Mark Kile's silver-medal finish at the CITGO Bassmaster Pro Tour finale earned him $41,000.
In addition to earning Kile the prize money, the second-place finish qualified the Payson pro for the Bassmaster Elite showdown to begin April 14 on Arkansas' Lake Dardanelle.
The top 50 professional bass anglers in the world will compete in the four-event, no-entry fee series that has been called the granddaddy of all fishing tournaments.
Kile also has qualified for the CITGO Bassmaster Classic July 30 to Aug. 1 in Charlotte N.C. The only other Arizona anglers to have qualified are Brett Hite and John Murray, both of Phoenix.
In finishing second at the tour finale March 25 to 28 on Santee Cooper Lakes, S.C., Kile took a 6-pound, 2-ounce lead into the final day.
Texas Pro Kelly Jordon, however, weighed in a day-four catch of 32 pounds, 2 ounces to overtake Kile.
On day four, Kile caught five fish that tipped the scales at 21 pounds, 13 ounces.
Jordon's four-day weight was 93 pounds, 13 ounces, compared to Kile's tournament catch of 90 pounds, 7 ounces.
Kile's day-three lunker that weighed 9 pounds, 10 ounces earned him $1,000 from Purolator for the Big Bass of the Tournament. The day also was the Payson pro's most productive -- he weighed in 31 pounds, 3 ounces of fish.
Kile's fishing strategy much of the tournament was to flip weighted Wave Worm tubes.
Although a first-place finish and a check for $100,000 were within reach, Kile was at ease with second place.
"Heck, I brought in 22 pounds," he told tournament officials. "I mean, what are you going to do? It seems like it's something out there that I just can't grab. Last time I had a 5-pound lead and I got second and this time it was 7 pounds. I'll keep swinging, but heck, it's hard to complain when you get 40 grand."
In addition to fishing the pro circuit, Kile is a co-owner of The Tackle Box in Tonto Basin.
The CITGO tournament will air at 10:30 a.m. April 3 on ESPN2.