Firsts for everything - Major League Fishing

Firsts for everything

Image for Firsts for everything
Western legend Jimmy Reese leads the inaugural Wal-Mart FLW Series East-West Fish-Off after catching 26 pounds, 12 ounces Thursday. Photo by Brett Carlson. Angler: Jimmy Reese.
March 5, 2012 • Jimmy Reese • Angler Columns

Lake Havasu, Ariz., was the site for the recent EverStart Series Western Division event. What an incredible fishery! Looking at the results and looking at the numbers of fish caught do not do it justice. Being there and seeing what we saw, it was amazing. Imagine fishing in an aquarium where you can see 15 feet down. This was the first time I had seen this on this lake and it blew me away.

First off, congrats to the top 10 pros co-anglers and to Troy Lindner for winning his first FLW event. These guys worked their butts off and earned their paychecks. The college guys fared well on Saturday and I honestly wasn’t sure any of them would make the 6 a.m. call that morning. Lake Havasu is well known for its spring break and the London Bridge is a popular place to be!

So there were a lot of “firsts” that happened this week, including catching an 8-pound, 10-ounce largemouth on the first day of practice. She was a load on 6-pound Berkley Trilene fluorocarbon. My buddy Gary took a live video of this and you can watch it here. She ate the famous Gary Yamamoto tube. After catching her I went over to the area and looked down to see why she was there and wow I liked what I saw! I now know why she lived there; it was like living in a luxury suite apartment in New York City. She was in 14 feet of water on some rock under cuts and must have stepped outside to catch a snack and found herself on YouTube instead! Ha!

Those of you who fish Havasu know what I am talking about. This fishery is climbing the charts in all aspects. Last year the world record redear perch (over 5 pounds) was caught there. Considering this is more or less a desert lake this is truly amazing. In 1993, Lake Havasu management and BLM put a program together to help this fishery. Twelve million dollars were spent over 10 years creating habitat that was spread through 42 coves. Oh, and don’t worry about the quagga mussels; this is why the shell crackers are exploding and this affects the whole food chain if you know what I mean.

Another first that happened is I watched my co-angler Shannon Henry catch a 4-pound, 15-ounce largemouth from the back of the boat. It was the big fish on day one. My co-anglers seem to have a way of catching monster fish behind me lately. It wasn’t that he caught a big fish but it was the cast out into the middle of the lake where the “carp” jumped was the interesting part. Note to self, when a fish jumps out of 54-degree water it is not always a carp. Great job Shannon!

I spent most of the week with the Minn Kota trolling motor on high and the Humminbird side imaging on full throttle looking for structure and looking shallow for spawning smallmouths. I put over 200 waypoints on my Humminbird; I couldn’t believe how many 3- to 4 1/2-pound smallies live in that lake! And since when do smallies spawn in 54 to 57 degree water? Hmmmm…..

If you ever get a chance to go to Lake Havasu it’s well worth it. Be careful around spring time and some of the weekends can get busy. Tie on a drop-shot with your favorite Roboworm or a Yamamoto Senko and just have fun.

Thank you to Ranger Boats and Mercury Motors and all my sponsors that make it possible to do what I love to do. Special thanks to some of my friends Roy Hawk, Justin Kerr and Gary Key who helped me out when the truck broke down. Dang axles; I had to stay two extra days.

And thanks to my second-day co-angler Mike Hawkins who did not panic when the trolling motor pull string snapped with a few minutes to get to weigh-in and watched my screwdriver go overboard which we needed to raise the trolling motor. It was a very interesting few minutes to say the least.

Lastly, I would like to add that we take the quagga mussels seriously. It is important to keep our boats clean and always try to keep the quaggas from spreading to other bodies of water.