FISHING: Woods leads after opening day of Arizona Open
In a leaderboard stacked with familiar names and some of the best anglers in the industry, Western fishing veteran Todd Woods rose to the top on the first day of the WON Bass Arizona Open fishing tournament on Wednesday.
Woods, a Los Angeles resident and regular on the FLW Western series, hauled in a limit of five bass weighing 23.70 pounds, more than five pounds better than the rest of the field on what turned out to be a tough day on Lake Havasu for most of the 128 pro and co-anglers.
Just 18 of 64 boats caught a limit of five bass, and Woods and partner Kelly Burns were the only boat to weigh in a 20-pound bag, leaving a closely packed field for Day 2.
Canada’s Ted Stewner, who has done well fishing Havasu in the past, is in second place with a limit weighing 18.61 pounds and California’s Jason Cloke is in third with a limit at 18.18 pounds.
Flagstaff’s Jeffrey Scott Allen is in fourth and California’s Shannon Abbott is in fifth.
Shaun Bailey, who won the FLW event in Havasu last February, leads the Havasu anglers in the event, weighing in ninth in the first round with a limit at 14.67 pounds.
Top-flight veteran Dean Rojas rounded out the top 10 with a bag weighing 14.47 pounds in a pack of Havasu fisherman. Mike Powell, Ron Janke, Terrance Rath, Paul Tassie and Mark Williams also caught limits and placed in the top 17 in the first round. Havasu’s Chris Kinley is the top angler that didn’t catch a limit, weighing in three bass at 11.58 pounds.
The slow day caught some of the world’s top fishermen, including Havasu’s Roy Hawk, who turned in three bass at 7.19 pounds and is in 41st place. San Tan Valley’s Josh Bertrand, who with Rojas and Hawk is on the new Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour, caught four bass weighing 8.54 pounds in 32nd place. Bassmaster Elite angler Cliff Pirch caught one fish at 2.02 pounds.
Cloke turned in the pro big bass of the round with a 5.91 pound haul. The biggest catch of the day came out of the lead boat, with Burns pulling in a 7.74-pound bass.
The second round will launch at first light today, with weigh-ins starting at 3:30 p.m. at Lake Havasu State Park.