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Havasu Western Stren
Lee Is Best On Day 1

Wednesday, February 01, 2006



Photo: FLWOutdoors.com
Robert Lee's day 1 bag consisted entirely of smallmouths.

The 200-angler field at the Havasu Western Stren is the largest ever for a tournament in the region, according to FLW Outdoors. After day 1, a lot of them probably wish they'd stayed home. A measly 4.5% caught limits while 32% zeroed, and California tour pro Robert Lee led the way with a 14-12 sack.

The lake lies on the California-Arizona border, but the Top 5 were all Golden Staters. Matt Newman is 2nd with 13-08, followed by Jimmy Walker (13-06), Brian Trusso (11-01) and Aaron Coleman (11-00).

Here's the remainder of the Top 10:

6. Brent Lyon: 10-09
7. Jason Borofka: 10-07
8. Wayne Crowder: 10-02
9. Mark Meddock: 10-01
10. David Kromm: 9-13

The field encountered weather that would make people in some regions drool with envy this time of year: A high temperature in the upper 70s and just the hint of a breeze. The water temperature is only in the low- to mid-50s though, and the pre-spawn fish are tight-lipped. Conditions aren't expected to change much throughout the 4-day event.

The field will be cut to the Top 20 after tomorrow's weigh-in and weights will be cleared. Only the Top 10 will fish Saturday, with the winner determined by highest combined weight over the final 2 days.

A Revelation for Lee

Lee, a central California resident who's a dominant force on the Delta, hadn't been to Havasu for a few years and had never caught a smallmouth on any of his previous trips. He weighed in five brown ones today.

"I didn't realize until I got there that the lake had very many smallmouths in it," he said. "I tried to catch largemouths the first few days of practice and couldn't, and somebody said something about smallmouths, so I decided to try for them."

He found a good bunch of them on one of the final practice days, but admitted that his bag exceeded his expectations. "I told my dad when I called last night that I was in an area with quite a few big fish, but I didn't know if I could catch them," he said. "Today, I caught them.

"They might hold out for a little while, but today went above and beyond what I expected. I could easily fish the same pattern tomorrow and catch one or none. This is a tough tournament there's 200 boats on the water, the weather's too nice and the fish are suspended and they aren't feeding. We need some cold or wind to push them to the bottom."

He got eight bites and caught seven fish. All five of his weigh-in fish went 2 1/2 to 3 pounds.

He has a backup area, but he doesn't want to have to go there because it's too long of a run from his primary spot. "It'd be possible to go from one to the other in the same day, but you wouldn't get much fishing time in either," he said.

Walker was a Runner

Walker, who's in 3rd, said he fished about 25 spots in the same general location. He got six bites and landed five fish.

"I bounced around and caught a few fish, and my back-seater caught three good ones also," he said. "I had a really good day of practice on Monday and I was hoping I could get a good bag, but it's a really tough bite. I figure that if I just keep throwing baits at stuff, eventually something will eat it."

He doesn't have a backup plan. "If I can get through the cut, I'll be pretty confident," he said. "There's so much pressure with all these boats that it makes it hard. When some of these boats get out of here, I think fishing will be a lot better.

"With 200 boats and 400 guys, the place is getting pretty beat up, but I'm cautiously optimistic."

The main reason for his caution is he was 12th after day 1 here last year, then blanked on day 2. "It's very possible that could happen again, but I hope it doesn't," he said.

Coleman's Time was Short

Coleman is in 4th even though he lost nearly 3 hours of fishing time this morning. He tried to cut through a narrow trough to get to his primary area, a maneuver he pulled off in practice but got his boat stuck on an island of tules. He had to wait for an assist vessel to arrive and pull him off.

"It was an eventful day," he said. "I didn't make my first cast until 10:30."

He caught one fish in that spot, then went back to the main lake and got into a school of largemouths. He ended up catching eight.

"I had a couple of strong practice periods, but I never really knew how many fish were there," he said. "The question was how many bites I would get, and I got a lot more than I expected."

Like the other leaders, he's not overly confident that he can do it again tomorrow. "This is desert fishing at its best," he said. "I'll keep making my milk run and hopefully I can get a few fish. But the thing about fish is they have fins and tails and they swim (to different places), and sometimes they don't open their mouths."

Notable

> Day 1 stats: 200 anglers, 9 limits, 64 zeroes.

> Veteran western stick and media personality Kent Brown is 49th with three fish for 5-04, and said he wouldn't have caught that much without some pattern help from his non-boater. "I'm not too proud to admit it," he said. "As tough as the bite is, I had no problem fishing his fish."

> Gary Dobyns, the all-time top money-winner on the WON Bass circuit, is 102nd with one fish for 2-03.

Day 1 Standings

1. Robert Lee -- Angels Camp, Ca -- 5, 14-12

2. Matt Newman -- Agoura Hills, Ca -- 5, 13-08

3. Jimmy Walker -- Alpine, Ca -- 5, 13-06

4. Brian Trusso -- Covina, Ca -- 3, 11-01

5. Aaron Coleman -- Oakland, Ca -- 5, 11-00

6. Brent Lyon -- Reno, Nv -- 4, 10-09

7. Jason Borofka -- Salinas, Ca -- 4, 10-07

8. Wayne Crowder -- Orem, Ut -- 5, 10-02

9. Mark Meddock -- West Sacramento, Ca -- 4, 10-01

10. David Kromm -- Kennewick, Wa -- 5, 9-13

11. Jimmy Reese -- Witter Springs, Ca -- 4, 9-12
12. Dugan Mcintosh -- Palermo, Ca -- 4, 9-09
12. Zack Thompson -- Orinda, Ca -- 4, 9-09
14. Patrick Clement -- Anderson, Ca -- 5, 9-08
15. John Billheimer Jr -- Discovery Bay, Ca -- 3, 9-05
15. Fred Ward -- Phoenix, Az -- 3, 9-05
17. Sieg Taylor -- Clearlake, Ca -- 4, 9-01
18. Wade Headrick -- Draper, Ut -- 5, 9-00
19. Shaun Bailey -- Agoura, Ca -- 3, 8-04
20. Wayne Hinrichs -- Novato, Ca -- 3, 8-03
21. Randy Mcabee -- Bakersfield, Ca -- 4, 7-15
22. Andrew Jackson -- Boulder City, Nv -- 3, 7-11
23. Gary W Collins -- Paradise, Ca -- 3, 7-07
24. William Mcaninch -- Sylmar, Ca -- 3, 7-02
24. Tom Phillips -- Corona, Ca -- 2, 7-02
24. Michael Rooke -- Lake Havasu City, Az -- 3, 7-02
27. Roy Hawk -- Salt Lake City, Ut -- 2, 7-00
28. Mike Knight -- Montrose, Co -- 5, 6-15
29. Steve Tosh -- Lake Havasu City, Az -- 3, 6-12
30. Clayton Meyer -- San Diego, Ca -- 3, 6-11
31. Gary Key -- Phoenix, Az -- 2, 6-08
32. Mike Folkestad -- Yorba Linda, Ca -- 3, 6-06
32. Dean Mcdaniel -- Sacramento, Ca -- 3, 6-06
32. Chris Raza -- Roseville, Ca -- 4, 6-06
35. Jayson Kisselburg -- Lake Havasu City, Az -- 3, 6-01
36. John Neudorfer -- Spokane, Wa -- 2, 5-15
37. Cory Dispensiero -- Palmdale, Ca -- 4, 5-14
37. Justin Kerr -- Simi Valley, Ca -- 2, 5-14
37. Ben Koller -- Peoria, Az -- 2, 5-14
40. Rob Riehl -- Tracy, Ca -- 3, 5-13
41. Art Bailey -- Lakeside, Ca -- 3, 5-11
42. Anthony Franceschi -- Pleasanton, Ca -- 2, 5-10
42. John Suzow -- Newbury Park, Ca -- 4, 5-10
44. Mark Hiser -- Cottonwood, Ca -- 2, 5-09
45. Bret Gouvea -- Redding, Ca -- 2, 5-06
45. Murph Mcbride -- Pioche, Nv -- 3, 5-06
47. Tom Berry -- Beaver, Ut -- 2, 5-05
47. Tony Pratt -- Paso Robles, Ca -- 2, 5-05
49. Kent Brown -- Roseville, Ca -- 3, 5-04
50. James Soden -- Oakley, Ca -- 2, 5-03
51. Debbie Blanchard -- Lake Havasu City, Az -- 3, 5-02
51. Nick Welton -- Galt, Ca -- 2, 5-02
53. Corey Fenske -- Granite Bay, Ca -- 3, 5-01
54. Mike Goodwin -- Lake Havasu City, Az -- 3, 4-15
55. Jerry Fischer -- Lincoln, Ca -- 2, 4-11
55. Bryan Lutz -- Henderson, Nv -- 2, 4-11
57. Bernie Gaunt -- West Sacramento, Ca -- 2, 4-08
58. David Cole -- Roseville, Ca -- 2, 4-07
58. Matt Lowery -- El Cajon, Ca -- 2, 4-07
60. Jon Strelic -- Alpine, Ca -- 2, 4-06
61. Sean Andrachick -- Marion, Mt -- 2, 4-04
62. Ed Arledge -- San Diego, Ca -- 2, 4-02
63. Jed Christensen -- Ogden, Ut -- 1, 4-00
64. Gary Howell -- Stockton, Ca -- 1, 3-15
65. Jim Lyon -- Reno,, Nv -- 2, 3-14
66. Dewayne Bonham -- Brentwood, Ca -- 2, 3-11
66. Keith Ferlanie -- Henderson, Nv -- 2, 3-11
66. Shane Moline -- Kingman, Az -- 3, 3-11
69. Ricky Shabazz -- Rialto, Ca -- 1, 3-10
70. Doug Riha -- Thousand Oaks, Ca -- 2, 3-08
71. Jimmie Desaro -- Boise, Id -- 2, 3-07
71. Leon Knight -- Tehachapi, Ca -- 2, 3-07
71. Cody Lohr -- Meridian, Id -- 1, 3-07
71. Mark Perkins -- Sacramento, Ca -- 2, 3-07
75. Steve Geffs -- Antelope, Ca -- 2, 3-06
75. Jay Pennington -- Las Vegas, Nv -- 1, 3-06
75. Jimmy Savoini -- Prescott, Az -- 2, 3-06
78. Larry Marquez -- Lake Havasu, Az -- 1, 3-04
78. Eric Mcfarland -- Meridian, Id -- 2, 3-04
80. David Collins -- Las Vegas, Nv -- 1, 3-03
80. Neil Russell -- Nampa, Id -- 2, 3-03
82. George Diller -- Surprise, Az -- 2, 3-02
82. Bruce Harris -- Oakdale, Ca -- 2, 3-02
82. Scott Nielsen -- Salt Lake City, Ut -- 2, 3-02
82. Allen Posella -- Sanger, Ca -- 1, 3-02
82. J.R. Taylor -- Madera, Ca -- 1, 3-02
87. Keith Bryan -- Novato, Ca -- 1, 2-15
87. Todd Holverson -- El Cajon, Ca -- 1, 2-15
87. Dennis Kolender -- Henderson, Nv -- 1, 2-15
90. Tommy Puleo -- Henderson, Nv -- 1, 2-12
91. Tom Kilduff -- Dewey, Az -- 1, 2-11
92. Gregg Warne -- Mesa, Az -- 1, 2-10
93. Alex Dombrowski -- Duvall, Wa -- 1, 2-08
93. Brett Leber -- Dixon, Ca -- 1, 2-08
95. Andy Bravence -- Tucson, Az -- 1, 2-07
95. Donald Davis -- Discovery Bay, Ca -- 1, 2-07
95. Tim Klinger -- Boulder City, Nv -- 2, 2-07
95. Rusty Salewske -- Alpine, Ca -- 1, 2-07
99. Russ Barger -- Boise, Id -- 1, 2-06
100. Shane Shafer -- Ogden, Ut -- 1, 2-05
101. David Erwin -- San Jose, Ca -- 1, 2-04
102. Gary Dobyns -- Yuba City, Ca -- 1, 2-03
102. Rick Hillis -- Cave Creek, Az -- 1, 2-03
104. Tim Edington -- Bakersfield, Ca -- 1, 2-02
104. Jim Sleight -- Jauml, Ca -- 1, 2-02
106. Jacob Lute -- Yuma, Az -- 1, 2-01
107. Scott Mascadri -- Sacramento, Ca -- 1, 2-00
107. James Scott -- Carson, Ca -- 1, 2-00
109. Ken Eddy -- Madera, Ca -- 1, 1-15
109. Roy Jones -- Henderson, Nv -- 1, 1-15
111. Stephen Garcia -- Battleground, Wa -- 1, 1-13
111. Jason Hickey -- Mccall, Id -- 1, 1-13
113. Brian Kowalski -- Escondido, Ca -- 1, 1-12
114. Jerry Ballesteros -- Burbank, Ca -- 1, 1-11
114. Timothy Higbee -- Aptos, Ca -- 1, 1-11
114. Mike North -- Tehachapi, Ca -- 1, 1-11
114. Richard Smith -- Santa Clarita, Ca -- 1, 1-11
114. Michael Tuck -- Antelope, Ca -- 1, 1-11
119. Jeff Billings -- Clearlake, Ca -- 1, 1-09
120. Jim Davis -- San Jose, Ca -- 1, 1-08
120. Lewis Milligan -- Roseville, Ca -- 1, 1-08
122. Edward Cummings -- Tucson, Az -- 1, 1-07
122. Earl Dalton -- Jackson, Ca -- 1, 1-07
122. Richard Watson -- Alta Loma, Ca -- 1, 1-07
125. Greg Hall -- San Francisco, Ca -- 1, 1-06
125. Robert Higgins -- Clearlake Oaks, Ca -- 1, 1-06
125. Brian Nixon -- Grand Junction, Co -- 1, 1-06
128. Dan Castelhano -- Fremont, Ca -- 1, 1-05
129. Chad Hurst -- Henderson, Nv -- 1, 1-04
130. Scott Mackenzie -- Daly City, Ca -- 1, 1-03
130. Shane Mcafee -- Salmon, Id -- 1, 1-03
130. Tony Mello -- Brentwood, Ca -- 1, 1-03
133. Brett Davies -- Sacramento, Ca -- 1, 1-02
134. Joe Patz -- Surprise, Az -- 1, 0-14
135. Shinya Uesasa -- San Mateo, Ca -- 2, 0-10
136. Keith Lute -- Yuma, Az -- 1, 0-06
Keith Allen -- North Pole, Ak -- 0, 0-00
Charley Almassey -- Oakley, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Chris Baldwin -- Chandler, Az -- 0, 0-00
Brent Becker -- Henderson, Nv -- 0, 0-00
Gary Boyd -- Reseda, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Larry Brower -- Cottonwood, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Neil Campbell -- Fallbrook, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Gino Campiotti -- Manteca, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Ron Cervenka -- Saugus, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Judy Chaney -- Tucson, Az -- 0, 0-00
Garrett Charter -- Chico, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Doug Chessmore -- Santa Barbara, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Edward Chin -- Portland, Or -- 0, 0-00
Ron Colby -- Page, Az -- 0, 0-00
Gene Covello -- Grand Junction, Co -- 0, 0-00
Joshua Dix -- Henderson, Nv -- 0, 0-00
Glenn Dooley -- Whittier, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Chuck English -- Las Vegas, Nv -- 0, 0-00
George Galletti -- Martinez, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Roy Garcia -- Sonora, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Ed Gomes -- Turlock, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Gene Gray -- Atascadero, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Steve Greene -- Le Grand, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Gregory Halliman -- Littlerock, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Brandon Hammond -- Phoenix, Az -- 0, 0-00
Bruce Hardy -- St. George, Ut -- 0, 0-00
Glenn Haupt -- Highlands Ranch, Co -- 0, 0-00
Tim Hendricks -- Lakeport, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Paul Hodges -- Glendale, Az -- 0, 0-00
Ted Holverson -- El Cajon, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Rich Iannolo -- Menifee, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Jim Jeffords -- Tualatin, Or -- 0, 0-00
Ted H. Kimball -- Yuba City, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Michael Kirk -- Redding, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Michael Knight -- Bakersfield, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Ryan Krost -- Canyon Lake, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Kwame Kuanda -- Blythe, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Roderick Lee -- San Ramon, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Steve Lowe -- Norwalk, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Allen Maynard -- Henderson, Nv -- 0, 0-00
Shawn Mcconville -- Renton, Wa -- 0, 0-00
Mac Mccullough -- Modesto, Ca -- 0, 0-00
James Miller -- Tucson, Az -- 0, 0-00
Chris Neau -- Castro Valley, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Vu (Ted) Nguyen -- Long Beach, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Dave Nollar -- Redlands, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Anthony Pimentel -- Modesto, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Norval Pimentel -- Modesto, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Herman Poteete -- Fernley, Nv -- 0, 0-00
Randy Potter -- Camas, Wa -- 0, 0-00
Art Roland -- Brentwood, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Phillip Ruffcorn -- Athena, Or -- 0, 0-00
Tony Sarkis -- Phoenix, Az -- 0, 0-00
John Sneed -- Yuma, Az -- 0, 0-00
Rus Snyders -- San Mateo, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Gary Souza -- Oroville, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Sean Stafford -- Fairfield, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Phil Strader -- Glide, Or -- 0, 0-00
Richard Vizcarra -- Peoria, Az -- 0, 0-00
Lee Ward Jr -- Anderson, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Rob Wenning -- Sparks, Nv -- 0, 0-00
Patrick Whitaker -- Gilbert, Az -- 0, 0-00
Terry White -- Vacaville, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Todd Woods -- Murrieta, Ca -- 0, 0-00
Jimmy Zanotelli -- Redding, Ca -- 0, 0-00

Big Bass

Day 1: Gary Key -- Phoenix, Az -- 4-04 -- $375
Brian Trusso -- Covina, Ca -- 4-04 -- $375


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