It appears the success of the first two FLW bass tournaments at Roosevelt Lake has attracted yet another professional fishing organization to the popular Arizona waterway.
Last week, Western Outdoor News (WON) Bass tournament director Bill Egan announced his organization will host a tournament Feb. 12-13 exactly one week before the FLW EverStart tournament is to be held at Roosevelt.
Jim Goughnour, who along with Dennis Pirch, spearheaded the effort two years ago to attract FLW to Gila County says it’s no coincidence that WON has picked up Roosevelt as a tournament site.
“I’ve been told they (WON) are coming because the FLW tournaments were a success,” he said. “They’ve also requested us (Payson’s pro fishing volunteer committee) to do whatever we can do to help them.”
Which means, Goughnour, Pirch and their group of dedicated volunteers will help stage the tournament that is expected to bring up to 150 anglers to Payson and the lake.
Goughnour said the wheels are in motion to plan the logistics of the tournament except for pre-registration and a post-tournament awards banquet he hopes will be held at the Mazatzal Casino.
“I’m waiting to hear from them on whether we can do those there,” said Goughnour.
While WON, a California-based organization, is new to Payson, it’s old hat to local angling pro Clifford Pirch.
Last July, Pirch won the WON Bass U.S. Open held at Lake Mead.
In taking first, Pirch outfished 119 other professional qualifiers.
The Roosevelt tournament will be the second on WON’s 2011 circuit that begins Jan. 8 and 9 at Lake Shasta, Calif.
Following the Roosevelt WON 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 premier event on the WON schedule is the Western Classic Pro Am championships Dec. 3-4 at Lakes Nacimiento and San Antonio in Texas.
In FLW tournaments, entrants compete as pros or co-anglers. In WON competition, participants have the option of competing on either the pro or AAA division. The entry fee for the pro division is $500 and the fee is $250 for AAA participation.
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.
Sign up now for youth hoop
The Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department is taking registration for the third- and fourth-grade Junior NBA Youth Basketball program.
Registration closes Jan. 21 and costs $30 per child. The games will be played from Jan. 29 through March 12 at the Rim Country Middle School gym.
Registration for the town Men’s Basketball League began Monday, Dec. 27 and continues through Friday, Jan. 28. Games will be played at the old gym at Payson High School between Feb. 7 and March 17.
The cost is $250 per team and participants on every team must be at least 18.
Also on the P&R scene, Youth Spring Soccer registration will be held from Feb. 1 through March 18, with play from April 4 through May 14 at the Rumsey Park multi-purpose fields.
The cost is $25 per child and the program is open to children in pre-kindergarten classes through the 12th-grade.
For more information, call Trevor LaHaye at (928) 474-5242, ext. 7.