Huge Day 1 bag leads veteran team to first-place finish at WON Lake Havasu Striper Derby

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JERRY AND KYLE THERGESEN are Striper Derby veterans, and they came out on top of the 2024 event after weighing in a total weight of 76.9 pounds of Lake Havasu striped bass.
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BY MIKE STEVENS

LAKE HAVASU CITY— High winds were in the forecast for Day 2 of the WON Lake Havasu Striper Derby powered by Suzuki Marine, but when game time arrived it was more than manageable and the long-running event was a great time as always.

When it was all said and done after two days on the water, Striper Derby veterans Kyle and Jerry Thergesen secured the top spot and were named Champions of the 2024 installment of the tournament. Their 9.9-pound Lake Havasu striped bass helped push their Day 1 weight to a whopping 54.14 pounds which was over 10 pounds heavier than the next two biggest bags (43.24 by from Brandon Fox and Carl Brown, and 43.08 from Bob and Mike Jones) weighed in after the first day of fishing.

BIG FISH HAUL— 2024 WON Lake Havasu Striper Derby champ Kyle
Thergesen scored this SeaEagle Fish Cat 12 and Suzuki outboard for his
9.9-pound striped bass that stood as the big fish of the event.

On Day 2, things dropped off quite a bit for the Thergesens and they brought 22.76 pounds to the scale, but that was enough to put up a 76.9-pound total weight and lock up the title. They just edged out Daniel Amen and Natalie Wade who finished second with a 76.74-pound total. Bob Jones (a former champ who is the only angler to have fished in every Striper Derby since it started) and Mike Jones finished in third, and Mike Amen and Deanne Jones took fourth place which was part of an overall strong showing by the Amen family who are Striper Derby veterans in their own right. Chris and Kevin Amen took 14th place in the family’s best overall showing at the event.

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GRAND RAFFLE WINNER— Kenny Baldwin is a multiple Striper Derby
winner, but but his biggest score came in 2024 when his number was
called for the Klamath/Suzuki boat and motor package.

Former champs Russ Nievar and Kenny Baldwin finished in eighth and tenth respectively, but the highlight for Baldwin this time around was being drawn in the Grand Prize Raffle. For that, Baldwin scored a Klamath 16 EXW windshield aluminum boat sporting a 40 hp outboard courtesy of title sponsor, Suzuki.

Suzuki also powered the very-popular Suzuki Spin-to-Win cash wheel portion of the awards ceremony in which Striper Derby participants who have their number drawn (spin the wheel until the $3,000 put up by Suzuki was gone. The Striper Derby crowd is never louder than when that wheel is spinning.

DANNY AMEN AND NATALIE WADE took second place in the
WON Lake Havasu Striper Derby.

Like all WON events, Striper Derby is heavily supported by a long list of generous sponsors that provide prizes for top finishers, goodie bags and raffle winners. Along with Klamath sending the prize boat, Suzuki ponying up the outboard motor and prize wheel cash, there were Fenwick rods, PowerBait Power Switch lures, Berkley Trilene Big Game line, Frabill nets and Plano tackle storage solutions, Costa sunglasses and gear from Abu Garcia, Daiwa, Panther Martin and Global Fish Mounts. Sea Eagle provided one of its very cool FastCat 12 inflatable Catamarans, Loco’s Bar and Cocina served great food at registration, and the all new (and continually improving) Havasu Riviera Marina was back as the location of tournament headquarters.

This was the 42nd-annual running of the WON Lake Havasu Striper Derby, and having it land on Cinco De Mayo was just an added bonus for a loyal group of anglers out there to have a great time above all else. The event has drawn more than 20,000 teams since it began, and the grass-roots, family-style fishing derby shows no sign of slowing down.

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