Pirch, Randall Suffer Heartbreak On Roosevelt

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Rim country anglers Clifford Pirch and Reese Randall might have been crooning the Elvis classic "Heartbreak Hotel" during the weigh in at the AllStar Bass Team Tournament Oct. 11 at Roosevelt Lake.

The song's lyrics "Down at the end of lonely street" is where the two found themselves as they watched their six-fish limit come up just .03 of a pound shy of winning the tournament and the $3,000 top prize.

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Clifford Pirch earned a 10th-place finish two years ago at an EverStart tournament on the Old Hickory River near Nashville. In one segment of a cable network broadcast, he was shown with a bass in one arm and his daughter, Kailee, in the other.

"We did everything right and caught fish just like we should have," Pirch said. "It's one of those tournaments where we just got beat."

The .03 difference was the least amount of weight that Pirch, a professional angler and licensed guide, has lost a tournament by in his career.

The winning team of Michael and Oscar Hernandez of Cottonwood boated a limit that tipped the scales at 14.47 pounds.

Pirch and Randall's catch weighed 14.44 pounds and received $2,300.

Their strategy was to fish crankbaits and drop-shot worms in channels all around the lake.

Another Rim country team, John Browning and Emery McKeen, hooked up to finish 10th in the tournament with 9.24 pounds. They earned $205 in prize money.

Although second place was a disappointment, Pirch said "I was just glad to have a good day. Nothing broke down, nothing went wrong as has been happening to me lately."

Next week, Pirch heads to Shasta Lake in northern California for a BassMasters tournament. Following that showdown, he'll travel to Timberland Lake in Kentucky for an EverStart tournament.

At a 2003 Everstart tournament, Pirch walked away with $5,000 in prize money and ample television air time.

His 10th-place finish at the competition on the Old Hickory river near Nashville, Tenn. was featured on the FLW Outdoors cable network.

In one segment of the broadcast, he was shown with a lunker sized bass in one arm and infant daughter Kailee in the other.

After leaving Kentucky, his schedule then has him at Clear Lake, Calif. for another BassMasters event.

Pirch is sponsored on the tournament trail by Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Outboards, Tempe Marine, McCoy Fishing Line, Intermountain West, The Tonto Basin Tackle Box and Antich Development.

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