After a long day of practice Tuesday, Shaw Grigsby parked in the shadows of Lake Havasu’s famous London Bridge, took pictures of a tiny cactus on the ground with his smartphone, and contemplated the affects of being bit by so many ticks over a lifetime spent in the outdoors.
Does Lyme’s disease affect memory? What kind of cactus is that?
Yes, Grigsby is high energy, and a bundle of wide-ranging contemplations stored behind a signature mustache that covers a near constant smile. All of it anchored by his spiritual soul.
Heck, he’s not even certain that he’s ever had Lyme’s disease, but he swears his memory is terrible.
One thing he knows for sure …his fourth trip in a decorated 30-year pro angling career to the picturesque 19,300-acre desert reservoir known as Lake Havasu promises to be his best tournament yet.
Grigsby graciously offered 10 interesting insights as to what we can expect at this week’s Bassmaster Elite presented by Dick Cepek Tires and Wheels:
#1 Havasu is way better than it once was – “I won the 1984 Red Man All-American that launched my pro career, and the following year, Operation Bass brought us here to Havasu for the 1985 Red Man All-American to defend my title, and I didn’t do any good,” remembers Grigsby.
“Four years later, B.A.S.S. brought us here for the Arizona Invitational in November of 1989, and I stunk that one up, too. I caught about six pounds in the entire event. And that wasn’t uncommon, because honestly, this place was pretty void of bass back then – but it’s stellar good now.”
“There’s gonna be a bunch of limits caught!” says an excited Grigsby. “It’ll be a fun freakin’ slugfest!”
#2 Something for everybody – “There’s enough fish in Havasu now for guys to do well in two feet of water, on out to 30 feet of water,” says Grigsby.
“Gary Klein can have a blast drop-shotting here, while Hackney can whack ‘em pitching to tulles, and Shaw Grigsby is gonna have fun doing a little bit of everything,” he grinned.
#3 Power and finesse fishing and can both play big at Havasu -- “The drop shot is probably gonna be the most popular lure this week, but at the other end of the spectrum, a spinnerbait on a windy point can work well, too. And it seems like the wind always blows here,” said Grigsby.
“There’s always current here, so you can spinnerbait the tulles, too. Clunn used to kick our butts with a spinnerbait here.”
#4 Wide variety of habitat – “You’ve got marinas to fish around here, tons of tulles, and about 7-bazzillion, like with a “b”, bazillion, pieces of manmade habitat like bass bungalows and crappie condos made from PVC pipe and that sort of thing,” said Grigsby.
Shaw is not far off in his use of the word "bazillion." Realizing this awesome reservoir was struggling desperately as a result of little or no natural wood or aquatic vegetation, Anglers United and several state and federal agencies sunk about $16 million worth of man hours and artificial habitat into nearly 50 coves and 875 acres of Havasu starting in 1993.
#5 Three lures Grigsby guesses will get the most use among the Elite Series field on Havasu – “I’ll say drop shot will be number one, a Strike King Ocho-style lure pitched to visible habitat will get plenty of use, and thirdly, a Strike King Structure Bug because of its ability to be Texas-rigged and pitched - or drug on the bottom - rigged to a football head jig.”
#6 The thing that would surprise you most about Havasu – “It’s got crystal clear water that you’d swear is so void of nutrients that it couldn’t possibly grow bass – but man, it’s loaded with bass – and it’s such a gorgeous place. This place is too freakin’ fun!”
#7 Four pros Grigsby expects to do well at Havasu – “Aaron Martens, that guy is the drop shot king, Gary Klein because he loves the drop shot and he loves to flip tulles and this place has both. I’ll pick Powroznik because he’s a great sight fisherman and there’s still a few bass on beds. And heck, why not pick Shaw Grigsby – I can promise you he won’t be slacking around this week, he’s gonna give it all he’s got.”
#8 What about the spawn? “For the most part, it’s post-spawn with a ton of bass guarding fry, but there’s still a few late-bloomers on beds, too.”
#9 Water temp -- “Surface temps are in the low 70s – from about 70- to 73-degrees,” says Grigsby.
#10 Grigsby’s guess at a winning four-day weight – “I’ll go with 76 pounds to win, just under a 20-pound limit per day. You’re gonna see tons of limits caught this week, and many of them will weigh more than 14 pounds.”