Payson’s Bill Walton might not be able to play basketball as well as the former UCLA All-American and NBA all-star of the same name, but he sure can fish.
Evidence of his prowess first surfaced in 2007 when he turned in first-place finishes for “Largest Fish” and “Most Weight” at the Payson Community Christian School Fall Classic Trout Tournament at Willow Springs Lake.
He followed those wins, on May 7 at Willow Springs, with a second-place finish in “Most Weight,” third-place showing in “Biggest Fish” and first place in “Other Species” in the tournament that is now simply called the Spring Benefit Trout Tournament.
The Other Species catch turned out to be a 3.2-ounce Blue Gill and in the Big Fish contest, his bass tipped the scales at 4.7 ounces.
In the most weight competition, the “Big Red Head” — no, wait, that’s the other Bill Walton — caught bass that weighed a total of 13.3 ounces.
Russel Kaider hooked the largest bass of the tournament, a 19.9-ounce lunker.
John Smith was second with a 5.2-ounce bass.
In most weight for bass, Kaider won with 19.9 ounces. With 5.2 ounces, John Smith was third.
In the trout category, Ken Kent caught a 16.1-ounce rainbow to win top honors. Kevin Bonner and Chad Strawn both caught 14.2-ounce trout to tie for second.
The most weight for trout competition was won by Ken Kent with a total of 63.1 ounces of rainbow trout. Tim Koscuisko was second with 60.8 ounces and Stephen Haler took third with 58.3 ounces.
In the youth division for big fish, the top anglers were Katie Walton (first, 14.3 ounces), Tyler Kaider (second, 11.5 ounces) and Carter Harper (third, 8.7 ounces).
Kaider was first in heaviest stringer at 31.2. At 28.5, Katie Walton was second and in third was Harper with a 14.8 catch.
In past years, the annual trout tournaments, which are held in the spring and the fall, have benefited the Christopher-Kohl’s Fire Department and Payson Community Christian School.
This year, all profits will benefit the nonprofit radio station 98.5 FM KCMA and the Let’s Talk Fishin’ program.