Gilbert Angler Tim Koscuisko swept top honors at the Fall Benefit Trout Tournament boating a six-fish limit that tipped the scales at 47.20 ounces including a 9.70 ounce lunker, which turned out to be the second largest fish caught during the annual fray.
The tournament, sponsored by Let’s Talk Fishin’ radio host Tracy Purtee, was held Oct. 8 under clear, brisk skies at Willow Springs Lake east of Payson atop the Mogollon Rim,
Koscuisko is a familiar face in the annual tournaments, having finished second in the Spring Benefit Trout Tournament held May 7 at Willow Springs with 60.8 ounces of trout.
Also in the fall tournament, Kevin Bonner hooked a six-fish limit that weighed 42.20 ounces.
Bonner was a repeat entrant in the benefit, having tied for second place in the spring tournament.
Of the 28 anglers who entered the fall tournament, six caught their limit and two weighed in five fish.
A total of 62 trout were caught and all were released in the “catch and release” tournament format.
Payson angler Ed Heinecke was among those who caught his limit, a string weighing 41.30 ounces. His largest rainbow, which weighed 9.90 ounces, just missed winning the “Big Fish” award that went to Carter Harper for his 10.10-ounce trout.
The fish, however, was much smaller than the “Big Fish” caught by Ken Kent at the spring tournament. It tipped the scales at 16.1 ounces.
While the fall tournament annually marks the end of trout fishing season on the Rim lakes, the fishing season is just beginning for Purtee who was recently named the Arizona tournament director for Western Outdoor News (WON).
Of the upcoming seven-team angling tournaments on the WON circuit, three 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 at Windy Hill. The final angling fray will be Feb. 25, 2012 at Cholla boat ramp.