. He caught 11 bass weighing 17 pounds, 10 ounces in the final round and collected $7,650. Pro Justin Kerr caught 11 bass weighing 17 pounds, 10 ounces in the final round and finished fourth."I was fishing shallow in the tules," he said. "I was making long casts with really light line and just sitting back waiting for them to bite." Dobyns rebounds for fifth Dobyns, of Yuba City, Calif., caught the heaviest limit of the day - 13 pounds, 11 ounces - and salvaged a fifth-place finish with a final-round total of 17-7. The former EverStart champion collected $7,150 this week at Havasu. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 Pro Division finishers at Lake Havasu: 6th: Tim Klinger of Boulder City, Nev., six bass, 14-2, $6,150 7th: Clifford Pirch of Payson, Ariz., five bass, 13-4, $5,150 8th: Richard Smith of Santa Clarita, Calif., five bass, 12-11, $4,650 9th: Paul Hodges of Glendale, Ariz., six bass, 10-14, $4,150 10th: Gregg Warne of Mesa, Ariz., three bass, 6-1, $3,650 Coming up The next EverStart Series event is a Central Division contest at Sam Rayburn Reservoir near Jasper, Texas, Feb. 23-26. The next Western Division tournament will be held at Clear Lake near Lakeport, Calif., March 9-12. Link: Co-angler Division: Bailey banks bass bucks with big first win

Tags: headline-story  jeff-schroeder 

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Dobson Sticks With Jerkbait for Win

Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Michigan, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Michigan Division tournament of 2015 on Lake St. Clair. For his victory, Dobson earned $5,804. READ MORE »

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Johnston Targets Beds for Big Limit

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Football Jig Helps Bates Net Title

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Hipsher Hops Ledges for Victory

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Lauer Wins on Ohio River

David Lauer of McConnelsville, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 12 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division tournament of 2015 on the Ohio River. For his victory, Lauer earned $6,289. READ MORE »

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Creature Bait Does it for Berhorst

Dennis Berhorst of Holts Summit, Missouri, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Ozark Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Truman. For his victory, Berhorst earned $5,963. READ MORE »

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Wendlandt Back at the Top

It’s been 14 seasons since Clark Wendlandt last stood on a Walmart FLW Tour stage and hoisted a tournament championship trophy. Since that time, the Texas pro has experienced ups and downs, including an Angler of the Year title (his third) in 2009 and a major medical issue that sidelined him for most of the 2014 season. All that’s in the past now, however, and Wendlandt is right back where he belongs in the world of bass fishing – in first place after the final day on the Potomac River in the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

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Top 10 Patterns from the Potomac River

Clark Wendlandt didn’t pull off any secret techniques to win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. He simply found an area with the right quality of bass to win and managed it perfectly despite facing a medley of Mother Nature’s toughest challenges. The rest of the top 10 stuck with the standard Potomac targets too, namely grass, docks and wood cover. The only underlying trend of the top 10 is that they found areas to themselves. Here’s how the rest of the top 10 got it done at the 2015 Tour finale. READ MORE »

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Potomac River Day 4 Coverage

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Wendlandt Receives Helping Hand

Not to discredit Clark Wendlandt’s skills as a bass fisherman, but if it wasn’t for an extreme act of kindness on the part of fellow competitor Shin Fukae, Wendlandt wouldn’t be where he is this evening – leading through three days of competition at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-27-top-5-patterns-from-potomac-river-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Potomac River Day 3

Pouring rain, gusting winds, a remarkable act of kindness, an Angler of the Year title on the line – day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River certainly was not boring. To say the top 20 anglers were waterlogged after Saturday would be any understatement, but as nasty as the weather was, it wasn’t the biggest story of the day. Shinichi Fukae generously helped Clark Wendlandt retain his lead, while Scott Martin sealed the deal on his first AOY title. Meanwhile, a number of other anglers scrambled to adjust with what the weather and the Potomac are throwing at them. Here’s how the rest of the top five caught their fish today. READ MORE »

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Potomac River Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on the Potomac River presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-26-wendlandt-in-familiar-territory

Wendlandt in Familiar Territory

A lot of flip-flopping took place on the second day of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. When the scale closed, it was three-time Tour Angler of the Year Clark Wendlandt who found himself on top with a two-day total of 32 pounds, 10 ounces. Wendlandt caught 17-13 today – the day’s second-heaviest limit – and leads Potomac local Bryan Schmitt by 1-12 going into the weekend. Wendlandt missed part of last season after suffering a heart attack but has rebounded with good success this season. He has won three times on Tour but hasn’t finished in first place since Beaver Lake in 2001. Details to come on the patterns of the top five. READ MORE »

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Potomac River Day 2 Coverage

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/news/2015-06-25-jersey-boy-leads-the-pack

Jersey Boy Leads the Pack

Talk about a traffic jam. And, no, we’re not talking about the streets around the Washington, D.C. area. We’re talking about the standings at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. Adrian “Jersey Boy” Avena leads the way with a 16-pound, 12-ounce limit, but a total of 41 pros weighed in at least 12 pounds. Many pros lamented the tough bite today, but the results say otherwise as 114 limits were brought to the scale on the pro side. Troy Morrow trails Avena by just 1-06, and 1 ounce behind Morrow is one of the most successful tidewater bass anglers of all time, Bryan Schmitt. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-top-5-patterns-from-potomac-river-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Potomac River Day 1

It might seem impossible for 405 miles of water to fish small, but space was hard to come by on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. The creeks near takeoff at Smallwood State Park have seen as much traffic as a Washington, D.C. highway at rush hour. On the flip side, anglers who were able to develop patterns that got them away from the crowds, such as day-one leader Adrian Avena, have been able to reap the benefits of what has been a stingy fishery. Here’s how the rest of the pros in the top five caught their fish today. READ MORE »

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AOY Shake-Up: Martin Makes His Move

Scott Martin has been talking about winning the Angler of the Year title since before the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour season started. It’s on his mind and for good reason: Angler of the Year is the only major FLW title he hasn’t won in what Martin has built into one of the most decorated professional fishing careers in FLW Tour history. Today, on the first day of competition at the Tour finale on the Potomac River, Martin has unofficially moved into the lead in the AOY race for the first time all season. READ MORE »

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Potomac River Day 1 Coverage

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Richardson Wins All-American

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All-American Midday Update Day 3

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