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“This victory is ever so sweet,” said Uribe, who earned the first victory of his career. “I’ve been so patient, and I knew that sooner or later it would be my time. This has been a really exciting tournament and I’ve had a fantastic week. My co-angler and I had a great time today – we must have caught 30 fish, and we caught them all day long.”
Uribe’s monster final-day stringer was anchored by a 9-pound monster largemouth that bit right away in the morning.
“I thought it was a striper,” Uribe said. “As I was pulling it up I realized that it was green. My co-angler was battling a big carp at exactly the same time and it was a pretty crazy few minutes. I was feeling pretty good when I got it into the boat.”
Uribe said that he fished three primary areas throughout the tournament that he found on the last day of practice. Uribe found that he was having a lot of success fishing bays south of the marina that included shad, birds and striped bass. He said that the birds and the striper would trigger the largemouth and he was able to key in on the specific bays that were holding fish. He fished shallow – from 3 to 6 feet deep – and targeted the tule lines making extremely long casts.
“My areas were replenishing each day, which usually doesn’t happen on the Colorado River,” Uribe said. “I caught my fish by 9 a.m. on the first day, then 8:30 a.m. on the second day. I was definitely trying to manage my fish, so as soon as I had a solid limit I would leave the area alone. I was fishing the shady side of the bay, and as soon as the sun was up I was out of there.”
Uribe said his two main baits throughout the week were an original Z-Man ChatterBait with a Reaction Innovation Skinny Dipper and a Basstronix Alabama-rig with Skinny Dippers as the primary bait and smaller Keitech Swimbaits rigged as teasers.
“I was dipping the tail of the Skinny Dipper in chartreuse for the ChatterBait,” Uribe said. “It definitely seemed to make a difference. It was pretty close, but I think that 60 percent of my fish came on the ChatterBait and 40 percent came on the A-rig.”
Uribe’s final day stringer of 26 pounds, 7 ounces was the largest five-bass limit ever weighed on Lake Havasu in FLW competition, and his 14-pound, 14-ounce, margin of victory tied for the third largest margin of victory in Rayovac FLW Series history.
The top 10 pros on Lake Havasu were:
1st: Joe Uribe Jr., Surprise, Ariz., 15 bass, 67-3, $40,000
2nd: Josh Bertrand, Gilbert, Ariz., 15 bass, 52-5, $15,500
3rd: Scott Hellesen, Whittier, Calif., 14 bass, 48-3, $12,000
4th: Shaun Bailey, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 15 bass, 45-6, $10,000
5th: J.J. Gibbs, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 14 bass, 42-8, $9,000
6th: Hunter Schlander, Modesto, Calif., 12 bass, 38-5, $8,000
7th: Matt Shura, Gilbert, Ariz., 11 bass, 38-5, $7,000
8th: Mark Williams, Blythe, Calif., 12 bass, 38-0, $6,000
9th: Gary Pinholster, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 11 bass, 36-13, $5,000
10th: Charlie Weyer, West Hills, Calif., 10 bass, 36-7, $4,000
Bertrand caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division Thursday – a fish weighing 6 pounds, 2 ounces that earned him the day’s Big Bass award of $300.
Daniel Leue of Colusa, California, won the co-angler division and a Ranger Z117C with an Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor, with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 38 pounds even.
The top 10 co-anglers on Lake Havasu were:
1st: Daniel Leue, Colusa, Calif., 15 bass, 38-0, Ranger Z117C with a 90-horsepower outboard
2nd: Parker Wright, Laguna Niguel, Calif., 10 bass, 34-11, $5,000
3rd: Phil Risnes, Hartford, S.D., 10 bass, 29-14, $4,000
4th: Rick Grover, Trabuco Canyon, Calif., nine bass, 29-3, $3,500
5th: Stuart Hein II, Orange, Calif., nine bass, 22-1, $3,000
6th: Todd Kline, San Clemente, Calif., seven bass, 19-7, $2,500
7th: Quincy Washington, Elk Grove, Calif., six bass, 19-5, $2,000
8th: Jordan Pinasco, Galt, Calif., seven bass, 17-5, $1,750
9th: Kevin Smith, Phoenix, Ariz., six bass, 16-15, $1,500
10th: Carl Nelson, Hanford, Calif., seven bass, 16-6, $1,250
Washington caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division Friday – a 5-pound, 4-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s Big Bass award of $200.
The Rayovac FLW Series consists of five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of three tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the opportunity to fish in the no-entry-fee Rayovac FLW Series Championship. The 2015 Rayovac FLW Series Championship is being held Oct. 29-31 on the Ohio River in Paducah, Kentucky.
The Rayovac FLW Series on Lake Havasu was hosted by the Lake Havasu City Convention & Visitors Bureau. It was the first of three Western Division tournaments of 2015. The next Rayovac FLW Series tournament will be a Texas Division event, held Feb. 12-14, on Lake Amistad in Del Rio, Texas. For a complete schedule, visit FLWFishing.com.
FLW is the industry’s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2015 over the course of 240 tournaments across five tournament circuits, four of which provide an avenue to the sport’s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy – the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.
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