It appears Payson’s considerable efforts to make the FLW National Guard Western Series bass tournament held Sept. 22 to 25 at Roosevelt Lake the big hit it was has paid dividends in the form of the town and lake being awarded another FLW tournament.
It will be held Feb. 17 to Feb. 19, 2011 at Roosevelt Lake and will be the second in a series of six.
The tournament, however, will be on the American Series Circuit, which recently replaced the National Guard Western Series of the past season.
“The entry fees are lower than the Series event, so I’m sure we will fill the 150 boats especially being the second event on the schedule,” said local FLW committee member Jim Goughnour.
Pro entry fees will be $1,000 per tournament and co-angler entry fees are $400 per tournament.
The tournament format will include a maximum of 150 boats fishing Thursday and Friday, with the top 10 pros and top 10 co-anglers advancing to the final round on Saturday. Winners will be determined by total weight from all three days.
According to an FLW news release, pros will be competing for $35,000 and co-anglers will be vying for a new Ranger 177TR with a 90-horsepower outboard.
If the angler is Ranger Cup qualified, meaning fishing from a 2006 or newer Ranger Boat, the pro will win a new Ranger 198VX with a 200-horsepower outboard and the co-angler will win an additional $5,000.
The American Fishing Series will include five divisions — Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. The Roosevelt tournament will be on the Western circuit.
Each of the divisions will have four qualifying tournaments with the season culminating with a no-entry fee championship.
“The American Fishing Series is an extremely popular circuit and we think the changes we’ve made will make it even more popular,” said Kathy Fennel, president of FLW Outdoors Division.
“The American Fishing Series offers anglers the opportunity to test their skills on a variety of fisheries and provides a stepping stone to the Walmart FLW tour.”
Other American Fishing Series tournaments will be held around the country including on Lake of the Ozarks, Lake Okeechobee, Lake Shasta, California Delta and Pickwick Lake.
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world
Those interested in viewing the FLW tournament held last month on Roosevelt Lake can catch it in high-definition on VERSUS “FLW Outdoors,” from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 31. The program is hosted by Jason Harper and is broadcast to about 500 million households worldwide.
Those who tune in might get a glimpse of some local anglers including pro Clifford Pirch, a member of the National Guard team, who finished ninth overall with a three-day catch of 28 pounds, 4 ounces.
Other Payson pros competing were Mark Kile (17th), Chris Perkes (55th), Buddy Randall (67th) and Robert O’Donnell (80th).
Among the co-anglers, longtime local fisherman John Browning had the best Payson showing taking 27th. Tracy Purtee was 33rd.