UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Heating Up on Havasu

The sun rises over mountains as anglers race off into the waters of Lake Havasu on day one.

Lake Havasu City, Ariz. – Warming weather could provide the spark that is needed to ignite a big-time bite on Lake Havasu this week for the first event of the 2015 Rayovac FLW Series Western Division, which is presented by Mercury.

Past FLW events on Havasu have been plagued by lower temperatures and strong winds that slowed the bite – fishing was good, but the anglers didn’t experience the lake’s full potential. The last few days on the Colorado River impoundment, however, have seen temperatures near 80 degrees with nearly no wind. As it stands now, the forecast for competition days is calling for more of the same, and many of the 152 pros in this tournament feel like that could open things up.

“The fish are already in the prespawn stage, and a few bucks have begun to make beds,” says Lake Havasu stud Joe Uribe Jr. “It’s been getting a little cool at night, but the water temperatures have been really steady, which is great. There are a lot of fish starting to push toward the bank, but I think the biggest factor this week will be the big prespawn largemouths.

“The lake is about 3 feet higher than it was last year for this tournament,” Uribe adds. “That’s a lot for Havasu. It will open up some more water to the guys fishing shallow in the river and could help spread the field out a little bit.”

Havasu gives anglers the option to fish shallow cover up the river or more traditional reservoir banks and cribs on the main lake. Either option can yield smallmouth or largemouth bass, so the question remains: Which species will be the focus this week?

“There’s no doubt that it’s going to take a mixed bag to do well this year,” says veteran pro Dean Rojas, who resides in Lake Havasu City. “The conditions are prime. We had 3 inches of snow here just a month ago, so this warming trend is a huge transition for these fish. And when you add in the full moon I think it could make things interesting. This type of weather is relatively unheard of for this time in February.”

Rojas believes that the top of this year’s leaderboard could include some new names – mostly because of the abundant ways to catch fish right now. Junk-fishing, which is typically a go-to tactic this time of year on Havasu, will likely produce some top finishes this time. But everything from flipping tules up the river to drop-shotting deep structure will be in play.

Two-time Western Division Angler of the Year Jeff Michels is no stranger to catching fish on the West Coast, and he echoed Rojas’ belief that there is no wrong presentation on the lake right now.

“A guy can pick up any rod in his boat and catch a fish or two on it,” Michels says. “The only problem is that one or two fish is about all you can catch on that rod, and then you have to switch it up. That tells me that covering a lot of water will be key.

“The thing about Havasu is that the river tends to give up fish more easily,” he continues. “But I believe the lake has more fish. Now with that said, the fish are right there about to pull up on the bank, and if they make that move it could be anyone’s game.”

Last week Lake Havasu gave up a 29 1/2-pound limit in a team tournament, and while most of the anglers don’t believe that will happen again this week, no one is ruling out the possibility of the field bringing in some bigger limits than in past FLW spring tournaments. Rojas, Michels and Uribe all believe that 15 pounds per day should make the top-10 cut. Catching 20 pounds per day could earn the win.

There’s no question that if the winds stay light and the sun keeps shining this tournament could be one of the best we’ve seen on Havasu.

 

Conditions

Temperature at Takeoff: 64 degrees

Forecast High: 81 degrees

Precipitation: 0 percent chance

Wind: ENE at 3 mph, increasing to 10 mph from the east

Sky: partly cloudy

Water Temperature: mid- to upper 50s and rising

 

Check out photos from this morning's takeoff.

 

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  morning-story  2015-02-05-lake-havasu 

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