UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Dale Hollow Lake

Uribe Takes Command

Uribe Takes Command
Joe Uribe Jr. cracked a "tournament-best" limit weighing 21 pounds to carry a lead of more than 5 pounds into the final day.

Lake Havasu City, Ariz. – The goal for anglers this week has been to track down big prespawn largemouth, the kind of fish that can separate a pro from the rest of the field. Joe Uribe Jr. has dedicated himself to that task, and it paid off with a tournament-best limit on day two that weighed 21 pounds. Uribe stuck to his guns, chasing big largemouth early in the day, and had the bulk of his weight by 10 o’clock. The Surprise, Ariz., pro has a two-day total of 40 pounds, 12 ounces for an impressive 5-4 lead over Josh Bertrand, the day-one leader who slipped into second place today.

An early shade-line pattern has been a critical factor for Uribe to get better-than-average bites.

“That shade in the morning is a big thing for me,” he says. “It only lasts for a few hours, and after the shade disappears it gets tough. Thankfully, I’ve been able to get my weight for the day by that time.”

Uribe intended to start day two in the same spot as he started on day one, but another competitor beat him there. Unfazed, Uribe moved on to the next spot. The forced change actually paid off for him.

“When I saw that other competitor on my starting spot I decided to run a little farther down the lake,” explains Uribe. “I caught three average keepers from there, and it really helped to get things going for me. Later I saw that my starting spot was open, so I pulled in there and caught my two biggest fish [both 5-pounders].”

Keeping it simple is the name of the game for Uribe this week. He’s been using one rod with one bait. For obvious reasons Uribe declined to indulge what exactly he’s using, but he has said that when the fish commit to the bait they are engulfing it.

Uribe has one more wild card in his pocket for the final round on Saturday – some productive water that he’s yet to touch. He says he’ll keep his options open in the afternoon and, if he can get a little help in the form of some wind, could potentially get big bites all day long.  

 

2nd – Josh Bertrand – 35 pounds, 8 ounces

At yesterday’s weigh-in, day-one leader Josh Bertrand wasn’t convinced that he could replicate his opening-day success again today. After struggling through the morning hours, it appeared Bertrand’s worries would be spot on, but he managed to pull it together in the final minutes to secure a 15-pound, 4-ounce limit and stay in contention for the win.

“I changed up my game plan a little bit just because of my late draw today [boat No. 138],” says Bertrand. “I played it kind of safe and didn’t try for my big largemouth bites in the morning. I was more focused on just getting five fish. It ended up working out OK, but I’ll be chasing largemouth tomorrow that’s for sure.”

Like Uribe, Bertrand’s day hinges on plucking the bigger largemouth that are looking to feed early in the morning. By passing that up today he had to hope he could connect with smallmouth later in the day.

“The fish are starting to pull up in the spawning bays, so this afternoon the bite picked up for me,” the Gilbert, Ariz., pro says. “I had two fish by noon, and I caught four fish in the last hour. The fish are definitely on the move.”

Bertrand plans to utilize the first hour or two of the day on Saturday to look for kicker-sized largemouth. After that he is going hunting for smallmouth.

“That first hour is going to be prime,” he adds. “After that I have to hope I can get on some of the big smallies that live in here because there are enough of them to haul in 20 pounds with just smallmouth. I can’t wait to get out there and see.”

 

3rd – Scott Hellesen – 33 pounds, 14 ounces

Scott Hellesen of Whittier, Calif., posted another consistent limit on day two, adding 17 pounds, 6 ounces to his day-one catch of 16-8. He moved up from 10th place to third going into the final round.

Hellesen is also on the largemouth bandwagon, which has provided a smooth ride for him so far.

“I have a couple areas that are loaded up with fish,” Hellesen says. “The fish are moving up, and I just keep rotating between the best areas. I hit each spot maybe four or five times. I don’t get bit every time, but when I do it’s a good one.”

Like Uribe, Hellesen is relying on a minimalist approach, using just two baits to produce his catches. He opted to keep those baits confidential for one more day.

“I didn’t have any pressure from other guys in my areas today,” Hellesen adds. “I know the fish are moving up shallow because I can see them, and I hope they bite for me tomorrow. It’s going to be fun.”

 

4th – Hunter Schlander – 32 pounds, 12 ounces

With nearly identical limits brought to the stage on day one and day two (16-10 and 16-2, respectively), Hunter Schlander of Modesto, Calif., will be posting his second top-10 finish in Rayovac FLW Series competition. He’ll have an 8-pound deficit to make up if he wants to catch Uribe.

“I ran the same program as I did the first day,” says Schlander. “I’m just hitting as many spots as I can before 10 o’clock. After that my bite dies. I caught six fish this morning and none after that.”

Schlander is using a reaction bait to entice hungry largemouth that are moving up shallow and looking to spawn.

 

5th – JJ Gibbs – 31 pounds, 14 ounces

Rounding out the top five on day two is local angler JJ Gibbs. He brought in 15 pounds, 3 ounces to move a few spots up on the leaderboard.

Gibbs is relying on one primary bait but is using it to run as much water as he can.

“I ran some new water today, but it’s the same thing I’ve been doing all week,” says Gibbs, of Lake Havasu City. “I actually caught fish all day long. I even made a few big culls with an hour left. The fish are moving up, there’s no doubt about it.

“I’m confident I can get five bites tomorrow,” he adds. “It’s just a matter of what size they’ll be. After all, this is Lake Havasu, and I’ve fished it for years. I know how nothing is certain out here.”

 

Top 10 Pros

1st – Joe Uribe Jr. – 40 pounds, 12 ounces

2nd – Josh Bertrand – 35 pounds, 8 ounces

3rd – Scott Hellesen – 33 pounds, 14 ounces

4th – Hunter Schlander – 32 pounds, 12 ounces

5th – JJ Gibbs – 31 pounds, 14 ounces

6th – Matt Shura – 31 pounds, 4 ounces

7th – Charlie Weyer – 30 pounds, 13 ounces

8th – Gary Pinholster – 30 pounds, 8 ounces

9th – Shaun Bailey – 29 pounds, 14 ounces

10th – Mark Williams – 29 pounds, 12 ounces

 

Leue Leaps Four Spots into Co-angler Lead

Colusa, Calif., co-angler Daniel Leue managed a 10-pound, 8-ounce five-bass limit from the back of the boat on day two to propel himself up the leaderboard and into first place. Leue is the only co-angler in the top 10 to weigh two five-bass limits. His tournament total is 21-14, giving him a 2-4 lead going into the final round.

“Yesterday I caught my fish early and today it was slow and steady throughout the day,” says Leue. “I practiced all week before the tournament and I feel like I’m pretty clued in to what’s going on. I think that wherever my boater fishes tomorrow I can get bites. There’s just no guarantee on the size.”

Top 10 Co-anglers

1st – Daniel Leue – 21 pounds, 14 ounces

2nd – Parker Wright – 19 pounds, 7 ounces

3rd – Rick Grover – 19 pounds, 1 ounce

4th – Kevin Smith – 16 pounds, 15 ounces

5th – Stuart Hein II – 16 pounds, 13 ounces

6th – Todd Kline – 16 pounds, 6 ounces

7th – Jordan Pinasco – 16 pounds, 2 ounces

8th – Quincy Washington – 15 pounds, 9 ounces

9th – Carl Nelson – 15 pounds, 2 ounces

10th – Phil Risnes – 15 pounds, 1 ounce

 

Complete Results

For complete results click here.

 

Day-Two Photo Gallery

View the full day-two 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.

 

Weigh-In Time:

3 p.m.

 

Takeoff and 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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