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Spring break at Havasu

Spring break at Havasu
A pair of EverStart boats works the clear shallows near Lake Havasu City in search of bedding bass Wednesday.

LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. - They've come by the thousands, crowding the clear, green, shallow waters along the shores of Arizona's Lake Havasu for their annual spring mating rituals - and hungry EverStart Series anglers are chasing after them. That's right, it's the height of the spawn for the bass population in this bountiful Colorado River fishery, which is just what the doctor ordered for the 300 or so Western Division competitors looking to make the grade in the circuit's second event of the year.

You really couldn't ask for a better setting to stage a pro bass tournament. The desert sun is shining, the air temperature was a cool 72 degrees at takeoff - water temperatures were climbing close to the same - and the wind is flat calm. Most importantly, the bass are roaming around by the dozens in the clear, shallow water along the bank within plain sight of anyone carrying a rod and reel and a penchant for winning a possible $16,000 and a new Ranger.

EverStart anglers fish around a submerged plastic chair in the shadow of London Bridge -- yes, THE London Bridge. Lake Havasu City bought the original bridge from London, shipped it to the States and had it rebuilt on Lake Havasu in 1971.This is the EverStart Series' first visit to Lake Havasu, and best guess is that it won't be the last. Unlike other reservoirs along the Colorado River, like Lake Mead, engineers tend to keep Havasu at full pool. That not only keeps spring breakers - which are out in full force here this week - happy, it helps maintain an extremely healthy bass fishery and gives anglers plenty of room to go get them.

So find your sunglasses, slap on some suntan lotion, sit back and relax because this one's going to be fun.

Day-one weigh-in festivities begin at 3 p.m. Mountain time at Windsor Park located at 699 London Bridge Road in Lake Havasu City. Thursday's weigh-in will also be held at the park beginning at 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday's weigh-ins will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 1795 Kiowa Blvd. in Lake Havasu City beginning at 4 p.m.

Pro Cindy Collins banks on a little luck oThe full field will compete for two days to determine the top 20 pros and 20 co-anglers who will advance to Friday's semifinal round based on their two-day accumulated weight. Weights are cleared for the semifinal round, and anglers compete for one day to determine who will advance to Saturday's final round. Only the top 10 pros and 10 co-anglers compete Saturday, and the winner is determined by the heaviest two-day weight.

Wednesday's conditions:

Sunrise: 6:44 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 72 degrees
Expected high temperature: 96 degrees
Water temperature at the ramp: 68 degrees
Wind: from the north at 8 mph
Maximum humidity: 11 percent
Day's outlook: sunny

Tags: jeff-schroeder  morning-story  2004-03-17-lake-havasu 

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