Western Outdoor News (WON) bass fishing tournaments are coming to Roosevelt Lake in a big way.
Of the seven 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 first to be held at Roosevelt is on Oct. 22 at Schoolhouse Landing.
Another will be held Dec. 3, this time at Windy Hill.
The final angling fray will be Feb. 25, 2012 at Cholla boat ramp.
Tracy Purtee, a longtime local angler who hosts spring and fall trout fishing tournaments at Willow Springs Lake, annually assists with the annual Optimist Fishing Festival at Green Valley Park and is the host of the radio program “Let’s Talk Fishin’,” will serve as tournament director for the entire slate of WON tournaments.
Just months ago, Purtee was named WON Bass tournament director for the state.
“Arizona is a new circuit and we’re looking forward to making it a big success,” he said.
“For Saturday’s tournament, we are expecting about 50 boats.”
For Purtee, his years of experience has taught him that tournament fishing with a partner is both enjoyable and the quickest way to become a better angler.
His advice is 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.
In it, John Murray, a 46-year-old pro who has spent more than half his life competing in professional bass fishing tournaments, nipped Dean Kreuzer of Mesa by a miniscule .48 pounds to win the event.
Murray, of Phoenix, weighed in a 10-fish limit that tipped the scales at 27.80 pounds and was worth 125 tournament points on the WON scale.
Kreuzer boated a limit that weighed 27.32 pounds and scored 124 points.
For Murray’s win, he pocketed $7,396 in prize money, $1,000 in Top 5 option money and a designer watch valued at $400.
Kreuzer’s second-place finish earned him $4,706 and $700 in Top 5 option money.
Murray and Kreuzer also both earned Big Fish prize money. Murray landed a 3.71-pound largemouth and Kreuzer hooked a 4.45-pound lunker.
While the upcoming state team event prize pot probably won’t reach the levels of the pro