Payson Angler Takes First At Roosevelt Tourney

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Veteran Payson angler John Browning is rounding into one of the most accomplished fishermen on the bass tournament circuit.

Most recently, he teamed with Robert O'Donnell to take first place in a BestBet Aluminum Boat team tournament held Oct. 14 at Roosevelt Lake.

At the 2007 AllStar Bass Super Team championships held Sept. 7 at Lake Pleasant, he and O'Donnell finished ninth.

The pair also pocketed prize money at another AllStar Bass tournament held last year at Roosevelt. The two also fish the Monterey circuit together.

About four years ago, Browning and Jeff Allen of Flagstaff took first at a team tournament held on San Carlos Lake and later, he partnered with Christy Clark to win a couple's tournament.

Browning's greatest feat, however, was racked up last January during Bill Luke's Big Bass Days at Lake Pleasant.

There, he boated a 71.2-pound largemouth that turned out to be the largest caught during the three-day fray.

For the catch, Browning received $13,000 in prize money, which was his best payoff in over 20 years of tournament competition.

At the BestBet tournament, Browning and O'Donnell weighed in a six-bass limit of 19.65 pounds that earned them $3,100 in prize money. Included in it was $500 for the tournament's big-fish option winner, an 8.63-pound largemouth.

Tournament officials said the two fished Carolina-rigged worms and lizards in the Corner Flats area.

Also in the tournament, Pine's Ray Purtill teamed up with Dwight Ashford of Phoenix to finish sixth and earn $200.

Ted Burgess of Payson and Howard Boucher of Prescott were seventh in the final standings.

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