(Jan 30, 2018 - Lake Havasu City, AZ)
As many as 300 pros and co-anglers are set to compete Feb. 8-10 at the Costa FLW Series Wester Division opener at Lake Havasu presented by Ranger Boats. Hosted by the Lake Havasu City Convention & Visitors Bureau, the event will feature anglers competing for a top award of up to $85,000, including a brand new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard.
“The fish are staging right now and getting ready to move into prespawn mode,” said Joe Uribe Jr., of Surprise, Arizona, who has won the last two consecutive Costa FLW Series events held on Lake Havasu in 2015 and 2017. “We’ve had a full moon this week and warm air temperatures during the day – in the low 80s. As the water temperatures continue to rise fish will really be triggered to make a move.”
Uribe said anglers will utilize the entire lake for this event, specifically the Colorado River and areas down south. He cited quick-moving smallmouth in river current and warmer water on the southern end as especially tempting for competitors.
“Most guys are going to be finesse fishing, which is fairly typical this time of year,” said Uribe. “Finesse tactics will be more of a player for smallmouth than for the largemouth, and will involve small hair jigs, drop-shot rigs and little swimbaits. Largemouth will be orientated out deep near man-made structure including cages and brush piles. Look for crankbaits, jigs and umbrella rigs to do well in those areas.”
Uribe went on to say that catching both smallmouth and largemouth bass will be crucial for success in the tournament.
“Guys are going to have trouble catching a limit solely made up of largemouth, so they’re going to have to mix it up a little bit. They may have to target largemouth in the morning, and then switch to those big smallmouth up shallow as the water warms up,” said Uribe. “I think 17 pounds a day over three days will be needed to win.”
Anglers will take off and weigh-in at Lake Havasu State Park, located at 699 London Bridge Road, in Lake Havasu City. Takeoff will be held at 7:30 a.m. MST each day of competition and weigh-ins will start at 3:30 p.m. All takeoffs and weigh-ins are free to attend and open to the public.
In Costa FLW Series regular-season competition, payouts are based on the number of participants competing in the event. At Lake Havasu, pros will fish for a top prize of $85,000, including a brand new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard if Ranger Cup qualified. Co-anglers will cast for a brand new Ranger Z175 boat with a 90-horsepower Evinrude outboard, and $5,000 if Ranger Cup qualified.
The Costa FLW Series consists of five U.S. divisions – Central, Northern, Southeastern, Southwestern and Western – along with the International division. Each U.S. division consists of three regular-season tournaments with competitors vying for valuable points that could earn them the opportunity to compete in the season-ending Costa FLW Series Championship. The 2018 Costa FLW Series Championship is being held Nov. 1-3 on Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Alabama, and is hosted by the Marshall County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2018 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct 286 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa and Spain. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.