UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - James River

Lake Havasu Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Lake Havasu Top 5 Patterns – Day 2
Shaun Bailey

Weights fell off pretty hard for the bulk of the field on day two of the Costa FLW Series presented by Ranger on Lake Havasu, but the top six all stayed pretty steady or improved dramatically from day one. Though the weather feels perfect for a big spawning push, the majority of the weight is coming from prespawn fish, and the cool water from the Colorado River has ensured that the lake doesn’t warm up too fast. Though some fish are certainly moving shallow, it looks like the final day will still be about finding them in transition as opposed to the final destination.

In first, Chris Kinley is working a pattern in the river and the lake, but most of the field has been duking it out on the main body of Havasu. Kinley has mostly weighed smallmouths so far, but Shaun Bailey has locked up second entirely with largemouths. Both species have made plenty of appearances on stage and on the final day either could certainly have a say in the outcome of the tournament.

Below is a look at how the rest of the top pros are holding their own.

Kinley’s leading pattern

Complete results

 

2. Shaun Bailey – Lake Havasu City, Ariz. – 33-15 (10)

A guide on the lake and a perennial contender, Bailey has also narrowly missed winning on Havasu. Now, he seems poised for a run at it despite some odd luck on each of the first two days.

“Today started off real bad for me,” says Bailey. “I lost a pretty big one on a crankbait. Then I broke one off on 15-pound-test in a bush that I knew was a good one. Then I missed three bites in a row. I should have had a limit on my first spot in an hour and I just completely blew it.”

With only one tiny smallmouth in the ‘well at noon, Bailey knew he needed to make a change.

“I made an executive decision to go to a spot I was kinda saving for the third day,” reveals Bailey. “From about 12:00 until 3:30 I think we caught 16 or 17 fish and my co-angler and I both caught 17 pounds. It’s a deep staging spot, it has a little rock, a little trees, a little brush – it’s got a little bit of everything. I caught one on the very last cast and it’s a big area, so I think it’s the kind of spot that can replenish.”

Bailey has thousands of spots on Havasu, so even if day three doesn’t pan out how he wants it to he’s not going to run out of ideas.

 

3. Sean Minderman – Greenacres, Wash. – 33-14 (10)

Moving from 51st to third takes some doing, but sacking up 23-4 is for sure the way to do it. With the biggest bag of the tournament, Minderman rocketed from scrapping for a check to contention for the win.

“I had a plan to run way up the river, but before I did that I decided to make one stop where I had seen a couple big ones,” says Minderman. “I got in there and caught one pretty quick on 4-pound-test line, so that was a battle. It had me in an out of all kinds of stuff, but I got it in the boat. Then I just kept working that area.”

Minderman says he’s seen a few on beds, and he seems to have found the rare area with some really good quality actually coming in shallow. Though he only got five bites all day, he certainly got the right ones. Flipping, throwing a Yamamoto Senko and tossing a drop-shot, Minderman did it with variety as well.

Needless to say, he’s excited about fishing day three.

 

4. David Valdivia – Norwalk, Calif. – 31-13 (10)

Making a big move up from 17th, Valdivia loaded up a 17-pound bag of smallmouths on day two.

“Yesterday in the afternoon I got to fish a long day, so I got to learn a lot,” says the affable California pro. “It’s always good to adjust with the pressure – the fish kind of move around. I figured out a little something and I ran with it today. Right off the bat I started catching them, and I probably caught 15 keepers today.”

Fishing shallow for smallmouths, Valdivia is cagey about how he’s catching them, but it looks like he’s got a good thing going.

 

5. Jason Milligan – Cottonwood, Calif. – 30-11 (10)

Milligan swum his way into fifth with a mixed bag of smallmouths and largemouths and was unusually forthcoming about his tactics.

“Most of my bites are coming on a 3-inch Megabass Spark Shad on a 3/16-ounce jig head that I pour myself,” details the California pro. “It’s kinda a different type of head, it’s not a round head or a dart head. I’m swimming it in the mornings and then hopping it like a shaky head later on points and shoals and classic prespawn stuff. I’ve also got a deep program going - there’s a bunch of habitats and offshore wood and I’m catching some largemouths on them out in 20 to 25 feet on a ¾-ounce swim jig with a 4.8-inch Keitech Swing Impact FAT as the trailer.”

Averaging about eight bites a day, Milligan seems to be in good shape to stay steady, but he may need to step it up for a shot at the win.

 

Tags: jody-white  headline-story  2018-02-08-lake-havasu 

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