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FISHING: Woods wins inaugural Arizona Open wire-to-wire

January 13, 2019

Entering the day with a 3-pound lead, California pro Todd Woods didn’t need to have a giant day on the lake to preserve his lead at the inaugural WON Bass Arizona Open.

But he did anyway.

Woods caught five bass weighing 21.13 pounds in the final round, the second biggest haul of the day to win the three-day event with a total weight of 61.95 pounds, more than five pounds better than the field.

“For me it was fishing great,” Woods said of the lake conditions during the busy week. “It was really tough fishing.”

Woods led all three days of the competition, in part because of a huge first round that saw the rest of the field struggling in the low waters and changing conditions of the lake.

The win netted Woods a new boat, outfitted with a new motor and more than $11,000 in cash, part of which he said he’d donate to fishing partner Joe Bolen, who lost his house in the wildfires that engulfed Paradise, California last year.

For his part, Bolen won the co-angler division and his son Justin finished sixth.

“It means the world,” Woods said. “It’s almost as if I didn’t have anything to do with it. It’s like a fairytale. God just orchestrated the whole thing. For him to win it and for me to win it. That stuff doesn’t just happen, the coincidence. I’m ecstatic.”

While Woods carried a lead into the final round, it wasn’t comfortable, with a handful of familar names pushing him at the top of the leaderboard.

Surprise’s Joe Uribe, Jr., whose father Joe Sr. lives in Havasu, caught 21.5 pounds in the final round, with word getting to Woods that he caught most of his bag early in the day.

“Joe’s caught 27 pounds here before,” Woods said. “(Tournament officials) came in the marina where we were at (for an interview), and at that point I knew I had 20 pounds before they came in, but I didn’t know what Joe had. They told us Joe had 20 pounds, and it was like 10 o’clock in the morning.So I had my co-angler look it up and see how much of a lead I had on Joe after Day 2. Once I realized I had a 5-pound lead, I realized he’s got to catch 26 pounds, which he can, but the chances were slim. So at that point we started having a good time again.”

Uribe Jr. finished second and Canada’s Ted Stewner finished third. Havasu’s Justin Kerr and Dean Rojas rounded out the top five.

2019 WON Bass Arizona Open

Lake Havasu State Park

Pro Division

Angler3-day Total (Lbs)

1. Todd Woods61.95

2. Joe Uribe, Jr.56.90

3. Ted Stewner51.81

4. Justin Kerr50.97

5. Dean Rojas50.78

6. Shannon Abbott46.14

7. Mike Williams43.86

8. Terrence Rath42.69

9. Mark Williams38.21

10. Matt Shura37.34

11. Mike Powell35.92

12. Paul Tassie35.77

13. Roy Hawk35.71

14. Michael Nichelini35.26

15. Johnny Johnson33.64

AAA Division

Angler3-day Total (Lbs)

1. Joe Bolen47.62

2. Ed Cox44.78

3. Paul Herber43.72

4. John Schramer41.88

5. Carol Martins39.35

6. Justin Taylor Bolen38.36

7. Derrek Stewart35.87

8. Skyler Hawk32.86

9. John Browning32.27

10. David Crunden32.15

WON Bass Arizona OpenLAKE HAVASU STATE PARKPro DivisionAngler3-day Total (Lbs)1. Todd Woods61.952. Joe Uribe, Jr.56.903. Ted Stewner51.814. Justin Kerr50.975. Dean Rojas50.786. Shannon Abbott46.147. Mike Williams43.868. Terrence Rath42.699. Mark Williams38.2110. Matt Shura37.3411. Mike Powell35.9212. Paul Tassie35.7713. Roy Hawk35.7114. Michael Nichelini35.2615. Johnny Johnson33.64

AAA DivisionAngler3-day Total (Lbs)1. Joe Bolen47.622. Ed Cox44.783. Paul Herber43.724. John Schramer41.885. Carol Martins39.356. Justin Taylor Bolen38.367. Derrek Stewart35.878. Skyler Hawk32.869. John Browning32.2710. David Crunden32.15

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