UPCOMING EVENT: ABU GARCIA COLLEGE FISHING - 2020 - Harris Chain of Lakes

Zanotelli hits for the ‘Triple Crown’

Zanotelli hits for the ‘Triple Crown’
Jimmy Zanotelli of Redding, Calif., proudly displays his FLW Series Western Division Co-angler of the Year award.

PAYSON, Ariz. - In the end, Jimmy Zanotelli got everything he'd wished for. Heading into the FLW Series event on Lake Roosevelt, Zanotelli was the frontrunner for the FLW Series Western Division Co-angler of the Year title. However, in order to earn that, he'd have to defeat some of the best amateur anglers in the nation.

But when all was said and done, Zanotelli parlayed a three-day, 29-pound, 8-ounce catch into a lifetime of memories. Not only did Zanotelli hold on to win the prestigious FLW Series Western Division Co-angler of the Year award, he also walked away the tournament title on Lake Roosevelt and an automatic berth in the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup, slated for Lake Ouachita.

Not surprisingly, Zanotelli was ecstatic with the week's events.

Jimmy Zanotelli of Redding, Calif., raises his arms in victory after winning the FLW Series title on Lake Roosevelt as well as the FLW Series Western Division Co-angler of the Year award."I don't even know what to say," said Zanotelli. "This is by far the best day of my career."

Zanotelli's performance was so dominant that his next closest competitor could get no closer to his final weight totals than 5 pounds.

"This has been an exciting week," said Zanotelli, who walked away with a brand new Ranger 177TR boat as well as over $2,400 in additional winnings for his efforts. "Words can't describe what I'm feeling right now."

Zanotelli said that without his wife and pro partners, his goals never would have materialized.

"My wife supports me 100 percent and I never could have done this without her," he said. "And my pro partner today was amazing. I could not have drawn a better pro than I did today. He put the boat in position to really let me fish the way I needed to fish."

Jimmy Zanotelli shows off his first-place trophy as well as his additional winnings after capturing the FLW Series title on Lake Roosevelt.Zanotelli said that he used a combination of drop-shot techniques using Mother's Finest 6-inch worms in a Margarita Mutilator color and a 6-inch Morning Dawn Robo worm to land the majority of his catch.

"I had my limit by about 1:45 p.m. and was able to cull three times," he said. "But I was pretty nervous all day. I knew I had to catch five fish to win. So I made sure to concentrate as best as I could. Overall, it was a fun event. I'm so excited I can barely talk right now."

In the end, Zanotelli said he will remember this day for the remainder of his career.

"Winning an FLW event is a once-in-lifetime opportunity," he said.

Dotson nets runner-up finish

Tim Dotson of Loomis, Calif., used a total catch of 24 pounds, 11 ounces to claim second place overall. And he couldn't have been happier.

Co-angler Tim Dotson of Loomis, Calif., used a total catch of 24 pounds, 11 ounces to claim second place overall at the FLW Series event at Lake Roosevelt."My goal coming into this tournament was just to qualify for the Cup so I was just happy to do that," said Dotson, who earned a check for $4,025. "After I did well on that first day I was pretty excited. And then on day two I caught a really big fish and realized that I was in contention. As today progressed, I became more and more confident that I had a chance to do really well."

Dotson said that he fished a 6-inch Morning Dawn Robo worm exclusively, alternating between offshore breaks in 30 feet of water and shallow brush in less than 10 feet.

"I fished with the same lure all week," said Dotson. "Obviously, it worked out pretty well."

Overall, Dotson said he couldn't be more pleased with his performance.

"This is only the second time I've visited Lake Roosevelt so I'm thrilled," he said. "I really wanted to qualify for the Cup and I did that. Finishing second in this event is just the icing on the cake."

Byrd scores third-place finish

FLW Series rookie and day-one co-angler leader William Byrd of Moab, Utah, parlayed a total catch of 22 pounds, 11 ounces into a third-place finish at the FLW Series event at Lake Roosevelt.In the end, FLW Series rookie and day-one co-angler leader William Byrd of Moab, Utah, parlayed a total catch of 22 pounds, 11 ounces into a third-place finish.

"This is my highest-ever finish so I'm really excited," said 21-year-old Byrd. "I already can't wait until next year."

Byrd, who took home over $3,000 in winnings, said that he targeted "thick trees" in 10 to 15 feet of water to land the majority of his catch.

"One of the things I figured out was that I could catch some good fish casting out to submerged trees in a little bit deeper water," he said. "I start throwing a wacky rig and just stayed with it all day."

Best of the rest

Fourth place belonged to Gary Pinholster of Lake Havasu City, Ariz. Pinholster used a total catch of 20 pounds, 10 ounces to win over $2,000 in prize money.

Rounding out the top-five co-angler finalists was Michael Caruso of Glendale, Ariz. Caruso parlayed a 20-pound, 8-ounce total catch into a fifth-place finish good enough for $1,600.

Tags: gary-mortenson  co-angler-headline  2010-09-22-lake-roosevelt 

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