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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Lake Havasu Top 5 Patterns Day 1

Local standout Roy Hawk took the lead on day one of the Costa FLW Series Western Division opener presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Havasu with a limit of bass that weighed 19 pounds, 7 ounces. Though he leads by about a pound, the rest of the field is close behind and the weather is due to change on day two.

Hawk’s leading pattern

Complete results

 

Mike Nichelini

2. Mike Nichelini – Napa, Calif. – 18-9 (5)

The fisherman’s adage that “wind is your friend” proved true for Mike Nichelini, but to his chagrin, it was the lack thereof that left him searching for an alternate plan. Fortunately, the California pro found a viable Plan B and rode it to a second-place limit of 18-9.

“I think the lack of wind hurt me today, but I found a good spot and I was really fortunate today,” Nichelini says. “It was about habitat, bait and shade. I knew that those fish were there and I was there at the right time.”

Noting that he began his day by fishing deep-water structure, Nichelini described his main spot as a shade pocket with a prominent point and an artificial habitat structure. Crankbaits produced all of his fish.

“I had been catching good fish in practice, but right now, it’s tough to get a lot of bites,” he said. “Today, I hit just some of my water. I knew I had some good water to go to and hopefully it’s productive for me tomorrow.”

 

Robert Lee

3. Robert Lee – Angels Camp, Calif. – 17-9 (5)

Always a threat in Western events, Robert Lee put together a third-place limit worth 17-9 with what some might call “shady tactics.” Nothing nefarious, of course; just a focus on the area shielded from today’s fierce sunlight.

“I did what I do best; I ran around and dug around in the tules, in the dirt, in the trees and fished extremely shallow in the heaviest shade I could find,” he says. “If I found some deep tules, I was looking for the matted ones.

“The shallow fish in 7 to 8 feet of water are trying to sun themselves to get ready to spawn, but when it gets this bright and calm, instead of going out deep, the ones I caught went up to the shade.”

Lee says he caught his fish on a Texas-rigged Gitzit tube and a Texas-rigged Zoom Brush Hog.

“I’d flip the tube where the cover was a little thinner and then I’d dunk that Brush Hog down with a heavy weight when the cover was a little thicker,” he says. “I caught a limit on the tube, but then I caught the bigger fish on the Brush Hog.”

 

David Valdivia

4. David Valdivia – Norwalk, Calif. – 16-8 (4)

He missed his limit by one fish, but David Valdivia clearly found the right quality, as he took fourth place with a quartet of smallmouth that weighed 16-8. He started his day by running largemouth spots, but after 90 fruitless minutes, he decided it was time to go brown.

“I have one good bay that has a bunch of big ones in it; the only problem is I have to get them to bite,” Valdivia says. “They’re really tough to catch and I have to stay really far away from them and make super long casts or else they won’t bite.”

Essential to the proper presentation was a 7 1/2-foot Performance Tackle custom spinning outfit, 6-pound braid and a forceful cast with both hands on the rod. Valdivia caught his fish in about 20 feet of “super clear” water.

“I can cast the bait a mile with that rod,” Valdivia said. “I was using a finesse/moving bait. It’s small, but it’s something I can wind. If I threw something on the bottom, they wouldn’t eat it.

“They’re actively eating, but they can’t know that I’m there.”

 

Jason Hickey

5. Jason Hickey – Weiser, Idaho – 16-6 (5)

A late-day revelation steered Idaho angler Jason Hickey to a smallmouth bass rally that landed him in fifth place with 16-6. Targeting prespawner fish was his expectation, but dialing in a particular detail proved intrinsic to his success.

“I figured out something about how the smallmouth were positioning themselves,” he says. “I kind of stumbled into a lucky opportunity and then went to another spot that was similar. I didn’t actually catch that fish, but there was another one setting up the same way, so maybe that’s something to build on.”

Hickey says he caught his fish on reaction baits.

 

Tournament details

Format: All 124 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: 7:30 a.m. MT

Takeoff Location: Lake Havasu State Park-Windsor Beach, 699 London Bridge Road, Lake Havasu City, Ariz. 86403

Weigh-In Time: 3:00 p.m. MT

Weigh-In Location: Lake Havasu State Park-Windsor Beach, 699 London Bridge Road, Lake Havasu City, Ariz. 86403

Complete details

Tags: david-a-brown  headline-story  2017-02-09-lake-havasu 

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