UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Potomac River

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Desert classic

Desert classic
EverStart Series anglers await the start of takeoff on Lake Havasu amidst the backdrop of spectacular desert scenery.

LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. - With one of the best desert fisheries at their disposal, boundless spectacular scenery and a flexible bass bite ruling the day, the full field of EverStart Series Western Division competitors departed Bridge Bay Resort and Marina for the open waters of Lake Havasu shortly after 7 a.m.

However, to say that the tournament is wide open would be an understatement by almost any definition. For starters, Lake Havasu is huge - measuring 45 miles in total length and boasting about 450 miles of shoreline. Anglers will also have to make some important decisions on whether to target largemouth bass, smallmouth bass or a hone in on a mixed bag. In addition, there is virtually no fishing technique that will be off the table - everything from finesse fishing to power fishing should prove to be viable options over the three-day event. Throw in a prediction from the National Weather Service calling for winds in the 15- 25-mph range and what you have is outcome that is literally and figuratively up in the air.

"I really don't know what we have in store for us," said veteran EverStart Series pro Zack Thompson of Alameda, Calif. "I think the fish right now are stuck in what I call the last phase of the pre-spawn. But if it stays real hot, we're right on the verge of this place being wide open."

Thompson said that anglers should have ample opportunity to fish to their strengths.

"Guys are going to catch them on jigs, Carolina rigs, reaction baits and crankbaits," he said. "At Lake Havasu, you have to find the fish and then you can fish pretty much the way you want to. The lake just sets up for so many different techniques."

EverStart Series pro Tim Kliinger of Boulder City, Nev., thinks sight-fishing could come into play as well.

The first day of EverStart Series tournament action on Lake Havasu is about to begin."The fish are on the move right now and they're running to the banks pretty quickly," he said. "As long as the wind doesn't blow, I think sight-fishing will definitely come into play. But on this lake there are a lot of different ways you can fish. You can go power fishing or finesse fishing - although I don't think you can win the tournament by finesses fishing the entire time. And you can really fish to your strengths. But I really do think you're going to need a mixed bag to do well here."

Both pros suggested that anglers are going to have to shoot for the 16- to 17-pound range each day in order to survive Friday's top-10 cut. But if the conditions change, and wind does become a factor, both Thompson and Klinger said that anything is possible.

"If there is a lot of wind, you're going to have to fish a lot more moving baits," said Thompson. "I also think if that happens the fish will get a little more aggressive than they have been. But here, smallmouth bass really don't like the clouds. And I actually think cloud cover will affect the bite more than the wind."

"If it's windy," added Klinger, "the reaction bite should be pretty good. But no matter what, this place is a phenomenal fishery. Lake Havasu just amazes me every time I come down here. It's definitely the best desert lake that I know."

Tourney format

Takeoff about to commence on Lake Havasu.During EverStart 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., at 7 a.m. each morning. Weigh-ins will be held at Lake Havasu State Park beginning at 3:00 p.m.

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

Pros will fish for a top award of $35,000 plus a Ranger Z518 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 177TR with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $5,000 if Ranger Cup guidelines are met.

The EverStart Series consists of five divisions - Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of four tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the Strike King Angler of the Year title along with $5,000 for the pro and $2,000 for the co-angler. The top 40 pros and co-anglers from each respective division will qualify for the EverStart Series Championship, slated for the Ouachita River in Monroe, La., Nov. 1-4.

The EverStart Series tournament on Lake Havasu is being hosted by the Lake Havasu City Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Bass-fishing fans take note

Sunrise over Lake Havasu.EverStart Series action continues at today's weigh-in, scheduled to take place at 3 p.m. at Bridge Bay Resort, located at 10300 Bridge Bay Road in Redding, Calif.

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 p.m. Pacific Time to watch live streaming video and audio of today's opening-round weigh in.

Vital statistics:

Sunrise: 7:14 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 53 degrees
Expected high temperature: 81 degrees
Water temperature: 54-57 degrees
Wind: From the north at 15 to 25 mph
Humidity: 20 percent
Day's outlook: Sunny

Tags: gary-mortenson  morning-story  2012-02-23-lake-havasu 

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