UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Blowing in the wind

Blowing in the wind
Day one of Rayovac FLW Series tournament action on Lake Havasu is about to commence.

LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. - As the 152-boat field departed Lake Havasu State Park marina shortly after 7:30 a.m. Thursday morning to commence the start of the very first Rayovac FLW Series Western Division event in FLW history, anglers were gearing up for a decidedly wind-swept day on the water.

With winds pouring in anywhere from 15 to 25 mph, anglers were bundled from head to toe as they set out in an effort position themselves for a grueling, and hopefully rewarding, three days of fishing on Lake Havasu.

Rayovac FLW Series Western Division anglers await the start of the 2014 season on Lake Havasu.However, while extremely windy conditions aren't the first thing an angler dreams about when hitting the water for the opening round of tournament action, in this case, the field might just be all right with the change in weather. After multiple days of calm weather during practice, most anglers agreed that the bite was brutally tough. But with the arrival of strong winds today, it is the hope that the blustery weather will spur on a bite that so far has definitely been lacking.

"I got here four or five days ago and that bite was pretty tough," said Rayovac FLW Series pro Mo Hassen of Alameda, Calif. "But with this wind, I think the fishing is going to be a lot better. I honestly think this wind is really going to help us out because it's going to put those fish on a nice reaction bite."

Rayovac FLW Series pro Michael Lavallee of Sandy, Utah, seconded that notion.

"I'm really hoping this wind helps us out because the bite up until now has been pretty tough," he said. "I've been here for four days of practice, spending anywhere from 10 to 11 hours on the water each day, and there have been days where I've only gotten one or two bites all day. So I think this weather is really going to help us."

However, the caveat is that it only applies if the wind doesn't get any worse than predicted.

"It's supposed to blow 15 to 25 mph today but it's already that windy this morning," said Hassen. "So I guess we'll have to see what happens."

As far as the fishing is concerned, anglers said that the fish are in a predominately pre-spawn mode and that reaction baits could be the key to success today.

Rayovac FLW Series anglers carefully navigate their way past Lake Havasu State Park marina."The lake is down 5 or 6 feet and that's really been throwing the fish off as far as their spawning," said Hassen. "You'll see some fish ready to spawn but most of the lake is in the pre-spawn right now. And with today's conditions, you'll be forced to fish a lot of reaction baits because it's really going to be tough to do any kind of finesse fishing."

Despite the wind, Lavallee said he's going to operate under a very specific gameplan.

"Basically I'm going to approach the main lake the first thing this morning because that's where I think the tournament is going to be won. I'll probably fish a little bit deep, anywhere from 20 to 35 feet. Then I'm going to run up the river, go flipping in anywhere from 3 to 5 feet and try to finish out my limit. After that I'm going to go back to the main lake and probably just get blown around in circles. The fish are definitely in the pre-spawn phase right now although in some parts of the lake the fish are just starting to move up. But like I said earlier, I think this warm, southwest wind is really going to help the bite today.'

And because the lake holds plenty of both largemouth and smallmouth, no one species should dominate the competition.

"I definitely see this as a mixed bag tournament," said Lavallee. "You can catch a 20-pound bag of largemouth here or a 20-pound bag of smallmouth. But that wasn't always the case. About five years ago you really needed largemouth to win. But over the years, the smallmouth bass have really blown up on this lake. So you're probably going to need some of both to win."

"I think with the wind today and a reaction bite, you're definitely going to see a lot of mixed bags," Hassen added.

In an effort to target those bass, anglers said there are plenty of options to choose from.

"Basically in this lake, there are massive amounts of manmade structures, particularly cages," said Lavallee. "The DNR placed those cages all around this lake to create artificial habitat for the fish and I really think this tournament will be won on those cages. But you can also fish trees - there are tons of trees on the main-lake channels. There are also some fish on rocks and pea gravel flats."

So what will an angler need to advance through the top-10 cut on day two and ultimately win the tournament outright?

"I think it's going to take an average of 16 1/2 pounds a day to make the cut," said Lavallee and about 18 1/2 pounds a day to win."

Tourney format

Rayovac FLW Series boaters congregate on Lake Havasu before opening takeoff.During Rayovac FLW 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., 7:30 a.m. daily from Jan. 30 through Feb. 1. Weigh-ins will be held at the launch site beginning at 3:30 p.m. each day.

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

Pros will be competing for a top award of $40,000 plus a Ranger Z518C 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 Z117 with 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $5,000 if Ranger Cup guidelines are met.

Day-one takeoff is about to commence on Lake Havasu.The Rayovac FLW Series consists of five divisions - Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of three tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the Strike King Angler of the Year title and prize package along with a spot in the no entry fee Rayovac FLW Series Championship. The 2014 Rayovac FLW Series Championship is being held Oct. 30 to Nov. 1 on Wheeler Lake in Rogersville, Ala.

The Rayovac FLW Series tournament on Lake Havasu is being hosted by the Lake Havasu City Convention & Visitors Board.

For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Rayovac FLW Series on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.
Bass-fishing fans take note

Rayovac FLW Series action continues at today's weigh-in, scheduled to take place at 3:30 p.m. at Lake Havasu State Park, located at 699 London Bridge Road in Lake Havasu City, Ariz.

Want to watch the weigh in live but can't make it in person? Then tune into FLW Live on FLWOutdoors.com shortly before 3:30 p.m. Pacific Time to watch live streaming video and audio of today's opening-round weigh in.

Vital statistics:

Sunrise: 7:37 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 65 degrees
Expected high temperature: 77 degrees
Water temperature: 53-57 degrees
Wind: From the south-southwest at 15 to 25 mph
Humidity: 25 percent
Day's outlook: Sunny with increasing clouds throughout the afternoon

Tags: gary-mortenson  morning-story  2014-01-30-lake-havasu 

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

All the talk leading up the final leg of the Costa FLW Series Central Division presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks was about the weather. And Mother Nature did not disappoint. READ MORE »

Stormy Start at Lake of the Ozarks

Stormy Start at Lake of the Ozarks

The final leg of the Costa FLW Series Central Division presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks will launch right as a massive cold front arrives. How massive? The forecast has been calling for heavy rain and a high of 74 today, and so far hasn’t been wrong. A major thunderstorm greeted anglers this morning and delayed takeoff by an hour and fifteen minutes thanks to abundant lightning. Tomorrow? A high in the mid 40s. READ MORE »

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Typically, the first day or two following a cold front put bass in a bad mood, and today, Grand Lake’s fish are following the script. This has created a challenging scenario for the top-10 finalists in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine. READ MORE »

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 2

You know fishing’s tough when the most common greeting we receive is the goose egg hand signal. No question, day two of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, had a lot of anglers scratching for bites and scratching their heads. READ MORE »

Changes Afoot at Grand Lake

Changes Afoot at Grand Lake

Fall is a time of change and movement; two notions bound to impact the outcome of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake. Typical fall migrations are underway, but an approaching cold front will likely complicate the already challenging nature of autumn’s transition. READ MORE »

Underway on the Delta

Underway on the Delta

No matter the weather, no matter the environmental concerns, no matter the fishing pressure, the California Delta remains one of the nation’s most diverse and fertile freshwater fisheries — a truth that should play out in dramatic form during the Costa FLW Series Western Division event. READ MORE »

St. Lawrence Midday Update – Day 3

St. Lawrence Midday Update – Day 3

Weights were already tight going into the final day of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division finale on the St. Lawrence River, which is presented by Gajo Baits. Little more than a pound separated leader Jonathan Kelley from Casey Smith in fifth place. READ MORE »

St. Lawrence Midday Update – Day 2

St. Lawrence Midday Update – Day 2

With slightly warmer weather and similar sun and wind conditions, day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits on the St. Lawrence River should’ve presented optimal conditions for smallmouth. Instead, nearly every angler our on-the-water crew encountered today said the same thing: It’s tougher. READ MORE »

To Run or Not to Run

To Run or Not to Run

The final leg of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division on the St. Lawrence River, presented by Gajo Baits, is primed to be a smallmouth smashfest, as usual. That said, this year’s event, which is presented by Realtree Fishing, will launch out of Massena, N.Y., instead of the usual Clayton. So, what was once a 15-or-so-mile run to the mouth of the lake from takeoff – and roughly 30-plus miles to Gallo Island or Main Duck – will now be about a 95-mile run just to get to the lake. READ MORE »

Underway on the Potomac

Underway on the Potomac

For the tournament, the wind isn’t forecast to be too strong any day, and the tides will be fairly standard, but not ideal from a timing standpoint. Today, low tide was at 6:15 a.m., and low tide on Saturday will be at 8:15. That means that pros will mostly be fishing a rising tide through the tournament, with the best windows likely coming early on Friday and Saturday. READ MORE »

Go-Time Again on Champlain

Go-Time Again on Champlain

Each of the last three years have seen the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits kick off on Champlain. This tournament, which is presented by Polaris, should offer great fishing like usual, but the dominant pattern certainly won’t be spawning smallmouths. Instead, it could be a largemouth slugfest, as the fishing has continued to prove strong on the south end of the lake. READ MORE »

Let the Rayburn Catchfest Begin

Let the Rayburn Catchfest Begin

We’re five months later into the year now, and while the water level at Rayburn has fluctuated in the months since the Tour event, it’s still about 4 1/2 feet above full pool as anglers take to Big Sam for the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury. READ MORE »

National Championship Gets Going

National Championship Gets Going

Bright and early this morning, 148 teams of the best college bass anglers in the country rolled out for day one of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Potomac River. The 10th annual National Championship is the culmination of the 2018 season, and the winning duo qualifies for the 2019 FLW Cup and earns a new Ranger boat for its club.  READ MORE »

All-American Underway on the Potomac

All-American Underway on the Potomac

Winning the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American is a lifetime accomplishment, and this week, 49 boaters and co-anglers will have the chance to do it on the Potomac River. Presented by General Tire, the crowning event of the BFL season runs May 30 through June 1, and the winner on the boater side will walk away with $120,000 and a trip to the FLW Cup. READ MORE »

Big Bags Coming on Rainy Clear Lake

Big Bags Coming on Rainy Clear Lake

One of the gems of California bass fishing might have its luster muted by the week’s weather, but Clear Lake will likely still provide plenty of opportunity for anglers competing in this week’s Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina.  READ MORE »

Everything on the Table at Table Rock

Everything on the Table at Table Rock

Stop No. 2 of the Costa FLW Series Central Division, which is presented by Power-Pole and hosted by Explore Branson, is primed to be an all-out show. It seems like the lake’s entire population of bass is rushing to the bank to spawn, with all three species willing to eat a vast array of offerings. The only question: Will Mother Nature play nice? READ MORE »

Tougher but Still Santee Cooper

Tougher but Still Santee Cooper

The Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division finale began this morning at Santee Cooper, where even though fishing has been tough, everyone expects to see mega-bags brought to weigh-in. The bass are nearly done spawning, but a strong shad spawn in the mornings offers real potential. READ MORE »

Everything’s in Play on Kentucky Lake

Everything’s in Play on Kentucky Lake

A squad of 147 boaters and their co-anglers partners enjoyed a pleasant spring morning in western Kentucky for the start of the Costa FLW Series Central Division tournament presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. READ MORE »

Big Bags on Horizon at Chickamauga

Big Bags on Horizon at Chickamauga

Day one of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event presented by T-H Marine is underway, and by all indications, the fishery is set up to churn out some mega-bags throughout the event. Even during practice, with the water falling well below normal levels, 7-, 8- and 9-pounders weren’t uncommon. Now, with the best anglers in the southeast hard at it, you can expect fireworks. READ MORE »

College Open Weigh-in to Start at Noon

College Open Weigh-in to Start at Noon

Day one of the YETI FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake was phenomenal in terms of the fishing, and while that may be the case for day two, strong winds forced FLW officials to cut the tournament short by a few hours. READ MORE »