Sunday morning and the gorgeous conditions greeting WON BASSers during yesterday’s day-one launch prevailed this morning, and anglers blasted off with the sun rising on one side of the lake and the largest full moon of the year falling on the other.
GORGEOUS CONDITIONS once again greeted anglers on day two of the WON BASS Roosevelt Pro/Am.
As the morning progressed, a bit of cloud cover moved in, but there was little wind to speak of. As was the case yesterday, once the breeze kicks up this afternoon, the bite should improve, and I expect to see a number of solid bags at the scale. And don’t be surprised if every team once again weighs a 5-fish limit.
First flight is due back at the dock at 3 p.m., and once the weigh-in wraps, we’ll commence with the awards ceremony and announce the winners of the WON BASS Lake Roosevelt Pro/Am.
Day two of Roosevelt Pro/Am off to a great start; weigh-in begins at 3pm.
Saturday Final UPDATE
Five-fish limits for EVERY team may set new WON BASS record.
BY BRADLEY SCHWEIT / WON BASS Editor
PAYSON, Ariz. — While it may not be official just yet (as the WON BASS powers that be may need to sort through the archives first), those who were on hand at today’s weigh-in for day one of the WON BASS Roosevelt Pro/Am to witness all 47 teams bring 5-fish bags to the scales, agreed that it was a never-before-seen occurrence. The full day 1 results can be found at www.wonbass.com.
IN FIRST AFTER DAY ONE is the team of Ernie Stumpf, right, and his AAA, Lon Arnel, with a 20.47-pound bag.
“This has never happened in all the years I’ve been working for WON BASS,” said Tournament Director Bill Cook. WON BASS Director of Operations Billy Egan agreed, as did everyone else who fished and assisted this afternoon.
While limits across the board were the rule, however, there were also a number of quality fish weighed in; the biggest of which was a 6.31-pound largemouth landed by Clifford Pirch. Debbie Carnahan took big-fish honors on the AAA side for her 6.11-pound bass. Heaviest-bag honors went to the team of Ernie Stumpf and local Lon Arnel for their 20.97-pound limit, which included fish of 5.35 and 5.06 pounds.
CLIFFORD PIRCH , pictured, in
second with his AAA, Gary Robbins, holds the day-one pro big fish of
6.31 pounds, in addition to another sizeable fish from his bag.
It took 12 ½-pounds to crack the top 10, and, as mentioned in the earlier blog this afternoon, the bite did indeed improve significantly once the wind came up; which was right around noon.
Of course methods and areas will remain elusive until the event wraps tomorrow evening, but most anglers are predicting similar action for the second and final fishing day.
AAA DEBBIE CARNAHAN landed this 6.11-pound largemouth to earn day one big-fish honors on the co side.
There was by no means a shortage of fish, as evidenced by the overwhelming number of limits, but the general consensus was, in order to get a solid keeper, it required weeding through innumerable “cookie-cutter” 1-pound fish. Largemouth dominated the catches, as only a handful of smallmouth made their way to the scale.
Going into day two, here are your top 10 pros thus far: Ernie Stumpf, 20.97 pounds; Clifford Pirch, 19.10 pounds; Dean Kreuzer, 16.84 pounds; Todd Herman, 14.88 pounds; Patrick Spencer, 13.81 pounds; Brian Carnahan, 13.71 pounds; Jim Hawkes, 13.19 pounds; Tai Au, 13.06 pounds; Shaun Bailey, 12.81 pounds; and Keith Espe, 12.52 pounds.
Although an 8-pound gap currently resides between first and 10th place, a slip here or a leap there could dramatically change the leaderboard. How this one will ultimately pan out remains to be seen.
Tomorrow’s launch is slated for 5:30 a.m., and again, the first flight of boats is due back at the dock by 3 p.m. This could get interesting, especially with seven to eight grand at stake to the first-place finisher.
UPDATE Saturday Morning Start
The anglers hitting Roosevelt Lake this morning couldn’t have asked for better conditions to kick off the two-day tournament; as mild air temps, little to no wind and bluebird skies made for a picture-perfect launch.
A vast majority of boats headed to the southern end of the lake, and once WON BASS Director of Operations Billy Egan and I managed to hit the water ourselves, we quickly discerned why.
The shad are up en masse in that area, and we spotted a number of massive bait balls dimpling the surface. The water was sheet glass, however, so it was difficult to get the largemouth to commit to our jerkbaits and topwaters. We did land a few fish for our morning effort, but if the wind were up, it would have been markedly better.
Whether the breeze came up after we were off the water remains to be seen, as the first flight of boats is due to arrive at the dock at 3 p.m.
We’ll be updating you with more photos and today’s results as soon as they’re available.
IT WAS A PICTURE-PERFECT MORNING for the kick off to the WON BASS Roosevelt Pro/Am; with mild air temps, little to no wind and bluebird skies.
THE BASS are keying on shad schools in the southern end of the lake, and one of the fish caught by WON BASS Director of Operations Billy Egan spit this morsel up before being released.
Bite still holding up; anglers getting ready for day one
BY BRADLEY SCHWEIT
WON BASS Editor
Lake Roosevelt is a great place to hold an early season bass tournament due to it's amazing fishing and the fantastic conditions. ( WON file photo from 2011)
PAYSON, Ariz. — The partner pairings for day one of this weekend’s WON BASS Roosevelt Pro/Am have wrapped, and everyone on hand for this evening’s check-in and subsequent meeting had high hopes for the first day of the two-day event; which kicks of tomorrow morning at first light.
All of the usual suspects were on scene, with Shaun Bailey, Mike Folkestad, Billy Skinner and John Morrow just to name a few. And everyone seemed to be impressed with how solid the bite had been during pre-fishing.
Bailey was seated next to Skinner and Morrow and he remarked, “He [pointing to Skinner] had a 6 ½ this morning.” Thus, the quality fish continued to chew even today, and it looks as though the bite should persist for the duration of the tournament.
Again, as it was yesterday, the action seems to vary depending upon whom you speak with. AAA and WON BASS columnist Tami Curtis said she was getting fish all throughout the water column, and even saw a few bass on beds. Others echoed her sentiments.
“The shad are also up and down,” Curtis said. “There’s a lot going on right now, but I had fish to 4 ½ pounds, so if I can get one of those and another solid fish to add to my pro’s bag, I’ll be happy.”
WON BASS Ariz. Teams Tournament Director Tracy Purtee was on hand to kick off the partner pairings, adding that, “This is an awesome turnout and there have been some big fish caught so far.” Even Payson’s Mayor Kenny Evans came out to show his support for WON BASS and to wish all of the anglers luck in the tournament.
Refreshments and snacks, in addition to a raffle with a number of great prizes courtesy of both WON BASS and local Arizona sponsors rounded out the evening’s festivities.
Boats should be hitting the water tomorrow around 6 a.m., and the first flight is due back to the docks at 3 p.m. Stay tuned…
IT WAS A PACKED HOUSE for this evening’s partner pairings, taking place in the Bingo Room at the Mazatzal Casino. Even Payson’s Mayor Kenny Evans was on hand to wish the anglers luck in the tournament.
Pre Tournament Update 1
Hot weather and even hotter bassin' on tap for this weekend's WON BASS Roosevelt Pro/AM
BY BRADLEY SCHWEIT
WON BASS Editor
PAYSON, Ariz. — Near triple-digit temps have settled in over Lake Roosevelt, the site of this weekend's WON BASS Pro/AM, but that hasn't seemed to hamper anglers one bit. Toughing it out on the water while pre-fishing has produced phenomenal action for nearly all of the almost 50 boats signed up to fish the event.
"It's been great," said Billy Egan, WON BASS director of operations. "I had a chance to get out on the water yesterday (Thursday) with (pro) Shaun Bailey and there was almost no lull in the action all day. I had a 5 pounder and Bailey had an 8, so the big fish are definitely there and biting."
Pro Dave Kemper said he had a 10 pounder while pre-fishing, so it would be safe to assume there will be more than a few heavy bags brought to the scale.
"The shad are also up," Egan said, "and the bass are on 'em. There are a ton of 1 to 2 pounders everywhere, and where you find one, you can bet they'll be plenty more. They're schooled up."
This weekend's full moon is predicted to be one of the biggest and brightest of the year, so the morning bite should be nothing short of wide open since those fish will likely be chasing shad all night long.
Based upon info gleaned from a few of the pros, it sounds like it's a variety-type bite. In other words, some fish are showing on plastics fished deeper, while others are whacking topwaters. Even jigs have jigs have been producing to some degree.
It's a classic post-spawn type of bite, with the fish gorging on shad in an effort to regain the weight lost during spawning.
The official check-in for the tournament is later on this afternoon, with the partner pairings following immediately afterward.
Keep your browser pointed here for updates and photos as the event transpires.