Bassmaster Elite Series Preview: Lake Havasu with John Murray
We sat down with Garmin pro John Murray to talk about the Bassmaster Elite Series event at Lake Havasu this weekend. Many consider John to be a favorite for this event, considering his local knowledge of the fishery and his previous strong finishes.
Garmin: How does Lake Havasu fish this time of year?
John Murray: Lake Havasu is in post-spawn conditions right now. There will still be some fish that are spawning, but it’s pretty much over here, so there are probably 10 or 15 different techniques that will come into play. It’s not a lake where it’s just going to be cranking or something like that. The beauty of it is, there will be guys catching fish on topwater, catching them shallow, and catching them 25 feet deep. Havasu has both smallmouth and largemouth, and because of the time of year we’re hitting it, both species are doing different things. So there’s not necessarily going to be one prevailing thing that everyone needs to be doing; there will be guys catching them on the river and catching them flipping. It’s a good lake in the sense that there’s a lot of potential as far as patterns go.
Garmin: There are a handful of local guys fishing this event. How important is local knowledge at Lake Havasu, and how do you think that will impact who wins?
John: Havasu is not a fishery that has unique characteristics like the California Delta, which is extremely vast and has the tide playing a major factor on the bite. It’s a fairly small lake, so you can do a lot of research on Havasu. I have a comfort level here because I’ve fished it so many times, but I don’t think that’s a huge advantage on our tour anymore because these guys are so good and they do their homework. Most of these guys have been out here during the offseason and put a lot of time in -probably even more than I have – but there’s a certain level of comfort that I have here since I know where everything’s at and things like that.
Garmin: How have you finished at Lake Havasu in the past?
John: I’ve always done well here. I’ve won quite a few tournaments here in the past. Though I’ve fished professionally for 30 years, I haven’t fished it much the last 10 years since I’ve been on tour. However before that, I fished a lot of tournaments here and did well quite a few times. The lake has changed quite a bit since then; the smallmouth came in and there are a lot of other differences, but I have a lot of confidence on this lake.
Garmin: If you had one angler who you thought was going to win, who would it be?
John: That’s a tough one! I’d probably go with Josh Bertrand. He’s from the Phoenix area and did well at the Rayovac back in February when he placed second. He has put in a lot of time here and is very knowledgeable on this lake, so that’s why I’d go with Josh Bertrand.
Garmin: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us! We wish you the best of luck at Lake Havasu this weekend and hope you can take home the hardware!
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