Beginners luck lifted the Payson duo of Levi Armstrong and Joey Jones to $700 in prize money and a third-place finish in the AllStar Bass Summer Nights team bass fishing tournament.
The pair entered the angling skirmish July 26 at Apache Lake as complete novices to the bass tournament trail.
"I've never fished in (a tournament) before and neither has Joey," Armstrong said. "I had to talk him into entering it and then show him (how to fish)."
Angling in the area around the mouth of the river, the pair boated 17.38 pounds of bass that included a 5.05-pound lunker.
Another Rim country angling team, professional Mike Kile and Clifford Pirch, fished their way to a fifth-place finish with a limit that tipped the scales at 15.95 pounds. For the showing, the two earned $575.
Jeff McClure of Mesa and Tom Loughran of Phoenix netted top honors in the tournament. The winning pair attributed their victory to a pair of 7 pounders they weighed in. One of the whoppers tipped the scales at 7.97 pounds and earned the pair the tournament's big fish award. Their six-fish limit of 27.90 pounds was worth $3,350 in prize money.
According to AllStar official Harry Morgan, the team fished spider jigs and double hook worms in the river area. The big fish winner was caught on a spider jig.
Valley anglers Randy Droll and Shaun Joshlin took second place with their limit of 18.19 pounds, which included a 6.75 pounder, Morgan said.
The next AllStar Bass Summer Night tournament is Aug. 9 at Lake Pleasant. Call 480-894-2775 for more information.