The inaugural Western Outdoor News (WON) bass fishing tournament at Roosevelt Lake is in the record books as an overwhelming success.
That’s the opinion of Arizona tournament director Tracy Purtee who said the Oct. 22 tournament went off without a hitch, thanks to ideal weather conditions and “a really good group of volunteers who did a tremendous job.”
The feedback from anglers and fans, Purtee added, was that it was a very well organized tournament and anglers are eagerly awaiting the next, which will be held Dec. 2 at Windy Hill on Roosevelt Lake.
The team of Ken Howeden and Gary Understiller boated 14.17 pounds to win first place.
Jerry Kirkpatrick fished without a partner, but weighed in 11.14 pounds and was second.
With 10.92 pounds, Sam Schattenberg and Dean Krueze were third.
From Payson, Bobby O’Donnell and Keith Hunsinger finished eighth with 5.73 lbs. Bruce Johnson, a Rim Country angler who fished solo, was 10th with 3.14 lbs.
Of the seven WON team angling tournaments to be held in Arizona during the next nine months, three of them will be held at Roosevelt and the others at Bartlett (twice), Lake Pleasant and Apache Lake.
The final angling fray at Roosevelt will be Feb. 25, 2012 at Cholla boat ramp.
Purtee’s advice for local fishermen considering tournament fishing is to choose a partner and get involved in the WON Bass state program.
Teams fish for cash and prizes in local regions with a goal of reaching the WON Bass team championships at the end of the seven-tournament season.
Entrants must be at least 16 years of age, but all caliber and gender of bass anglers are welcome to participate.
Teams are often comprised of family members including father-son, father-daughter, mother-son and husband-wife duos.
WON Bass is no stranger to Roosevelt Lake, having previously hosted tournaments there including a professional shoot-out Feb. 12 and 13 that drew top-flight pros from around the West.