LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. — After finishing second in last year’s TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Western Regional, Steve Lund is in the mix again on familiar water.
Lund, who lives three hours away in Phoenix, caught a limit of five bass weighing 19 pounds, 13 ounces on Wednesday to take the Day 1 lead in the Western Regional at Lake Havasu. That gave him a narrow lead over Team Utah’s Ramsey Romanin (19-8) and Team Idaho’s Keegan Graves (18-11), who are in second and third, respectively.
A total of 180 anglers, 90 each in boater and co-angler divisions, are competing in the three-day event. They qualified for the regional from their home trails in nine states, including Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
Lund said he struggled in practice and felt fortunate to have the heaviest bag.
“I knew it was going to be a grind because I was trying to chase after some bigger fish,” he said. “I only had six bites today, but I got the ones I needed. I had four in the boat by about 10 this morning, but it took me a while to get that fifth one. I was getting worried. It was a long dry spell until about 1:30 when I got the limit.”
Lund’s biggest fish was in the 5-pound range and three in his limit weighed more than 4 pounds. He said the key to success on Havasu is “taking a gamble.”
“There are some locals who know how to get some big bites consistently,” he said. “For me, it’s a scramble to get a limit of bites going for big ones. But even if you only get four, you’re going to have a good bag.”
Wednesday’s temperatures hovered in the mid- to upper 50s — 15 degrees cooler than the local average in late February. It was blustery too, with steady northwest winds at 15 mph and gusts over 20 mph in the afternoon. Thursday is expected to be windy, as well, though less than Day 1.
Romanin, a Colorado resident who’s fishing for Utah, caught the heavy bass on Wednesday – a 5-10 that came early.
California’s Tim Meeks leads the nonboater standings with a three-bass limit weighing 10-13. Oregon’s Bill Rosenbalm is second with 10-10 and Utah’s Terry Peterson is third with 9-9.
Arizona leads the team standings with 40 bass weighing 110-4. Utah is a close second with 46 bass for 109-3. The team with the most collective weight on Day 2 will win a $5,625 cash prize from Nitro/Mercury.
The full field will fish again Thursday, though only the top 18 anglers from each of the nine participating states, in both the boater and co-angler categories, advance to fish on Day 3. Any angler who’s among the top two from each state, but not among the top 18 in standings, also will compete on Friday.
The individual anglers are vying for cash prizes totaling $27,500.
Day 2 is scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. CMT Thursday. Weigh-in will be held at Lake Havasu State Park at 3 p.m.
Lake Havasu City, Ariz., is hosting the event.