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.
On the map
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
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
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
Dam! That Is A Lot Of Concrete
The Grand Canyon, Arizona
DOWN FROM THE SKY, BACK ON MY FEET
The sky ride is over let's see how Troy is doing.
Done with my road tour let's pay another visit and see if Troy is finished with the battle.
From the Water
A review of what the tournament leaders had to say.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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!