Benefit Tourney Signals Spring Season


Tracy Purtee has developed a Rim Country-wide reputation as a pretty fair country angler eager to share his love and knowledge of the sport with others.

For evidence, look no further than the many local angling events he’s been a big part of.

They include helping host the annual Optimist Fishing Festival, participation in most of the bass fishing tournaments held at Roosevelt Lake, including two FLW and one WON fray, and appearances on a local radio show that features fishing hints.

Purtee, however, might be best known as the longtime director of both the Spring and Fall Benefit Trout Tournaments at Willow Springs Lake.

For those tournaments, Tracy usually enlists his wife, Teresa, to serve as a co-director and the two most often stage top-notch events that anglers around the state anxiously look forward to.


Roundup file photo

Willow Springs Lake up on top of the Rim is again the site of one of the area’s most popular fishing events on May 7.

In past years, the annual trout tournaments have benefited the Christopher-Kohl’s Fire Department and Payson Community Christian School.

This year, however, all profits from last fall’s tournament and the upcoming spring tournament, will benefit the nonprofit radio station 98.5 FM KCMA and the Let’s Talk Fishin’ program.

This year, the tournament will be held from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, May 7 at Willow Springs Lake, located 32 miles east of Payson and north of SR 260.

The entry fee is $25 for those who pre-register by May 2, or $30 on tournament day.

Entry forms are available at the offices of the Payson Roundup, 708 N. Beeline, or by calling (928) 478-4337 or


Tournament day registration at the lake dock opens at 5 a.m. and closes at 7 a.m. Those who pre-register must also check in before beginning to fish.

A one-hour weigh-in begins at 3 p.m. at the dock, which allows participants to catch and release if they wish to do so.

Awards and prizes will be given out at a ceremony beginning at 4 p.m. in the upper parking lot at the lake.

First-, second- and third-place trophies will be given out for the largest fish and the most total weight in two divisions: rainbow and/or German brown trout and large- and small-mouth bass. There is no limit for bass.

Children 13 years and younger are eligible to receive first-, second- and third-place trophies for largest fish caught, trout or bass.

Due to the size of the lake, the tournament is open only to the first 100 anglers to register.

All entrants must be in possession of an Arizona fishing license and a trout stamp. Arizona Game and Fish laws limit an angler to six trout per day.

The minimum size trout that should be kept is 8 inches. The benefit will take place regardless of weather conditions and final decisions will be made by he tournament director.


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