September 17, 2015
(Editor’s Note: Story provided by WON Bass and written by Dan O’Sullivan.)
Las Vegas, Nev. – Ranger Pro Roy Hawk capped off a great month for his family on Wednesday in the desert outside of Las Vegas. After competing in the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup, and watching his son Sunny win the co-angler title there, Hawk earned a win of his own in the 2015 WON Bass U.S. Open.
Hawk began the final day of the event less than half a pound behind the leader; however, the consistency of his weights made many believe that he held the inside track to win. Fishless until 11 o’clock on the final day, he rallied in the afternoon for a final-day limit of 8.75 pounds to bring his winning total to 29.40 pounds.
“I really wasn’t getting too uptight because I had a better bite in the afternoon on most of my practice days,” says Hawk of his final-morning struggles. “The only thought that kept going through my head was that I had lost one of the events in the past because I tried to force a reaction bite that wasn’t there; so, I scaled down and finesse fished until I couldn’t stand it anymore.”
That approach only presented a single keeper that his AAA partner caught at 11:15.
“I tried it for a little while after that, and then went back to my primary areas, and started getting bites,” explains Hawk. “I had a double hookup on my topwater bait that gave us fish number two and three, and then managed to catch a few more on the topwater and a jig to fill out the limit a cull a couple.”
He reported heading back towards Callville Bay for weigh-in without much anticipation.
“I really felt like I had left the door open once again, and really didn’t have much chance of winning,” he says. “I thought the only chance I had was if other anglers struggled too, and that happened today.”
Hawk says three lures were responsible for his win. The primary lure, which allowed him to target shad-chasing bass that would occasionally school, was a shad-colored Duo Realis Pencil 110 topwater. He also caught a few on a clear chartreuse-colored SPRO Little John Baby DD crankbait and a ¾-ounce Pepper Custom Baits Finnese Casting Football Jig Head rigged with a 5-inch smoke with black and hologram flake-colored Yamamoto Double Tail Hula Grub.
For his victory, Hawk earned $50,500 and a Nitro Z8 bass boat rigged with a Mercury ProXS 200-horsepower outboard.
In addition to many regular competitors in the Western Division of the Rayovac FLW Series, a number of Walmart FLW Tour pros fished the event as well. Jimmy Reese did the best among them, finishing 17th with 24.25 pounds. Matt Stefan was the only other Tour pro to cash a check, and he finished 27th with a 22.75 total.