While bass fishing in the shadows of the White House and Lincoln Memorial might seem a bit unusual for a Payson-born angler, that’s exactly what unfolded May 17 to 20 on the Potomac River where Clifford Pirch finished ninth in a field of 145 pros entered in a FLW Tour tournament.
“Yes, that was a bit different,” he said. “But I’ve fished there three or four times before and usually have done pretty well.”
In finishing among the top 10, Pirch weighed in a 20-fish limit of 61 pounds, 10 inches that was about five pounds shy of what winner Scott Martin, of Clewiston, Fla. caught.
“It (the competition) was very close, there wasn’t much (weight) separating the final 10,” Pirch said. “I did really well on the first three days, but not too well on the fourth.
“I lost three key fish that would have made a difference.”
On the hard-luck fourth day, He caught a five-fish limit of 11 pounds, 6 ounces. His best day was the second, during which he caught 18 pounds, 5 ounces. On the third, he weighed in 17 pounds, 4 ounces.
With the showing, Pirch clings to eighth place on the Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year leader board.
His 684 points is just shy of the 713 earned by Martin, the Tour leader.
With three tournaments remaining, Pirch has a legitimate shot of overtaking Martin.
However, if that doesn’t occur, Pirch is a lock to compete in the prestigious Forrest Wood Cup, which issues invitations to the FLW’s top 58 professionals from the Tour and Eastern and Western divisions
The tournament is considered the world championship of bass fishing and will be contested Aug. 9 to 12 on Lake Lanier in Georgia.