Fishing & Boating News

Pirch Maintains Slim Lead In Havasu Elite Series

by: Helen White, Bassmaster

Clifford Pirch of Payson, Ariz., takes the lead on Day 3. He has a three-day total of 51 lbs, 11 oz.
Photo by Seigo SaitoBassmaster
(May 9, 2015 - Lake Havasu City, Az.)

Home-state angler Cliff Pirch caught five bass that weighed 14 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday and held onto the top spot in the Bassmaster Elite at Lake Havasu presented by Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels with a three-day total of 51-11.

Pirch leads Emory, Texas, angler Takahiro Omori (50-12) by less than a pound, and Sunday’s championship round could come down to a battle between those two anglers fishing just a few hundred yards away from one another near the takeoff site.

Omori caught 20-0 Saturday to jump into second place.

“I just really didn’t have the big bite today, and that’s why my weight was lower than it was Thursday and Friday,” said Pirch, who narrowly missed winning a Bassmaster Open event on Havasu in 2003. “I’ve been drop shotting all week. I don’t know what Takahiro’s doing, but I know he caught a big one today.

“I need that big bite tomorrow.”

After last week’s tournament when most anglers made daily round-trip boat runs of 160 miles or more, Pirch said the longest run he’s made this week has been about 10 miles. The majority of his fish have come just a stone’s throw away from Lake Havasu State Park.

Pirch has tried several methods — and a few other areas — but he keeps coming back to the drop shot rig in the same small stretch near the launch.

“I went and tried a couple of other places today that I knew from practice, and it really just didn’t seem like those areas were on,” Pirch said. “There were a couple of areas where I caught them cranking and doing some other stuff, but that has really tailed off. I’ve had to slow down to catch them.”

Pirch couldn’t help but wonder if his brief trips out of his best area might have hurt him Saturday. He worries he might have missed the big-bite window that allowed Omori to bring a 5-pounder to the scales.

While he may try one more spot Sunday that was good to him in practice, he expects to spend most of his time in the area that’s been best to him this week — especially with the field down to 12 anglers.

“Fewer boats might make that rotation a little better tomorrow,” Pirch said. “A lot of fish have been caught out of that spot this week, but hopefully there are five more big ones I can catch.”

Omori has been a constant presence in the area this week. But he only weighed in 15-4 Thursday and 15-8 Friday because he couldn’t put his biggest fish in the boat.

The 5-pound bass he landed Saturday gave him the biggest catch of the day with 20-0 and put the 2004 Bassmaster Classic champion in serious contention for his sixth career victory with B.A.S.S.

“I see the potential out there all week,” said Omori, a Japanese native who moved to the United States to pursue a pro fishing career. “I’ve been fishing around a bunch of other guys who’ve had big bags. I lost big ones the last two days, but every bite I had today I put in the boat.”

Despite heavy pressure, Omori said he believes there are plenty of fish left where he and Pirch are fishing.
“It’s held up three days and in practice,” Omori said. “Maybe it will hold up one more day. That’s what I’m hoping for.”

Behind Pirch and Omori, the remainder of the Top 12 qualifiers for Sunday were Edwin Evers (50-6), Aaron Martens (49-4), Justin Lucas (48-9), Casey Ashley (47-9), David Williams (47-4), Dean Rojas (19-9), John Murray (47-0), Brandon Palaniuk (46-13), Gary Klein (46-4) and Jonathon VanDam (45-15).

Rojas, who lives on Lake Havasu, caught 19-9 Saturday and jumped from 50th place into eighth. He also made his third-straight Top 12 cut and took over the top spot in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings.
“This is Havasu weather, and I know how to catch them in this stuff,” said Rojas, referring to Saturday’s bright, sunny, calm conditions. “I think the wind kind of served as an equalizer the first two days and helped some guys who don’t have a lot of experience here. These are the kinds of conditions I like, and I think it’s going to be a shootout tomorrow.”

The tournament concludes Sunday with a 6:15 a.m. PT takeoff from Lake Havasu State Park and the final weigh-in back at the park at 3:15 p.m. PT. The wining angler will take home $100,000.

 2015 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, GoPro, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha


2015 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: A.R.E. Accessories, Carhartt, Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels, Huk Performance Fishing, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Power-Pole, Rigid Industries, Shimano


About B.A.S.S.

B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), social media programs and events. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.


The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series presented by Allstate, Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation events, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Costa Bassmaster High School Series, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.

 

Lake Havasu, Lake Havasu City  AZ.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 3


   Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$

1.  Clifford Pirch         Payson, AZ              15  51-11  100     $500.00
  Day 1: 5   17-08     Day 2: 5   19-04     Day 3: 5   14-15  
2.  Takahiro Omori         Emory, TX               15  50-12   99
  Day 1: 5   15-04     Day 2: 5   15-08     Day 3: 5   20-00  
3.  Edwin Evers            Talala, OK              15  50-06   98
  Day 1: 5   20-07     Day 2: 5   14-01     Day 3: 5   15-14  
4.  Aaron Martens          Leeds, AL               15  49-04   97
  Day 1: 5   15-04     Day 2: 5   16-06     Day 3: 5   17-10  
5.  Justin Lucas           Guntersville, AL        15  48-09   96
  Day 1: 5   15-15     Day 2: 5   13-14     Day 3: 5   18-12  
6.  Casey Ashley           Donalds, SC             15  47-09   95
  Day 1: 5   15-06     Day 2: 5   14-11     Day 3: 5   17-08  
7.  David Williams         Maiden, NC              15  47-04   94
  Day 1: 5   16-08     Day 2: 5   11-04     Day 3: 5   19-08  
8.  Dean Rojas             Lake Havasu City, AZ    15  47-01   93
  Day 1: 5   14-01     Day 2: 5   13-07     Day 3: 5   19-09  
9.  John Murray            Phoenix, AZ             15  47-00   92
  Day 1: 5   19-08     Day 2: 5   16-01     Day 3: 5   11-07  
10. Brandon Palaniuk       Rathdrum, ID            15  46-13   91
  Day 1: 5   14-06     Day 2: 5   18-08     Day 3: 5   13-15  
11. Gary Klein             Weatherford, TX         15  46-04   90
  Day 1: 5   13-10     Day 2: 5   14-09     Day 3: 5   18-01  
12. Jonathon VanDam        Kalamazoo, MI           15  45-15   89
  Day 1: 5   11-15     Day 2: 5   15-08     Day 3: 5   18-08  
13. Brent Ehrler           Newport Beach, CA       15  45-14   88  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   13-14     Day 2: 5   16-04     Day 3: 5   15-12  
14. Chad Morgenthaler      Coulterville, IL        15  45-08   87  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   13-11     Day 2: 5   14-13     Day 3: 5   17-00  
15. James Niggemeyer       Van, TX                 15  45-05   86  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   16-00     Day 2: 5   13-09     Day 3: 5   15-12  
16. Jared Lintner          Arroyo Grande, CA       15  45-02   85  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   15-02     Day 2: 5   15-04     Day 3: 5   14-12  
17. Ott DeFoe              Knoxville, TN           15  45-01   84  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   13-14     Day 2: 5   14-12     Day 3: 5   16-07  
18. Steve Kennedy          Auburn, AL              15  45-01   83  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   14-09     Day 2: 5   15-10     Day 3: 5   14-14  
19. Jeff Kriet             Ardmore, OK             15  45-00   82  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   14-09     Day 2: 5   16-00     Day 3: 5   14-07  
20. Bradley Roy            Lancaster, KY           15  44-01   81  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   12-09     Day 2: 5   16-07     Day 3: 5   15-01  
21. Davy Hite              Ninety Six, SC          15  44-00   80  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   15-02     Day 2: 5   16-01     Day 3: 5   12-13  
22. Stephen Browning       Hot Springs, AR         15  43-13   79  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   16-11     Day 2: 5   12-13     Day 3: 5   14-05  
23. Shaw Grigsby Jr.       Gainesville, FL         15  43-10   78  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   17-15     Day 2: 5   13-07     Day 3: 5   12-04  
24. Dennis Tietje          Roanoke, LA             15  43-10   77  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   12-12     Day 2: 5   16-03     Day 3: 5   14-11  
25. Jared Miller           Norman, OK              15  43-09   76  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   13-07     Day 2: 5   16-02     Day 3: 5   14-00  
26. Micah Frazier          Newnan, GA              15  43-08   75  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   15-09     Day 2: 5   12-10     Day 3: 5   15-05  
27. Randy Howell           Springville, AL         15  43-06   74  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   15-07     Day 2: 5   16-13     Day 3: 5   11-02  
28. Alton Jones            Lorena, TX              15  43-03   73  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   16-11     Day 2: 5   12-14     Day 3: 5   13-10  
29. Randall Tharp          Port St. Joe, FL        15  43-02   72  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   18-03     Day 2: 5   13-10     Day 3: 5   11-05  
30. Josh Bertrand          Gilbert, AZ             15  43-02   71  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   16-03     Day 2: 5   15-15     Day 3: 5   11-00  
31. Jacob Powroznik        Port Haywood, VA        15  42-15   70  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   16-05     Day 2: 5   13-01     Day 3: 5   13-09  
32. Matt Herren            Ashville, AL            15  42-11   69  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   18-09     Day 2: 5   14-07     Day 3: 5   09-11  
33. Morizo Shimizu         Suita, Osaka JAPAN      14  42-11   68  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 4   11-03     Day 2: 5   16-04     Day 3: 5   15-04  
34. Kevin Short            Mayflower, AR           15  42-06   67  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   12-02     Day 2: 5   16-00     Day 3: 5   14-04  
35. Bobby Lane Jr.         Lakeland, FL            15  42-05   66  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   17-13     Day 2: 5   12-04     Day 3: 5   12-04  
36. Cliff Prince           Palatka, FL             15  42-05   65  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   16-03     Day 2: 5   14-05     Day 3: 5   11-13  
37. Kelly Jordon           Flint, TX               15  41-14   64  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   17-12     Day 2: 5   14-03     Day 3: 5   09-15  
38. David Walker           Sevierville, TN         15  41-05   63  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   14-12     Day 2: 5   14-09     Day 3: 5   12-00  
39. Bill Lowen             Brookville, IN          15  41-03   62  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   14-12     Day 2: 5   16-04     Day 3: 5   10-03  
40. Seth Feider            Bloomington, MN         15  41-03   61  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   14-06     Day 2: 5   13-15     Day 3: 5   12-14  
41. Brian Snowden          Reeds Spring, MO        15  41-01   60  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   15-12     Day 2: 5   14-12     Day 3: 5   10-09  
42. Ish Monroe             Hughson, CA             15  40-15   59  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   12-06     Day 2: 5   17-03     Day 3: 5   11-06  
43. Greg Hackney           Gonzales, LA            15  40-05   58  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   14-07     Day 2: 5   13-02     Day 3: 5   12-12  
44. Chris Lane             Guntersville, AL        14  40-04   57  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   15-05     Day 2: 5   17-04     Day 3: 4   07-11  
45. Greg Vinson            Wetumpka, AL            15  40-02   56  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   16-11     Day 2: 5   10-13     Day 3: 5   12-10  
46. Bernie Schultz         Gainesville, FL         15  39-11   55  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   15-01     Day 2: 5   13-11     Day 3: 5   10-15  
47. Casey Scanlon          Lanexa, KS              15  39-07   54  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   16-07     Day 2: 5   12-10     Day 3: 5   10-06  
48. Paul Mueller           Naugatuck, CT           14  37-03   53  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   15-14     Day 2: 5   14-05     Day 3: 4   07-00  
49. David Mullins          Mt Carmel, TN           12  36-10   52  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   15-10     Day 2: 5   13-09     Day 3: 2   07-07  
50. Mike Kernan            Wylie, TX               13  35-10   51  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   18-02     Day 2: 5   13-00     Day 3: 3   04-08  
51. Brandon Card           Caryville, TN           13  34-13   50  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   15-05     Day 2: 5   12-07     Day 3: 3   07-01  
52. Chad Pipkens           Holt, MI                10  29-00   49  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   14-05     Day 2: 5   14-11     Day 3: 0   00-00  

Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
 1        93       524      1457-04
 2        96       524      1422-05
 3        46       246       684-05
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         235      1294      3563-14