UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Lake Mead

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

EverStart anglers open fire on Roosevelt

With the week's warming trend, EverStart anglers are hoping to score big on the shallow flipping bite amid Lake Roosevelt's flooded brush.

PAYSON, Ariz. - The end of blasting means a lot more casting on Lake Roosevelt, as EverStart Series Western Division anglers start their competition with great expanses of water recently opened by the end of goose hunting season.

Much of the lake's prime shoreline habitat had been closed since November 15, but goose season ended February 15 and competitors like Zack Thompson are eager to take advantage of the expanded playing field.

"The fishing won't necessarily be any better, but there are just some areas that haven't been pressured," said the California pro. "I think the shallow fish in those areas haven't heard trolling motors going over their heads and they haven't seen a lot of baits go by, so I'm going to target those fish this morning and try to get a limit and then go fight it out with everyone else in the deep stuff in the afternoon."

For the shallow bite, Thompson will flip Berkley Chigger Craws and Power Hogs in two to 12 feet. WithDropshots will see plenty of action during the EverStart event on Lake Roosevelt. Roosevelt's bass in mostly a prespawn mode, the shallows have yet to bulge with big females.

"I haven't really found any quality fish yet, they've all been staging males, but I'll take what I can get," Thompson said.

Later in the day, Thompson will attack the deep structure with a dropshot. He likes the Berkley Powerbait hand pour finesse worm in red crawler color in 25-40 feet. If the dropshot doesn't do the trick, he'll go to a Senko or a football head jig.

Utah pro Roy Hawk said he's going to temper his normally aggressive style of fishing to make sure he keeps himself in a competitive position, but if the numbers stack up early, he'll turn up the heat and look for big bites.

Utah pro Roy Hawk will use a 1-ounce spinnerbait to maintain a deep presentation."Last week, I fished another tournament on this lake and swung for the fences and ended up with very small bags," he said. "This time, I'm going to fish a little more conservatively. We're going to try to get limits of around 10 pounds first and then try to swing for the fences."

Hawk said he'll fish a variety of baits including jigs, dropshots, wacky-rigged Senkos, chatterbaits and a 1-ounce white/chartreuse spinnerbait with double willow leaves. The latter two, he said, will likely produce the biggest bites. He might also flip the shallow brush to find the big bites. In any case, finding staging pods of prespawn bass will be the key to a big sack, Hawk said.

"It seems like the fish are moving up in groups," he noted. "They'll come in and feed and then they'll move back out. You can catch them fairly shallow at times, but it's really hit and miss. If you get on a school, you can really whack `em."

California pro Matt Newman hopes that the warmer weather of day one - highs in the mid 60's - should trigger a good reaction bite. He may try a spinnerbait or crankbait for that reaction action, but for him, consistency has depended on a particular shoreline feature that he's in no hurry to share just yet. He'll rely mainly on a dropshot with a Roboworm in the morning dawn and bluegill colors.

"Once I figured out the worm pattern, I could catch a lot of fish," Newman said. "It took me a while toRoy Hawk is ready to go on day one of the EverStart event on Lake Roosevelt. figure it out, but I could catch five fish a day doing random things or I could catch 20. It's how and where. You can't just go down the bank and catch a bunch of fish. It's all wood (on the bank), but there's something particular I'm looking for."

The day one sunrise enjoyed brief periods of full radiance; however, building clouds quickly muted the sky. Partly cloudy conditions will prevail and the afternoon forecast calls for southwest winds of 10-20 mph. A few showers may visit Lake Roosevelt by the weekend and temperatures will take a noticeable, but not dramatic dip.

"I don't think the weather is going to affect the fish as much as it could if it was a really severe cold front," Thompson said. "The wind is going to help the deep bite because those fish like to have something breaking up the surface on this lake. It seems like the structure fish tend to bite when there's a little wind.

"I'm looking forward to a good day. I think it's going to be fun and hopefully, I'll catch a couple of decent fish. If I can get up into that 12- to 15-pound range I'll be happy."

Logistics

Anglers will take off from the Cholla Recreation Site, located five miles NW of the Roosevelt Dam on California pro Matt Newman will balance his shallow game with some deep cranking later in the day.Highway 188 in Roosevelt, Ariz., at 7:00 each morning. On Thursday and Friday, weigh-ins will be held at the Cholla Recreation Site beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at the Walmart, located at 300 North Beeline Highway, Payson, Ariz. Saturday's weigh-in begins at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Pros will fish for a top award of $35,000 plus a 198VX Ranger boat with 200-horsepower outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Co-anglers will cast for a top award consisting of a Ranger 177TR with 90-horsepower outboard and $5,000 if Ranger Cup guidelines are met.

The EverStart Series consists of five divisions - Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of four tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the Angler of the Year title along with $5,000 for the pro and $2,000 for the co-angler. The top 40 pros and co-anglers from each respective division will qualify for theThe Arizona sunrise wrestles with morning clouds over Lake Roosevelt. EverStart Series Championship that will be held on Kentucky Lake in Buchanan, Tenn., Oct. 27-30.

The EverStart Series tournament on Lake Roosevelt is being hosted by the Town of Payson, Ariz.

Thursday's conditions:

Sunrise: 7:08 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 42 degrees
Expected high temperature: 64 degrees
Wind: SW at 10-20 mph
Humidity: 30 percent
Day's outlook: partly cloudy and windy

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2011-02-17-lake-roosevelt 

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