Trawling and two-steppin’ are expected to draw thousands to the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino Big Bass Challenge when it is held Oct. 17, 18 and 19 at Roosevelt Lake and in Payson.
The trawling will take place during a bass tournament to be contested on the 18-mile long scenic desert lake located in the Tonto National Forest south of Payson. A concert and dance, featuring Eric Church and Rondavous, will begin 6 p.m. Oct. 18 at the casino. Tickets are on sale at the Dreamcatcher Gift Shop.
Adding an even more festive punch to an already revelry-filled weekend will be appearances of by Valley country radio stations KMLE and KNIX.
“We are expecting a fun, exciting weekend,” said Rich Schultz of Wild West Bass, who is promoting the fishing tournament.
The payouts to the winning anglers in the Big Bass Challenge could turn into some of the most lucrative in tournament fishing.
Schultz said Big Bass cash prizes will be doled out every hour of each day of the tournament beginning at 8 a.m.
The first-place prize is $300, and $100 will be awarded to second- through 10th-place finishers.
Also, those tournament anglers who register at the hotel and casino will be eligible for a $2,500 cash bonus.
That sum will be given to the entrant who catches the largest bass each day and is either registered or checked in at the hotel and casino.
A $1,000 a day cash bonus will be given out to any angler who buys a tournament T-shirt and catches the seventh-place bass during the 11 a.m. to noon weigh-in.
Every tournament angler who registers at the hotel and casino will also receive $10 cash back for each day fished.
Spouses and significant others of the entrants will also receive the $10.
Also at the casino, a 2008 Dodge Ram 1500 truck will be given away Oct. 19.
Details of that giveaway are available at the casino players club.
Other prizes include a Procraft bass boat with a Mercury outboard motor and trailer to be awarded to the angler who catches the largest bass during the tournament.
“Both the boat and the truck are on display at the casino,” said Mazatzal Marketing Director Terri Shelow.
Schultz predicts that up to $10,000 could be won each of the three days by the angler who catches the largest bass.
Also to be given away are four Polaris Sportsman 550 quads.
One will be given out as an under option in the bass tournament, another to the biggest bass overall and a third in a fishermen-only drawing to be held during the concert.
The fourth will go to the winner of a drawing in which all concert-goes are entered.
“A lot of money and prizes will be given away,” Schultz said.
On Saturday evening, all pre-registered fishermen and their families will be hosted at a free dinner.
Entry fee into the tournament is $85 per day and registration may be completed at the casino players club or online at: http://www.777play.com/05-2008-Big-Bass-Challenge.htm