UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - James River

Kerr dominates day two

Kerr dominates day two
Justin Kerr of Simi Valley, Calif., took over the lead in the Pro Division after landing a two-day catch of 28 pounds, 13 ounces.

LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. - For the second consecutive day, Lake Havasu took no prisoners. Despite the near-perfect weather conditions - which included relatively calm winds, sunny skies and mild temps - the majority of Stren Series Western Division anglers came back to weigh-in wondering what went wrong. As if yesterday's event wasn't tough enough, pros only mustered 29 total limits during Thursday's competition. That's 29 out of a total 155 pros.

Co-anglers even had a more difficult time as only five of 155 competitors managed to register a five-fish limit.

However, while the majority of the field struggled, pro Justin Kerr of Simi Valley, Calif., was only getting started. After turning in a respectable 9-pound, 13-ounce stringer in yesterday's competition, Kerr walked up to the scales during Thursday's weigh-in and plopped down an eye-popping sack weighing 19 pounds even - by far the biggest stringer of the entire event.

"I did break off two fish today, but for the most part, I couldn't do anything wrong," said Kerr. "Yesterday I lost a 6-pouinder and I was really bummed out heading into today's competition. It was really tough mentally trying to come back from that. Usually, when you lose a fish that big, it haunts you. But right now I'm speechless. I've never had something this good happen to me before."

And that's saying a lot as Kerr has had plenty of success in the Stren Series Western Division over the past four years. In fact, Kerr already has five top-10 finishes to his credit (a 3rd-place finish at Havasu in 2004, a 4th-place finish on Havasu in 2005, a 7th-place finish at Lake Mead in 2005 and two second-place finishes on the California Delta in 2006 and 2007).

So, what was the secret?

"I'm basically fishing the same spots I've fished the last five years," said Kerr, who leapfrogged from 29th place to first on the strength of a two-day catch of 28 pounds, 13 ounces. "Right now, I'm fishing a Pepper Jig and a drop-shot Robo worm in anywhere from 3 to 20 feet. I'm mostly targeting rock and wood."

Kerr said he caught seven total keepers and had today's limit by 10 a.m.

"After that, I spent the rest of the day running around looking for other areas," he said. "I found a few things that might help but it's going to be really hard to duplicate what I did today."

Kerr said that he's also worried about the wind picking up during Friday's competition.

"If the wind blows too hard, I probably won't be able to get to some of my areas," he said. "We'll just have to see what happens."

Top of leaderboard largely unchanged

Pro Terrence Rath of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., moved up from third place to second after turning in a two-day total of 26 pounds, 14 ounces.While there was some movement atop the leaderboard, for the most part, it was a carbon copy of yesterday's standings. Terrence Rath of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., moved up from third place to second after turning in a two-day total of 26 pounds, 14 ounces. Meanwhile, Tim Wilsterman of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., dropped from second place to third after recording a total catch of 26 pounds, 7 ounces.

Pro Rick Francis of Cibola, Ariz., who was sixth in yesterday's competition, moved up to fourth place with a two-day catch of 25 pounds, 11 ounces.

Michael Rooke of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., rounded out the top-five pros, moving up from 17th place to fifth overall on the strength of a 25-pound, 2-ounce catch.

Best of the rest

The rest of the top-10 pro competitors included:

Bret Gouvea of Redding, Calif., proudly displays a 5-pound, 4-ounce catch. Gouvea finished the day in eighth place overall in the Pro Division.6th: Sean Stafford of Fairfield, Calif., 24-3
7th: Robert Lee of Angels Camp, Calif., 24-0
8th: Bret Gouvea of Redding, Calif., 22-14
9th: Mike Phua of Chino, Calif., 22-14
10th: Gary Key of Phoenix, Ariz., 22-9

Gouvea also walked away with Thursday's Snicker's Big Bass award in the Pro Division after landing a 5-pound, 4-ounce catch - the largest fish caught in the tournament to date. Gouvea won $250 for his efforts.

Co-angler Diehl saves best for last

Co-angler Bob Diehl of Yucca Valley, Calif., grabbed first place overall at Lake Havasu with a two-day catch of 16 pounds, 14 ounces.Whether it was the luck of the draw or a penchant for drama, co-angler Bob Diehl of Yucca Valley, Calif., put on one heck of a finale. As the very last angler to weigh in for the day, Diehl hoisted his sack onto the scales and walked away with the overall lead in the Co-angler Division.

"It was a great day. I'm just really excited right now," said Diehl, who recorded a two-day total of 16 pounds, 14 ounces to take a slim 8-ounce lead over his nearest competitor. "I'm very fortunate that my pros were able to put me on fish for two straight days."

Diehl said that he used a combination of reaction baits and drop shots in about 10 feet of water to land the majority of his catch.

"My pre-fishing was really rough so I'm pretty happy with where I'm at right now," said Diehl. "Tomorrow the weather is supposed to change but I'm going to stick with what I've been doing the whole time. Hopefully my fish will hold up for me."

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-five co-angler leaders at the Stren Series Lake Havasu event:

2nd: Bruce McCune of Anderson, Calif., 16-6
3rd: Gayle Janes of Bermuda Dunes, Calif., 16-3
4th: John Weisfuss of Oxnard, Calif., 15-14
5th: Ted Romero of Lakewood, Calif., 15-2

Day three of Stren Series Western Division action at Lake Havasu continues at Friday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7 a.m. (Mountain Time) at Lake Havasu State Park, located at 699 London Bridge Road in Lake Havasu City, Ariz.

Tags: gary-mortenson  headline-story  2008-02-20-lake-havasu 

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