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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

The day after

FLW Series boaters congregate near the marina shortly before takeoff on Lake Roosevelt.

PAYSON, Ariz. - During Wednesday's weigh-in, National Guard pro Justin Lucas seemed to perfectly summarize the thoughts of the entire FLW Series field regarding the day's fishing conditions: "This was probably the most annoying rain I've ever experienced in my entire life. It was a tough, tough day." To be sure, yesterday's conditions were brutal. Torrential rains and lightning storms, which began shortly after 3 a.m., continued unabated until just before 10 a.m. Rain then continued intermittently for the next several hours, causing numerous landslides, including one big enough to strand FLW Series officials and tournament workers at the launch site for nearly eight hours.

But 24 hours later, the scene was entirely different. As the full field departed the Cholla Recreation Site marina shortly after 7 a.m., anglers were greeted to a gorgeous sunrise, bluebird skies and light winds. But while the external weather conditions couldn't have been more different, anglers weren't entirely sure what to expect with regard to the bass bite. While some anglers argued that the bite would probably be worse, numerous anglers offered a counter argument.

"The weather is definitely going to change the fishing, but I actually think today's conditions are going to make the fishing better," argued Jimmy Reese of Witter Springs, Calif. "The fish are going to be positioned a lot better. Yesterday, the fish were in La-La Land - they were all over the place."

Despite the disagreements as to whether the conditions will be tougher or easier during today's competition, one thing that anglers seem to be in universal agreement on is the timing of the bite.

Takeoff is about to commence."The best bites are in the afternoon," Reese stated. "You just have to grind it out until about 2 p.m. That's when they really start biting. You can just feel the difference in the way the bass start attacking your bait. They just really start hitting it a lot harder."

Although stringers have been relatively small so far - not one angler managed a five-fish limit greater than 13 pounds, 15 ounces in Wednesday's competition - Reese joked he had an innovative solution to the problem of subpar weights moving forward.

"If we could have takeoff at noon and the weigh-in starting at 7 p.m. you'd really see some big weights."

Unfortunately for anglers, it doesn't appear that FLW Series officials will take Reese up on his offer.

How the tournament is stacking up

At this point in the tournament, anglers seem to be divided in two divergent camps stylistically. First there is a group of anglers targeting bass in shallow water with a series of top-water baits and/or spinnerbaits. Then there is a group of anglers patrolling the deep waters of the main lake, targeting bass holding to trees, rocks, humps and ridges. Anglers in this group are using a variety of drop-shot rigs and shaky heads and are keeping a watchful eye on baitfish migration - particularly the threadfin shad populations.

Currently, Jeff Michels of Lakehead, Calif., leads all pro competitors with a catch of 13 pounds, 15 ounces. William Byrd of Moab, Utah, is head of the co-angler class with a total catch of 10 pounds, 6 ounces.

Tourney format

FLW Series anglers head toward boat check before takeoff.The entire field will compete during the first three days of the Lake Mead event. The co-angler champion will be crowned after Friday's weigh in based on the heaviest accumulated three-day weight. The top five pros will then continue on to Saturday's final day of competition. The pro winner will be determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all four days.

Throughout the week, anglers will be battling for a top award 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 addition to the Lake Roosevelt bounty, all anglers will be competing for valuable points in the hope of gaining an automatic berth into the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup, one of the most prestigious championships in all of bass fishing. Specifically, the top-10 anglers in the overall Western Division year-end point standings after this event will qualify for next year's championship.

Bass-fishing fans take note

As the sun makes itDuring FLW Series competition, anglers will take off from the Cholla Recreation Site located 5 miles northwest of Roosevelt Dam on Highway 188 in Roosevelt, Ariz., each morning at 7 a.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 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, Ariz., beginning at 4 p.m.

On Saturday, Sept. 25 fans will be treated to a Family Fun Zone at Chapman Auto Center prior to the final weigh-in from noon to 4 p.m. 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.

Want to watch the weigh in live but can't make it in person? Then tune into FLW Live on FLWOutdoors.com shortly before 2:30 p.m. Pacific time to watch live streaming video and audio of today's opening-round weigh in.

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

FLW Series action continues at today's weigh-in, scheduled to take place at 2:30 p.m. Pacific Time at the Cholla Recreation Site located 5 miles northwest of Roosevelt Dam on Highway 188 in Roosevelt, Ariz.

Dawn breaks over Lake Roosevelt.Thursday's conditions

Sunrise: 6:14 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 51 degrees
Water temperature: 82-85 degrees
Expected high temperature: 83 degrees
Wind: SSE at 4 mph
Humidity: 34 percent
Day's outlook: sunny

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

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