UPCOMING EVENT: TACKLE WAREHOUSE PRO CIRCUIT - 2020 - Lake Erie

Caporuscio on top after Havasu opening round

Caporuscio on top after Havasu opening round
Pro Dino Caporuscio of Cota de Caza, Calif., caught 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 3 ounces to lead the first round of the $214,525 EverStart Series Western Division event on Lake Havasu.

LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. - The sight-fishing bonanza continued Thursday in EverStart Series Western Division competition. After the first two days of action on the gin-clear waters of Lake Havasu under the desert sun, Dino Caporuscio of Coto de Caza, Calif., leads the Pro Division with an opening-round weight of 27 pounds, 3 ounces.

Caporuscio, who weighed in five-bass limits both of the first two days, said that he only caught six or seven fish Thursday. Still, the five that he kept weighed a solid 13 pounds, 9 ounces, which was almost exactly the same weight that he caught Wednesday, 13-10.

"It's hard; it's definitely not easy," he said. "When you're sight-fishing, you've got to make a good first cast on the bed fish or they'll get spooked and not bite."

The leader caught the bulk of his fish off the beds the first two days, but he also went flipping for a few. Using Yamamoto and Kinami tubes, as well as a few Roboworms, he flipped into the tules for some of his bigger bass.

"I have some flipping areas," Caporuscio said. "I know the good fish are there, but you've got to throw it into some really heavy stuff."

While the overall limit production was down compared to day one - the pros caught 69 limits Thursday versus 95 of them Wednesday - Caporuscio knows his efforts over the first two days will be all for naught if he fails to keep honing in on quality bedding bass. Everybody restarts tomorrow with zero weight.

"I'm really happy, but tomorrow I could get none," he said. "I don't want to get really cocky because that's the kiss of death."

Goodwin in second

Day-one pro leader Mike Goodwin of Lake Havasu City dropped to second place with an opening-round total of 26 pounds, 15 ounces. While he caught a limit Thursday weighing 11-8, he agreed with Caporuscio that the fishing was more difficult on day two - but not too difficult.

"It fished kind of tough. I lost two 3-pound fish," said Goodwin, who said that he used a jig and a Roboworm Thursday. "I only fished one of my really good spots, and then I just went sight-fishing the rest of the day. I probably saw close to 100 fish on bed today. After I had 11 1/2 pounds, I'd just go spot them and leave them alone."

The local pro recognized the fortuitous timing of this week's tournament, which has come at the height of the spawn.

"I feel really good, and I'm right where I want to be," he said. "Another wave of largemouth moved up (to spawn) today. We hit this lake right at the perfect time."

Al Robinson of Boulder City, Nev., placed third for the pros in the opening round with a total weight of 26 pounds, 10 ounces.Robinson third

Al Robinson of Boulder City, Nev., who won the Angler's Choice tournament at Lake Havasu last week, placed third for the pros in the opening round with a total weight of 26 pounds, 10 ounces. He, too, went sight-fishing for his two days worth of limits, but his best catches were smallmouths caught a little deeper at 15 to 18 feet.

"With this many good fishermen, they just rake this water. The shallow ones have been hammered really hard. That's why I moved on out," said Robinson, who caught his bass with jigs and worms. "I was just pitching to them. Later, when the wind came up, I caught a few using a spinnerbait."

Pro Bobby Lanham of Scottsdale, Ariz., rebounded with the biggest stringer of the top 20 on day two - 14 pounds, 6 ounces - and placed fourth in the opening round with a total weight of 26-1.Lanham vaults to fourth, Cordiale drops to fifth

Pro Bobby Lanham of Scottsdale, Ariz., who was out of cut range on day one, rebounded with the biggest stringer of the top 20 on day two - 14 pounds, 6 ounces - and placed fourth in the opening round with a total weight of 26-1.

Jason Cordiale of Orinda, Calif., dropped from second to fifth place in the Pro Division after posting a two-day total of 25 pounds, 13 ounces.

Rest of the best: some usual suspects

Rounding out the top 10 pros after day two at Lake Havasu are Gabe Bolivar of Ramona, Calif., with an opening-round total of 25 pounds, 13 ounces (6th place); Justin Kerr of Simi Valley, Calif., with 25-12 (7th); Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif., with 25-10 (8th); Shane Shafer of Ogden, Utah, with 25-8 (9th); and Marcus Clouse of Henderson, Nev., with 25-5 (10th). All 10 of the top pros caught limits both days of the opening round.

In addition to Ehrler, who won the Western Division points title last year, and Clouse, who won at Lake Pleasant last month, some other familiar faces made the cut Thursday:

Mike Baldwin of Mohave Valley, Ariz., who won the BFL All-American in 1999, placed 13th.

Coming in 17th was Art Berry of Ramona, Calif., who has finished in second place twice at Lake Pleasant and who has only missed a cut out of the opening round once - at Clear Lake in 2003 - since the Western Division began two years ago.

And edging into 20th place was Mike Folkestad of Yorba Linda, Calif., who placed second at Lake Mead last year and is coming off a top-10 finish at Lake Pleasant last month.

Jack Sykes of Huntington Beach, Calif., earned $500 as the big-bass award winner in the Pro Division thanks to a 5-pound, 5-ounce bass.

Co-angler George Dillar, fishing the canal at Lake Havasu City, lands a keeper smallmouth early in ThursdayDiller maintains first for co-anglers

Buoyed by his huge sack on day one that weighed 16 pounds, 13 ounces, George Diller of Surprise, Ariz., held onto the Co-angler Division lead with an opening-round total of 22 pounds, 1 ounce. He only caught three bass weighing 5-4 on day two.

"I'm not much of a sight-fisherman," he said. "Yesterday we didn't fish many beds, but today that's all we did."

More familiar faces atop co-angler leaderboard

The three co-anglers behind Diller at Lake Havasu are carrying momentum from their efforts at Lake Pleasant last month:

Co-angler Ralph Wells of Castaic, Calif., is in second place with an opening-round weight of 20 pounds, 11 ounces.Ralph Wells of Castaic, Calif., who led the opening round at Pleasant, is in second place with an opening-round weight of 20 pounds, 11 ounces.

Tony Sarkis of Phoenix, is in third place with a weight of 19 pounds, 8 ounces. He finished second at Pleasant.

Gary Collins of Moorpark, Calif., who won at Lake Pleasant, is in fourth place with a weight of 18 pounds, 7 ounces.

Rounding out the top five co-anglers is James Gross of Kingman, Ariz., with a weight of 17 pounds, 10 ounces.

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers after day two at Lake Havasu are Kyle Clement of Anderson, Calif., with an opening-round total of 17 pounds, 6 ounces (6th place); Mario Caporuscio of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., brother of the pro leader, with 17-1 (7th); Jack Jackson of Hemet, Calif., with 17-0 (8th); Charlie Crawford of Peoria, Ariz., with 16-3 (9th); and Jim Wickham of Morristown, Ariz., with 16-0 (10th).

Rick Berstler of Tehachapi, Calif., earned the $200 Co-angler Division big-bass award thanks to a 5-pound, 3-ounce bass.

Day three of Western Division competition at Lake Havasu begins as the semifinal-round field of 20 boats takes off from Windsor Park at 6:45 a.m. Mountain time. Anglers' weights are reset to zero for Friday, and both fields will be cut to the top 10 anglers apiece for Saturday's finals based on tomorrow's weight.

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

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