Uribe Closes out Second WON Bass Lake Havasu Open Championship

LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. – May 17, 2024 –– If there had been a betting line on a list of anglers that had the best odds of winning the 2024 Ranger Boats WON Bass Lake Havasu Open presented by Mercury, Bridgford Foods pro Joe Uribe Jr. would have been right at the top of that list.  The Phoenix, Ariz pro has had a long history of major wins at Lake Havasu, and he added to that list today in the shadow of London Bridge.

Uribe, who led by less than an ounce after conclusion of the second day over second place Del Rio, Tex. pro Kurt Dove, and only slightly more than Micah Jones of Kingman, Ariz. in third place.  Word amongst the competitors was that the angler amongst the top three who managed to post 18 pounds on the final day would likely take the win.

Uribe came to the Riviera Marina as the last angler to weigh-in and dropped 17.93 pounds on the WON Bass scales to claim his second victory in a WON Bass Lake Havasu Open with a three-day winning weight of 57.31 pounds.  Jones finished third for the event with 54.40 pounds, while Dove slipped to third place with 53.38 pounds.  He was followed in fourth place by Lake Havasu City, Ariz. pro Roy Hawk with 53 pounds and pro Todd Kline of San Clemente, Calif. finished fifth with 51.88 pounds.

The veteran pro used a variety of techniques to weigh fish during the three-day event.  He described his first day as a “junk fishing fest” to try and figure out exactly what he needed to set up on.  Late in the first afternoon, he put all of the pieces of the puzzle together to what became the ultimate pattern.  “I figured out a particular combination of depth, cover and technique that afternoon, and once that came together, I could see exactly what I needed to target,” he said.  “I weighed a couple of fish on a spinnerbait and a squarebill, but the majority of the weight came from flipping matted grass and laydown tules in 3 to 5 feet of water, and that was the key.”

Uribe said that the pattern was inspired by the late Aaron Martens, the three-time WON Bass U.S. Open Champion who won a Bassmaster Elite Series on Lake Havasu by targeting matted tules in deeper water with a Flipping rig.  “I remembered that Aaron had won this time of the year, so I put that in my memory bank as something to look for in the event,” he said.  “When I found the bite, I got excited, and each time I caught a fish, I said a little thank you to Aaron; I could feel him looking down on me.”

The pattern was one that relied on a slightly scaled down “Finesse Flipping” setup.  He paired a 7’3” heavy action Daiwa Taula Elite Takahiro Omori Pitching rod with an 8.1:1 Tatula Elite Pitching and Flipping reel spooled with 40-pound-test Sunline SX-2 braided line.  He threaded a 3/4-ounce VOSS Tungsten Flipping weight and tied a 3/0 Gamakatsu Finesse Flipping hook which he rigged with a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver 4.20 in Big Texan color.

He reported that the postspawn females he was targeting were taking refuge in the shad around the matted vegetation that was blown into pockets in Windsor Bay and around the mouth of the river itself.  “I am so blessed to have won this tournament, I went out here and fished free and clean and just felt like The Lord was watching over me,” he said.  “It was just a great event, and a lot of fun; I don’t think I’ll ever grow tired of playing this game and having a chance to do well.”

Second place finisher Jones spent much of his event behind the wheel of his boat.  In an interview with WON Bass Tournament Director Bill Egan, Jones described his week.  “I ran a total of 210 miles in the three days of the event and I’m exhausted,” he said.  “I used a spinnerbait and a Raid Baits swimbait to catch all of my fish this week, and while I’d loved to have won, these are hard tournaments to get; I’m stoked to have finished second.”

In the AAA Division, James Fenney III of Vista, Calif. claimed the title of Champion with a three-day total weight of 51.62 pounds.  He outlasted David Crunden of Lake Havasu City, Ariz. who finished second with 51.24 pounds.  Third place in the AAA Division went to Adam Gragg of Acton, Calif. with 50.92 pounds, he was followed in fourth place by Ronnie Orbaker of Madera, Calif. with 50.22 pounds and Eric Norgard of Monrovia, Calif. finished fifth with 50.08 pounds.  

Each of the pros and AAA anglers who finish in the top five will also earn a Golden Ticket berth into the 2025 Bassmaster B.A.S.S. Nation Championship for a chance to qualify for the Bassmaster Classic

The top 10 in each division are posted below: for complete standings, visit https://wonbassevents.com/pages/lake-havasu-open-2024-pairings-results

WON Bass Lake Havasu Open 5/15 to 5/17/2024

Place

Pro Day 3

Hometown

Fish

Pnlty

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Total

1

Joe Uribe, Jr.

Surprise AZ

15-15

17.21

22.17

17.93

57.31

2

Micah Jones

Kingman AZ

15-15

20.86

18.37

15.17

54.40

3

Kurt Dove

Del Rio TX

15-15

18.49

20.79

14.10

53.38

4

Roy Hawk

Lake Havasu City AZ

15-15

17.39

17.69

17.92

53.00

5

Todd Kline

San Clemente CA

15-15

18.38

17.52

15.98

51.88

6

Zack Hayes

Blythe CA

15-15

17.14

17.70

16.55

51.39

7

Jerry Ballesteros

Rancho Cucamonga CA

15-15

18.15

14.58

17.72

50.45

8

Bill Brown

Grand Junction CO

15-15

16.73

15.70

18.01

50.44

9

David Thies

Lake Havasu City CA

15-15

17.05

16.25

15.75

49.05

10

J D Blackamore

Yorba Linda CA

15-15

15.42

16.60

16.68

48.70

Place

AAA Angler Day 3

Hometown

Fish

Pnlty

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Total

1

James Fenney, III

Vista CA

15-15

19.94

15.23

16.45

51.62

2

David Crunden

Lake Havasu City AZ

15-15

0.50

15.20

22.17

13.87

51.24

3

Adam Gragg

Acton CA

15-15

18.41

14.03

18.48

50.92

4

Ronnie Orbaker

Madera CA

15-15

20.86

14.04

15.32

50.22

5

Eric Norgard

Monrovia CA

15-15

15.59

17.24

17.25

50.08

6

Wesley Nunley

Washington UT

15-15

16.73

19.04

13.81

49.58

7

Anthony Hunt

Clovis CA

15-15

17.05

15.61

16.78

49.44

8

Dave Phillips

Nampa ID

15-15

16.82

15.95

16.07

48.84

9

David Childress

Bakersfield CA

15-15

17.52

15.11

15.95

48.58

10

Damon Motley

Orange CA

15-15

17.26

13.33

17.92

48.51

As the winner of the 2024 Ranger Boats WON Bass Lake Havasu Open presented by Mercury, Joe Uribe Jr. earns the Ranger Boats / Mercury Motor prize boat provided by Bass Pro Shops, and the Golden Tickets to the 2025 Bassmaster BASS Nation National Championship will be awarded to the top five Pro and AAA anglers and will further develop the season long competition to see who will receive guaranteed slots into the 2025 Bassmaster Opens Elite Qualifiers.

The 2024 WON Bass Western Opens Series of events consisting of five events in California, Arizona and Nevada moves next to the California Open at Clear Lake April 17 to 19, 2024.  The series will culminate with the 2024 WON Bass U.S. Open at Lake Mohave in October.  The full schedule of the five event dates are as follows:

Jan. 31–Feb. 2, Lake Shasta - Champion Nick Wood – 47.42 pounds

April 17-19, Clear Lake – Champion Austin Bonjour – 83.28 pounds

May 15-17, Lake Havasu – Champion Joe Uribe Jr. – 57.31 pounds

Sept. 18-20, Lake Mead

Oct. 14-16, U.S. Open at Lake Mohave

For complete details to register for future events, or to find results, look to wonbassevents.com and WONews.com to hear the latest news about the 2024 season and beyond and follow along at Facebook.com/WONBassTournaments.

The 2024 WON Bass Lake Havasu Open was brought to you by Bass Pro Shops, Ranger Boats, Mercury Marine, Nitro Boats, Triton Boats, Bridgford Foods, Phenix Rods, Yamamoto Baits, Bill Lewis Lures, Buckeye Lures, Steel Shad, Bioenno Power, SOG Knives, Cold Steel Knives, Gamma Line, Power Pole, Lowrance, Daiwa, AFTCO, Costa, Berkley, Abu Garcia, DD26 Fishing, Anderson Toyota, A&M Graphics, Anglers Marine and Signature Gates.

Local presenting sponsors were Go Lake Havasu, Anderson Toyota and Riviera Marina.  Daily takeoffs and weigh-ins were being conducted at Riviera Marina.

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