FLW SERIES - WEST MAY 5 - 8, 2010 LAKE MEAD

FLW SERIES - WEST MAY 5 - 8, 2010 LAKE MEAD

This event is being held at the home of the prestigious U.S. Open. Lake Mead is positioned on the Colorado River approximately 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas along the Nevada and Arizona border.

This event is being held at the home of the prestigious U.S. Open. Lake Mead is positioned on the Colorado River approximately 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas along the Nevada and Arizona border. Formed by the Hoover Dam it is the largest reservoir in the United States. As with all western impoundments Mead has been impacted by drought conditions. It is down from full pool and is currently at about 43% percent of its capacity. In many of the following images you will see the 'bath tub ring'. The lake water level is down 120 feet from full pool. 

The route Los Angeles to Las Vegas

The route Los Angeles to Las Vegas

On the map

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If you split the Hoover Dam and Boulder Basin through Boulder Canyon continuing the split along to Virgin Basin, Temple Basin, Temple Canyon and Greg Basin, Nevada is on the north side of the split with Arizona on the south. The Overton Arm is completely within Nevada. The Colorado River as it flows through the Grand Canyon is entirely within the borders of Arizona. Passing under the dam the west bank of the Colorado River is in Nevada. Conversely you will find yourself in Arizona when on the east bank. 

STARTING THINGS OFF

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Troy hooks up. Seems to be a big fish, light line 8lb. test so he will have to be careful. It turns out to be taking way too much time for me, fortunately I was able to flag down a ride. Sorry Troy I have more to do than this. I'll catch up with you later, good luck. 

FROM THE AIR

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While Troy is fighting his fish I have an opportunity to jump in a helicopter and take a look around this place. 

The Lake From Above

Bonelli Bay Virgin Basin

Bonelli Bay Virgin Basin

Temple Basin

Temple Basin

Colorado River and its muddy sediment entering Lake Mead. The water at Mead can take on a greenish tint from the high copper content in the rock.

Colorado River and its muddy sediment entering Lake Mead. The water at Mead can take on a greenish tint from the high copper content in the rock.

The Temple and Burro Bay Temple Basin, you can see the wind blowing across the lake surface

The Temple and Burro Bay Temple Basin, you can see the wind blowing across the lake surface

The Campanile Temple Basin

The Campanile Temple Basin

Temple Basin

Temple Basin

The Colorado River below Hoover Dam and the Boulder Basin

The Colorado River below Hoover Dam and the Boulder Basin

Dam! That Is A Lot Of Concrete 

New bridge construction spanning the Colorado River below the Hoover Dam on Highway U.S. 93, Black Canyon Lake Mead above the dam.

New bridge construction spanning the Colorado River below the Hoover Dam on Highway U.S. 93, Black Canyon Lake Mead above the dam.

Completed in 1936 the concrete which forms Hoover Dam would be enough to create a 4 foot wide sidewalk that would span the Earth's equator.

Completed in 1936 the concrete which forms Hoover Dam would be enough to create a 4 foot wide sidewalk that would span the Earth's equator.

The Grand Canyon, Arizona

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Portions of Grand Canyon west end near Lake Mead

Portions of Grand Canyon west end near Lake Mead

DOWN FROM THE SKY, BACK ON MY FEET 

The sky ride is over let's see how Troy is doing.

Catching another ride and checking back he is still playing this fish. Wow, okay good luck but again I have other things I want to do so back on the water taxis and a ride to my truck at the Echo Bay Marina. Let's get around to more of the local sites.

Catching another ride and checking back he is still playing this fish. Wow, okay good luck but again I have other things I want to do so back on the water taxis and a ride to my truck at the Echo Bay Marina. Let's get around to more of the local sites.

Looking north from the Hoover Dam into Black Canyon

Looking north from the Hoover Dam into Black Canyon

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Iconic Las Vegas Blvd.

Iconic Las Vegas Blvd.

The Las Vegas Wash heading towards the Las Vegas Bay

The Las Vegas Wash heading towards the Las Vegas Bay

Done with my road tour let's pay another visit and see if Troy is finished with the battle.

Nope Santiago Lindner is still on and still at it, latest report almost spooled several times and he can see the fish on his sonar unit at a depth of 100'. Wow hang in there you have come this far so don't give up now.

Nope Santiago Lindner is still on and still at it, latest report almost spooled several times and he can see the fish on his sonar unit at a depth of 100'. Wow hang in there you have come this far so don't give up now.

From the Water

Overton Arm

Flooded Grass in Overton Arm Muddy Mountains in distance

Flooded Grass in Overton Arm Muddy Mountains in distance

Steep point on Big Horn Island in the Overton Arm

Steep point on Big Horn Island in the Overton Arm

Azure Cove and the Black Mountains Overton Arm

Azure Cove and the Black Mountains Overton Arm

Ramshead Island middle of Overton Arm. Which side would you fish, calm or windy?

Ramshead Island middle of Overton Arm. Which side would you fish, calm or windy?

Windy side of course

Windy side of course

Temple Basin

Temple Basin The Campanile Area

Temple Basin The Campanile Area

Boulders in clear water

Boulders in clear water

Tight squeeze

Tight squeeze

The Campanile

The Campanile

This guy can read a map, he is located on the shore of Wild Burro Bay in Temple Basin

This guy can read a map, he is located on the shore of Wild Burro Bay in Temple Basin

Different angle

Different angle

Back of Temple Bay Temple Basin

Back of Temple Bay Temple Basin

Virgin Basin

The Stewart Cliffs looking across the Virgin Basin towards the Boulder Point area

The Stewart Cliffs looking across the Virgin Basin towards the Boulder Point area

Panorama north shore Virgin Basin

Panorama north shore Virgin Basin

Boulder Basin

Flipping the Las Vegas Bay area

Flipping the Las Vegas Bay area

Clay Pots Boulder Basin with Fortification Hill in background. A fort was built by white settlers atop Fortification Hill. The settlers choose the site based on a defensive position from Indians. The fort was soon scrapped. Not only could the Indians not scale the cliffs but it proved to be impossible to resupply the fort.

Clay Pots Boulder Basin with Fortification Hill in background. A fort was built by white settlers atop Fortification Hill. The settlers choose the site based on a defensive position from Indians. The fort was soon scrapped. Not only could the Indians not scale the cliffs but it proved to be impossible to resupply the fort.

Entering Castle Cove Boulder Basin

Entering Castle Cove Boulder Basin

Boat providing scale Castle Cove

Boat providing scale Castle Cove

I call this Elephant Point Painter's Cove. Do you see the head, trunk and ears?

I call this Elephant Point Painter's Cove. Do you see the head, trunk and ears?

Painters Cove below Fortification Hill

Painters Cove below Fortification Hill

Swallow Bay Boulder Basin

Swallow Bay Boulder Basin

Hamblin Bay north shore Boulder Basin just before entering Boulder Canyon

Hamblin Bay north shore Boulder Basin just before entering Boulder Canyon

Callville Bay Boulder Basin

Callville Bay Boulder Basin

Callville Bay looking towards Callville Point

Callville Bay looking towards Callville Point

Callville Marina Callville Bay

Callville Marina Callville Bay

Almost forgot about Santiago, let's check in. Yep sure enough he is still at it. You have come this far, stay with it.

Almost forgot about Santiago, let's check in. Yep sure enough he is still at it. You have come this far, stay with it.

Mead Features a mix of largemouth and smallmouth...

Mead Features a mix of largemouth and smallmouth...

... these two fish represent excellent catches that would not be culled out from any bag in this event.

... these two fish represent excellent catches that would not be culled out from any bag in this event.

A review of what the tournament leaders had to say. 

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After 4 days of fishing the pro winner of this event attributes his winning 49 pounds 9 ounce catch mainly to the drop shot and 4" worms. Other baits mentioned by the top five on the final day, without reference to techniques, Zoom Speed Craws, Senko's by two anglers, spinner baits, crank baits, and again the drop shot. 

Looking back to day one the pro leader reported catching exclusively largemouth using reaction baits and covering water. 

The day one co-angler leader mentioned the drop shot, Senkos and jigs. Providing more detail than most of the pros it was stated that he targeted the shady side of boulders in 4 to 18 feet of water. 

Day two pro leader made a move into the lead by fishing points and the back of pockets with the drop shot, jigs and crank baits. More mention of drop shotting by other day two pro contenders.

Day two pro leader made a move into the lead by fishing points and the back of pockets with the drop shot, jigs and crank baits. More mention of drop shotting by other day two pro contenders.

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The leading day two pro held onto to the lead at the end of day three. Reporting the same baits as the previous day but with a preference for the drop shot as the conditions became tougher. Other mentions by the top day three pros included sight-fishing and spinner baits. Some targeted shady points and submerged sticks using Senkos, chatter baits and yes again the drop shot. Swimming a jig around shallow grass also gained mention. 

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Day three is the final day for the Cos. The Co-angler champion gave credit to a relaxed attitude, a darter head dressed with a grub and plastic worms fished on steep walls and isolated rock at depths of 25 to 35 feet for taking over the lead and the title. For the Cos a three total of 23 pounds 9 ounces was what it took to secure the win. That is less than an 8 pound average for three days. Only 8 pounds a day, how hard can that be? Ha Ha Ha, wind, a tough bite and behind a National Guard pro it is very tough. Tubes, jigs with a hula grub trailer and again drop shotting made it into the top Co reports. Many of the top Cos recounted a strong preference for targeting shade pockets.

This bass broke someone off on a jig, short time later jig still in its throat the fish hits a swimbait.

This bass broke someone off on a jig, short time later jig still in its throat the fish hits a swimbait.

Back to the pros and a couple of things I found interesting. One, I have never heard so much mention of drop shotting on the Pro side before. Two, concerns over the wind was highly mentioned by the pros. I found many comments to be very remarkable. Most of the talk would acknowledge the wind and its commonplace here at Mead. It would then be followed by hopes that it would not blow too hard and how if it did it would most likely ruin their game plan. At the risk of sounding critical and a Monday morning quarterback let's examine that mental aspect. Mead equals wind, strong frequent wind so do you think one should have a plan or a part of a plan that is excepting of the wind? What is that saying? Make the wind your...

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Pre-spawn, spawn and post-spawn conditions were all in play during this event. As you can see from the many baits and depths mentioned a wide range of fishing methods can be used to entice these Lake Mead bass. These fish can also be found on a broad spectrum of water types. Sounds like there is something for everyone here. 

Back to Santiago and another boat ride to look in on the progress. 

Wow he boated the fish. A 25lb striper on 8lb test and spinning gear.

Wow he boated the fish. A 25lb striper on 8lb test and spinning gear.

Hooked into her with a small jerk bait. Amazing fish, fight and catch.

Hooked into her with a small jerk bait. Amazing fish, fight and catch.

Nursing this bruiser

Nursing this bruiser

She swims off strong. Nice work Troy and way to stick with it.

She swims off strong. Nice work Troy and way to stick with it.

HEADING HOME 

The Lake Mead bass have a great attitude. If you find them put your offerings nearby and they will bite and bite quickly. This was my first visit to what most would consider to be big water and yet it really did not feel big to me at all. This sense of scale and comfort in breaking down a new lake was a first for me. The sites and activities on and around Mead are spectacular. I have enjoyed this trip and I hope you have too!

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