LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. — Mike Dominick won’t be fishing Friday on the final day of the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Western Regional, but it could be argued he’ll have as big an impact as any of the 48 anglers that hit the water this morning.
But how can that be, when the Montana-based angler zeroed on Day 1 and caught only one bass on Day 2?
Well, when the one bass you catch weighs a whopping 8 pounds, 13 ounces, you make your mark on a derby, and in a hurry.
Dominck’s largemouth is easily the biggest bass caught on Havasu so far this week, and it’s a reminder to the guys still chasing a tournament title that one cast could be a difference maker in what’s been a challenging tournament through two days.
Consider, Dominick’s two-day weight of 8-13 (all of it on one bass) placed him 40th of the 90 boaters who qualified for the tournament — the first of five B.A.S.S. Nation regionals scheduled for 2022. Another 90 co-anglers were entered at Havasu, as well, and the 8-13 mule alone would have Dominick 11th in that division after two days.
“I’ve caught bigger fish before in Virginia and Florida, but this was the biggest bass I’ve ever caught in competition,” Dominick said shortly after hefting the giant aloft so fans at Lake Havasu State Park could have a better look.
“One of my partners said the only way they were getting bites was crashing crankbaits into the habitat for reaction bites,” Dominick said. “I tried it with a shad-colored Rapala DT10, and the big one hooked up.”
The Western Regional was Dominick’s first trip to Lake Havasu, and he planned to fish for smallmouth this week. The weather, with temperatures that fell into the upper 30s overnight Wednesday, disrupted most anglers’ plans, however, and made finding consistent bites difficult.
Dominick said his hefty catch made the drive from Montana more than worth his while. The $500 Big Bass Award he could win Friday would make the journey that much sweeter.
“It was much tougher here than I expected,” he said. “But anytime you catch a fish that big, you can’t help but be happy.”
Frankie Mueller of nearby Kingman, Ariz. leads the boater division with a two-day total of 34-7. He had the big bag of the tournament to date with a 22-3 limit on Thursday, and a big bass like Dominick’s would go a long way in helping him maintain his lead.
Fellow Arizonan Steve Lund trails Mueller by only 2 ounces with 34-5, and Idaho’s Keegan Graves is less than a pound off the lead with 33-9. Ramsey Romanin, who’s fishing for Idaho in the regional, tied for the big bass on Day 1 (5-10), and he’s in fourth place with 32-8. Jesse Parks, yet another Arizona angler, is fifth with 31-6.
None of the other 24 boaters who made the cut are within 7 pounds of Mueller. They do have hope however, and Dominick provided the proof.
The winning boater will collect a $5,000 cash prize on Friday with the leading co-angler taking home $2,500. It’s all part of a $27,500 total cash purse being distributed after the final weigh-in, which begins at 3 p.m. MST.
Go Lake Havasu is hosting the regional.