Payson Anglers Bring Home Trout Tourney Honors

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Payson angler Pam Bumbalow weighed in a 21.2-ounce lunker to easily win first place in the Willow Springs Fall Classic Trout Tournament.

The fish was huge in comparison to previous winners. Last year's big fish champ, Sam Grasso of Phoenix, caught a 13.7-ounce rainbow.

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Pam Bumbalow won the Willow Springs Fall Classic Trout Tournament with a 21.2-ounce rainbow.

Bumbalow admits she's not a seasoned angler and the catch involved a little bit of luck.

"I was just there for the charity (Payson Community Christian School)," she said. "We took my granddaughter and she had to go to the bathroom, so we were trolling back when I caught it.

"I was using powerbait and kind of decorated it to look like a cricket."

Second place in the tournament held Oct. 1 at Willow Springs Lake was garnered by Keith Hunsinger, with a 9.7-ounce fish.

In a bit of angling irony, Terry Diehl and his son Allen tied for third, with a pair of 9.0-ounce rainbows.

Holly Purtee, daughter of longtime tournament director Tracy Purtee, finished fourth, boating an 8.5-ounce trout.

In the bass division, only one was taken from the lake -- a 17.7-ounce smallmouth caught by Jim Keith.

A pair of Snowflake anglers fishing from the same boat dominated the total weight division. Dale Bailey was first, with 42.7 ounces, and Char Gorman took second, just 1 ounce behind his fishing buddy.

With 41.0 ounces, Hunsinger was third. Holly Purtee (38.0) fished her way to fourth and Phoenix angler Kim Koskuiski took fifth (37.1).

In the big fish division for children 13-years-and-under, Payson youngsters dominated the tournament. Top gun laurels went to Austin Krehbiel, with an 8.0-ounce rainbow. Megan Dowdd (4.1) was second and Stephen Tubbs third (4.0).

For total weight, Tubbs (15.3) took first, Krehbiel (12.0) was second and Dowdd (4.1) third.

More than 40 anglers participated in the benefit that earned about $800 for the Payson Community Christian School.

Following the awards ceremony, Tracy Purtee thanked the sponsors, saying the tournament could not be held without their support.

They include Wal-Mart, Safeway, Pepsi, West-Suntech and Joe Kaiter.

The classic tournament annually marks the end of the fall fishing season, just as the Woods Canyon Lake fray each May signals the beginning of the summer season.

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