Lake Havasu Top 5 Patterns Day 2 - Major League Fishing

Lake Havasu Top 5 Patterns Day 2

It's a prespawn battle in the desert
Image for Lake Havasu Top 5 Patterns Day 2
Joe Uribe Jr. Photo by David A. Brown. Angler: Joe Uribe Jr..
February 10, 2017 • David A. Brown • Archives

Arizona pro Marty Lawrence rose eight spots to take over the lead at the Costa FLW Series Western Division opener on Lake Havasu with a two-day total of 33 pounds, 6 ounces. Like many of the other top pros, Lawrence banked on prespawn bass and caught a mix of largemouths and smallmouths. He takes a narrow lead of just 19 ounces into the final day.

Lawrence’s leading pattern

Complete results


Roy Hawk

2. Roy Hawk – Lake Havasu City, Ariz. – 32-3 (10)

After leading day one with 19-7 (the event’s heaviest bag), Hawk saw his productivity slip on day two. Fortunately, the strong start provided him enough of a cushion to remain near the top with a second place total of 32-3.

While his day-one sack included a mix of largemouth and smallmouth, Hawk says he played it safe today and targeted only the latter. Banking on the more dependable smallmouth bite, he opted to fish a more conservative game plan to ensure his final round berth.

“I was too nervous to target largemouth today because I was afraid I wouldn’t get enough bites,” says Hawk. “I went smallmouth fishing thinking I could get seven or eight bites, but that didn’t happen — I got five.

“I landed every one, but without those, I wouldn’t have anything. I don’t know if I made the right call because to catch the big bag today, you had to target largemouth.”

Hawk says he caught all of his fish on a Duo Realis Vibration lipless crankbait. His first came off one of the lake’s artificial habitat structures, another came off a dark edge in the back of a pocket. The other three, he caught on secondary points — all within a 10-minute stretch.

“They were just in that area,” he says. “The fish are moving in to spawn. They’re just stacking up on little points. You have to fish a million of those spots to get ‘em.”


Jason Hickey

3. Jason Hickey – Weiser, Idaho – 31-13 (10)

Devoting his day to largemouth, Jason Hickey caught a limit of 15-7 and moved up two spots to third with 31-13. Although he reported being around plenty of fish, he found them in a perplexing mood that tested his diligence. 

“I didn’t really target the smallmouth today, I just stuck with the backwater thing and just kept grinding away,” he says. “It took all day to get those fish.

“They’re really biting funny. I have to get three or four bites to get one to stick long enough to put him in the boat."

Hickey described his day as one of total junk fishing; just throwing to whatever target he found in front of his boat and catching fish on five different baits. Day two yielded 10 keepers, with a quick start fading into a grind.

“I got my best fish fairly early and after that it seemed like every couple of hours, I would pick one up.”


Joe Uribe Jr., Steve Biechman

4. Joe Uribe Jr. – Surprise, Ariz. – 29-12 (10)

Gaining three spots from day one, the 2015 Lake Havasu winner remained consistent by adding 14-11 to the 15-1 he weighed on day one and ended in fourth place with 29-12. After sacking up four fish early by slow-rolling a 7-inch swimbait in front of tules, Uribe finished his limit with a Ned rig sporting a 4-inch watermelon laminate Yamamoto Senko that he cut down to 3 inches.

“The Ned rig is definitely more subtle than the tube bait I’d normally throw here on Havasu,” he says. “I can keep it on the bottom and drag it and feel those rocks.”

The Ned rig’s effectiveness depended on a few key details. Uribe used a custom-poured 3/16-ounce mushroom head jig with a 3/0 Gamakatsu hook.

“That mushroom head allows me to fish it over rocks without getting stuck down in the crevices like a darter head or a round head jig would,” he says. “I’m using a heavier jig than most anglers would because the key is keeping it on the bottom.”

Noting that most of his bites came fairly shallow, Uribe says the fish are definitely moving into their prespawn positions. Slow presentations, he says, were the key to his success.


Gary Collins

5. Gary Collins – Upper Lake, Calif. – 29-4 (9)

Referencing pre-tournament weather reports, Collins had already factored today’s cloudy, windier conditions into his game plan. Relying mostly on reaction baits, he added 17-1 to the 12-3 he caught on day one and moved up 11 spots with a combined weight of 29-4.

“I’m targeting banks with rocks and underwater points,” Collins says. “This morning was best. I had a limit by 11:30.”

When the bite faded later in the day, Collins switched to a slower presentation with plastics.