4/11/2014 6:00:00 AM Blythe men win Havasu bass tournament
Photo special to the Times
Pictured, left to right: Michael Williams and Mark Williams win the 2nd Annual Lake Havasu Open.
Justin Locatis JML Outdoors
LAKE HAVASU, Ariz. - Mike and Mark Williams, of Blythe, beat out 92 other teams to win the 2nd Annual Lake Havasu Open presented by Protect the Harvest Bass Tournament held this past weekend in the Lake Havasu waters. The 93 teams that competed came from all over the region and as far away as Idaho.
Saturday morning, the first day of competition, with bright skies and little-to-no wind, everyone knew there were giant fish to be caught. The teams certainly did not disappoint the large crowd at weigh in. Setting the bar early and the first boat to weigh in was Team Mike and Mark Williams. The Williams' brought in 28.15 pounds of Havasu largemouth giving them the early lead in the event, and a new lake record. As team after team went on stage, it was evident that the new lake record limit would not be beat on the first day.
Justin Kerr of Lake Havasu and Gunner Stanton of Las Vegas, Nev. finished the day in second place with 23.56 pounds. Terry Rath and AJ Ramirez both of Lake Havasu caught the only other bag in the 20-pound range with a limit that went 20.51 pounds.
The biggest fish of the day went to the team of Mitch Ross and Joe Myers of Camp Verde. Ross and Myers brought in a 9.70-pound largemouth that was not only good enough for first place big fish on Day 1 earning them $660, but it also held up for big fish of the tournament earning them another $900 bonus.
At the end of Day 1 the teams in the top 10 with a chance at the new Nitro Z7 prize boat looked like this.
1) Mark Williams/Mike Williams; 2) Justin Kerr/Gunner Stanton; 3) AJ Ramirez/ Terry Rath; 4) Dean Farrell/Wes Carey; 5) Shad Berweger/James Drew; 6) Johnny Johnson/Andrew Napoleon; 7) AJ Heeney/Austin Zeiman; 8) Tommy Jonovich/Jimmy Savoini; 9) Ed Shaver/Gary Pinholster; and 10) Kevin Hoppe/Phil Hatch.
Day 2 saw totally different conditions as Lake Havasu with winds blowing in the 20-25 mph range with gusts as high as 30 mph. With the changing weather conditions also came a changing leader board.
With most anglers having an extremely tough day due to the wind, it left room for teams to move into the top 10 as well as drop out. Martin Keppeler of Lakeside, Calif. and Chris Studinger of Poway, Calif. were one of the teams that made a giant leap on Day 2. Keppeler and Studinger used a 25.98-pound limit to make the jump from 49th place all the way to 2nd place to make the top 10 cut. Also making the jump to the top 10 from 56th place all the way to 7th was the team of Austin Hall of Temecula, Calif. and Todd Woods of San Dimas, Calif. This duo's five fish tipped the scales at 20.63 pounds.
One of the last teams to weigh in was Day 1 leaders, the Williams'. The audience was anxious to see how this dynamic duo would follow up their Day 1 debut. The two brothers from Blythe did not disappoint and brought in an 18.36-pound limit giving them a two-day total of 46.5 pounds. Their two-day total outweighed the second place team of Martin Keppeler and Chris Studinger by just under six pounds. At the end of the day the top 10 teams that would have a chance at the Nitro Z7 looked like this:
1) Mark Williams/Mike Williams; 2) Martin Keppeler/Chris Studinger; 3) Justin Kerr/Gunner Stanton; 4) AJ Ramirez/Terry Rath; 5) Keith Espe/Tim Demecs; 6) Chad Hurst/Christina Hurst; 7) Austin Hall/Todd Woods; 8) Aaron Heath; 9) Todd Herman/Devin McDonald; and 10) Craig McCoy/Al Robinson
Every team in the top 10 was already guaranteed a minimum cash prize of at least $1000 unless they won the boat. The last team standing through the elimination drawing and the winners of the Nitro Z7 bass boat and Mercury Outboard was Austin Hall and Todd Woods. Their comeback from 56th place all the way to 7th is a true testament to the saying "Never Give Up".
This event would never have been made possible without the help of Lucas Oil, Protect the Harvest, Bass Pro Shops, Nitro Boats, Tracker Boats, Mercury Outboards, A&M Graphics, Anderson Toyota, Arctic Cat, Lowrance, Okuma, Savage gear, SPRO, Izorline, Lobina Lures, CarToyz, and JML Outdoors.
For complete results and payouts visit www.jmloutdoors.com.
Posted: Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Article comment by:
If the 1st place winners aren't kvetching about the results, why are you? Some people aren't always looking for a way to feel slighted. Congrats to the boys for their win and congrats to their parents for not raising a couple of spoil sports!!
Posted: Saturday, April 12, 2014
Article comment by:
Congrats to the fellas from Blythe, but if i wa in the tournament and took first place by over 6 pounds and i didnt win the boat, i would have been furious. Why did the 7th place team win the boat? doesnt make sense...