Reese Randall and Clifford Pirch are on an angling roll that most fishermen can only dream about.
Last week, for winning the AllStar Bass 2002 Super Team Championship tournament at Lake Pleasant, the two were awarded a new 20-foot Javelin bass boat, valued at $33,000.
Days before, Pirch received a $23,000 bass boat for winning the AllStar Bass Couples Team Championship.
Randall, while fishing a month ago in Hawaii, landed a 1,118-pound marlin that turned out to be the largest ever caught in Maui County.
A fishing guide, professional angler and Payson Roundup columnist, Pirch admits the two are on a thrilling ride.
"It's (been) a lot of fun for us," he said.
In winning the two-day SuperTeam championships, the Payson pair outfished the best bass teams on the AllStar circuit. To participate in the championships, teams had to qualify during a series of seven regular season team tournaments. Only 45 teams qualified for the AllStar finals.
On the first day of the championships, Pirch and Randall weighed in the event's heaviest six-bass limit of 16.94 pounds. It also included the tournament's big fish a 5.43-pound largemouth.
"It was really good fishing on day-one, but on the second day, we thought we'd lost," Pirch said.
Battling tough fishing conditions, the best the two could do on the second day was a limit that tipped the scales at just 7.63 pounds.
The duo's two-day total of 24.57 pounds earned them the win by just 1.58 pounds over the runner-up team of Chi-Chi and Patty Chavez of Roosevelt.
According to Pirch, only a handful of teams had any success on the second day.
The champions' angling philosophy was to fish Yamamoto and Castaic custom baits along with Robo Worms and Crippled Herring Spoons in north-end coves of the lake.
Pirch, whose wife recently delivered the couple's first child, says that because he already owns a boat, the two that were won in the tournaments will probably go up for sale.
Also showing well in the championships from Payson was John Browning. Teamed with Flagstaff resident Jeff Allen, the two finished third, with limits of 14.32 and 8.61 pounds. The pair fished topwater hard and soft jerkbaits near the four-lane ramp and flipped lizards and craws around brush in Castle Creek.
Tonto Basin resident Andy Shelton teamed with Mike Sleeper of Globe to finish ninth.
The 2002 team tournament begins Oct. 5 at Lake Pleasant.
Call (480) 894-2775 for more information.
Payson High School principal Phil Gille, a longtime soccer enthusiast, would like to see more local adults take up the sport. To that end, he's helped organize a "Soccer in the Park" program which will feature pick up games at 4 p.m. each Sunday on the south Rumsey field. Women are encouraged to participate.
"Anyone 15 to 50 years old will fit in with this community activity," Gille said. "Just show up with a pair of shorts and tennis shoes."
Fall Classic trout fest
Payson Community Christian School is sponsoring the Third Annual Fall Classic Trout Tournament from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5 at Woods Canyon Lake.
Trophies for first, second and third place will be awarded. Trophies will be awarded for the largest fish and the total weight of all fish caught. Remember, 2002 Game and Fish laws limit the possession of trout to six per day.
Rules for the tournament
1. Minimum size fish to keep is 8 inches or if the fish is going to die.
2. Valid fishing license and trout stamp required.
3. Entries must fish Woods Canyon Lake only.
4. No pre-fishing from Oct. 1 until day of tournament.
5. Tournament will take place in all types of weather.
6. Final decisions by the tournament director.
7. Registration opens at 5 a.m. and closes at 7 a.m. Check-in for pre-registered fishermen is mandatory.
8. Weigh-in starts at 3 p.m. and closes at 4 p.m. sharp. Weigh-in will be by the dock house so you can catch and release. Awards and prizes will be given away on the back porch of the store at 4:30 p.m.
Pre-registration ended Oct. 1, but you can register the day of the tourney for $20 per person. Make checks payable to PCCS. Due to the size of the lake, the registration will be limited to the first 100 registrants.