UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Lake Lanier

Baker snares Lake Havasu title

Baker snares Lake Havasu title
Co-angler Kyle Baker of Lancaster, Calif., shows off his winning catch at the EverStart Series Lake Havasu event.

LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. - When the Lake Havasu event began earlier this week, co-angler Kyle Baker of Lancaster, Calif., already had two EverStart Series titles under his belt. After the conclusion of today's weigh-in, he now boasts three. Using a total three-day catch of 35 pounds, 4 ounces, Baker leapfrogged from fifth place to first overall, netting his third title since 2009 in dominating fashion - out-fishing his next closest competitor by nearly 3 pounds.

"It's my sixth top-10 finish and third win so it feels pretty good," said Baker. "I had to make up a 5-pound deficit today so that makes it even better."

Baker said he threw a 5-inch Senko wacky-rigged, targeting bass holding to "outside" grass pockets and rocks to land the majority of his 15-pound, 11-ounce catch in the finals - by far the largest bag brought to the scales during today's co-angler weigh-in.

"I caught everything that bit today and that helps," he said. "I was really able to capitalize. I also want to thank my pro partner Michael Tuck for really helping me out today."

Co-angler Kyle Baker of Lancaster, Calif., captured his third EverStart title after winning the Lake Havasu event.With his third title in three years (including EverStart wins at the California Delta in 2011 and Clear Lake in 2009), Baker is clearly on a roll. However, he said he's got one more thing to accomplish this year to make the season truly successful.

"I want to get my angler of the year title back," he said. "I won it in 2009 and I want to win it again this year. That's my next goal."

For his efforts, Baker walked away with over $5,000 in winnings.

Tony Z nets runner-up finish

Although today didn't turn out the way he'd hoped it would, Tony Zanotelli of Redding, Calif., turned in a yeoman-like effort to finish the Lake Havasu event in second place.

Co-angler Tony Zanotelli of Redding, Calif., recorded a total catch of 32 pounds, 9 ounces to finish in second place on Lake Havasu."How would I characterize today? I think I'd have to say it was a day of missed opportunities," he said. "I broke off a fish in the trees that probably weighed 4 pounds and another fish spit out the bait that probably weighed 3 pounds. But you know what, that's fishing. I have no complaints finishing second. I'll take second place any day. I've had a ball here this week. It's a dream come true."

Zanotelli said that he targeted grass beds, specifically pitching a drop-shot in the holes the grass.

"I actually started off the day using 6-pound test line and I didn't have a bite at noon," he said. "So I decided to downsize to 4-pound test and that really made a difference. I think there was so much fishing pressure that the lighter line really paid off."

Zanotelli said that this week has been a learning experience as well.

"Overall, it was a great tournament," said Zonotelli, who walked away with over $3,900 in winnings after recording a total catch of 32 pounds, 9 ounces. "I've been coming here for a few years and every year the smallmouth bass seem to get bigger and bigger. I also think I'll take away a lot of the things I learned this tournament that I'll be able to use in the future. It's a beautiful lake and I really had a great time. I have no complaints."

Crine captures third

Fishing in only the second tournament of his career, Richard Crine of Anaheim, Calif., finished the EverStart Lake Havasu event in third place.Fishing in only the second tournament of his career, Richard Crine of Anaheim, Calif., actually led the entire tournament after the second day of competition. Unfortunately, his run of rookie luck ran out on the final day of competition and he was forced to settle for third place overall with a total catch of 32 pounds, 4 ounces. But nevertheless, it was a tournament he'll probably cherish for the rest of his life.

"To finish in third place in my second tournament ever is quite an honor," he said. "I had a great time and fished with some great pros. The only thing is that I'm going to have to learn how to catch a limit because I only had four fish each day of the tournament."

Crine, who eventually convinced his wife to finally allow him to fish in a tournament, said the toughest part of the week is going to be when he returns home.

"My wife thought this was a one-time deal," joked Crine. "So I'm going to have to convince her to let me do it again."

Crine ultimately walked away with over $3,500 - easily enough money to afford a few romantic dinners to grease the skids for future events.

Best of the rest

Fourth place at the EverStart Lake Havasu event belonged to Allen Todd of Garderville, Nev. Todd parlayed a total catch of 30 pounds, 7 ounces into more than $3,000 in winnings.Fourth place belonged to Allen Todd of Garderville, Nev. Todd parlayed a total catch of 30 pounds, 7 ounces into more than $3,000 in winnings.

Day-one leader Vic Allen of Canyon Lake, Calif., finished in fifth place overall with a total catch of 29 pounds, 4 ounces. Allen's finish was good enough for over $2,700 in prize money.

Rounding out the top-10 co-angler finalists:

6th: Nick Nourot of Benicia, Calif., 27-11
7th: Dante Ray of Reno, Nev., 26-4
8th: Travis Moran of Reno, Nev., 25-1
9th: Lonnie S. Foster of Kneeland, Calif., 23-8
10th: Daniel Leue of Colusa, Calif., 17-14

EverStart Series Western Division action resumes March 29-31 on the California Delta in Oakley, Calif.

Tags: gary-mortenson  co-angler-headline  2012-02-23-lake-havasu 

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