The fishing is hot at Lake Havasu. By 9:30, many of the anglers we’d seen on the water for day one of the Toyota Series Western Division season opener already had limits or had kicker largemouths in the box.
Most of those fish were caught off beds, with the majority being caught sight-fishing and the rest coming just by fishing through likely spawning areas. Others were caught out in front of spawning areas and around marinas.
The fishing should only get better, too. Currently, there are scattered rain showers, but the sun is shining across many parts of the reservoir, making it a little easier to spot fish on beds.
Jim Lyon, of Reno, Nev., lamented the lack of wind when we saw him. He says the breeze has helped his morning bite. Still, he had one in the box and was getting bites on a drop-shot.
Kevin Caruso had a better start. The Glendale, Ariz., pro landed a 6-pounder right in front of one of the camera boats. He boxed it alongside a 5- and 4-pounder already in his livewell, then went on to look for a few others he found on beds in practice.
“It was five days of staring in the water,” Caruso said of practice. “I bet we did a hundred, maybe 125 miles of shoreline.”
We caught up with Caruso a second time a little bit later, and he hadn’t caught any additional keepers, but was optimistic.
He says his 6-pounder wasn’t even on that bed when he found it. She moved in yesterday – along with hundreds of others, Caruso says. “There’s going to be some 30-pound bags today,” he added. “There’s that many big ones up.”
OK, so maybe he’s overly optimistic.
Andrew Loberg had three decent keepers in the box. Unlike the sight-fishermen, Loberg was slinging a swimbait along some tules. His co-angler, Michael Bobbitt, had two quality bass in the box. He caught them pitching a Yamamoto Senko.
Bobby Forster was playing the bed-fishing game but was struggling a little bit due to the fishing pressure in his best pockets.
With one in the box already, Forster was having trouble getting the fish he could see to eat, and some of his best fish had already been caught.
“I’ve got 30 beds marked. Let’s see how many of them pan out,” Forster says. “I was hoping at least 10.”
The biggest bag of the day so far goes to Delaney Dwyer of Scottsdale, Ariz. His 22-pound limit includes an 8-pounder. By 10 a.m. he was already debating how to spend the rest of his day: Try to upgrade, or go practicing?
Some more updates: Josh Needleman had a kicker largemouth to go with four smallies. Joe Uribe Jr. had just one keeper at around 8 a.m. Patrick Whitaker had a limit of four smallies and a largemouth. Bryant Smith had four fish for 10 pounds, including a trio of smallies. Nate Caldwell had 17 pounds. Klayton Belden had 14, Tanner Austin 12, Louis Fernandes 15, Charlie Weyer four for 8 pounds and John Strelic 15.
Weigh-in begins at 3 p.m. MT (Arizona doesn’t recognize Daylight Saving Time, so it’s the equivalent of 3 p.m. PT right now). Tune in to see who can get to the mid-20s and have a shot at leading.
Format: All boaters and co-anglers will compete for two days. The top 10 boaters and co-anglers based on cumulative weight after two days of competition will advance to the third and final round, with the winner in each division determined by the heaviest cumulative three-day weight.
Takeoff Time: 7:00 a.m. MT (Arizona does not observe Daylight Saving Time)
Takeoff Location: Lake Havasu State Park – Windsor Beach, 699 London Bridge Road, Lake Havasu City, AZ
Weigh-In Time: 3:00 p.m. MT
Weigh-In Location: Lake Havasu State Park – Windsor Beach