vital due to the extremely clear water in these fisheries.
“It is the same thing in deeper water, and I am always paying attention to the sun angle and adjust how I approach an area,” added Hawk. “On fisheries like Mead and Mohave, there are huge drop-offs and ledges down in the water and each of them cast a big amount of shade. I’ll position the boat and adjust where I cast, so the bait is in the shade. It is the same thing in 20-feet of water as it is in two feet of water; that is where the fish are going to be.”
Aside from deep drops, Hawk also looks for key structure and cover in deep water with the help of his electronics. On Havasu, it may be brush or artificial structure and on Mead or Mohave, it might be isolated rocks, reefs, and large boulders.
“I’ll spend a lot of time idling and marking these spots and try to get several in the same zone,” added Hawk. “Once I have a few marked, I’ll make a few casts or try a different casting angle and then go to the next one. The important thing to remember is timing can be everything and you might have to hit them multiple times during the day.”
For the deep cover, especially on Havasu, Hawk utilizes deep-diving crankbaits, Carolina-Rigs, and drop-shot rigs.
“I’ll always grab a deep crankbait first to try to catch the most aggressive fish,” added Hawk. “Also, if you catch a fish
or two and it dies down, it is worth going back again later because you may have just broken up the group of fish. A good deep water spot will always hold more fish on the desert lakes.”
KNOW WHEN TO GO SLOW
First thing in the
morning and right
before the sun sets will
always be some of the
best fishing of the day
in the desert, but Hawk
is always watching
changes in the weather for opportunities.
“Early and late is the prime time to be fishing, especially with topwaters and other moving baits,” Hawk said. “But you also have to be watching for any time you have a change in weather, either some cloud cover or more wind. Those are the times when you have to put that drop-shot down and start fishing faster with a spinnerbait, crankbait, or even a football head that you can fish faster.”
Roy Hawk has proven to be one of the kings of desert bass fishing with multiple wins across all of the southwest lakes. He keeps it simple during the summer months by focusing on shade, windy banks, and baitfish activity. •