UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Norman

Kinley continues march toward Lake Havasu title

Kinley continues march toward Lake Havasu title
Chris Kinley of Durango, Colo., held down the top spot in the Pro Division for a second day in a row on Lake Havasu.

LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. - With intense winds sweeping across Lake Havasu during the second day of EverStart competition, a majority of anglers found themselves scrambling to put together alternative game plans that would keep them in the running for a tournament title.

As it turned out, day-one leader Chris Kinley of Durango, Colo., was no exception. Although he'd fished masterfully on the first day of competition, Kinley suddenly found himself with no fish in the boat at 9:30 a.m., his original strategy in shambles and gusting winds prohibiting him from fishing some of his best areas. Not surprisingly, a sense of panic started to settle in.

But like all great pros, Kinley quickly decided to make the best of the situation.

"It was a really rough morning," said Kinley. "At 9:30 a.m. I didn't have one fish in the boat. The water temperature had dropped, the wind was really bad and I couldn't fish a lot of my spots. I was a mess. I feel sorry for my co-angler because he had to be thinking that his pro was starting to go crazy. At that point, I knew I had to completely change gears."

Falling back on a number of other patterns he'd cultivated in practice, Kinley turned things around - almost instantaneously.

"Luckily I had a lot of diverse stuff, a lot of different patterns going on," he said. "And I wound up going bed fishing. I was able to find some quality fish on beds and by 10 a.m. I had my limit."

Providing a final exclamation point to his rollercoaster-like day, Lake Havasu had one more surprise in store for Kinley.

"At the end of the day, on my very last cast, I caught a 4 1/2-pounder," said Kinley. "It wound up being my biggest fish of the day."

With a total two-day catch of 35 pounds in the books and nursing a bunch of frayed nerves in the process, Kinley managed to hold onto first place overall heading into Saturday's finals.

"It turned out to be an awesome day after all," he said. "It's just an awesome feeling right now."

And what would a tournament title mean in tomorrow's competition?

"Words wouldn't be able to describe how I'd feel," he said. "I've idolized a lot of these guys and grew up watching many of them on television. And to think that right now I have more weight than them, it's really kind of surreal."

Uribe climbs into second

Pro Joe Uribe Jr., of Lake Forrest, Calif., used a two-day catch of 34 pounds, 4 ounces to leapfrog from third place to second after Friday's competition on Lake Havasu.Joe Uribe Jr., of Lake Forrest, Calif., used a two-day catch of 34 pounds, 4 ounces to leapfrog from third place to second after Friday's competition.

"It feels really good," said Uribe. "I only had 10 bites today but I still managed to bring in a good weight. The wind really didn't allow me to fish where I wanted to fish, but I was able to stay consistent."

Uribe said that he targeted bass with a combination of jerkbaits and tailspins, targeting bass holding to submerged grass beds in 5 to 12 feet of water.

"It was pretty tough out there today but I managed to catch a limit by 10 a.m. and was even able to cull a few more times," he said. `The key was using really light line and staying way off my fish because you didn't want to spook them. Those fish have seen a lot of baits over the past few days and you really have to be (subtle) when you cast at them. Overall, it's been a good tournament for me. But you really have to work for it. As far as tomorrow goes, I'm just going to relax and go out there and go fishing."

Savoini snares third place

Pro Jimmy Savoini of Prescott, Ariz., parlayed a total catch of 33 pounds, 10 ounces into a third-place finish in today's competition on Lake Havasu.Jimmy Savoini of Prescott, Ariz., parlayed a total catch of 33 pounds, 10 ounces into a third-place finish in today's competition. Like the other competitors, Savoini said the wind played a big factor today.

"It was definitely tough out there with the wind," he said. "The wind was blowing pretty hard and I couldn't get to my main area right away. But later in the afternoon, the wind died down just enough to allow me to finally get there. And that really helped. I'm around the right fish and luckily I was able to capitalize on my bites."

Savoini said that he's targeting pre-spawn bass that are on the verge of moving up onto the banks with a combination of jigs and shakey-head worms.

"I'm basically fishing a flat," he said. "The fish want to spawn really badly but the water temperature isn't quite there yet. My fish are moving into that area and are waiting to spawn. And what's really important is that the area is replenishing itself. It also has a rocky bottom contour and that's even more critical."

Savoini said that if everything goes well tomorrow he can envision himself hoisting the tournament title.

"Overall, I feel great. I'm around the right fish to win this tournament," he said. "I just need to keep getting the right bites. And if my areas hold up tomorrow, I can make a real run at this."

Best of the rest

Pro Brian Ankrum of Loveland, Colo., finished the day in fourth place on Lake Havasu with a total catch of 32 pounds, 12 ounces.Brian Ankrum of Loveland, Colo., finished the day in fourth place with a total catch of 32 pounds, 12 ounces.

Meanwhile, Michael Tuck of Granite Bay, Calif., landed in fifth place with a catch of 32 pounds, 2 ounces.

Rounding out the top-10 pro finalists:

Pro Terrence Rath of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., used a catch of 31-12 to finish the day in sixth place on Lake Havasu.6th: Terrence Rath of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 31-12
7th: Michael Wright of Grass Valley, Calif., 31-7
8th: Jeff Michels of Lakehead, Calif., 30-13
9th: Troy Lindner of Los Angeles, Calif., 30-5
10th: Duane Dunstone of Reno, Nev., 29-10

Jon Griffith of Mesa, Ariz., won the Snicker's Big Bass award after netting the biggest fish of the tournament to date, a 6-pound, 4-ounce largemouth.

Crine grabs lead in Co-angler Division

Fishing in only the second tournament of his career, Richard Crine of Anaheim, Calif., made the most of his rookie season by claiming the top spot in the Co-angler Division heading into tomorrow's finals.

Fishing in only the second tourney of his career, Richard Crine of Anaheim, Calif., claimed the top spot in the Co-angler Division heading into the finals."I wanted to tournament fish for a long time. I tried last year but I couldn't get off the waiting list," Crine said. "But this year I finally managed to sign up. I fished in some bass clubs before but this is my first season with FLW and my second tournament ever. So it's been like a dream come true for me."

After finishing in 53rd place during the EverStart tournament on Lake Shasta in January, his first-ever event, Crine has kept things simple this time around.

"On the first day, I only fished one bait. And today, I fished one bait as well." he said. "But I really have to thank my pros. They were good guys and put me on fish."

Crine said that his goal today was simply to come back with a limit. But as it turned out, he came back with first place in the standings as well.

"I was in 10th after the first day and I knew I needed to catch five fish to make the cut," said Crine who landed a total two-day catch of 24 pounds, 11 ounces. "But to finish in first place, I'm pretty surprised. It feels great though."

And what about tomorrow?

"I have no idea," he said. "I'll just have to wait and see what my pro does and adapt."

Zanotelli grabs second place

Using a total catch of 24 pounds, 8 ounces, Tony Zanotelli of Redding, Calif., finished the day in the runner-up qualifying position heading into the finals.

"I feel pretty good," said Zanotelli. "I had a couple of pros who were around fish and that's always nice. The biggest thing here is being paired with guys who are around fish because there is a big part of this lake that is pretty dead. But even so, you really have to grind it out here just to get five bites."

In an effort to eke out those five bites, Zanotelli said he really mixed up his fishing arsenal on day two.

"I basically went junk fishing," he said. `I swam a grub, swam a tube, swam a jig and used a drop-shot. I was fishing in anywhere from 3 to 15 feet of water, targeting breaklines."

Best of the rest

Day-one leader Travis Moran of Reno, Nev., took the fourth spot after day two with a total catch of 22 pounds, 5 ounces.Dante Ray of Reno, Nev., finished the day in third place with a total catch of 23 pounds, 11 ounces.

Day-one leader Travis Moran of Reno, Nev., took the fourth spot with a total catch of 22 pounds, 5 ounces.

Kyle Baker of Lancaster, Calif., capped off today's event with a fifth-place finish after recording a total weight of 19 pounds, 9 ounces.

Rounding out the top-10 co-angler finalists:

6th: Allen Todd of Gardnerville, Nev., 19-8
7th: Nick Nourot of Benicia, Calif., 18-2
8th: Daniel Leue of Colusa, Calif., 17-14
9th: Lonnie S. Foster of Kneeland, Calif., 17-11
10th: Vic Allen of Canyon Lake, Calif., 17-8

Bass-fishing fans take note

A packed crowd was on hand to witness the second day of EverStart Series tournament action on Lake Havasu.EverStart Series action continues during Saturday's final takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7 a.m. at Lake Havasu State Park, located at 699 London Bridge Road in Lake Havasu City, Ariz.

Fans who can't make tomorrow's weigh-in in person can also tune into FLW Live on FLWOutdoors.com shortly before 3:00 p.m. Mountain Time to watch live streaming video and audio of Friday's second-day weigh-in.

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

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