You know you love to fish for bass. That’s good because this May, Lake Havasu will be the epicenter of the southwest’s bass fishing world for many of us. Consider what we already know: largemouth are known for their greater overall size and resistance when hooked, favoring short, powerful runs. They are great fighting fish and some may say the king of the sport fish. They escape to hide around submerged logs or weedbeds. Smallies tend to jump more and fight aggressively on the surface when hooked, in order to throw the hook. Arguably they fight harder than any other fish on a weight scale basis and is one reason why we love them so.
There are three tournaments to consider entering this May:
• National Bass West Open, May 7
This is the last National Bass West Open tournament of the season and is open to anyone, no membership required. Similar to other bass tournaments, they’re looking for the best of five fish at least 13 inches long. The competition is 100 percent catch and release with penalties for any dead fish.
This event is a qualifier for the 14th annual Havasu Classic scheduled for Oct. 14 to 15, which brings together competitors from all four western regions.
Organizer National Bass West, based in Valley Center, Calif., says the event is open to anyone with a boat, anyone who knows someone with a boat, or anyone ready to rent one for the day. Of course, NBW co-owner Lynne Peterson will gladly sell you a 21-ft. Phoenix bass boat with a 250 hp Mercury or Yamaha, although that might set you back a bit more than the basic $195 entry fee.
The tournament starts at Lake Havasu State Park, Lot 4 and is run by local retailer John Galbraith, 928-486-2502 (voice or text), Bass Tackle Master, 362 London Bridge Rd. On the day of the tournament, sign-up at Windsor Beach starting 1-1/2 hours before safe light.
• Wild West Bass Trail, May 14
Husband and wives, boyfriends/girlfriends, women’s teams – all are invited to compete in the Wild West Bass Trail. Best of all, there is 100 percent payback – the $310/team registration goes directly into the prize pool thanks to major sponsors Evinrude Outdoor Motors, Lucas Oil and Ranger Boats. With over 70 teams expected, that’s a lot of prize dough.
It’s a seven fish limit, minimum 13 inches, artificial lures only. Fish must be live to avoid a .25 dead fish penalty.
Jim Kirkwood has been a tournament director for bass events on the Colorado river for 18 years and says of Lake Havasu, “The production of the fish is superb. You can go to Lake Havasu almost any time of the year and catch bass which is a great game fish.”
To register, teams first need to join Wild West Bass Trail for $60/year per angler. Online registration closes May 9. Teams can also register at Windsor Beach – just look for the 40-foot trailer with “Wild West Bass” on the side.
For more information, Mike Brillhart, director, 623-261-2159, firstname.lastname@example.org or Jim Kirkwood, email@example.com, 928-692 -5086.
• JML Outdoors Weekend Warrior Bass Series, May 21
The Weekend Warrior Bass Series, based at Lake Havasu State Park, is designed for the beginner or average fisherman, rather than the professional. In other words, it’s for the rest of us. It’s a two-person team competition for large and small bass only, with a five fish limit. No live bait is allowed; artificial lures only. Boats must have a live well and ignition cut-off device. Phoenix resident Justin Locatis, who was born and raised in Lake Havasu City, is the tournament owner and promoter.
“What is it about the appeal of bass fishing?” we asked.
“They’re more challenging to catch, they move around a lot, and another reason we organize bass tournaments is that they are hardy and can remain alive until we weigh and release them.”
Entry fee is $200 per team. First place prize is $1,500 to $2,000 per the team. The WWBS will take place north of the London Bridge Channel under the group ramadas located at the south ramp of Lake Havasu State Park.
Justin continues, “We love Lake Havasu. Everything in town is within close proximity. It’s easy and affordable to get there, without a lot of driving around.
“It’s a phenomenal fishery, one of the best in the country,” he adds. “A lot of that credit goes to the local fish habitat program.”
In order to participate in any of these fishing tournaments, certain requirements must be met. Please review the rules, eligibility, and requirements at www.jmloutdoors.com
Contact: Justin Locatis, 602 791 0023, firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more about all of May’s bass fishing events in Lake Havasu City on the GoLakeHavasu.com calendar of events.