over Lake Havasu Field
November 12th & 13th marked the season opening event for the U.S. Anglers Choice Pro-AM trail’s southwest division. The ever popular Lake Havasu had been shing well leading up to the competition, but temperatures in the high 70’s and a recent spat of windy conditions had cooled the water and created hit or miss conditions for the anglers. As such, it was anyone’s game to win. Day one launch saw a slight wind as the smallish eld of pros and am anglers launched at the 6:45 start time. The winds be- haved through the day and some great weights were brought to the scales, including a 22.91 limit for Pro Wayne Carey and his Am Jeff Dean. Big sh of day one of the tournament was a 5.21 pound largemouth taken by Havasu Pro Gary Pinholster. It took better than 17.50 pounds to break into the top 5 for the day – not bad for November shing! Flat calm conditions greeted the eld at the start of day two. This was short lived though as the desert winds picked up around 10am and blew at a steady 25-30mph the remainder of the day. After the scales closed down on day two of competition, it was the recently transplanted Lake Havasu local Roy Hawk who topped the eld with his two day weight of 36.77 pounds to secure the victory and automatically advance to the year end sh off to be held on June 11-12th at Clear Lake. Hawk had been dominating
the Lake Havasu scene in recent months, taking victories at the 11/6/11 USAC Teams event, the 10/30/11 NBW Team event, the 10/23/11 ABA event, and several other recent top nishes earn- ing just shy of $4,000 for the victory at Havasu “I’ve been spending about 2-3 days prior to each tournament pre- shing”. Hawk noted. “Most of the time, I am eliminating wa- ter and staying away from areas that I already know hold sh. I don’t want to catch sh during pre- sh that I can catch during the event and with the way everyone follows everyone else around nowadays, I don’t want to divulge the areas that I will be shing come tournament time”. Hawk’s winning pattern involved shing shad colored crank- baits and rattle baits on 12-16 pound uorocarbon line in and around grassbeds in the middle to the backs of coves. “During the rst day of competition, my partner Tony Richards and I shed relatively close to the launch ramp and managed to boat a limit by around 9 am”, Hawk stated. “By around 11am, I think we had close to 17 lbs in the livewell”. The duo headed to the south end of the lake in search of some new areas to sh. “We actually moved off sh during the bite as I did not want to use them all up for the next day and not be able to upgrade on the sh that I was catching”, Roy quipped. “We didn’t really nd anything new, but we did manage to catch a couple of smallies that allowed us to upgrade our limit to 19.21 pounds for the rst day”. With the winds that were present on the second day, Hawk and his day two partner Luigi Lucas changed things up a bit. “It seemed as though the shallow crank bite died and we had to move out to the main points of the coves and sh with deeper running baits. “The winds resulted in some larger bags of sh for the eld and I am grateful that we were able to boat enough larger smallies to close the deal”, Hawk remarked. Second Place at the Havasu event went to another Lake Havasu transplant Justin Kerr. Kerr had actually pre- shed with Hawk on the Wednesday before the event. When it came to day one, Kerr and his partner Derrick Stewart shed the main basin of the lake from Windsor Beach to Havasu Palms. “Derrick and I had one of the best days on Havasu that I have had in a long time”, noted Kerr. “We spent the day cranking shad patterned baits in 1 to 12 feet of water on 14 pound Evergreen Bassiel Fluorcarbon line. We had a limit in 30 minutes and probably caught over 20 sh and culled up all day long”. The pattern Kerr was on was a good one as he found himself sitting in second place with 19.46 pounds after the scales closed down on day one. Kerr and his day two draw Trevor Young found the bite to be much different on the second day of competition. “I don’t know what caused it, but the sh had moved overnight. I spend quite a bit of time throwing to deeper sh and only caught one keeper”, Kerr stated. “ I ended up regrouping and shing much shallower to eke out our limit. Trevor really helped our cause with the 4.41 pound smallie he caught, but the 13 inch sh that I could not up-
Story and photos by Bill Hutcheson
Derrick Stewart bagged limits both days totaling 34.21 pounds and earned the top award on the Am side.