Merkels Catch Third Place At Couple's Bass Tournament

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A pair of Gila County fishing teams pocketed prize money at the AllStar Bass Couple Team Tournament held Saturday at Alamo Lake.

Mark and Zoe Merkel of Payson fished their way to a third-place showing. Tonto Basin newlyweds Clifford and Alicia Pirch earned eighth-place laurels.

The Merkel team earned $750 for weighing in four bass that tipped the scales at 14.31 pounds. In their catch was a 5.38 pound largemouth.

According to AllStar official Tom Stiles, the two fished white spinnerbaits and black/blue jig n' pig combos in one to three feet of water in the upper lake.

The Pirch husband-and-wife team boated 8.72 pounds and earned $185 in prize money.

Due to a recent change in Alamo fishing regulations that allows only one slot fish per person, tournament anglers suffered, Stiles said. The best evidence of that malady was that only two six-fish limits were weighed in.

One of the teams able to land a limit was the tournament winning duo of Marlena Wolfe of Glendale and Charlie Goslin of Phoenix.

Their six-fish limit, which weighed 18.78 pounds, included a 3.84-pounder. For their win, they earned $1,850 in prize money.

According to Stiles, the winning team flipped and pitched a black/blue jig and pork combo to brush on points in the upper lake.

The other team to catch a limit was Kathleen and Kim Acevedo of Lakeside.

Their fish tipped the scales at 18.54 pounds.

The next AllStar Bass Couples team tournament is scheduled for April 21 at Lake Pleasant. Call (480) 894-2775 for more information.

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