Purtee Heats Up Fishing Front


Rim Country fishing guru Tracy Purtee is adding to his impressive list of angling credentials. He has long served as director of both the spring and fall benefit trout tournaments at Willow Springs Lake.

This year he will also serve as director for Best Bet hosted tournaments, which draw amateur anglers to the aluminum boat frays.

He has also been asked to serve as director of the Western Outdoor News (WON) Arizona Region Tournament.

In addition to serving as tournament director, Purtee hosts the popular Let’s Talk Fishin’ radio show on 98.5 each Friday at 3 p.m. and at 9 a.m. Saturdays.

Purtee has also played a huge role in hosting the annual Optimist Fishing Festival and has participated in many tournaments held at Roosevelt Lake, including two FLW events and a WON showdown.

Trout tournaments

While Purtee is expanding his angling horizons to include competitive bass fishing, he is probably best known for the spring and fall benefit trout tournaments that mark both the beginning and the end of the fishing season in the Rim Country.

This year, the spring tournament was held May 7 and the fall, which is the 12th annual, is set for Oct. 8.

On that day, it will be contested from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Willow Springs Lake, located 32 miles east of Payson and north of State Route 260.

The entry fee is $35 for those who pre-register by Oct. 1, or $40 on tournament day. The fee for children under 13 years is $25.

The fees include a free T-shirt for the first 50 to register.

Entry forms are available at the offices of the Payson Roundup, 708 N. Beeline, or by calling (928) 478-4337 or (928) 978-3659 or e-mailingletstalkfishin@gmail.com.


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.

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 the tournament director will make final decisions.


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