Kline Wins MLF Toyota Series Tournament at Lake Havasu

February 5, 2023
MLF Toyota Series
Bass fishing

LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. (Feb. 5, 2023) – Pro Todd Kline of San Clemente, California, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 15 pounds, 13 ounces to win the Toyota Series at Lake Havasu and earn the top payout of $29,392. Over the three days of competition, Kline weighed in 15 bass totaling 60-14 to win by a 3½-pound margin over local angler Mike Williams of Lake Havasu City, who weighed a three-day total of 57-6 to finish second and earn $11,614.  

Kline entered the final day of competition Saturday with a near 7-pound lead over Williams in second place, but with a largemouth-based primary pattern that seemed to be dissipating by the hour. After nearly three hours of fishing with just one strike that he didn’t connect with, Kline stowed the heavy casting gear, broke out a 7-foot, 6-inch Okuma Dead Eye Pro Series rod and Helios reel spooled with 5-pound-test line and went to work with a ¼-ounce Coolbaits Lure Co. The Down Under Underspin, with green pumpkin and shad-colored swimbait trailers.

“I ran at least 10 spots and put in the time on my primary pattern, but it just wasn’t happening,” Kline said. “At the time I was thinking to myself ‘Man, you have a good lead, but you can’t go in [to weigh-in] with nothing and end up finishing 10th’. I was planning in the back of my mind to make that change, but by around 9:30, 10 o’clock, it was obvious that it was time to make a move.”

Kline continued to plink away with the underspin, gradually building a 15-plus-pound bag and maintaining his composure when he lost at least one more giant while his co-angler (and eventual co-angler winner) Todd Woods piled up 14-6 on four fish fishing behind Kline.

“I had maybe eight keepers on the underspin by the end of the day and lost a couple of really big ones – I’m not going to lie, I was worried that I might’ve left the door open with those two big misses,” Kline admitted. “You don’t have any other choice but to stay focused. I’m a religious guy, so I know the outcome was already determined and that I was just along for the ride, but it was pretty stressful.”

Kline’s stress spiked during the weigh-in, as first-time Toyota Series pro Jason Marquez brought 24-6 to the scale and Williams held serve with 19-1 – “I always small-eye my fish, I didn’t think I had enough,” Kline admitted.

“I’ve been in second place going into the final day and came in second to one of the Williams brothers. I didn’t want to squander this opportunity. To have that trophy now is pretty cool. I have four on the home mantle with FLW as a co-angler and now this one as a pro with MLF, and I couldn’t be happier.”

The top 10 pros on Lake Havasu finished:

1st:          Todd Kline, San Clemente, Calif., 15 bass, 60-14, $29,392
2nd:         Mike Williams, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 15 bass, 57-6, $11,614
3rd:         Jason Marquez, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 14 bass, 56-5, $8,218
4th:         Dean Rojas, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 15 bass, 55-2, $6,848
5th:         Chris Kinley, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 15 bass, 52-7, $6,163
6th:         Kyle Grover, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., 15 bass, 51-9, $5,478
7th:         David Valdivia, Riverside, Calif., 15 bass, 50-12, $4,794
8th:         Kurt Dove, Del Rio, Texas, 15 bass, 49-0, $4,109
9th:         Justin Kerr, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 14 bass, 45-10, $3,424
10th:       Mark Williams, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 12 bass, 44-0, $2,739

Pro Nick Salvucci of Atascadero, California, won the $500 Day 1 Big Bass award in the pro division Thursday with a bass weighing 5 pounds, 12 ounces. On Friday, Kline earned the $500 Big Bass prize after bringing a 7-pound, 2-ounce largemouth bass to the scale.

Mike Williams took home an extra $1,000 as the highest finishing Phoenix MLF Bonus member. Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $35,000 per event in each Toyota Series tournament if all requirements are met.

Todd Woods of Long Beach, California, won the Co-angler Division Saturday with a three-day total of 11 bass weighing 32 pounds, 14 ounces. Woods took home the top co-angler prize package worth $33,500, including a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard motor.

The top 10  co-anglers on Lake Havasu finished:

1st:          Todd Woods, Long Beach, Calif., 11 bass, 32-14, Phoenix 518 Pro boat w/115-hp Mercury outboard
2nd:         Tom Nokes, Riverton, Utah, seven bass, 22-7, $3,534
3rd:         Kirk Marshall, Discovery Bay, Calif., seven bass, 20-5, $2,827
4th:         Tyson Christman, Glendale, Ariz., eight bass, 20-4, $2,474
5th:         Blaine Christiansen, San Jose, Calif., six bass, 18-1, $2,120
6th:         Bruce Harris, Oakdale, Calif., eight bass, 17-3, $1,767
7th:         Daniel Lutz, Las Vegas, Nev., six bass, 16-4, $1,414
8th:         Jason Webb, Medford, Ore., five bass, 16-3, $1,237
9th:         Mike Walsh, El Cajon, Calif., five bass, 14-12, $1,210
10th:       Brett Robbins, Solvang, Calif., four bass, 13-8, $883

Ken Whalen was the Big Bass $150 award winner in the co-angler division, Thursday, with a 6-pound, 8-ounce bass, while the Day 2 $150 award went to Gabriel Diaz of Nuevo, California, with a 6-pound, 4-ounce fish.

With one regular-season event in the Toyota Series Western Division Presented by Tackle Warehouse now complete, Kline jumped out to the early lead in the Western Division Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 260 points, while Woods leads the Co-angler Division AOY race with 260 points.