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Havasu competitors will have room to roam

Havasu competitors will have room to roam

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.

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