The number of local anglers who have officially registered for the FLW National Guard Western Series bass tournament to be held Sept. 22 through Sept. 25 at Roosevelt Lake is now six.
Early this week, Bobby O’Donnell, Tracy Purtee and Kirk Russell signed on to participate in the event. O’Donnell entered as a pro angler and Purtee and Russell are entered as co-anglers.
The trio joins locals Chris Perkes, Clifford Pirch, Bruce Johnson and Josh Johnson who earlier entered. Perkes and Pirch will fish as pro anglers and the Johnsons are entered as a father-and-son team with Bruce as the pro and Josh as the co-angler.
The early field is loaded with California anglers and others from Idaho, South Dakota, New Mexico, Nevada, Washington, Utah and some eastern states.
Pro Justin Lucas, known in tournament circles as “a young, hotshot rookie” will travel all the way from Montevallo, Ala. to participate.
Jason Cordiale of Orlinda, Calif., who wrapped up the 2009 season ranked fourth in the Angler of the Year race, is also entered.
Seattle professional Sean Minderman has also entered; he won $249,282 in 2009 when he finished the season ranked sixth in the FLW series standings.
Local FLW Roosevelt tournament official James Goughnour says local anglers seem to be waiting for the last minute to register “for whatever reasons,” but he expects registrations to pick up soon.
The Roosevelt tournament will be the final of four National Guard Western Division events held in 2010.
The series opened Jan. 13 to 16 at Lake Shasta, Calif. and continued May 5 to 8 at Lake Mead and June 9 to 12 at California Delta near Stockton.
Local tournament organizers are kicking off the tournament with an “FLW Day in Payson” on Sept. 18 at Green Valley Park.
Events begin about 10 a.m. and continue to 8 p.m. Activities include a family free fishing day, a fun zone, fishing demonstrations, vendor booths and the appearance of the National Guard Bass Fishing Team which includes local pro Clifford Pirch.
Other top anglers from around the country will also make appearances. During the evening hours, a live band will perform in the amphitheater where a dance will also be held.
The final day weigh-in will be held Sept. 25 in the Walmart parking lot where booths, a fun zone and FLW stage will be set up.
Those who attended the weigh-in at last year’s FLW Stren Series tournament at Roosevelt know the final event is both captivating and exciting.
It was held at Walmart.
A volunteer committee comprised of Payson and Tonto Basin businessmen and women and representatives of the state game and fish department, Tonto National Forest,
Forest, Gila County Sheriff’s Office, Payson Police and Department of Public Safety have been working for months scheduling the tournament that will be televised.
Organizers say their goal “is for the FLW to have the best series event they have ever experienced.”