BASS Elite Series #4

Lake Havasu, May 7-10, 2015

By Kurt Dove

Published: July 2015

Photo of Kurt Dove's catch on Lake Havasu

With the Delta behind me I have to concentrate on this next event very quickly as we are heading straight to Lake Havasu City, AZ for the next Elite event. We only have 2 days to practice for this event by rule from BASS. They wanted to give all the anglers ample time to travel from Sacramento to Lake Havasu. We have Monday, May 4 to travel and we can practice all day on Tues. May 5, and most of the day on Wed. May 6 before the registration meeting late that evening. The event will begin on Thurs. May 7. Two days isn't a whole lot of time to look at different patterns and dial in some fish. The lake is not huge though so I feel it should be doable. I push on hoping to gain some momentum after the mediocre event on the California Delta.

On a side note ... I was able to pre-practice Lake Havasu for a couple days in late Feb. thanks to the generosity of my close friend Chase Kemp from Las Cruces, NM ... We found this lake is absolutely one of the most beautiful places in the country! If you have the opportunity to fish here in the future be sure to spend a few days ... as long as it's not in June–Sept. It gets a little warm in those months ... Lol!


I once again choose an area to concentrate on during practice. I thought it was even more critical this event to work a small area in practice due to the shorter timeframe allowed. I choose the upper basin and the first few miles of the river. Lake Havasu is not particularly large so I feel I can cover these areas well. I initially start out throwing some topwaters and begin catching some 3 lb fish immediately. 3 lbers are decent fish on Havasu. Information I gathered before the event showed that 15 lb a day would be competitive in this event, so I was excited to see some quality fish that first morning. I worked around to a marina that was known to hold some quality fish and gosh ... it was pretty good. I caught a few 3-3 1/2 lbers in just a short time fishing there and I immediately felt I had some starting locations. I saw several fish on beds that first practice day as well. You wouldn't typically think in the hot dessert there would be bedding bass in May but the Colorado River runs some cold water from the bottom of the dams in the lakes above them (Mohave & Mead). Water temps were in the high 60's to low 70's and with the full moon I think we were seeing the last phase of fish that would spawn this year on Lake Havasu. Overall, I thought practice on Day 1 was a great start! Day 2 of practice I spent mostly up the river and found it to fish decent, but not nearly as well as the main basin. I knew by noon that I was going to spend my time in the main lake and worked some locations around the ramp. With a plan in place I was ready to go.

Event Day 1: 5 Bass / 13 lbs 7 oz – 61st place of 112

Photo of Kurt Dove holding up a large bass

I began in the Marina right after launch the first morning of the tournament and immediately lost a nice fish. I couldn't believe it, but soon after I land a 3+ lber. Then I loose another good fish just a few casts later. Then rebounded with another 3+ lber just a few minutes after. It was a wild morning with my emotions all over the place! I was disappointed I wasn't maximizing my bites but was pleased my plan was putting fish in the live well. The marina area began to get slightly crowded with other anglers late in the morning and I decided to move out and catch a couple of the bedding bass I found to fill out my limit. It was like clock work and I filled a limit by noon. Just a couple of culls and I would get to my 15 lbs. I fished near the ramp the last several hours on some areas I felt would produce ... and they did ... but I didn't capitalize. Loosing a nice 3+ lb smallmouth was the biggest fish I hooked that day ... it was at the boat and I had it whooped but it just came unbutton just before I had a chance to grab it. Not satisfied with the day but confidant I could move up into the cut on day 2, I was in good spirits.

Event Day 2: 5 Bass / 11 lbs 13 oz – 67th place of 112

I had a late boat number on day 2 and decide to fish a location near the ramp for smallmouth my first stop. I loose a small 2lber and see a few others but I am unable to get them to commit to my lure. I decide to move on to the marina after about 40 min. of fishing. The marina once again produced some fish but it was really slow fishing. I caught my limit with 2 being larger fish and 3 very small keepers. I spent a lot of time there that day and I look at my watch it's about noon. I weigh-in at 3:30 and start hearing my gut tell me 2 more good bites and I get into the cut to fish on Sat. and collect that $10,000 check. I decided to look for a few more bed fish on the main basin and work the areas where I caught the topwater fish in practice. As I work around a dock I see a bedding bass in about 12 feet of water and it's locked! I catch it and upgrade as I cull one of the 3 small bass in the live well. I have about 2 hours left to fish and I work some other areas close by and catch a small bass that does help by a few ounces. While culling I realize I need one more 3 lber and I have a great shot to make the cut. With about 90 minutes left in my fishing day l decided to fish the marina area again. I know the fish to make the cut is swimming under those docks. I fish for 60 min and nearly decide to leave without a bite and then I second guess myself and work a few more boat stalls ... boom there it was! The bite! I set the hook and the fish is on! I feel the weight of the bass and it's a solid fish ... the one I need! In less than 5 more seconds the fish pulls free ...

I can't believe it! The 5th good fish I lost those 2 tourney days. Its just not meant to be for me right now. I weigh-in and know I would come up short ... disappointed ... I'm confused ... Why?

Event Total: 10 Bass / 25 lbs 4 oz / 67th place of 112

Gosh ... this is getting tough to handle! I just missed the cut again by a little over 2 lbs. Thankfully I am able to take a few weeks off from the tournament trail and guide on Lake Amistad. I'll also be spending some fishing time with my primary sponsor Dixie Electric. They love to bass fish and I enjoy taking them out on Lake Amistad. I really need to clear the air from these close calls and just misses. Kentucky Lake I will be making some moves to return to making some cuts!