It's not often that tournament anglers boat only three fish and win a major tournament.
That's exactly what happened to the husband-and-wife fishing team of Clifford and Alicia Pirch.
Competing in the AllStar Bass Couples Tournament June 7 at Roosevelt Lake, the Pirch's weighed in three largemouth that tipped the scales at 5.32 pounds. Oddly enough, the catch was more than enough to earn the Payson team the tournament title.
The second-place team of Judy Johnson of Mesa and Gary Senft of Phoenix were one of only four tournament teams to weigh in a six-fish limit. Their catch weighed 4.97 pounds.
AllStar spokesman Harry Morgan said the day's fishing was one of the toughest he'd ever witnessed.
Clifford, also a licensed guide and columnist for the Payson Roundup, says the bass fishing at Roosevelt has "been pretty tough all spring."
With Roosevelt now at 31 percent, which is more than 10 percent higher than last spring, Pirch theorizes there might be too much food in the lake.
In winning the tournament, the Pirch's strategy was to fish topwater lures early in the day. In the afternoon, they fished in structures off shore with sweetwater worms.
The largest fish in their catch was a 2.25 pounder.
For the victory, the two earned $2,650 in prize money.
The Pirch team is sponsored by The Boat Shelter and Tackle Box in Punkin Center, Intermountain West and Payson Sawcut.
In addition to competing in the All-Star tournament, Clifford's recent endeavors have taken him to Las Vegas for a WON Bass tournament and to the California Delta for an Everstart tournament. In Vegas, he was 14th; at the Everstart, he finished 26th.