The MLF Toyota Series Western Division will conduct its first tournament of 2023 this week at Arizona's Lake Havasu. Competition days are Thursday through Saturday.
“I’m finally around home for a Toyota Series event and I’m really excited to compete in this one,” said Bass Pro Tour angler Roy Hawk of Lake Havasu City, who has 22 top-10 finishes and three career wins in MLF competition. “Overall, the lake is setting up pretty good. We’ve had some pretty cool weather so it’ll be typical wintertime patterns – no major move toward the spawn or anything like that yet.
“The lake level is high, which is rare for winter,” Hawk continued. “It’ll spread guys out – some guys will get way up the river or further back into the backwaters. I think a lot of guys will be offshore, though. The key to doing well is either going to be finding a major group of fish and sticking with them or covering a lot of water and picking fish off – one here, one there.”
Hawk said he expects umbrella rigs, deep- and mid-diving crankbaits and general offshore tactics to be the main players, but he said bladed jigs and squarebill crankbaits could play a role as well. For anglers targeting smallmouth, Hawk said Ned rigs and jerkbaits would be popular selections.
“I think the guy who wins might not even catch a smallmouth, but it’s generally a mixed bag,” Hawk went on to say. “I think it’ll take 17 1/2 pounds a day, average. My prediction is the winner is going to have right around 52 to 53 pound over three days.”
Anglers will take off each day at 7:30 a.m. MT from Windsor Beach at Lake Havasu State Park in Lake Havasu City. Weigh-ins will be held at the same location beginning at 3 p.m.