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West Coast Elite Series Wrap Up

Posted by stephen on May 15, 2015

Stephen Havasu JO Pic.jpg

(Photo: James Overstreet)

We just wrapped up our West Coast swing and I’m back home in Arkansas.  There were ups and downs throughout the trip, but overall it was a fun time on two amazing bodies of water.  The Delta didn’t go quite as I would have hoped, but at Havasu I was able to get a little redemption.


My practice time at the Delta was productive.  It really was not hard to get bites during practice, but those big ones were hard to come by.  An area that I had fished in the past had a good population of fish in practice which was encouraging since I’ve had some success there before.  Just because it was hard to come by those “big bites”, it didn’t mean they weren’t swimming around in my areas.  It’s hard for me to give a good judgement since I’ve never seen one this big, but having caught ten plus pound fish I would estimate one I saw on a bed to be fifteen pounds.  Now, come tournament time that fish was gone which seems like a good thing because I can assure you, I would’ve spent two days trying to catch that giant.

The monkey wrench in the plans for me and nearly everyone else was the fact that in order to reach prime fishing areas, you needed to run at least an hour and fifteen minutes from Sacramento to the Delta one way.  It was mentally a head game and a big test of our equipment.  A lot can go wrong with a run like that, but my Triton/Mercury took me there and back without issue, so I can’t complain about that.

IMG952200.jpgI made a bad decision to start the event after seeing the weather forecast and winds and figured my primary area would be blown out.  With the tides and time playing a large factor, I struggled mightily on day one.  The second day was largely a sight fishing deal for me.  I managed a limit around fourteen pounds, but definitely saw twenty pounds throughout the day.  With the fishing pressure, the fish on beds were very tough to trick into biting.  All in all it is still a great place to fish and I always look forward to going there and I’m sure we’ll be back soon.

The second event of the West Coast swing was a bit more noteworthy.  Lake Havasu set up well for me to be able to fish shallow and fish my strengths.  I’ll admit at first that ultra clear water kind of spooked me, but soon after starting practice, I realized those fish were hardly finicky in the shallows.  They were honestly dumb as dirt.  You could see them cruising around and literally cast to them and they would bite without hesitation.  During the event I caught at least five fish doing that exact same thing.

Day one I didn’t catch them all that well.  I went up the river and struggled to settle in.  But, by day two it was on up river and I spent my day up there flipping my favorite ZinkerZ in three to four feet of water around the reeds, or tullies as they call them out there.  I had enough to rise up the leader board and make day three.

On the third day I went back to where I had caught them first.  It was a grind and I ended up losing one that hurt a bit.  I mixed in an offshore deal for smallmouth throwing a football jig too.  Being that three of the top ten guys were in the same area, I know they had worked them over pretty good.  I ended up with a decent bag and finished out the event in 22nd place.

IMG952208.jpgHavasu was an excellent fishery.  At somewhere around 19,000 acres it fished somewhat small, but there were an unbelievable amount of two and a half to three and a half pound fish swimming around in there. Although the Delta has a larger size potential if you look at the cut weight for each event they were very similar.  That just goes to show how good of a fishery Havasu really is.  I’m pleased with the Havasu event and had quite a good time doing what I love to do which is fish shallow.  There were about five of us fishing in a small general area during the event and we all made the cut.  That just goes to show how versatile the lake is with being able to catch a good bag shallow or deep.

Up next on the agenda is catching up on some donated trips.  I donated one to Bass Life down in Shreveport which is an excellent organization that helps to better our great sport through conservation and exposing people to bass fishing.  I also donated another trip to the Arkansas Freedom Fund which helps disabled veterans.  I’m looking forward to both as getting people involved and helping people enjoy fishing is what it’s all about.

 The next event up on the Elite Series schedule is Kentucky Lake so I’ll be practicing my offshore game around the house and put those Raymarine units to work.  There is one lake that has a good offshore bite near me that will give a me a good feel.  The size is nowhere near the quality of Kentucky Lake and they don’t eat those big swimbaits, but you can sure crank them up and use a lot of your other traditional ledge fishing tactics.  For now though, I’m glad to be home and enjoy some family time.  I’ve really enjoyed seeing the wife off for work each day and getting in the pickup line at school to pick up my son.  It’s the little things like that that you really miss while being on the road. -SB