WON BASS Invitational at Lake Mohave- May 2010
Fishing the desert lakes is a totally different animal from fishing on Northern California waters. These desert lakes offer crystal clear blue waters with visibility down to 40 feet. With the clear water, light line and long casts, these offer an advantage and should be a must.
Day 1 – I drew the infamous Paul Bailey – for the 2nd time this season - Lil’ Bailey as he is called by his peers. He is known for his expertise with the swimbait. True to his reputation, he started and ended his day with the swimbait in hand. It was definitely a winning pattern - targeting the same structure as Mike Folkestad, Tami Curtis, and I targeted in our pre-fish. We had action all day on the swimbait - putting our first 3 fish in the boat in the first 2 hours of the morning.
Throughout the rest of the day, the fish on the swimbait would either come unbuttoned or smack at it. We both tried to follow up with the worm for the bass that didn’t commit, but to no avail. I wasn’t much help –but, I tried my best to cast on the outside of the boat, trying to target the break line as Paul was paralleling very close to the bank. Paul was covering a lot of water with the trolling motor on high and making extremely long casts which made it very difficult for me. By the time my dropshot or my jig or Canyon Plastics tube hit the bottom, my bait was already behind the boat. What I should have done -because I had the utmost faith in the pattern and what he was doing and I will do this in the future - is stand at the ready to throw in a back-up bait on the followers and the bass that did not commit to the swimbait. Paul and I discussed that at the end of the day and on Day 2 he employed that very tactic with his coangler and the coangler put 2 nice bass in the livewell that they took to the scale. This is just a little heads up and tip for you coanglers who are in a similar situation. Bailey must have had a minimum of 15 bass either eat, hit, or follow his swimbait throughout the course of the day. I managed to catch 1 short, but we did come to the scales with 3 nice bass – weighing 7,70 pounds.
A good weight for a desert lake!
Day 2 – I drew a local Pro who lives downriver from Havasu City – Tim Blanchard. Tim knows Lake Mohave well as it’s in his backyard. Tim had a very successful prefish as well as a first day of tournament. We fished his areas that he had marked on his GPS from his prefish which held bedding bass, bass guarding fry, as well as some new water that we fished on his way to his designated area.
On one location we went after a 3 pounder that was guarding fry, Tim made a cast to the area with his worm. As he continued fan casting, I threw back behind the boat into a shaded area with my jig and managed to catch that weary bass, which tipped the scales at 3.37 pounds. We fished throughout the day – both of us catching bass and culling – and at the end of the day we weighed in a total of 9.17 pounds. My total weight for the tournament was just under 17 pounds and good enough for a 9th place finish!
I’d like to congratulate my good friend and mentor, Mike Folkestad, for his 1st place finish which makes it 2 championship finishes in a row! I would also like to congratulate our practice and traveling partner, Tami Curtis, for her 6th place finish.
My baits of choice for the tournament - which all caught fish – was a ¼ oz. Bayou Tackle in a craw pattern with a 3” Berkley chiggercraw – various colors of 4” and 6” Robo worms and a 5” Yamamoto single tail grub. The single tail grub was thrown on a ¼ oz. darthead – and the dropshot was on 4 lb. and 6 lb. Berkley 100% flurocarbon and the jig was thrown on 10 lb. Berkley 100% flurocarbon.