Utah’s Brown Wins B.A.S.S. Western Regional On Lake Mead

Bill Brown of Grand Junction, Colo., representing the Utah B.A.S.S. Nation remained atop the leaderboard for three days to win the boater division of the Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Western Regional presented by Magellan Outdoors.
On Friday, Brown’s winning weight of 15 pounds brought his overall total to 49 pounds, 1 ounce.
Scott Hausman, of Las Vegas, Nev., won the non-boater division with a three-day weight of 22 pounds, 2 ounces. Hausman fished for the Nevada team.
Brown and Hausman are among 22 anglers from 11 states with the heaviest cumulative weights for their states. Each top placing boater and non-boater advances to the Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Championship presented by Magellan Outdoors. Date and location of the championship will be announced soon.
Brown made a final day gamble that proved a winning move. At 1 p.m. and without a bass in the boat, he ditched his fishing strategy that worked on Wednesday and Thursday.
His first strategy was fishing a topwater buzzbait along the shoreline of shallow coves near the main lake. To save the win, Brown moved to deeper water and caught the winning weight within an hour of his weigh-in time.
“All of my bass had already spawned and were feeding on baitfish,” he said. “The shallow fish moved to deeper water, and I found them.”
Gusty winds pushed the baitfish into a cove and the bass followed. Brown caught the bass by casting a heavyweight jig into boulders where the bass ambushed the bait.
The lure choice was a 3/4-ounce Pepper Custom Baits jig with a 3.75-inch Gary Yamamoto Custom Lures Flappin’ Hog. The jig was camo and green with a 301 color choice for the trailer.
On Wednesday and Thursday, Brown found postspawn bass in the opposite direction. He targeted bass in the far reaches of basins in the middle lake. The bass were shallow, about 2 feet or less.
The bait of choice was a Pepper Custom Baits Commando Series Buzz Bait. The lure featured a gold blade with a white/chartreuse skirt. And, Brown said his lure presentation was key.
“I had to cast it onto the shoreline, gently drag it into the water and retrieve just fast enough to turn the blades,” said Brown, a member of the Top of Utah Bass Anglers.
Strikes occurred as the lure passed through tumbleweeds and brushpiles near the shoreline. Brown reasoned the bass were ambushing baitfish from the cover.
Hausman is a recent Nevada transplant from Utah. He’s a former member of that state’s team and was welcomed to his new home with sound advice from teammates.
“A lot of anglers cast the lure directly into the spawning bass,” he said. “What the Nevada guys taught me is the bass stay off the beds and guard the nests.
“I focused on finding the little spots my partners missed or avoided,” continued Hausman, now a member of the Nevada Bass Anglers.
Brown earned the Livingston Lures Leader award of $250 by leading the tournament on Day 2.
He also earned the Big Bass award of  $250 for catching the biggest bass of the tournament. Brown caught a largemouth weighing 6 pounds, 6 ounces on Wednesday.
Mark Lassagne of California earned the A.R.E. Top Angler award of $250 award as the top-finishing angler using the brand’s truck caps.