LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. – Toyota Series pro Andrew Loberg of Rocklin, California, crossed the stage with a five-bass limit Saturday totaling 21 pounds, 11 ounces – the largest limit weighed throughout the three-day event – to win the Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E. at Lake Havasu in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Loberg’s three-day total of 15 bass weighing 59-14 earned him the win by a 3-pound, 7-ounce margin over second-place pro Mike Williams of Lake Havasu City and earned Loberg the top payout of $24,119 in the third and final tournament of the 2021 Toyota Series Western Division.
Nearly two months after winning the Toyota Series event earlier this season on the California Delta, the young Californian bested some of the top talents on Lake Havasu to close out his second win of the season in style.
“I’m still soaking in the win from the Delta,” said Loberg. “So, this one… I don’t even know.”
One thing everyone knows now is he’s one to watch in any tournament he enters going forward. This event solidified that.
Whether it was the time of year, fluctuating water, 100-degree heat or whatever, Havasu’s bass were stingy, regardless of species or where an angler tried to fish. So Loberg decided he wasn’t going to give them the option to bite. Like many of the top finishers, he was going to make them bite.
That meant cranking and ripping deep grass.
Fishing a ¼-mile stretch of the north end of the basin, Loberg had a pair of sweet spots on deeper points loaded with grass. But it wasn’t just grass they were loaded with, as he noticed more bait there than anywhere else he’d seen in practice, and even more importantly, more bass showing up on his forward-facing sonar.
“I found that area the first day of practice,” said Loberg. “I caught a big one and one other one, and I just thought it’d be a spot in my rotation. It ended up being the winning area.”
Yet just because the fish were there didn’t mean they wanted to bite. In fact, Loberg said it was often frustrating seeing so many fish down there simply unwilling to bite.
“I just had to keep winding that crankbait through the grass until I made one react,” says Loberg.
That often meant snapping his Rapala DT 16 when it hit the grass so hard he snapped his line a few times and even broke the lip off one bait. But it took that level of aggression to surprise a bass enough to open its mouth.
That worked out perfect the first two days, as he said he had the ideal conditions of sun and little wind, and the bass were choking his crankbait when they bit. That wasn’t the case Saturday, though. With intermittent rain and wind throughout the morning, Loberg struggled to get bit early, and when he did they were barely hooked. A perfect example was a 5-pound kicker that sprung loose right as it hit the net.
Still, he put eight keepers in the boat Saturday, and they were the right ones to take home the win.
The top 10 pros on Lake Havasu finished:
1st: Andrew Loberg, Rocklin, Calif., 15 bass, 59-14, $24,119
2nd: Mike Williams, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 15 bass, 56-7, $9,346
3rd: Roy Hawk, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 15 bass, 54-0, $8,736
4th: Mark Williams, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 15 bass, 43-2, $6,030
5th: Frankie Mueller, Kingman, Ariz., 15 bass, 41-8, $5,427
6th: Phillip Dutra, Antioch, Calif., 15 bass, 39-12, $4,824
7th: Chris Kinley, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 15 bass, 39-3, $4,221
8th: Kazuki Kodama, Torrance, Calif., 15 bass, 39-3, $3,618
9th: Randy McAbee Jr., Bakersfield, Calif., 12 bass, 34-14, $3,015
10th: Logan Huntze, Discovery Bay, Calif., 12 bass, 33-2, $2,412
A complete list of results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Ty Faber of Pagosa Springs, Colorado won the Day One Berkley Big Bass award in the pro division Thursday with a bass weighing 6 pounds, 3 ounces. Robert Faaborg of Lake Havasu City won Friday’s Berkley Big Bass award, bringing a 5-pound, 1-ounce bass to the scale.
Pro Roy Hawk took home an extra $1,000 as the highest finishing Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus member. Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $35,000 per event in each Toyota Series tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.
Kevin Gross of Redding, California, won the Strike King Co-angler Division Saturday with a three-day total of 12 bass weighing 33 pounds, 5 ounces. Williams took home the top prize package of a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard motor.
The top 10 Strike King co-anglers on Lake Havasu finished:
1st: Kevin Gross, Redding, Calif., 12 bass, 33-5, Phoenix 518 Pro boat w/115-hp Mercury outboard
2nd: Jason Akins, Apple Valley, Calif., 12 bass, 33-4, $3,155
3rd: Paul Buccola, Reno, Nev., 14 bass, 31-12, $2,524
4th: Blaine Christiansen, San Jose, Calif., 13 bass, 30-10, $2,208
5th: Rachel Uribe, Long Beach, Calif., 12 bass, 22-2, $1,893
6th: J.D. Blackamore, Yorba Linda, Calif., 10 bass, 21-12, $1,577
7th: Terry Devincenzi, Brentwood, Calif., nine bass, 20-11, $1,262
8th: Jeff Stewart, Lakeport, Calif., eight bass, 19-9, $1,104
9th: Mike Walsh, El Cajon, Calif., eight bass, 19-9, $1,071
10th: Andrew Benedict, Fort Knox, Ky., six bass, 15-1, $789
In the Strike King co-angler division, the Day One Berkley Big Bass award winner was Ralph Wells of Lake Havasu City, with a 5-pound even bass, while the Day Two award went to Steve Amata of Norco, California with a 6-pound even bass.
The Toyota Series at Lake Havasu was hosted by Go Lake Havasu. It was the third and final regular-season tournament in 2021 for Western Division anglers and the last regular-season Toyota Series event of the year. The next event for Toyota Series anglers will take place on Oct. 28-30 – the 2021 Toyota Series Championship Presented by A.R.E on Pickwick Lake in Counce, Tennessee, hosted by the Hardin County Convention and Visitors Bureau. For a complete schedule, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.
The 2021 Toyota Series presented by A.R.E. consists of six divisions – Central, Northern, Plains, Southern, Southwestern and Western – each holding three regular-season events, along with the International division. Anglers who fish all three qualifiers in any of the eight divisions and finish in the top 25 will qualify for the no-entry-fee Toyota Series presented by A.R.E. Championship for a shot at winning $235,000 cash, including a $35,000 Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus for qualified anglers. The winning Strike King co-angler at the championship earns a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard.
For complete details and updated information visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Toyota Series presented by A.R.E. on the MLF BIG5’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.