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


The lone danger and Tonto

Pro leader Ken Howden brought a 17-foot aluminum boat to Roosevelt specifically to fish deep in the flooded timber.

PAYSON, Ariz. - Nestled within the Tonto Basin, Lake Roosevelt has provided EverStart Series Western Division anglers with two nice days of mild, calm weather, but the final round of competition will likely see some bumpy conditions, thanks to a storm system sweeping across the southwest.

A light rain tapped the floating aluminum dock at the Cholla Recreation Site, as the top-10 pros and co-anglers headed out, zipped up and ready for a day of mostly wet weather. The roughest weather will arrive late morning through early afternoon, as thunderstorms bring the loud, flashy stuff and periods of strong west-southwest winds that may gust as high as 40 mph.

Fortunately, Roosevelt is a relatively narrow lake with plenty of shoreline coves and creeks where boaters can find refuge during the hazardous conditions. As a safety precaution, FLW altered the day's final weigh-in plans to prevent anglers from transporting their boats during what could be a stormyFlipping a Strike King tube has been the key tactic for pro leader Ken Howden. afternoon. Today's weigh-in was originally set for 4 p.m. at the Walmart in Payson, the event's host town. Now, the final weigh in will take place at 2:30 at the Cholla Recreation Site.

The FLW National Guard College Fishing Series weigh in will take place at 1 p.m., followed by the National Guard Soldier Appreciation Tournament weigh in.

Ken Howden, of Mesa, Ariz. leads the pro division by a margin of 8 pounds, 2 ounces. For two days, he has caught his fish flipping flooded timber. For this event, he left his 20-foot fiberglass bass boat at home and brought a 17-foot aluminum boat with a push pole so he could reach deep into the scraggly, scratchy thickness where big bass abound.

His strategy has paid off well with a second place day one weight of 14-4 and a 20-2 effort on day two that pushed him into the lead. Howden's main bait is a 4 1/2-inch Strike King tube in green pumpkin with purple/gold flake rigged on a 4/0 wide gap hook with a 5/16-ounce tungsten bullet weight and a glass bead for sound attraction.

Local pro Mark Kile will continue slow rolling a 1/2-ounce spinnerbait across brushy points."In that cover, you just get the bait to the bottom and start shaking it around and the fish come in and crush it," Howden said. "This is my main bait, but after the fish get conditioned to that, I'll put my creature bait in there and get a quick bite."

Howden said he'll return to the same creek he's fished for two days. His bites came early on days one and two, so he's hoping to knock out a solid limit early and then work through whatever the day's weather allows.

"Even with the storms, I think we're still going to catch them," he said. "Obviously, being in a little 17-foot aluminum boat with a 90-hp engine, you have to think about (the weather) but I've been in rough weather with this boat before.

"Hopefully, I can get my five, let my co-angler get his five and hopefully they're good ones so we canThird place pro Young Yang will start his day with jerkbaits, but switch to flipping a Brush Hog if the hard baits don get out of here before we get that wind, so we don't beat our fish up. That's the biggest scare. The boat can handle the weather; I just don't like beating up the fish. I really like to take care of them."

Leading the co-angler division, Mike Rychard of Anderson, Calif. brings a 3-pound, 6-ounce lead to the final round with his 24-8 total. Paired with Howden on day two, Rychard sacked up a limit of 17-9 - his division's largest catch. He flipped creature baits and fished a dropshot baited with a new Mother's Finest worm color, appropriately named "Roosevelt Special." Today, Rychard plans to fish the dropshot, a jig and a spinnerbait.

Here's a look at the planned tactics other pros will employ:

Second place: Mark Kile - Slow-rolling a 1/2-ounce chartreuse/white spinnerbait with double willow leaves across brush points.

Starting the day in fourth, Clay Lippincott hopes to get a few early bites on a scrounger.Third place: Young Yang - Jerkbaits early on a tree-lined roadbed, then flipping trees with a Texas-rigged, green pumpkin Zoom Brush Hog.

Fourth place: Clay Lippincott -Starting early with a chatterbait and a scrounger rigged with a white skirt and a Gary Yamamoto Swimming Senko, then dropshotting flooded trees with a chartreuse tip Roboworm.

Fifth place: Dean Kreuzer -Fishing in 45 feet with a 1/2-ounce jig with a Yamamoto Double Tail Grub (green pumpkin or watermelon/black fleck) and a 1 ¼-ounce spinnerbait with double silver willow leaves. (He's using a custom 8-foot rod for extra casting distance with the spinnerbait.)


Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at 2:30 p.m. at Cholla Recreation Site, located five miles NW of the Roosevelt Dam on Highway 188 in Roosevelt, Ariz.Dredging a heavy spinnerbait in 45 feet of water will be the main deal for fifth place pro Dean Kreuzer.

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 the 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.

Co-angler leader Mike Rychard will fish a dropshot, jig and spinnerbait on day three.Saturday's conditions:

Sunrise: 7:06 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 52 degrees
Expected high temperature: 64 degrees
Wind: WSW 10-20 mph, gusting to 40
Humidity: 45 percent
Day's outlook: Rainy with scattered thunderstorms

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


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