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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Desert drama unfolds

FLW Series anglers patiently await the start of the day's action on Lake Roosevelt.

PAYSON, Ariz. - Heading into Friday's FLW Series competition on Lake Roosevelt, one need not look too far to find a host of compelling storylines which will begin to unfold in earnest throughout the day. For starters, the co-angler champion will be crowned shortly after today's weigh-in. Secondly, the pro field will be cut to the top five by day's end. And finally, two anglers still have a chance to be permanently etched in the record books by simultaneously capturing the FLW Series Western Division Angler of the Year title, the Lake Roosevelt title and an automatic bid into the prestigious 2011 Forrest Wood Cup.

Pro Brent Ehrler, who sits in second place overall in this week's Lake Roosevelt event, is currently leading the FLW Series Western Division year-end points standings. As a result, if Ehrler is able to manage a strong finish in today's competition, he could conceivably lock up the Angler of the Year crown today. A top-10 finish would also guarantee Ehrler a spot in the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup. Then, to complete the trifecta, Ehrler would need to qualify for today's top-five cut, then pull off a victory on Lake Roosevelt on Saturday.

In the Co-angler Division, Jimmy Zanotelli of Redding, Calif., sits in an almost identical position. Zanotelli is currently leading the Western Division AOY race but he's also currently in the lead at the Lake Roosevelt event with only one day of fishing remaining. Zanotelli also holds a significant 4 1/2-pound lead over his nearest rival - meaning that it would almost be a surprise if the California native didn't pull off the trifecta.

Dawn breaks over Lake Roosevelt.However, that being said, there is still plenty of fishing remaining and many competitors who would be more than happy to throw a significant monkey wrench in the plans of Ehrler and Zanotelli. And with a fickle bass bite plaguing most of the field for two straight days and only 14 ounces separating the top four pro contenders, it's clear that on Lake Roosevelt anything is still possible.

"This whole week has been pretty tough," said National Guard team pro Justin Lucas. "There are a lot of fish in this lake, but they're kind of in a transition phase between summer and fall. I think that right now the fish - especially with the weather we had a few days ago - are just confused. And because these fish are in anywhere from 1 to 60 feet of water, it's really hard to pinpoint them. There are some big fish in this lake, but they're just not biting right now."

Lucas believes the fishing pressure is also starting to take its toll on both the fish populations and the anglers.

"This lake isn't actually that big to begin with and it fishes smaller than it actually is," said Lucas. "What you're seeing is a lot of the guys on the same spots and they're starting to get pretty beat up. I think the weights are going to be the same as you've seen the last few days or even a little worse."

Tourney format

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 pros and co-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

Takeoff is about to commence on Lake Roosevelt.During 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. "FLW Outdoors," 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.,

FLW Series anglers get ready for the start of the third day of competition on Lake Roosevelt.Vital statistics:

Sunrise: 6:15 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 58 degrees
Water temperature: 82-85
Expected high temperature: 88 degrees
Wind: From the south-southeast at 5 mph
Humidity: 20 percent
Day's outlook: Sunny

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

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