Roosevelt Lake is rapidly turning into one of the hottest bass fishing tournament spots in the Western United States.
The transformation into a angling Mecca began two years ago when the first FLW tournament was held on the lake.
Last fall, another FLW tournament was a rousing success prompting officials to schedule a third angling shoot-out for Feb. 17 and 19, 2011.
FLW, however, is not the only organization showing interest in Roosevelt — only last week, Western Outdoor News (WON) announced it would host a tournament on Feb. 12 and 13, 2011 at the lake located south of Payson.
The notice that WON was adding Roosevelt to its schedule came as great news to Jim Goughnour and Dennis Pirch. The two Payson men have long been at the forefront of attracting tournaments to Roosevelt, saying they are a boon to the economy and a great way to showcase the local lake as one of the finest fisheries in the west.
“Both the WON and FLW tournament directors are excited about coming to Payson and Roosevelt Lake for their 2011 events,” said Goughnour.
Both Pirch and Goughnour expect the WON tournament to attract 100 to 150 anglers to Roosevelt and the FLW EverStart to feature a full field of 300 contestants.
While the FLW organization is now relatively well known in the Rim Country, WON — a California-based bass organization — will be making its first appearance at Roosevelt. WON does host tournaments at other Arizona lakes, including Havasu and Mead.
The tournament will be the second on WON’s 2011 circuit that began Jan. 8 and 9 at Lake Shasta, Calif.
Following the Roosevelt shoot-out, other tournaments will be held at Havasu (March 26-27), California Delta (April 16-17) Clear Lake, Calif. (Sept. 17 and 18) and Mead (Oct. 15-16).
The biggie on the WON schedule is the Western Classic Pro Am championships Dec. 3-4 at Lakes Nacimiento and San Antonio in Texas.
Anglers in WON tournaments have the option of competing in either the Pro or AAA division. The entry fee for the pro division is $500 and the fee is $250 for AAA participation.
In the pro division, entrants receive 95 percent payback and at the Western Classic both the Pro and AAA winners will receive as prizes fully rigged Nitro bass boats with Mercury outboard motors. For more information about WON, call Ashley Hartman at (949) 366-0030, ext. 38.