Fishing Charges Up Roundup Columnist

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Those who know Payson Roundup outdoor columnist and former PHS teacher and coach Dennis Pirch, realize it doesn't take much to get him fired up. He's enthusiastic and passionate about everything he does, whether it's doling out fishing hints or tutoring high school wrestlers.

As fervent as Dennis is, he seems especially revved up about the Wal-Mart FLW Stren Western Circuit tour coming next spring to Roosevelt Lake and Payson.

Dennis says having the tournament, and the 300 anglers it will bring, will be an economic boon to the Rim Country. He also says the fishing fray will be a great opportunity to showcase the Rim Country and prove what a great fishing spot Roosevelt Lake has become.

The best way to impress tour sponsors is with a great turnout of spectators at the final weighs-in, which will be held April 19, 2009 at the Payson Wal-mart. The tournament begins April 17.

For those who have never seen a final tournament weigh-in, they are exciting affairs with fans cheering every bass that is pulled out of live wells and tossed on the scales.

Of course, the stakes are huge, as prize money runs into the thousands of dollars.

At the Payson weigh-in, the top prize will be a high-dollar, fully rigged Ranger bass boat.

The FLW organization's initials are taken from Forrest L Wood, founder of Ranger Boat and developer of the modern bass-fishing boat. The top bass tournament on the FLW Tour, the Forrest Wood Cup, is also named for Wood. The tournament was the first to offer a $1 million prize for the winner, in 2007.

Several of the FLW tour tournaments are shown on Fox Sports Net.

Dennis predicts good community support for the Roosevelt tournament will lead to the prestigious FLW hosting even more events there.

He's also predicting that higher water levels at Roosevelt will produce next spring lunker-size bass that could rival those caught in tournaments on prized Clear Lake, Calif.

It's obvious having the FLW tournament at Roosevelt is a great opportunity.

Let's hope everyone in the Rim Country puts their best foot forward to make the anglers and sponsors feel welcome.

Demo derby on Sunday

Expect bone-jarring metal-crunching action at its best when adrenaline-crazed drivers meet head-to-head Sept. 7 in the Third Annual Demolition Derby.

The derby, one of the wackiest entertainment events ever seen in Payson, is experiencing this year growing interest in a trucks-only division.

Last year only two trucks competed in the derby, but event organizer Nelson Beck said he expects at least six or seven trucks, maybe more, to compete when the derby is held at 1:30 p.m. at the Payson Event Center.

New to the derby this year will be the appearance by Pro-Tour FMX, a freestyle motocross exhibition and demonstration team. On the squad is former California state 4-Stroke champion D. J. Umphres. The daredevil riders are said to perform some of the most exciting and dangerous motorcycle tricks in the sport. Among the tricks are the Double Grab Heart Attack, Cliff Hanger, Tsunami, One-Handed Indian Air and Cat Knack.

Admission is $12 for adults and $5 for children 4 to 11-years. Children under four are free.

For more information, Call Beck at (928) 474-5242, ext. 268.

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