Local Angler Brings Home Bucks From Bass Tourney


Emery McKeen is known around the Rim country mostly as the hard-working rodeo volunteer who's done more than his share to see the August Doins' carry on with nary a hitch.

What some don't know about McKeen is that, behind the scenes, he's also a pretty darn good angler who's beginning to spend more of his leisure time on the bass fishing circuit.

McKeen's most recent outing, at the AllStar Bass Roosevelt Team Invitational, June 12, resulted in an eighth-place finish and $575 in prize money, plus some options.

McKeen and his partner, Maurice Johnson of Tempe, weighed in 14.91 pounds at the tournament.

The only other local angler to finish among the top 10 was pro Mark Kile of Tonto Basin who -- along with his partner -- finished fifth with 16.39 pounds.

The winners of the invitational, Jeff Allen of Flagstaff and Homer Helmuth of Tempe, weighed in the heaviest catch at any AllStar Bass tournament in more than two years -- 25.93 pounds.

One of their catch was a 10.01-pounder that captured "Big Fish" honors and had as a prize a custom-engraved, limited-edition New England Firearms shotgun.

Many of the tournament top finishers fished red double-hook worms in the area between Bass Point, Rabbit Island and Haystack down to 20 feet deep, AllStar spokesman Tom Stiles said.

Of the 115 teams who entered the tournament, 101 weighed in 510 largemouth and smallmouth bass, including 86 limits for a total of 824 pounds. The average catch weighed in at just over 1 1/2 pounds.

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