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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Espe leads FLW Series event on Lake Roosevelt

On the strength of a three-day catch of 35 pounds, 8 ounces, Keith Espe of New River, Ariz., claimed the top spot at the FLW Series event on Lake Roosevelt.

PAYSON, Ariz. - Keith Espe of New River, Ariz., caught a 5-bass limit weighing 12 pounds, 13 ounces Friday to capture the lead in the FLW Series National Guard Western Division tournament on Lake Roosevelt. With a three-day catch of 15 bass weighing 35-8, he holds a 3-pound, 11-ounce lead over his closest competitor, Robert Lee of Angels Camp, Calif., heading into the final day of competition.

"This feels awesome, I am fishing a hole that I found with my dad about five years ago and it has just been the most incredible thing," said Espe, who is fishing in his first FLW Series event. "I lost my dad in February and I just know he is there with me, I can't even explain how awesome this all feels.

"I am on this spot all alone and I'm excited about that!" added Espe. "I am fishing a hump that is in an overflow channel that was built when they put in the dam, there is a horseshoe that surrounds almost half of the hump and the fish are just hanging out there; I'm fishing in about 20 feet of water and throwing worms.

Overall fishing continues to be tough, bluebird skies and warm temperatures continue to hamper the bite. One bright spot is that a few more bass in the three and four pound range crossed the stage on day three and Johnny Johnson brought in the big bass today weighing six pounds, the biggest fish so far in the tournament. He caught it using a spinnerbait and will receive $1,000 for his work; Johnson indicated that he caught it on his first cast of the day.

Robert Lee caught a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 31-13 to advance to the final round as the No. 2 seed.

The remaining top-5 pros who will fish the final day at Lake Roosevelt are:

3rd: National Guard pro Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., 15 bass, 31-9
4th: Jimmy Savoini, Prescott, Ariz., 15 bass, 30-5
5th: National Guard pro Tim Klinger, Boulder City, Nev., 15 bass, 29-15

The remaining pro anglers in top-10 are:

6th: Russ Barger, Boise, Idaho, 15 bass, 29-11, $7,373
7th: Johnny Johnson, Lakeside, Ariz., 15 bass, 29-6, $6,939
8th: Steve Molinari, Waddell, Ariz., 15 bass, 28-8, $6,506
9th: National Guard pro Clifford Pirch, Payson, Ariz., 15 bass, 28-4, $6, 072
10th: Jon Strelic, El Cajon, Calif., 15 bass, 28-2, $5,638

Overall there were 345 bass weighing 593 pounds, 12 ounces caught by 87 pros Friday. The catch included 46 five-bass limits.

In FLW Series competition, pros are competing for a top award up to $50,000 plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for a shot at the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing.

Jimmy Zanotelli of Redding, Calif., proudly displays his FLW Series Western Division Co-angler of the Year award.Jimmy Zanotelli of Redding, Calif., won the Co-angler Division and a Ranger 177TR with a 90 horsepower Evinrude or Yamaha outboard motor Friday with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 29 pounds, 8 ounces followed by Tim Dotson of Loomis, Calif., in second place with 15 bass weighing 24-11 worth $4,025.

Zanotelli opened the tournament in 10th place Wednesday with five bass weighing 7-10 while fishing with pro Rick Mason of Glendale, Ariz. On Thursday he jumped into first place on the strength of a five-bass weighing 13-15 while fishing with pro Jeff Allen of Flagstaff, Ariz. He wrapped up the win Friday with a five-bass catch weighing 7-15 while fishing with pro Robert O'Donnell of Payson, Ariz.

"I was very fortunate to have gotten three great pros, I don't think I could have asked for anything better," said Zanotelli. "I really couldn't have done it without them. They were three local guys who all put me on big fish.
"I was pretty much doing the same thing all week," Zanotelli went on to say. "I was using a drop-shot with Mother's Finest Margarita Mutilators and throwing Morning Dawn colored worms. I was targeting trees and deeper points."

The win at Lake Roosevelt solidified Zanotelli's FLW Series Western Division Angler of the Year Title. He along with the remaining top-10 co-anglers in the points standing in FLW Series Western Division competition have now qualified for the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup which will take place at Lake Ouachita in Hot Springs, Ark. A complete list of the 2010 top-10 co-anglers in the FLW Series Western Division can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.

Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers are:

3rd: William "Billy" Byrd, Moab, Utah, 15 bass, 22-11, $3,019
4th: Gary Pinholster, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 13 bass, 20-10, $2,013
5th: Michael Caruso, Glendale, Ariz., 14 bass, 20-8, $1,610
6th: Kevin Morgan, Chandler, Ariz., nine bass, 19-11, $1,208
7th: Fred Szatkowski, Maricopa, Ariz., 11 bass, 18-13, $1,006
8th: Steven Cook, Phoenix, Ariz., 13 bass, 18-6, $805
9th: Devin McDonald, Las Vegas, Nev., 11 bass, 18-1, $704
10th: Tommie Goldston, Gardnerville, Nev., 13 bass, 17-13, $604

Overall there were 224 bass weighing 331 pounds, 12 ounces caught by 80 co-anglers Friday. The catch included only 15 five-bass limits.

The remaining five pros will take off at 7 a.m. Saturday morning from Cholla Recreation Site located five miles northwest of Roosevelt Dam on Highway 188 in Roosevelt, Ariz. Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at Chapman Auto Center located at 198 North Beeline Highway in Payson, Ariz. beginning at 4 p.m.

Fans will be treated to a Family Fun Zone at Chapman's prior to Saturday's 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 the National Guard warrior challenge 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. "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.

About FLW Outdoors

FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world offering anglers worldwide the opportunity to compete for millions over the course of 189 tournaments in 2010. FLW Outdoors has also taken fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing awarding the largest prizes in the history of fantasy sports. FLW Outdoors memberships are available featuring numerous benefits including Player's Advantage. For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FantasyFishing.com.

Tags: press-release  2010-09-22-lake-roosevelt 

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