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Uribe posts another victory at Lake Havasu

Uribe posts another victory at Lake Havasu

LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. – May 17, 2024 –– If there had been a betting line on anglers who had the best odds of winning the 2024 WON Bass Lake Havasu Open, Joe Uribe Jr. would have been right at the top of that list. The Phoenix, Ariz. resident has had a long history of major wins at Havasu, and he added to that list Friday in the shadow of London Bridge.

Uribe led by less than an ounce after the conclusion of the second day over second-place Del Rio, Texas angler pro Kurt Dove, and had only slightly more than Micah Jones of Kingman, Ariz. in third place. Word amongst the competitors was that the angler amongst the Top 3 who managed to post 18 pounds on the final day would likely take the win.

Uribe came to the Riviera Marina as the last angler to weigh inn and dropped 17.93 pounds on the scale to claim his second victory in a WON Bass Lake Havasu Open with a three-day winning weight of 57.31 pounds. Jones finished second with 54.40 pounds, while Dove slipped to third with 53.38 pounds. He was followed in fourth place by Lake Havasu City, Ariz. pro Roy Hawk with 53 pounds and Todd Kline of San Clemente, Calif. with 51.88 pounds.

Uribe used a variety of techniques to weigh fish during the three-day event. He described his first day as a “junk-fishing fest” to try and figure out exactly what he needed to set up on. Late in the first afternoon, he put all of the pieces of the puzzle together to what became the ultimate pattern.

“I figured out a particular combination of depth, cover and technique that afternoon, and once that came together, I could see exactly what I needed to target,” he said. “I weighed a couple of fish on a spinnerbait and a squarebill, but the majority of the weight came from flipping matted grass and laydown tules in 3 to 5 feet of water, and that was the key.”

Uribe said that the pattern was inspired by the late Aaron Martens, the three-time WON Bass U.S. Open champion who won a Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on Lake Havasu by targeting matted tules in deeper water with a flipping rig.

“I remembered that Aaron had won this time of the year, so I put that in my memory bank as something to look for in the event,” he said. “When I found the bite, I got excited, and each time I caught a fish, I said a little thank you to Aaron; I could feel him looking down on me.”

The pattern was one that relied on a slightly scaled down “finesse flipping” setup. He paired a 7’3” heavy action Daiwa Taula Elite Takahiro Omori Pitching rod with an 8.1:1 Tatula Elite Pitching and Flipping reel spooled with 40-pound-test Sunline SX-2 braided line. He threaded a 3/4-ounce VOSS Tungsten Flipping weight and tied a 3/0 Gamakatsu Finesse Flipping hook that he rigged with a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver 4.20 in Big Texan color.

He reported that the postspawn females he was targeting were taking refuge in the shade around the matted vegetation that was blown into pockets in Windsor Bay and around the mouth of the river itself.

“I am so blessed to have won this tournament, I went out here and fished free and clean and just felt like the Lord was watching over me,” he said. “It was just a great event and a lot of fun; I don’t think I’ll ever grow tired of playing this game and having a chance to do well.”

Jones spent much of his event behind the wheel of his boat. In an interview with WON Bass Tournament Director Bill Egan, Jones described his week.

“I ran a total of 210 miles in the three days of the event and I’m exhausted,” he said. “I used a spinnerbait and a Raid Baits swimbait to catch all of my fish this week, and while I’d loved to have won, these are hard tournaments to get; I’m stoked to have finished second.”

Each of the Top 5 finishers earned a berth into the 2025 B.A.S.S. Nation Championship for a chance to qualify for the Bassmaster Classic.

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