Andrew Loberg of Rocklin, California, crossed the stage with a five-bass limit Saturday totaling 21-11 – the largest stringer weighed throughout the three-day event – to win the Lake Havasu Western Toyota Series in Arizona. Loberg’s total of 15 bass weighing 59-14 gave him the win by a 3-07 margin over 2nd-place Mike Williams of Lake Havasu City and earned him the top payout of $24,119 in the third and final tournament of the division for 2021.
Nearly two months after winning the event at the California Delta, the young Californian bested some of the top talents on Lake Havasu to close out his second win of the season in style.
“I’m still soaking in the win from the Delta,” said Loberg. “So, this one … I don’t even know.”
One thing everyone knows now is he’s one to watch in any tournament he enters going forward. This event solidified that.
Whether it was the time of year, fluctuating water, 100-degree heat or whatever, Havasu’s bass were stingy, regardless of species or where an angler tried to fish. So Loberg decided he wasn’t going to give them the option to bite. Like many of the top finishers, he was going to make them bite.
That meant cranking and ripping deep grass.
Fishing a quarter-mile stretch of the north end of the basin, Loberg had a pair of sweet spots on deeper points loaded with grass. But it wasn’t just grass they were loaded with, as he noticed more bait there than anywhere else he’d seen in practice, and even more importantly, more bass showing up on his forward-facing sonar.
“I found that area the first day of practice,” said Loberg. “I caught a big one and one other one, and I just thought it’d be a spot in my rotation. It ended up being the winning area.”
Yet just because the fish were there didn’t mean they wanted to bite. In fact, Loberg said it was often frustrating seeing so many fish down there simply unwilling to chew.
“I just had to keep winding that crankbait through the grass until I made one react,” said Loberg.
That often meant snapping his Rapala DT 16 when it hit the grass so hard he broke his line a few times and even broke the lip off one bait. But it took that level of aggression to surprise a bass enough to open its mouth.
That worked out perfectly the first two days, as he said he had the ideal conditions of sun and little wind, and the bass were choking his crankbait when they bit. That wasn’t the case Saturday, though. With intermittent rain and wind throughout the morning, Loberg struggled to get bit early, and when he did they were barely hooked. A perfect example was a 5-pound kicker that sprung loose right as it hit the net.
Still, he put eight keepers in the boat, and they were the right ones to take home the win.
Here are the final totals for the Top 10:
1. Andrew Loberg: 59-14
2. Mike Williams: 56-07
3. Roy Hawk: 54-00
4. Mark Williams: 43-02
5. Frankie Mueller: 41-08
6. Phillip Dutra: 39-12
7. Chris Kinley: 39-03
8. Kazuki Kodama: 39-03
9. Randy McAbee Jr.: 34-14
10. Logan Huntze: 33-02