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

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Top 10 Patterns from Lake Murray

As contestants in the FLW College Fishing National Championship on Lake Murray discovered last week, fishing the blueback herring spawn can be backbreaking work. All that stooping over to grab a different rig to cast at bass busting their favorite forage, and then quickly straightening, is hard on the old spinal column. Flexing up and down is what it took to contend in the championship, however, as bass couldn’t make up their minds whether they wanted their grub served on the surface or closer to the bottom. Typically, the collegians were fan-casting Carolina rigs, umbrella rigs, hard jerkbaits and even crankbaits to likely looking points and broad flats. Sometimes they caught fish with such random prospecting, but perhaps more bass were taken when anglers found themselves within casting distance of blowups and were quick enough to grab a soft jerkbait rig or topwater lure and virtually spoon-feed it to the fish. READ MORE »


Gamecocks Win College Title



Gamecocks Win National Title



Hallman Prevails On Grand



Lake Murray Midday Update Day 3



Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake Day 2



College Championship Race Tightens



Hallman Out Front

Spawning bite continues to produce for the anglers in the Rayovac FLW Series event on Grand Lake. READ MORE »


Lake Murray Midday Update Day 2

The air temperature reached a high of 53 degrees here yesterday, which tied a record for the coolest high temperature for that date. Apparently, the short-lived cold snap also had a chilling effect on the fishing at Lake Murray this morning, as several competitors in the FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance Insight Genesis College Cup reported meager results. READ MORE »


Liberty Leads College Championship

A 22-pound, 2-ounce stringer anchored by a 7-pound, 9-ounce largemouth boosted Liberty University’s Travis Rulle and Caleb Eppler into the opening-round lead of the FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance Insight Genesis College Cup here on Lake Murray. Rulle and Eppler were the last anglers to weigh in on day one, and their five-fish limit gave them a lead of more than 3 pounds ahead of Eastern Kentucky University veterans Kyler Raymer and Ethan Snyder, who had 18-15. The surprise team of the tournament so far is Colorado Mesa University’s Josh Worth and Kennedy Kinkade, who brought in 18-10 despite never having fished east of the Mississippi River before. Worth and Kinkade are in third place, followed by Cade Laufenberg and Wyatt Stout of Winona State University, and Benn Curry and Tim Ward of Auburn University, both teams with 17-8. Lamar University’s Cameron Lafleur and Justin Royal in 10th place set the cut mark at 16-8. The entire field will fish again tomorrow, and only the top 10 based on two-day cumulative weight will fish in Saturday’s final round. READ MORE »


Castledine Stands Tall On Grand

Day one of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Power-Pole on Grand Lake produced stunning weights. With “thousands” of bass on the beds, the pros brought in a total of exactly 2,240 pounds and it took 16 pounds to make the top 60. Rising above the crowd was Nacogdoches, Texas, pro Todd Castledine, renowned for his prowess in Texas, the sight-fishing master cracked 23 pounds, 13 ounces and leads second-place pro Jonathan Henry by 1 pound, 6 ounces. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake Day 1

The first day of the Rayovac FLW Series Central Division tournament was all about the sight-bite – from day-one leader Todd Castledine on down. The event, presented by Power-Pole and hosted by the Grand Lake Association, undoubtedly featured other patterns, but every angler who did well relied in large part on bedding bass. READ MORE »


Lake Murray Midday Update Day 1

With precipitation ranging from an incessant mist to torrential downpours sweeping the area throughout the morning, the odds favored a slow start to the FLW College Fishing National Championship being presented by the Lowrance Insight Genesis College Cup here on Lake Murray. As it turns out, however, the bass apparently liked the extra water and reacted accordingly. A number of the teams that found prime spawning areas for blueback herring in practice earlier this week returned on day one and were rewarded with limit catches of largemouths and spots by midmorning. Among them was the local favorite, the University of South Carolina, which reportedly had culled up to about 13 pounds by 11 a.m. Likewise, the Oregon State University was sitting on about 15 pounds and had culled five times. Tanner Masters and Wyatt Ryan of East Central University (of Oklahoma) caught their limit fishing seawalls and riprapped banks during the sporadic herring spawns that fired up as soon as boats reached their first fishing destinations. READ MORE »


Hanselman Wins Back-to-Back

Once you get Ray Hanselman going, just get out of his way. The Del Rio, Texas, pro is riding an incredible high right now after sewing up his second consecutive Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division win. Hanselman won the opener on Lake Amistad in February, then backed it up this week with a win on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in an event presented by Mercury. For his final-day limit, Hanselman plowed deep into Rayburn’s flooded cover to track down a five-bass limit worth 16 pounds, 10 ounces, raising his three-day total to 60-08 for a win by more than 7 pounds. For his efforts, Hanselman earned a cool $35,815 check and another trophy to add to his mantle. READ MORE »


White Takes Bragging Rights on Kentucky Lake

GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. – Joe White of Princeton, Kentucky, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 23 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League LBL Division tournament of 2015 on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. For his victory, White earned $5,014. READ MORE »


Taylor Targets Bluebacks for Hartwell Win

ANDERSON, S.C. – Brock Taylor of Pendleton, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 1 ounce Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Savannah River Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Hartwell. For his victory, Taylor earned $4,830. READ MORE »


Chenoweth Wins on Kerr

HENDERSON, N.C. – Rick Chenoweth of Fredericksburg, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division tournament of 2015 on Kerr Lake. For his victory, Chenoweth earned $5,241. READ MORE »


Rayburn Day 3 Midday Update

A chilly morning greeted the top 10 pros and co-anglers for the final day of Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division competition on Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Mercury, but a warm sunrise filtered by scattered clouds bespoke the gorgeous conditions forthcoming. Winds have dropped off to barely a breeze, main-lake running is easy, and the coves and creeks where most anglers are fishing are glassy smooth. Fish surely pulled tighter to cover with the sunny conditions, but that probably makes little difference, as the majority of anglers have been flipping close to trees and into dense buck brush since day one. The heavy, tangled spots with vines seem to be the prime targets again today. READ MORE »


Hansen Holds Lake of the Ozarks Title

OSAGE BEACH, Mo. – Brian Hansen of Fenton, Missouri, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 18 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Ozark Division tournament of 2015 on Lake of the Ozarks. For his victory, Hansen earned $4,507. READ MORE »


Frog Carries Lowery to Victory

ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. – David Lowery of Phenix City, Alabama, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Bama Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Martin. For his victory, Lowery earned $4,385. READ MORE »