Pirches Hook First Place In Bass Tournament

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The husband-and-wife Rim country fishing team of Clifford and Alicia Pirch hooked up to win the AllStar Bass Couples tournament Jan. 19 at Apache Lake.

For their AllStar win, the Pirches enriched family coffers by $4,442. The two weighed in a six-bass limit of 16.87 pounds that was almost two pounds heavier than that caught by the runner-up team of Valencia and Shannon Coppell of Gilbert.

Included in the Pirches' gold-medal limit was the tournament's big fish winner a 6.7-pound largemouth. For that catch, the Pirches earned $800 in prize money.

According to AllStar spokesman Tom Stiles, the winning couple fished "a variety of lures including jerkbaits, crankbaits, spinnerbaits and Texas-rigged worms at several locations around the lake."

Clifford is the owner of Pirch's Guide Service in Payson and is a weekly fishing columnist for the Payson Roundup newspaper.

Intermountain West and his guide service sponsor him on the tournament circuit.

The only other Gila county anglers to finish in the top-10 at the tournament were Kay Wagner and Chi Chi Chavez, both of Roosevelt. The two weighed in a limit of 11.77 pounds. Their largest catch was a 3.29-pound largemouth. Their win was worth $1,450 in prize money. The two fished crankbaits on main lake points in the main basin, Stiles said.

The tournament drew 66 teams from around the state.

The next AllStar Bass Couples tournament is Feb. 16 at Bartlett Lake. For more information, call Stiles at (480) 894-2775.

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