Live now : PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE 2020 Table Rock

Bertrand Out Front

Bertrand Out Front
Josh Bertrand takes the early lead on day one with a 20-pound, 4-ounce limit.

Lake Havasu City, Ariz. – Hot, calm conditions presented a challenge to the field during day one of the Rayovac FLW Series Western Division event on Lake Havasu presented by Mercury. Yet, each of the top 10 pros was able to haul in more than 16 pounds of bass, led by Josh Bertrand, who sacked up 20 pounds, 4 ounces.

Quality over quantity was the story for Bertrand on day one. In fact, the five bass he brought to the scale were the results of the only five bites he got all day. Mental toughness proved a valuable trait.

“After pre-fishing I didn’t know if I would even be able to catch a limit in the tournament,” says Bertrand. “But the quality of fish out here is so good that if you can get five bites they are more than likely going to be good ones.”

The more rods the merrier – that was Bertrand’s strategy when rigging up for day one. He went junk-fishing today, figuring that if he could hit a high number of spots then his chances of getting bit would also increase.

“I never ran into an area with a high concentration of fish,” continues Bertrand. “There were some similarities between a few of my keepers in terms of where I caught them, but then the others were in oddball places. I could easily blank tomorrow, but in theory there should be more fish moving up.”

The Gilbert, Ariz., pro will start Friday’s competition with a slim 8-ounce lead over noted Havasu stick Joe Uribe Jr.

 

Joe Uribe Jr.2nd – Joe Uribe Jr. – 19 pounds, 12 ounces

When Joe Uribe Jr. left the dock this morning he knew that the only way to win this tournament would be to target prespawn largemouth in the midst of moving shallow. He executed perfectly and nearly reached the 20-pound mark to set himself up for a shot at the title.

Unlike many of the 152 pros on Havasu today, the majority of which struggled in the morning, Uribe got the ball rolling early by putting most of his final weight in the boat by 9 a.m.

“The shade and a little bit of a breeze on the lake really helped me out this morning,” says Uribe, who posted a top-10 finish on Havasu in 2012. “The stripers had moved into an area and started to feed, and it fired up the largemouth. I had to weed through a lot of stripers to get to the largemouth, but when I did it was on.”

Uribe decided to target largemouth, he says, due to their tendency to stay put in a particular area. Big smallmouth, by comparison, will roam around too much and can burn an angler in a heartbeat.

“Today I didn’t really fish anything that I found in practice,” Uribe adds. “A lot of the guys went south, and it left some areas closer to the ramp open, and I took advantage. I’d love to be able to repeat today’s catch, but tomorrow is a whole new day.”

Uribe revealed that the majority of his fish are feeding on gizzard shad – something he says keeps him around better quality bass.

 

3rd – Matt Shura – 18 pounds, 10 ounces

One of the few anglers who had the luxury of fishing water all by himself today is Gilbert, Ariz., pro Matt Shura, who hauled more than 18 pounds across the stage at the Lake Havasu State Park.

“I’m fishing pretty slowly, and I had to work hard to get what I had,” says Shura. “Every time I set the hook in practice it was a good one. Today I caught some smaller fish, but the quality was still there. I did break one off and lost another fish that felt pretty good. I’m confident that I’m around the right fish, and I’m excited to get back out there.”

Shura is targeting predominantly largemouth and is dedicated to a particular pattern. Right now, he’s tight-lipped about the details.

 

4th – Charlie Weyer – 18 pounds, 2 ounces

Like Shura, Charlie Weyer was also able to put together a limit by fishing unpressured water – and was also extremely secretive about his program.

“I feel like I’m a lot more dialed in than most guys,” says Weyer. “It was a pretty consistent bite, and I caught maybe a dozen fish all day long.”

Weyer did give up that he is fishing in a manner that he hasn’t seen from another angler throughout practice or the first day of competition. He stumbled upon new fish late in the afternoon and feels like he can repeat his day-one performance again tomorrow.

 

5th – Mark Williams – 17 pounds, 14 ounces

Getting bites doesn’t seem to be an issue for Mark Williams, who rounds out the top five pros after day one.

Williams was getting four to five bites a day during practice and was surprised to have nearly a dozen bites on the first day of competition.

“I have one main area that I’m fishing,” says Williams. “There are definitely fish there, but lots of people know about it. There was a lot of pressure around there, so who knows what will happen tomorrow.”

The Blythe, Calif., pro is keeping it simple with two primary baits doing the work for him – he hasn’t shared the details yet – rather than the junk-fishing program that many other anglers employed today. Williams is also going against the grain of the top five by targeting smallmouth, yet he was surprised to catch plenty of largemouth today too.

 

Top 10 Pros

1st – Josh Bertrand – 20 pounds, 4 ounces

2nd – Joe Uribe Jr. – 19 pounds, 12 ounces

3rd – Matt Shura – 18 pounds, 10 ounce

4th – Charlie Weyer – 18 pounds, 2 ounces

5th – Mark Williams – 17 pounds, 14 ounces

6th – Gary Pinholster – 17 pounds

7th – JJ Gibbs – 16 pounds, 11 ounces

8th – Hunter Schlander – 16 pounds, 10 ounces

9th – Shaun Bailey – 16 pounds, 9 ounces

10th – Scott Hellesen – 16 pounds, 8 ounces

 

Risnes Wrangles Co-angler Lead

As if escaping the doldrums of a South Dakota winter wasn’t enough of a reward for Phil Risnes’ trip south to Arizona, Risnes also grabbed the day-one lead in the co-angler division with four fish that weighed 12 pounds, 8 ounces. Though his fifth fish eluded him, Risnes will hold nearly a 1-pound lead over his closest competitor on the start of day two.

 

Top 10 Co-anglers

 

1st – Phil Risnes – 12 pounds, 8 ounces

2nd – Darin Damme – 11 pounds, 9 ounces

3rd (tie) – Rick Grover – 11 pounds, 8 ounces

3rd (tie) – Stuart Hein II – 11 pounds, 8 ounces

5th – Daniel Leue – 10 pounds, 8 ounces

6th – Marvin Hawkes – 10 pounds, 6 ounces

7th – Tony Zanotelli – 10 pounds, 5 ounces

8th – Todd Kline – 9 pounds, 11 ounces

9th – Tim Demecs – 9 pounds, 8 ounces

10th – Scott Bern – 9 pounds, 7 ounces

 

Complete Results

For complete results, click here.

 

Day-One Photos

Check out the day-one photo gallery here.

 

Details

Format:

All 152 boaters and co-anglers will compete for two days. The top 10 boaters and co-anglers based on cumulative weight after two days of competition will advance to the third and final round, with the winner determined by the heaviest cumulative three-day weight.

 

Takeoff Time:

7 a.m.

 

Takeoff Location:

Windsor Beach boat ramps at Lake Havasu State Park

699 London Bridge Road

Lake Havasu City, AZ

 

Weigh-In Time:

3 p.m.

 

Weigh-In Location:

Windsor Beach boat ramps at Lake Havasu State Park

699 London Bridge Road

Lake Havasu City, AZ

 

Tags: kyle-wood  headline-story  2015-02-05-lake-havasu 

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