UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Potomac River

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

A desert snow

A desert snow
With snow covered mountains serving as a scenic backdrop, EverStart Western Division anglers prepared for the start of the opening day of tournament action on Lake Roosevelt.

ROOSEVELT, Ariz. - It's probably a safe bet that when anglers initially circled the Lake Roosevelt tournament on their calendars they didn't foresee that the opening day of tournament action would ultimately resemble a scene from the movie Fargo.

With snow blanketing the landscape as well as plenty of boat decks and key pieces of onboard equipment, EverStart Series Western Division competitors hit the open waters of Lake Roosevelt (in the heart of the Arizona desert) bundled from head to toe in an attempt to come up with some sort of game plan to deal with the frigid conditions that are expected to dominate Thursday's competition.

The scene was truly remarkable. With plenty of saguaro cactus, desert brush and nearby mountain ranges sporting a newly snow-covered cloak - a result of a massive cold-weather front moving across the United States - it is clear that fishing conditions this week are going to be tricky at best and beyond frustrating at worst. Even under ideal conditions, Lake Roosevelt is known to produce a rather stingy quarry. However, throw in below-freezing temperatures at takeoff and couple that with lake levels 30 to 40 feet below normal pool and you have all the makings of a very difficult week of fishing.

EverStart anglers were bundled head to toe as temperatures were below freezing during opening takeoff on Lake Roosevelt."This is going to be the toughest tournament we have all year," said pro Brett Hite of Phoenix, Ariz. "I knew it was going to be tough coming in here but with the weather we've had and the (current) conditions, nothing is going to be easy this week."

Hite said that while the cold weather is significant, it's only part of the issue.

"From previous tournaments we've had here, the water is down anywhere from 30 to 35 feet, although it has come up some in the last two and a half weeks or so," he said. "But most of that new water is coming from snow melt up in the mountains. And that's not only adding really cold water back into Lake Roosevelt but it's also causing the lake to really muddy up. The lake was relatively clear a few weeks ago but now it's got a lot of stain in it. And I can tell you, fishing cold, muddy water isn't easy."

EverStart Series anglers prepare for takeoff on Lake Roosevelt.The remaining outlook for the rest of the tournament, which runs from Feb. 21-23, doesn't look anymore promising either.

"There is also no real warming coming our way in the near future so the conditions aren't (conducive) to helping those fish get in a real advanced prespawn mode," Hite said. "So you're really just going to put your head down and fish. It's going to be tough mentally."

However, it's also clear that tough tournaments allow the proverbial cream to rise to the top.

"Every tournament can't be a slugfest and I actually kind of like it when the conditions are difficult," said Hite. "Tough fishing is part of fishing. And this week I really think if you can get a limit each day you're going to be in pretty good shape. And if you can catch a limit with two to three good fish - and by good fish I mean 3-pounders - you should be in contention for a title."

EverStart Western Division anglers await the start of takeoff.As far as technique goes, Lake Roosevelt has historically offered both deep and shallow strategies.

"That's what's really nice about this lake," Hite said. "If you want to fish deep you can because this lake has some good structure. If I was fishing deep this week I'd probably go with either a Texas rig or a football jig, mostly because of the stained water. But if the prespawn bite becomes active you can also fish shallow with spinnerbaits, crankbaits or flipping and pitching techniques. But the one thing you probably don't want to do is try to do both. I think it's a lot smarter to settle on one (strategy) and stick with it all day."

While Lake Roosevelt does boast 30 species of fish, including both largemouth and smallmouth bass, Hite believes that largemouth bass will be the dominant (and winning) catch this week.

"It's really hard to target smallmouth bass here," he said. `If you do wind up catching one, it's a real bonus. But you can't just target smallmouth here, it's just too difficult."

Hite said that he believes that 10 pounds a day should be enough to keep anglers in contention for a title.

"Somebody is going to catch a game-changer, a 7- or 8-pounder," he said. "But the key is what you do those other days. And conversely, if you have a bad day and you turn around the next day and catch 12 pounds, you're going to be right back in it. Overall though, like I said, I think this is going to be a really tough tournament. But that's the way I like it."

Tournament logistics

During EverStart Series competition, pros supply the boats, fish from the front deck against other pros and control boat movement. Co-anglers fish from the back deck and compete against other co-anglers. Anglers are permitted to weigh in their best five bass each day. Every angler who receives weight credit in a tournament earns points that determine angler standings. The full field competes on days one and two, with the top-10 pros and top 10 co-anglers advancing to Saturday's final round of competition based on their two-day accumulated weight. Winners ultimately will be determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all three days.

Anglers will take off from the Cholla Recreation site in Roosevelt, Ariz., 7 a.m. each day of competition. Daily weigh-ins will be held at the Cholla Recreation site beginning at 2:30 p.m.

Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Pros will fish for a top award of $40,000 plus a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Co-anglers will cast for a top award consisting of a Ranger Z117 with 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury 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 in an attempt to land the prestigious Strike King Angler of the Year title and automatic berth into the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup.

EverStart Series action continues at today's weigh-in, scheduled to take place at 2:30 p.m. at the Cholla Recreation site, located approximately 6 miles north of Roosevelt Dam, in Roosevelt, Ariz.

Bass-fishing fans take note

Takeoff is about to commence on Lake Roosevelt.Want to watch the weigh in live but can't make it in person? Then tune into FLW Live on FLWOutdoors.com 2:30 p.m. Mountain time (4:30 p.m. Eastern time) to watch live streaming video and audio of today's opening-round weigh in.

This week's EverStart Series tournament on Roosevelt Lake is being hosted by the Town of Payson, Ariz.

Thursday's conditions

Sunrise: 7:03 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 27 degrees
Expected high temperature: 46 degrees
Water temperature: 51-55 degrees
Wind: From the south-southwest at 5-10 mph
Humidity: 58 percent
Day's outlook: Partly cloudy

Tags: gary-mortenson  morning-story  2013-02-21-roosevelt-lake 

Big Bags Coming on Rainy Clear Lake

Big Bags Coming on Rainy Clear Lake

One of the gems of California bass fishing might have its luster muted by the week’s weather, but Clear Lake will likely still provide plenty of opportunity for anglers competing in this week’s Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina.  READ MORE »

Everything on the Table at Table Rock

Everything on the Table at Table Rock

Stop No. 2 of the Costa FLW Series Central Division, which is presented by Power-Pole and hosted by Explore Branson, is primed to be an all-out show. It seems like the lake’s entire population of bass is rushing to the bank to spawn, with all three species willing to eat a vast array of offerings. The only question: Will Mother Nature play nice? READ MORE »

Tougher but Still Santee Cooper

Tougher but Still Santee Cooper

The Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division finale began this morning at Santee Cooper, where even though fishing has been tough, everyone expects to see mega-bags brought to weigh-in. The bass are nearly done spawning, but a strong shad spawn in the mornings offers real potential. READ MORE »

Everything’s in Play on Kentucky Lake

Everything’s in Play on Kentucky Lake

A squad of 147 boaters and their co-anglers partners enjoyed a pleasant spring morning in western Kentucky for the start of the Costa FLW Series Central Division tournament presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. READ MORE »

Big Bags on Horizon at Chickamauga

Big Bags on Horizon at Chickamauga

Day one of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event presented by T-H Marine is underway, and by all indications, the fishery is set up to churn out some mega-bags throughout the event. Even during practice, with the water falling well below normal levels, 7-, 8- and 9-pounders weren’t uncommon. Now, with the best anglers in the southeast hard at it, you can expect fireworks. READ MORE »

College Open Weigh-in to Start at Noon

College Open Weigh-in to Start at Noon

Day one of the YETI FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake was phenomenal in terms of the fishing, and while that may be the case for day two, strong winds forced FLW officials to cut the tournament short by a few hours. READ MORE »

Good Conditions Greet College Open Field

Good Conditions Greet College Open Field

The YETI FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes returns to FLW’s home waters this morning, as a full field of anglers prepare to take off for the fifth iteration of the two-day event, hosted by the Kentucky Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau and Moors Resort & Marina. READ MORE »

Rise and Grind Time at Lake Mead

Rise and Grind Time at Lake Mead

Strong winds on the heels of a prolonged cold-weather period may prove to turn the Costa FLW Series Western Division opener into a true grind fest this week as pros and co-anglers take off from Callville Bay – Forever Resorts on Lake Mead in southern Nevada. READ MORE »

A Different Okeechobee

A Different Okeechobee

Cold fronts, dirty water and lower water levels make for an interesting start to the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division season. READ MORE »

Perfect Weather Now on Tap in Texas

Perfect Weather Now on Tap in Texas

Amistad is one of south Texas’ most famous reservoirs – the other being Falcon. Though it’s not the juggernaut that it was in the not too distant past, Amistad is still an incredible tournament fishery, with room to spread out and plenty of grass and rocky structure to target for big giant wintertime bass. READ MORE »

Here Comes Fall in the Ozarks

Here Comes Fall in the Ozarks

Mother Nature will deliver a big part of the story this week as the 2018 Costa FLW Series season comes to a close on Lake of the Ozarks. The tournament, which is presented by Evinrude, will wrap up the Central Division and finalize the field for the 2018 Costa FLW Series Championship scheduled for Nov. 1-3 at Lake Guntersville. READ MORE »

Promising Tides on Tap at the Cal Delta

Promising Tides on Tap at the Cal Delta

It’s kind of a good news-bad news deal on the California Delta this week as anglers take on this vast and storied fishery for the final event of the Costa FLW Series Western Division. READ MORE »

Summer Not Over at 1000 Islands

Summer Not Over at 1000 Islands

It has been the year of the smallmouth in the Northern Division of the Costa FLW Series this season and the third and final event on the 1000 Islands will certainly showcase that. The event, which is presented by Navionics and hosted by the Clayton Chamber of Commerce, is expected to have big weights especially due to the recent results of the Bassmaster Elite Series event and the Renegade Bass Tour Thousand Islands Open held back in early August. No doubt it’ll take over 20 pounds a day to win, however, conditions aren’t as ideal as anticipated for a major smallie smackdown to happen. READ MORE »

Costa Smallmouth Derby Begins on Erie

Costa Smallmouth Derby Begins on Erie

Stop two in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division got underway under clear skies this morning on Lake Erie out of Buffalo. The event, which drew 169 boats, is presented by Polaris and hosted by Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission. The field features some of the top smallmouth sticks in the Northeast. The big question at game time was not whether anglers would catch plenty of fish, but how many and of what size. READ MORE »

Suggs Cracks 24-6 on Barkley

Suggs Cracks 24-6 on Barkley

Andrew Suggs of Cunningham, Tennessee, caught five bass weighing 24 pounds, 6 ounces, to win Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) LBL Division tournament on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. For his win, Suggs took home $3,945. READ MORE »

High Schoolers Head to Pickwick’s Ledges

High Schoolers Head to Pickwick’s Ledges

At 43,100 surface acres, Pickwick Lake offers lots of fishing area, but when the 2018 TBF/FLW Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship, held in conjunction with the 2018 High School Fishing World Finals, sends 384 teams into competition, even this Tennessee River powerhouse might seem rather small. READ MORE »

Test article

Test article READ MORE »

Game Day on Champlain

Game Day on Champlain

Kicking the season off at Lake Champlain worked great last year, and this year the Costa FLW Series Northern Division is once again getting things rolling on the big Northern lake. Again, there’s a new record field size for the Northern Division with a total of 205 boats. The tournament, which is presented by Power-Pole and hosted by the City of Plattsburgh and the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau, should treat anglers and fans to an impressive parade of big smallmouth bass for the next three days. READ MORE »

Ledge Bite Awaits at Barkley and Kentucky

Ledge Bite Awaits at Barkley and Kentucky

Bass anglers of every stripe smile when they think of Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, the sprawling twin reservoirs that, respectively, mark the lower impoundments on the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. All bass anglers, including the field of pros and co-anglers who have converged on Lake Barkley State Park for the Costa FLW Series Central Division tournament hosted by Cadiz-Trigg County Tourism and presented by T-H Marine today through Saturday, know what the big lakes can do. READ MORE »

Diverse Patterns in Play at Clear Lake

Diverse Patterns in Play at Clear Lake

The gem of northern California is set to shine as anglers do their best to unlock Clear Lake’s treasure during the Costa FLW Series Western Division event powered by Evinrude and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. With warm and mostly sunny conditions on tap, we’re expecting a diverse event with all spring phases in play. READ MORE »