Fishing & Boating News

Bailey Wins Costa FLW Series Western Division Opener on Lake Havasu

Local Pro Tops Field at Costa FLW Series Event, Takes Home $40,200

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

Shaun Bailey of Lake Havasu City weighed 5 bass totaling 15 lbs, 6 oz, Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Western Division opener on Lake Havasu.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Feb 10, 2018 - Lake Havasu City, AZ)

 Local angler Shaun Bailey of Lake Havasu City weighed five bass totaling 15 pounds, 6 ounces, Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Western Division opener on Lake Havasu presented by Ranger Boats. Bailey’s three-day total of 15 bass weighing 49 pounds, 5 ounces, was enough to earn him top honors and $40,200.

“It feels great to finally win one of these. It’s been a long time coming,” said Bailey, who earned his first career win after three prior top-10 finishes in FLW competition. “It was definitely a strange tournament for me, though. Today I caught all of my fish in the morning, which was the complete opposite of what happened the first two days.”

Bailey primarily targeted prespawn largemouth in brush piles on the north end of the lake. He said his areas were 18 to 22 feet deep and were near the mouths of coves.

“On Day One (Thursday) I caught a fish on my very first cast and never got another bite until almost noon,” said Bailey. “There’s that old saying, ‘If you catch one on your first cast, its bad luck’. Well, it was true for me. Luckily, I pulled up on a spot and caught a couple fish to fill out my limit, so I was happy with that.”

Bailey said he used a few different baits this week, including Roboworm Straight Tail and Curly Tail Worms Carolina rigged. He said he also caught key fish on Olive Crawdad- and Fire Craw-colored Evergreen medium- and deep-diving crankbaits.

“On Friday I actually lost my first five fish,” said Bailey. “Finally, I pulled up to an area and my co-angler and I each caught one. After that, we went to another spot and both caught 17 pounds in about three hours.”

Bailey said his sweet spot had a lot of natural trees and scattered brush piles, and that the trees were large enough to hold a lot of fish.

“Today (Saturday) I used a deep-diving crankbait in the morning instead of a worm and caught a few that I ended up weighing in,” said Bailey. “I switched to the worm and caught two more before returning to my key spot from Day Two, but I never got another bite. I’m thankful I made the decision to start with the crankbait this morning.”

The top 10 pros on Lake Havasu finished:
               1st:          Shaun Bailey, Lake Havasu, City, Ariz., 15 bass, 49-5, $40,200
               2nd:         David Valdivia, Norwalk, Calif., 15 bass, 48-4  , $15,600
               3rd:          Justin Kerr, Simi Valley, Calif., 15 bass, 48-0, $12,000
               4th:          Chris Kinley, Lake Havasu, City, Ariz., 15 bass, 46-0, $10,000
               5th:          Michael Caruso, Peoria, Ariz., 15 bass, 45-1, $9,000
               6th:          Tom Leedom, Escondido, Calif., 15 bass, 44-2, $8,000
               7th:          Sean Minderman, Greenacres, Wash., 15 bass, 43-13, $7,300
               8th:          Joe Uribe Jr. Surprise, Ariz., 14 bass, 42-4, $6,000
               9th:          Jason Milligan, Cottonwood, Calif., 14 bass, 40-15, $5,000
               10th:        Jay Wright, Seal Beach, Calif., 11 bass, 34-7, $4,000

Minderman caught a 6-pound, 14-ounce bass Friday– the biggest of the tournament in the Pro Division. For his catch, Minderman earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $300.

Jason Akins of Apple Valley, California, won the Co-angler Division and a Ranger Z175 with a 90-horsepower outboard motor. Akins earned his win with a three-day total catch of nine bass weighing 32 pounds, 14 ounces. 

The top 10 co-anglers on Lake Havasu finished:
               1st:          Jason Akins, Apple Valley, Calif., nine bass, 32-14, Ranger Z175 with a 90-horsepower outboard motor     
               2nd:         Tony Zanotelli, Redding, Calif., 11 bass, 29-12, $5,250
               3rd:          Joseph Cunningham, El Dorado Hills, Calif., seven bass, 24-9, $4,000
               4th:          Dustin Remy, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 11 bass, 24-9, $3,500
               5th:          Levi Samz, Green River, Wyo., 12 bass, 24-5, $3,000
               6th:          Matt Roach, Scottsdale, Ariz., seven bass, 20-6, $2,500
               7th:          Jacob Traba, Pacifica, Calif., seven bass, 19-8, $2,000
               8th:          Tom White, Costa Mesa, Calif., nine bass, 18-10, $1,750
               9th:          Ralph Wells, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., eight bass, 15-11, $1,500
               10th:        David Zavvar, West Hollywood, Calif., six bass, 14-13, $1,250

Zanotelli caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Thursday, a fish weighing 5 pounds, 10 ounces that earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $200.

The Costa FLW Series on Lake Havasu presented by Ranger Boats was hosted by the Lake Havasu City Convention & Visitors Bureau. It was the first FLW Series Western Division tournament of the 2018 season. The next Costa FLW Series tournament will be a Southwestern Division tournament, held Feb. 15-17 on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Jasper, Texas.

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.

About FLW
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.