UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Blowing in the wind

Day one of Rayovac FLW Series tournament action on Lake Havasu is about to commence.

LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. - As the 152-boat field departed Lake Havasu State Park marina shortly after 7:30 a.m. Thursday morning to commence the start of the very first Rayovac FLW Series Western Division event in FLW history, anglers were gearing up for a decidedly wind-swept day on the water.

With winds pouring in anywhere from 15 to 25 mph, anglers were bundled from head to toe as they set out in an effort position themselves for a grueling, and hopefully rewarding, three days of fishing on Lake Havasu.

Rayovac FLW Series Western Division anglers await the start of the 2014 season on Lake Havasu.However, while extremely windy conditions aren't the first thing an angler dreams about when hitting the water for the opening round of tournament action, in this case, the field might just be all right with the change in weather. After multiple days of calm weather during practice, most anglers agreed that the bite was brutally tough. But with the arrival of strong winds today, it is the hope that the blustery weather will spur on a bite that so far has definitely been lacking.

"I got here four or five days ago and that bite was pretty tough," said Rayovac FLW Series pro Mo Hassen of Alameda, Calif. "But with this wind, I think the fishing is going to be a lot better. I honestly think this wind is really going to help us out because it's going to put those fish on a nice reaction bite."

Rayovac FLW Series pro Michael Lavallee of Sandy, Utah, seconded that notion.

"I'm really hoping this wind helps us out because the bite up until now has been pretty tough," he said. "I've been here for four days of practice, spending anywhere from 10 to 11 hours on the water each day, and there have been days where I've only gotten one or two bites all day. So I think this weather is really going to help us."

However, the caveat is that it only applies if the wind doesn't get any worse than predicted.

"It's supposed to blow 15 to 25 mph today but it's already that windy this morning," said Hassen. "So I guess we'll have to see what happens."

As far as the fishing is concerned, anglers said that the fish are in a predominately pre-spawn mode and that reaction baits could be the key to success today.

Rayovac FLW Series anglers carefully navigate their way past Lake Havasu State Park marina."The lake is down 5 or 6 feet and that's really been throwing the fish off as far as their spawning," said Hassen. "You'll see some fish ready to spawn but most of the lake is in the pre-spawn right now. And with today's conditions, you'll be forced to fish a lot of reaction baits because it's really going to be tough to do any kind of finesse fishing."

Despite the wind, Lavallee said he's going to operate under a very specific gameplan.

"Basically I'm going to approach the main lake the first thing this morning because that's where I think the tournament is going to be won. I'll probably fish a little bit deep, anywhere from 20 to 35 feet. Then I'm going to run up the river, go flipping in anywhere from 3 to 5 feet and try to finish out my limit. After that I'm going to go back to the main lake and probably just get blown around in circles. The fish are definitely in the pre-spawn phase right now although in some parts of the lake the fish are just starting to move up. But like I said earlier, I think this warm, southwest wind is really going to help the bite today.'

And because the lake holds plenty of both largemouth and smallmouth, no one species should dominate the competition.

"I definitely see this as a mixed bag tournament," said Lavallee. "You can catch a 20-pound bag of largemouth here or a 20-pound bag of smallmouth. But that wasn't always the case. About five years ago you really needed largemouth to win. But over the years, the smallmouth bass have really blown up on this lake. So you're probably going to need some of both to win."

"I think with the wind today and a reaction bite, you're definitely going to see a lot of mixed bags," Hassen added.

In an effort to target those bass, anglers said there are plenty of options to choose from.

"Basically in this lake, there are massive amounts of manmade structures, particularly cages," said Lavallee. "The DNR placed those cages all around this lake to create artificial habitat for the fish and I really think this tournament will be won on those cages. But you can also fish trees - there are tons of trees on the main-lake channels. There are also some fish on rocks and pea gravel flats."

So what will an angler need to advance through the top-10 cut on day two and ultimately win the tournament outright?

"I think it's going to take an average of 16 1/2 pounds a day to make the cut," said Lavallee and about 18 1/2 pounds a day to win."

Tourney format

Rayovac FLW Series boaters congregate on Lake Havasu before opening takeoff.During Rayovac FLW Series competition, pros supply the boats, fish from the front deck against other pros and control boat movement. Co-anglers fish from the back deck and compete against other co-anglers. Anglers are permitted to weigh in their best five bass each day. Every angler who receives weight credit in a tournament earns points that determine angler standings. The full field competes on days one and two, with the top-10 pros and top 10 co-anglers advancing to Saturday's final round of competition based on their two-day accumulated weight. Winners ultimately will be determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all three days.

Anglers will take off from Lake Havasu State Park, located at 699 London Bridge Road in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 7:30 a.m. daily from Jan. 30 through Feb. 1. Weigh-ins will be held at the launch site beginning at 3:30 p.m. each day.

Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Pros will be competing for a top award of $40,000 plus a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Co-anglers will cast for a top award consisting of a Ranger Z117 with 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $5,000 if Ranger Cup guidelines are met.

Day-one takeoff is about to commence on Lake Havasu.The Rayovac FLW Series consists of five divisions - Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of three tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the Strike King Angler of the Year title and prize package along with a spot in the no entry fee Rayovac FLW Series Championship. The 2014 Rayovac FLW Series Championship is being held Oct. 30 to Nov. 1 on Wheeler Lake in Rogersville, Ala.

The Rayovac FLW Series tournament on Lake Havasu is being hosted by the Lake Havasu City Convention & Visitors Board.

For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Rayovac FLW Series on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.
Bass-fishing fans take note

Rayovac FLW Series action continues at today's weigh-in, scheduled to take place at 3:30 p.m. at Lake Havasu State Park, located at 699 London Bridge Road in Lake Havasu City, Ariz.

Want to watch the weigh in live but can't make it in person? Then tune into FLW Live on FLWOutdoors.com shortly before 3:30 p.m. Pacific Time to watch live streaming video and audio of today's opening-round weigh in.

Vital statistics:

Sunrise: 7:37 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 65 degrees
Expected high temperature: 77 degrees
Water temperature: 53-57 degrees
Wind: From the south-southwest at 15 to 25 mph
Humidity: 25 percent
Day's outlook: Sunny with increasing clouds throughout the afternoon

Tags: gary-mortenson  morning-story  2014-01-30-lake-havasu 

/news/2016-07-28-early-reports-from-wheeler

Early Reports from Wheeler

Starting this Sunday, the 50 Forrest Wood Cup competitors will hit Wheeler Lake bright and early for the first of three days of official practice. It’ll be the first time the anglers have been allowed on the Tennessee River reservoir since the pre-practice cut off date of July 17. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-27-celebs-seminars-on-deck-for-the-cup

Celebs, Seminars on Deck for the Cup

The 2016 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart in Huntsville, Ala., on Aug. 4-7 will be crawling with some of the best bass anglers in the industry – both active pros and bassin’ legends. Fans in attendance will have the opportunity to personally wish their favorite anglers good luck before takeoff, snag a picture and an autograph from an industry superstar, or sit in on a seminar. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-27-bass-and-bbq-festival-set-for-forrest-wood-cup-expo

Bass and BBQ Festival set for Forrest Wood Cup Expo

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – FLW is adding some Alabama flavor to the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup with its Bass & BBQ Festival as part of the FLW Expo outside the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama, August 6 and 7. The BBQ Festival, presented by WQRV 100.3 The River, will feature four award-winning BBQ teams offering delicious fare to visitors at the Forrest Wood Cup. A portion of all... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-27-bk-s-year-as-the-champ

BK’s Year as the Champ

Brad Knight plans on getting a good night’s sleep before this year’s Forrest Wood Cup on Wheeler Lake begins on Aug. 4. Sounds pretty straightforward, but there have been times during the past 12 months when dozing off wasn’t so easy for the defending Cup champion. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-top-10-patterns-from-the-1000-islands

Top 10 Patterns from the 1000 Islands

High wind and fluctuating water temperatures made things a little difficult for the anglers, but the top-10 pros adapted and utilized the whole playing field to exploit everything from deep smallmouth to shallow largemouth. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-mccartney-o-keefe-tie-for-win-at-flw-bass-fishing-league-great-lakes-division-event-on-mississippi-river-presented-by-navionics

McCartney, O’Keefe Tie For Win at FLW Bass Fishing League Great Lakes Division Event on Mississippi River Presented By Navionics

LA CROSSE, Wis. (July 25, 2016) – Mark McCartney of Davis Junction, Illinois, and Nick O’Keefe of La Crosse, Wisconsin, each weighed three bass totaling 11 pounds even, Saturday to win the third FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament of 2016 on the Mississippi... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-mccartney-o-keefe-tie-on-the-mighty-miss

McCartney, O'Keefe tie on the Mighty Miss

Mark McCartney of Davis Junction, Illinois, and Nick O’Keefe of La Crosse, Wisconsin, each weighed three bass totaling 11 pounds even, Saturday to win the third FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament of 2016 on the Mississippi River presented by Navionics. For his win, McCartney earned $5,540 after bonuses, and O’Keefe took home $3,540. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-country-music-superstar-dustin-lynch-to-perform-free-concert-in-huntsville-presented-by-wdrm-102-1

Country Music Superstar Dustin Lynch to perform Free Concert In Huntsville presented by WDRM 102.1

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Country music superstar Dustin Lynch will perform a free concert on the Walmart weigh-in stage at the Propst Arena in the Von Braun Center in Huntsville on Sunday, August 7, starting at 4 p.m., prior to the final weigh-in of the world championship of professional bass fishing, the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart. The concert is presented by WDRM... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-canterbury-s-next-challenge-

Canterbury’s Next Challenge

At the time of writing, Canterbury had been picked by every pundit and 50 percent of players overall, which is a decent bump over Morgan at 47 percent. The dollars attached obviously make a difference, but there’s no doubt that everyone expects great things. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-jay-kendrick-the-rookie-

Jay Kendrick – The “Rookie”

A rookie by designation if not by experience, Forrest Wood Cup contender Jay Kendrick finished 34th in the standings in his first year on the Walmart FLW Tour to clinch a spot in the championship. What makes it even more fortuitous for him is that because the Cup is taking place on Wheeler Lake, he’ll be able to stay at his own house for the event, which is just about 30 minutes from takeoff at Ditto Landing. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-fan-freebies-and-contests-at-the-cup

Fan Freebies and Contests at the Cup

One pro angler is going to win $300,000 at the Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart Aug. 4-7 on Wheeler Lake in Huntsville, Ala. That’s good for him. For fans, the chance to win is pretty good too. FLW and its partners and sponsors have lined up a sweet selection of giveaway prizes for the Cup and the accompanying FLW Expo, ranging from a tricked-out bass boat to a fishing trip with Jimmy Houston. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-24-1000-islands-top-10-baits

1000 Islands Top 10 Baits

The top pros from the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands kept it pretty simple to catch both largemouths and smallmouths from this massive fishery that includes the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Drop-shots, spinnerbaits and jigs all saw action and got it done from the lake to the river. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-24-penn-state-taps-docks-at-chautauqua-

Penn State Taps Docks at Chautauqua

The Penn State University duo of Clayton Frey of York, Pennsylvania, and Derek Horner, of State College, Pennsylvania, won the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event at Chautauqua Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and qualified the team for the 2017 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-thompson-co-angler-champ-on-1000-islands

Thompson Co-angler Champ on 1000 Islands

The 1000 Islands is a great place to take a vacation, especially if you are from the south and want to escape the heat. That is exactly what co-angler Joe Thompson of Clayton, Ga., did and wound up capturing the top spot in the co-angler division bringing home a Ranger Z117 with a 90 hp motor. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-penn-state-university-wins-flw-college-fishing-northern-conference-event-on-chautauqua-lake

Penn State University wins FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Event on Chautauqua Lake

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. – The Penn State University duo of Clayton Frey of York, Pennsylvania, and Derek Horner, of State College, Pennsylvania, won the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event at Chautauqua Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and qualified the team for the 2017 FLW College Fishing National... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-michigan-s-dobson-leads-wire-to-wire-wins-costa-flw-series-event-at-1000-islands-presented-by-mercury

Michigan’s Dobson leads wire-to-wire, wins Costa FLW Series Event at 1000 Islands presented by Mercury

CLAYTON, N.Y. – Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Michigan, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event at 1000 Islands presented by Mercury with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 68 pounds, 8 ounces. For his win, Dobson earned $82,669, including a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-dobson-dominates-1000-islands

Dobson Dominates 1000 Islands

Scott Dobson didn’t expect it to come so quickly, but 30 minutes is all it took for him to find the winning pattern during his first day of practice for the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands. That pattern would lead him to three consecutive limits of more than 20 pounds, including today’s final-round bag worth 21-12 – the day’s biggest limit, yet his smallest of the tournament. His three-day total weight of 68-8 earned him a check for more than $37,000 along with a Ranger Z518C with a 200-hp engine for being Ranger Cup qualified. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-1000-islands-top-5-patterns-day-2

1000 Islands Top 5 Patterns Day 2

Strong winds limited competition to only the St. Lawrence River on day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands, but that was no problem for the majority of the top 10. Even though most of them fished Lake Ontario on day one, they were able to adjust and stay on the fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-dobson-extends-lead-at-1000-islands

Dobson Extends Lead at 1000 Islands

A windy day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on the 1000 Islands didn’t stop day-one leader Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Mich., from sacking up the biggest bag of the day. Dobson threw down an impressive 22-pound, 3-ounce limit to extend his lead to 5 pounds over Cal Climpson – a noted Lake Ontario maestro. Dobson’s two-day total stands at 46-12, and with lighter winds tomorrow some big bags are expected. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-lake-ontario-out-for-day-2

Lake Ontario Out for Day 2

It is never good when you wake up the morning of a tournament and every flag you see is standing straight out at 3 a.m., but that was the case this morning for day two of the Costa FLW Series event on the 1000 Islands. READ MORE »