UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Desert storm

The marina at the Lake Roosevelt Cholla Recreation Site was bustling with activity shortly before takeoff.

ROOSEVELT, Ariz. - The irony of convening in the Arizona desert only to get soaked by heavy rain on the opening day of FLW Series competition was not lost on the anglers fishing this week on Lake Roosevelt.

Even torrential downpours that caused mudslides and highway closures in the vicinity could not dampen the spirits of the 194 anglers competing in the final National Guard Western Division event of the season. Perhaps that's because of the stakes. Beyond the generous top prizes for the winning pro and co-angler, this week's Lake Roosevelt shootout will determine which competitors earn berths into the prestigious and lucrative 2011 Forrest Wood Cup bass-fishing championship.

[Editor's note: FLWOutdoors.com's Gary Mortenson had to phone in his report on the day-one takeoff as he was stopped in traffic on a highway in between the takeoff site at Roosevelt, Ariz., and the tournament host site of Payson, Ariz., due to mudslides that closed a major highway.]

In fact, these inclement conditions may improve the fishing.

"The cooling off, and added cool water, is probably going to make the bite a little better," said standout bass pro Zack Thompson of Orinda, Calif., adding that the bite was a bit off during practice. "At the same time, the storm could scatter the fish and make the deep bite a little tougher."

Recently anglers have been finding success on Lake Roosevelt with either a deep-water pattern or in the shallows, but not in between. Thompson, the 2009 Western Division Angler of the Year, explained that conditions in the Payson, Ariz., area have been much hotter in recent weeks - more in keeping with a desert climate - and that a storm front "can really change things."
Pro Zack Thompson got off to a strong start i FLW Series competition on the California Delta earlier this year.
Thompson will stick to his practice pattern of fishing reaction baits and topwaters around shallow brush on the main lake and hope for the best on day one of competition Wednesday. If the storm does hamper the deep bite as Thompson said it could, the shallow-water anglers may cash in today.

"I'd be tickled with 13 to 14 pounds today," Thompson said.

The stakes

Hosted by the Town of Payson, the tournament features top awards of up to $50,000 in the Pro Division and a Ranger 177TR with a 90 horsepower Evinrude or Yamaha outboard in the Co-angler Division.

In FLW Series competition, anglers are also vying for valuable points to qualify for the no-entry-fee 2011 Forrest Wood Cup to be held Aug. 11-14 on Lake Ouachita in Hot Springs, Ark. The top 10 pros and the top 10 co-anglers in the point standings after this week's Lake Roosevelt event will qualify for next year's world championship of bass fishing.

Tournament logistics

As raindrops pound Lake Roosevelt, FLW Series anglers do their best to prepare of takeoff.Anglers will take off from Cholla Recreation Site located five miles NW of Roosevelt Dam on Highway 188 in Roosevelt, Ariz., at 7 each morning. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday's weigh-ins will also be held at the marina beginning at 2:30 p.m. Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at Chapman Auto Center located at 198 N. Beeline Highway in Payson beginning at 4 p.m.

On Saturday, Sept. 25, fans will be treated to a Family Fun Zone from noon to 4 p.m. at Chapman Auto Center prior to the final weigh-in. There will be a drawing for a $300 Cabela's gift card, and drawings for rod and reel combos will be held every 30 minutes during the event. Activities in the Family Fun Zone include a Ranger boat simulator and assorted fishing-themed games. All activities are free and open to the public.

Coverage of the Lake Roosevelt tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS network Oct. 31 from 12:30 to 1:30 ET. "FLW Outdoors," hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to approximately 500 million households worldwide.

For bass-fishing fans unable to attend the festivities in person, you can catch all the weigh-in action live at FLWOutdoors.com with FLW Live. Show time starts at 2:30 p.m. Pacific today.

For a brief moment, the sun finally appears over Lake Roosevelt.Wednesday's conditions

Sunrise: 6:13 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 65 degrees
Expected high temperature: 76 degrees
Water temperature at the ramp: 84-85 degrees
Wind: WSW at 4 mph
Maximum humidity: 100 percent
Day's outlook: widespread showers and thunderstorms developing around 11a.m.; partly cloudy with temperatures steady near 74 degrees; winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph

Tags: patrick-baker-and-gary-mortenson  morning-story  2010-09-22-lake-roosevelt 

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