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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

2010 U.S. OPEN JULY 18-21

Here are the payouts for the 2010 U.S. Open presented by WON BASS and sponsored by Mercury and Nitro. Congratulations again to our champion Clifford Pirch!

Clifford Pirch, Payson, AZ  31.44 $40,000, Nitro Z-8 with Mercury Pro XS 225
Dick Watson, Alta Loma, CA 30.98 $17,000
Rick Clunn, Ava, MO 30.05 $9,000
Kevin Johnson, Valencia, CA 29.90 $7,500
Morizo Shimizu, Osaka, Japan 29.72 $7,000
John Weisfuss, Oxnard, CA 29.40 $6000
Bink Desaro, 28.85 $5000
Wade Strelic, El Cajon, CA 28.06 $4,000
John Murray, Phoenix, AZ 27.81 $4,000
Sean Stafford, Fairfield, CA 27.68 $4,000
11th through 15th  $2500
16th through 20th $1500
21st through 25th $1250


Chris Ricci, Bend, OR $5,500
Neail Burns, Surprise, AZ $4000
Ryan Yamagata, Las Vegas, NV $2500
Jim Helton, Las Vegas, NV $$2000
Tyler Vanderhorst, Washington, UT $1500
Tim Green, Oceanside, CA $$1200
Ted Romero, Lakewood, CA $1000
Mark Torrez, Camarillo, CA $800
Ben Gabriel Jones, Henderson, NV $800
Randy Sherrick, Apple Valley, CA $800
11th through 15th $600
16th through 20th $500
21st. through 25th $350

In addition, $15,000 was given away ($5000 a day) in Big Bass Cash Options. Complete placings can be found at Look for more coverage in upcoming issues of Western Outdoor News and WON BASS.

The awards ceremony for the 2010 U.S. Open is over and besides getting a Nitro Z-8 fully loaded with a Mercury Pro XS 225 on the back, Clifford Pirch took home a check for $40,000. The tournament paid to 25 spots both pro and AAA. Winning $5,500 for first place in the AAA division was Chris Ricci.

It's official. Clifford Pirch is the winner of the 2010 U.S. Open, the second time the Payson, Arizon pro has taken the event on the waters of Lake Mead.  Complete results will be posted after the awards ceremony. Here is the Top 10 from the WON BASS Nitro/Mercury 2010 U.S. Open. All weights and places are official.
Clifford Pirch, Payson, AZ  31.44
Dick Watson, Alta Loma, CA 30.98
Rick Clunn, Ava, MO 30.05
Kevin Johnson, Valencia, CA 29.90
Morizo Shimizu, Osaka, Japan 29.72
John Weisfuss, Oxnard, CA 29.40
Bink Desaro, 28.85
Wade Strelic, El Cajon, CA 28.06
John Murray, Phoenix, AZ 27.81
Sean Stafford, Fairfield, CA 27.68
The 2010 U.S. Open is over and the awards ceremony will start with cocktails at the Railhead Room at 6 p.m. tonight. Look for updates and final results here and on as soon as we can get them verified.
David Gliebe is up and will be one of the last to weigh in during the 2010 U.S. Open, an event that will go down as one of the toughest tests in the history of competitive bass fishing. Gliebe said he must have pumped 30 tons of water out of his boat.
Rick Clunn has weighed in and it's anybody's call whether his 8.04 pounds will be enough. Remember, all my weights are unofficial, but a quick look at the numbers indicates we may have another two-time winner in the U.S. Open pantheon.
David Kemper only weighed 3.39 pounds to take himself out of contention. Clunn has a limit but says it won't go 10, but it will go "8 or 9" which should/could be enough.
Rick Clunn is about five spots back from the stage. If he can weigh 10 pounds the tournament should be his, unless Kemper or someone else hovering just below the top 10 weighs a crazy sack.
We're in the middle of the sixth out of eight flights and the line of tanks is loaded with anglers holding sacks. Rick Clunn in third going into today and David Kemper in 7th to start the day are both in the seventh flight.
Former champ John Murray weighed a sack over 10 pounds to get him into the Top 10 potentially. He said the fish were active when you found them and were biting the jig good after fishing the reaction baits first thing in the morning.
Dr. Randy Estrada just weighed and said the wind got to him and his spot, meaning he will definitely fall out of the top 10 at the end of the day.
Getting back to the real fishermen, Morizu Shimizu just weighed 12.53 pounds, a big move by the Osaka, Japan pro. Duane Dunston just weighed a good bag of almost 10 pounds despite battling constant motor problems. Bradley (Young) Yang of Southern California and Korea just compared the U.S. Open to the Olympics and is looking for some big fish cash with a 3.59 pounder on a spinnerbait fished on the fall along ledges.
We just busted a cheater. A Southern California angler was caught with lead weights in the bellies of his fish. They were found the second day during cleaning of the dead fish (they are all donated to charity) and he had the gall to try it again today.
 Former champ Scott Nielsen could have moved up to a check with 11.43 pounds, the biggest stringer of the day.
A 6.53-pound bag for Bink Desaro will not be enough to put him in the winner's circle, so it's getting down to just a few anglers with a shot and one angler, Rick Clunn, with his fate in his own hands. What do you think is going to happen?
Bink Desaro is up on the stage.
A couple of the leaders have stumbled and we still have Bink Desaro and Rick Clunn to weigh in. Class-act Clifford Pirch never laid any blame other than to say there were missed opportunities that kept him just out of range and looking at the numbers he may just be the leader. Remember, I just eyeball this stuff and I thought he was farther behind Watson than the .06 of pound a look at the numbers reveals. I would have to say Pirch is the one to knock off at this point. But it's all unofficial and two anglers still have a lot to say about it.
Day 3 continues at Callville Bay as we still don't know who is the U.S. Open chanp for 2010. Kevin Johnson said his just weren't there today and he had no answers when his area produced both a lack of quality and bites. Still the Oxnard angler had a great tournament and should draw a nice check.  Todd Woods just thanked his wife for letting him fish the Open despite the fact it took place over their 19th wedding anniversary.
Kevin Johnson just weighed and had only six bites, losing a fish first thing in the morning to end up with 5 fish for 7.63 pounds. Remember these weights are unofficial as the pace of the weigh in makes it impossible to get it exactly right. But this definitely eliminates Johnson as the U.S. Open champ.
A 3.45 pounder by Steve Molinari is the new big fish of the day and Molinari got more than 9 pounds for his limit. Leaders Bink Desaro, Kevin Johnson and two-time U.S. Open champ Rick Clunn have yet to weigh.  
Clifford Pirch weighed the biggest fish of the day so far, a 3.23 pounder, but his great weigh of 10.90 pounds looks like it won't be enough for a second U.S. Open victory. Byron Velvick followed him with a good weight and said he wished it was a five day tournament, he enjoys it so much.
We've got a lot of big bags waiting in the tanks now, including separate sacks that are required for fish bigger than 3 pounds. Every effort is being put in to keep the fish healthy under the supervision of the Nevada Game and Fish Department.
The third flight should be in the marina now and we're most of the way through the second flight. Clifford Pirch is at the tanks weighting to weigh in.
Day 3 continues at a hectic pace at the U.S. Open. Watson said his area the first day was absolutely used up this morning so they went "worm fishing just to get in the rhythm" while and afternoon run turned out to be the key to more reaction fish and the great weight, which was anchored by a 2.91 that might earn Watson some more big fish money. Tauber said he made a huge run, a decision he wished he made earlier in the tourney. "I basically ran until we ran out of water," said Tauber.
Dick Watson just weighed 10.38 pounds to be in solid contention for the victory. Rich Tauber 10.92 pounds to try and extend his money streak at the U.S. Open.
It's really heating up at the weigh-in now, and a new leader for the U.S. Open is John Weissfuss after weighing 9.23 pounds without the help of a troll motor. John Kerr just weighed 6.50. Watson up now.
Watson is on the way up with a big stringer, said reporter Bill Mays. Right now Billy Egan is presenting Jamie Cyphers with the humanitarian award for his efforts to help a broken day boater day one. Cyphers said he got his AAA some fish today to stay in contention.
Sean Stafford just weighed and his big fish was 2.98 and his other fish was bigger, since the total was 6.04 pounds. That's right, the fourth place angler only caught two fish. "Man it was tough today," said Stafford. "I had both these fish by 7:30 this morning and said man, this is going just the way it's supposed to. Then I never caught another fish. I'll be back next year."
The first flight of the third day of the U.S. Open is starting to trickle in and the major name in the flight is John Weisfuss, who is in tenth after two days. Wade Strelic and AAA Bill Brown just weighed 8.57 pounds. Sean Stafford is up on the stage right now, with this wind you can expect early arrivals.
The third day U.S. Open weigh-in is underway and we actually had a couple anglers weigh early. One of those was local favorite Moses Mokuhai, whose limit only weighed 7.97 pounds, although he sounded greatful to be done when Billy Egan asked him his thoughts on the fishing and the U.S. Open. "It was brutally tough out there," Mokuhai said. "First to deal with the weather, and then to deal with the pressure and then to deal with the boat problems. Today I got low on gas. But I tell you what, it was blowing so hard out there you could barely stay on a spot and fish. I mean I could barely stand up and I'm only 27 years old."
Yes the forecast wind is blowing and the waves and whitecaps are rolling into Callville Bay, so you can imagine what the big basins are like. It's the kind of weather where getting back in time becomes a major concern.
Day three of the U.S. Open is underway and the wind is blowing with a chance of some clouds, but thankfully not the full monsoonal assault that is currently causing flooding in the Flagstaff area well to the south of here. The wind could get up to 30 mph during this last day of competition, which always increases the chances of something unpredictable taking place as the packed leaderboard tries to catch the fish they need to take home the Nitro Z-8 rigged with a Mercury 225 Pro XS outboard. There will also be a sizeable wad of cash awarded to the winner, but WON BASS director Harvey Naslund wants to tell the anglers himself just how much when we all gather in the Railhead Room of Boulder Station Casino for the awards.

Meanwhile we can only imagine what it's like out there on Lake Mead. Since it's almost noon, most of the fishing day is already over and it could be panic time if a pattern has fallen apart or a simple everyday occurrence takes place like a herd of striped bass moving into an area full of life and making it impossible to catch a black bass.

We know it's hot. Even though temps have dropped, it's probably still in the 110 degree range on the water and this is the third day in a row these incredible competitors have been withstanding conditions that sap the very essence of life under the pressure of producing in a major tournament. Throw in the fact the notoriously fickle Lake Mead changes as often as a pretty girl trying to decide what to wear to a party and anything could happen today.

Call it sentimental, but the money has to be on Rick Clunn to claim yet another major title and once again raise the bar of what it means to be a tournament bass pro. He was only ounces out of the lead going into today's fishing and the two-time U.S. Open champ is on a course that he knows well and is playing to his style. The situation is much like when Jack Nicklaus won his last Masters at Augusta.

On the other hand, another former U.S. Open champ, Clifford Pirch, is a fantastic closer and though he has a couple pounds to overcome, it's not the huge gap he faced last year against Dobyns.

As noted, both the leader Bink Desaro and Dick Watson expressed some doubt about their chances, although they both had great attitudes and Desaro had almost two more pounds that Watson.

If you like to bet on young bass fishing machines in excellent position, then you have to put your money down on either Kevin Johnson in second or Sean Stafford in fourth. Though it went largely unheralded, in the WON BASS Delta Invitational in early February of this year Stafford produced one of the most remarkable last day weights in tournament history to take out Delta legend Robert Lee. Kevin Johnson has an opportunity to prove he has what it takes to make a big move the last day and win the title of U.S. Open Champion.

If anything, this year's event is proving just what an impressive task it is to claim the U.S. Open title.

The full results have been up on the WON BASS website since 7 p.m. and it looks to be one heck of a shootout going into the final day. The Top 11 all have over 20 pounds and it's all about what kind of conditions we have tomorrow. Here's a take on the chances and some photos just put up (8:50 Tuesday night(:

Bink Desaro, right, and AAA Greg Galloway posted 13.34 pounds to dramatically improve their chances of a check in the U.S. Open -- as in first place money.

Leader Bink Desaro had a dream day and flat out said he didn't think his weight would hold up, but then again he sure looked like he figured he could catch some fish. Kevin Johnson has had a determined look on his face ever since he got here and so far its been enough to be just out of the top spot.

Kevin Johnson has been fishing like he has something to prove.

But the change in Rick Clunn from last year to this year has been amazing. He actually looked fresh enough to fish another 12 hours yesterday and today he came in with 12.79 pounds and is only a third of a pound off the pace going into the final day.

Does Rick Clunn, left, look like he's going to settle for anything less than first? Also pictured is AAA Davis Aldana.

The difference has been the wind -- you could find wind every day since Clunn started fishing Mead way back a week or more ago and for the first couple competition days you didn't have to wait for wind or go looking. The palm trees are still riffling as the sun sets over the Strip and the forecast says it will cool a bit to 105 in town but the clouds are supposed to go away.

I'm hoping for plenty of wind. This is a reaction bait tournament and Sean Stafford in fourth and first day leader Dick Watson in fifth both want wind and the bites it brings. Gerry Loughgran sitting in sixth shows how much a 5-pound fish helps.

Gerald Loughran jumped into the Top Ten riding the back of this 4.91 largemouth, big fish of the day and of the tournament so far.

David Kemper fell two pounds back of his first day weight, slipping under 10 pounds and can't afford to backslide at all. Clifford Pirch slipped a bit, too, but he has shown he can put a big bag together on Mead almost at will. No one seemed more pumped than Dr. Randy Estrada, who posted a big weight today and  is in ninth. Last year he broke the top five. John Weissfuss also brought in a heavy sack to move into the Top Ten within 1.95 pounds of the lead. Two former U.S. Open champs lurk in the Top 20, KevinWiggins in 15th and 3.12 back, with Byron Velvick at 18th and 3.55 pounds out. Some photos will be posted soon.

U.S. Open Top 10 after two days is here now. This writer is not very good at figurin' I guess, because Bink Desaro used his monster limit to vault into first with 22.32 pounds. Clunn, who I had first, is third at 22.01, with Kevin Johnson in second just 3 one-hundredths behid Desaro.
Sean Stafford is fourth with 21.77, Dick Watson is in fifth with 20.60, Gerald Loughran used his big fish to go sixth with 20.59, David Kemper is seventh with 20.56, Clifford Pirch is eighth at 20.54, Randy Estrada climbed into the Top 10 with 20.46 pounds and John Weissfuss had 20.37 pounds to take the tenth spot. The web file is being double checked and should be up with an hour or so at Who will take home the Nitro Z-8 and Mercury Pro XS 225 outboard, along with tens of thousands of dollars? Stay tuned. -- Rich Holland
"There's a couple we didn't end up getting," said Pirch as he and his AAA Duane Cowley weighed almost 10 pounds. That's it for day two. Photos and complete results later.
Kevin Johnson was in second place starting the day and did enough with AAA Chris Ricci to probably stay right there if not challenge Clunn for the lead with a 10.81 limit the second time it was weighed.Clifford Pirch just came up on the stage.
A couple of former champs just weighed in, with both Rich Tauber and John Kerr treading water with 7 to 8-pound limits. Kerr's AAA did have a fish over three to push his weight more towards 9 pounds, while Tauber said he made a thousand casts to patch together his limit.
A 3.84-pound bass was just weighed by Dick Watson, but he said after he caught that fish his reaction bite fell apart. "I had 22 reaction bites yesterday and 2 today," said Watson. "I had to fish the hard baits all day. I worked hard. But I'm going to go out tomorrow and have fun." Watson weighed just under 9 pounds for his limit, which to me means that right now there is only one fisherman with more than 22 pounds after the first day -- Mr. Clunn.
Watson is headed up to the scales right now.
We're starting to shape up the leader board and my unofficial take is Clunn has held his early jump to the top of the leader board, but that will shake out a lot more once Dick Watson, who has at least one big fish in the bag he is right now cooloing in the trough, weighs in. Mays noted that Wiggins has back to back 10 pound limits.
Kevin Wiggins, former U.S. Open winner, said it was tough but some good fish near the end of the day, including a 2.74 for his AAA Larry Krim, helped make for a good limit weighing 10.14, putting him in better position to challenge the last day.
Donnie Smith just weighed  a 3.36 and Don McBride brought in a 4.29. McBride said it hit at 7:30 this morning and the day went downhill from there. Smith on the other hand said the day kept getting better and he was able to build a limit over 10 pounds to go with his good one. Mike Hart just brought close to 10 pounds to the scale but said Mead is a lot tougher than Casitas and Castaic.
Billy Skinner just weighed another 8 pound limit but said he blew his chance to make a move with two fish pushing 4 pounds unbuttoning off the boat. "I'll really have to post a big limit tomorrow, but who knows, it's Lake Mead."
Jim Cadell weighed a 3.53 largemouth while fishing with pro Stephan Camden. Dave Gliebe is up on stage with more fish than yesterday. His limit of largemouth tipped the scale at 6.53 pounds, a weight that most of this year on the WON BASS tour he had with a single fish.
Leon Knight was the latest to blame the quagga mussels for a lost fish, saying his light line technique, a fish pushing five pounds and the sharp shells didn't mix today.
Joe Uribe, Jr. said he caught back to back 3 pounders to get back in the game, weighing just under 10 pounds. "I feel good about tomorrow, I'm going to change up and make a long run," he said. "I plan on getting a limit early. That's the mistake we made today, we didn't do that." Fred Roumbanis could only weigh 8 pounds and will slide a little in the standings. He said he lost a couple big fish early to set the tone for the day. "They jumped off," said Roumbanis.
Jamie Cyphers said he wasn't going to fish because of a new bait he introduced with Fred Roumbanis at the ICAST show, but when the time came he said "I couldn't face the thought of not fishing the U.S. Open," Cyphers said. "I only practiced one day and got 12 pounds on spooks. I was feeling confident because I've fished 10 opens and know this lake pretty well." Today he weighed a single fish, but not because he wasn't in the middle of them. "I broke off a big one, lost three more good ones at the boat and my AAA lost a good one. I was fishing in the same area as Rick Clunn. Obviously I won't go there tomorrow, but I got to seem him in action."
We just weighed a 10.92 sack for John Weissfuss. He was upset his weight didn't go over 11 pounds even though he got a reweigh. So upset he left before we could get a picture. He was fishing with one of our large contingent of Koreans, Chang Won Park. Weissfuss will certainly move up from 27th.
A war whoop from Dr. Randy Estrada let everyone know he was happy with his 10.81 pound sack that should pull him up into good position going into the second day. He gave a lot of credit to his partner Jong Hyun Kim.
Mike Folkestad couldn't send his AAA to the scales today with the limit of five plastic fish because the co-angler is on the verge of heat exhaustion. Folkestad looks to have a bit better bag today, probably going over 8 pounds to keep him in the middle of the pack. "It's hot and windy," said Folkestad. "The guys fishing reaction baits are doing good. I'm fishing the Roboworms and Mavericks and it.s okay. The wind and heat just make it harder, not tougher."
 Johnny Montealegre took advantage of the bacon saver to be able to have a boat today and managed 4 fish after a limit yesterday. Andy Manahl said his water "is holding up" and it showed in another limit brought to the scale.
 A 3.13 bass was what made Mose's sack look so big, but he only had the four bites and weighed less than 8 pounds. There's a big to the middles as many of the contenders have slipped back down in the pack with 7 to 8-pound sacks. Roy Hawk said he had to go to his AAA's secret spot in the Lower Basin to get a limit worth 7.82 pounds, which doesn't look like enough to keep him in 12th, much less move up into the Top Ten.
The line at the scales is a bit lighter so far, no doubt the anglers in the later flights using all the time at their disposal. Another angler just complained about losing fish on the quagga mussel beds. Good reason to fish topwater and cranks.
More on the big fish of the tournament so far. Gerry Loughran said the bite came late in the morning and the 4.91-pound largemouth ate a "Yamamoto jig."
Moses Mokuhai just brought two bags to the waiting troughs and Bill Mays says there are only four fish total, but they look big. Steve Pike and John Morrow both called the fishing brutal, with Pike saying the mussel beds cost him some cutoffs.
Rick Clunn just came through and had two quality fish that he really couldn't decide between and our rules say you have to choose one. That didn't make Clunn happy, overshadowing a great second day weight of 11.79 pounds. John Murray is up and said his fish got a lot smaller today.
We've had two of the top four anglers in this first/second flight wave, Sean Stafford and David Kemper. Stafford said he caught fish all day to get over 10 pounds, while Kemper's limit was just under 10. Joey Caporuscio said it was tougher today and only weighed 4 fish for just less than 8 pounds.
What an incredible flurry of fish to start the day as Bink Desaro didn't wait for his second flight deadline to weigh the biggest sack of the tournament so far, a 13.34-pound bag. "I don't think it will hold up, they're on the chew. I think it was a big bite day."
We're weighing fish and the first fish to hit the scale was a 3-pound even bass for Oscar Delgadillo's AAA. Oscar put a bag weighing 9.98 on the scale. The biggest fish of the tourney so far just got put on the scales, a 4.91 anchoring a  11.61 bag for Gerry Loughran.
The second day of the 2010 U.S. Open is underway with some significant pros missing from action, although we still have most of our original 119 pros on the water.Most prominent in the list of those out of action is 2008 champ Justin Kerr, whose bout with heat stroke yesterday revealed some medical complications from previous lack of hydration. Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Justin. Our condolences go out to longtime WON BASS pro and supporter Gary Boyd, whose mother passed away last night, causing him to withdraw.

The remaining competitors face another stern challenge on Lake Mead, but the fishing has been good for those who like the wind. Leader Dick Watson said "I just threw hard baits all day and covered water. It was hard work but it paid off. If the wind keeps blowing I have a chance."

Watson led the way in the Big Bass Cash Bass, earning $1000 for his 3.61-pound largemouth. All five of the thousand dollar winners day one had fish over 3 pounds, while 2 1/2 pounders went all the way down to 30th, with many of those chunky smallmouth. Others earning a grand for big bass day one were: Wes Carey, 3.38; Steve Molinari, 3.20; Vincent Alcantra (AAA), 3.12; Steve Czerniski, 3.07.

The temperature is supposed to "only" get up to 110 degrees today with the wind still blowing out of the south and some high cloud cover to go with a chance of some thunderheads. The weigh-in will start again at 2 p.m. and we've been doing a drive-up, with anglers bringing their boats up to the top of the hill to a large white tent adjacent to the roundabout in front of the Callville Lounge. Great efforts are in place to keep the fish healthy and mortality has been kept to a very low percentage equal or better than past open. The best part is everyone gets to get in out of the sun and Callville is selling beverages and barbecue, with ice cream bars just yards away in the Callville store.

Live blogging will continue from today's weigh-in and hopefully we'll have much less attrition and be able to concentrate on getting the full results posted early after the scales close. Here are some more Bill Mays images from the first day to tide you over:

The Bass Pro Shops Nitro Z-9 tournament boat gets ready to present the colors opening day.

The large white tent adjacent to the Callville Marina is the site of the weigh-in for the 2010 WON BASS Nitro/Mercury U.S. Open.

A sack of bass heads up to the weigh-in tent at Callville Marina.

Rick Clunn said he will have to do better than this first-day 2.65-pound bass for his big fish if he wants to climb to the top spot in the U.S. Open.

Clifford Pirch is the only returning champ in the Top Ten after the first round of the U.S. Open.

Late night update from the WON BASS U.S. Open sponsored by Nitro and Mercury and a host of other great companies with all you need for bass fishing. Despite the heat, the wind produced a good bite and it took over 10 pounds to get in the top 16 the first day with former champ John Murray the next in line with 9.97 pounds. Clayton Meyer is ahead of him with 10.08. Rick Clunn is in 14th with 10.22 just ahead of recent FLW Mead champ Joey Caporuscio. The 9-pound weights go all the way to 37th (Matt Shura). You can see all that for yourself soon as the site will have the complete results finally some time before midnight. I finally got a whack at the computer after all the boats and partners were reassigned and just sent off the web docs to our administrator, who is obviously putting in overtime. But that's tournament biz and someday maybe we'll have a $100,000 trailer stuffed with electronics to crank all this stuff out. Meanwhile it's a tight group of staff and some of the best fishermen in the world going against the elements. A couple times in the last day or two I thought my camera and blogging netbook were toast from the heat, but they're still functioning and I hope to keep up a steady stream of photos and commentary for day two. Meanwhile here are some photos from today taken by Bill Mays. Goodnight -- Rich Holland.

Your U.S. Open leader Dick Watson with a nice smallie and a left hand fully occupied with what it takes to beat the top of this Lake Mead game.

Kevin Johnson is off to a sizzling start in the U.S. Open thanks to beauties like these two fish that put him in second after day one.

"It's a marathon, not a sprint," said a humble Sean Stafford after downplaying the quality limit that put him into third place at the end of day one.

Sorry for the delay on posting the complete results and the fact we haven't posted any new photos, of which we have a ton of great images from Bill Mays and this reporter. A major reason for the delay is outlined below. I do have to say we have one heck of a tournament underway under the most demanding conditions there could be.

The wind has turned on the reaction bite and left the stillwater anglers wishing for some calm. Not only that, the entire north shoreline of the lake has been deemed unfishable by those using certain techniques. Another factor is the big fish seem to have moved as the bait has moved with the shifting conditions.

A word on the heat. You would think the wind would keep things more bearable but the fact is the wind out in the desert is another factor contributing to dehydration, whisking away moisture and only offering seconds of relief before the valuable perspiration dissipates.

Our tournament leader Dick Watson actually dealt with heat stroke during the practice period when he made the mistake of spending the night in his boat near Temple Bar. "Usually it gets down to 75 at night even when it is really hot but it didn't get below the high 90s and I couldn't sleep, all I could do was sweat and drink water. I jumped in the water but it was too warm," said Watson. "The one time the wind stopped blowing the bugs ate me alive for an hour. By the morning I was delirious and I started vomiting. Luckily a good friend came and got me. It took me several days to get my head and body back together."

Maintaining a low body core heat is extremely important for staying out of trouble. One problem is when you start to feel poorly, you make the wrong decisions. You have to have a lot of ice on board and more coverage clothing wise is better than less. Drink cold water and electrolyte supplements and apply cold water to your neck and shoulders and swab your face, especially before you make a run in the furnace like heat. Take your shoes off and dangle your feet in the water. In other words provide moisture for the wind to evaporate other than your sweat. Make your health the priority when it starts to go bad and do everything you can to cool down, which may include putting the rod down until you feel better. Start early and don't stop when it comes to hydration, even if it doesn't feel like it is helping.

It's been a rough night here at U.S. Open headquarters. We've had calls from the friends of nearly a half-dozen anglers who experienced heat stroke after the event and had to go to the hospital to be treated. The names can't be released for privacy purposes so all we can say is that while they are ill, it seems they will be fine. Our prayers and best wishes are with them.

 We should have complete results up before 9 p.m. PDT. We've secured the connection to the upload and are finishing checking the results. The main reason for the delay has been a rash of breakdowns in the hot and windy conditions requiring all our manpower to secure boats for competitors to use tomorrow.

Here's the Top 10 after the first day of the U.S. Open:
1. Pro Dick Watson, AAA Allen Todd 11.65 lbs. Watson big fish of the day. 3.60
2. Pro Kevin Johnson, AAA , Keith Covey, 11.48 lbs.
3. Pro Sean Stafford, AAA Yasuhiro Okada, 11.39 lbs.
4. Pro David Kemper, AAA Alan Zamora, 11.33 lbs.
5. Pro Steve Czerniski, AAA Yoshikazu Komada, 11.09 lbs.
6. Pro Shaun Bailey, AAA Michael Piarino, 10.89 lbs.
7. Pro Keith Ferlanie, AAA Tami Curtis, 10.86 lbs.
8. Pro Clifford Pirch, AAA Roger Cummings, 10.74 lbs.
9. Pro Jeff Hudson, AAA Neil Burns, 10.64 lbs.
10. Pro Dennis Kolender, AAA David Duff, 10.60 lbs. 

Conditions: Hot with temps ranging to 114 degrees. Strong south wind.

Look for complete pro and AAA listings soon on

That's it, the first day is over. We'll be posting the results up on as soon as we have it all compiled.
We're weighing the last bag it seems with Jimmy Cyphers weighing five fish including 3 smallmouth totaling 5.82 pounds. Our best bag of the last flight went to Dennis Kolender who brought in 10.60 pounds and could have had a monster limit. "I had a great big fish on early on a jig but it was in the rough water and I didn't get a good hookset and it let go right at the boat," said Kolender.
Norman Santos was able to get his boat fixed and weighed a decent sack. I think we're getting close to the end as the last flight names are now being called. Clayton Meyer is up right now with a 2.88 smallmouth and his five fish, which included another  smallie weighed 10.08.
We're still weighing in fish and Steve Czerniski sent up his AAA Yosh Komada with over 11 pounds, including a 3.06 pound kicker that should get one of the last big fish spots. Steve is bummed though, saying he was really confident going into this event, but having to battle boat problems all day has really brought him down.The wind is rattling the tent here next to the Callville Lounge, but it's supposed to back off some tomorrow.
Andy Manahl has a big fish to weigh he says is maybe over 3 pounds. It turned out to 2.82 pounds, and he got his limit. The bag weighed 8.84 to put him in solid position.
Roy Hawk is up on the stage. "It was probably a little better day than I saw in practice," said Hawk. "We moved around a lot and found some fish and found some dead zones, too." 10.42 pounds puts the Salt Lake City pro in the tinck of the hunt
There's a big bag about to be weighed. Well, that's what my cohort Bill Mays said, but it turns out Tony Capparelli's limit just looked bigger with a 2.85 smallmouth bulging the sack. The limit came in at just under 8 pounds.
We're winding down with the last flight and you definitely needed to be at 9 pounds or better just to be in money pack. Half the field wants the wind to stop half wants it to keep blow. Mose Mokuhai is up, and he said the fish was very good despite having no trolling motor by 8 a.m. after getting three fish, but managed to get his limit on the drift. The weight was 8.10.
Rick Clunn just joined the past winners with over 10 pounds club. "It's been good fishing all practice and if the wind stays up it should stay good," said Clunn. "But I haven't had a fish over 3 pounds yet and I think that's what it's going to take to win this tournament. To tell the truth, I'm surprised there hasn't been a 13-14-pound limit yet."
Clifford Pirch just weighed nearly 11 pounds and looks confident.  The man who's looking confident is Ricky Clunn at the tanks. Plus we just had 11.33 weighed by David Kemper.
John Murray's triple A Mike Guerra  just brought in their limit weighing nearly 10 pounds. "We got fish all day," said Guerra who said he contribute with some fish in the bag.
11.39 foir StaffprdJohn Kerr weighed about 9 pounds but like others was disappointed his big fish of practice had gone away for opening day of the U.S. Open. "I was on a good reaction bite in practice and I stuck with that until noon when I figured I better give up and go get a limit."
That was 9.07 pounds for Velvick and Crawford, a good start. Earlier Todd Woods weighed and came in with right around 8 pounds. "If I can do that every day it's a check, but it won't be enough to win," said Woods.
Rich Tauber said he worked hard for his 6 fish that were just under 8 pounds. AAA Joe Crawford has had some great draws this year and he started out with Byron Velvick today. "He's a great fisherman," said Crawford. "Great guide is more like it," said Velvick. "I would say there are fish here and he would say, yep, I got one. I want him tomorrow."
Shaun Bailey had over 10 pounds with a big assist from his AAA Michael Piarino's smallie. "We were just having fun and after we got our limit we went looking for big ones."
Watson takes the big fish lead with a 3.6 largemouth and is right there contending with Johnson for the lead with an 11.65 pound sack. Shaun Bailey said he lost a big one early and they had a 2.85 smallmouth.
Maurizo Shimizu weighed a limit and we just had a limit near 10 pounds for Berkley pro Chris Marso. Bradley Yang brought in a limit. We're rolling along here with non-stop fish coming in.
Dick Watson is in the line to weigh and has a kicker with his limit and says "let the wind blow" a sentiment shared by Shaun Bailey, the pro next in line.
We have a new big fish, 2.99 pounds (unofficial since it's my memory at this point) for Mike Hart, with the fish weighed by his AAA or caught by him, I'm not sure at this point.
Talked to Gary and he said, "I had my limit by 8:15 and then it just got tougher than nails."
Gary Yamamoto said he had a good bite in the morning, producing a 2.63 pound big fish. Five fish for Yamamoto weighed 7.51 pounds. Just talked to Justin and he is in more of a wait and see attitude than one of confidence. Klayton Belden said he had to go completely away from his practice techniques and areas to get it done.
Justin Kerr said it was brutal, he caught 2 fish and his AAA caught 3, but is confident in his stuff for tomorrow. 5.27 pounds for Derek Yamamoto.
Gary Boyd just had a 2.59 bass or in that range, it's hard to keep up without the records in front of you. Billy Skinner is up and said fishing was okay but he had some boat problems on the way  to getting 4 fish for 7.82 pounds. Earlier Kevin Johnson brought in the biggest limit so far, 11.42 pounds, just "fishing for aggressive fish, covering water," he said.
It's not all peaches and cream out there in the heat and the brisk wind that is blowing today. Dave Gliebe is weighting to weigh only 3 fish after his bite completely shut off at 9 a.m. This was in an area he had been catching 30 fish a day with some 4 to 6 pounders mixed in.
Another big bag over 10 pounds and the limits are flowing, with Matt lisieweski weighing a nice smallie to help John Perkins top 10 pounds.
We've had several limits come through and the big fish so far are 2.67 pounders caught by pro Fred Roumbanis and AAA Tami Curtis, who was fishing with Keith Ferlanie. Joe Uribe Jr. just weighed 8.49 pounds.
Here comes a boat, we've got a live one.
It's just after 2 p.m. and the steak sandwiches are on the barbecue at Callville and the first fish should be coming to the scales any minute.
The 2010 U.S. Open is underway as 116 of the 119 boats entered left Callville Marina this morning in search of the first of three days of limits that could lead to the glory of a major bass fishing championship, not to mention a fully-rigged Nitro Z-8 bass boat with a Mercury Optimax Pro XS 225 outboard and a big chunk of cash.

One AAA was left at the dock waiting as his pro claimed vehicle problems for the late start. In case you pros don't know, AAAs who get stranded feel that the guilty pro should be shot, drawn and quartered...and then banned from fishing any more tournaments.

The launch started off with the National Anthem and presentation of colors on the Bass Pro Shops Nitro Z-9 tournament boat. Some of the first boats to clear the tire jetty marking the marina entrance (inside of which is off limits) made a hard right and started fishing right away along the Callville Bay shoreline. Others blasted their way towards the Narrows and points beyond.Barring technical glitches, there will be live blogs from the weigh-in at Callville Lounge starting at 2 p.m. today (Monday, July 19). Here are some images from the morning:

God bless America!

At attention for the National Anthem.

Blasting off for parts unknown.

Rick Clunn representing in his Bass Pro Shops Nitro and going for his third U.S. Open title.

One of a handful of boats that immediately stopped along the Callville Bay shoreline. More than one tournament has been decided in the "close to home" waters.

When the overwhelming neon and sound of Vegas hits you full flush you know that the U.S. Open is in the right place. Where else can the best of the West show what they have? Jimmy Houston admitted he fished our event until he figured out fishing in "180 degrees" was too much for him. But this it -- the big chance to show the other time zone that if you have it here, you can bring your game anywhere.

The draw went off with a couple glitches but proceeded well considering we have 118 boats entered as we head into the start of competition Monday at the 2010 U.S. Open of bass fishing presented by WON BASS in conjunction with title sponsors Nitro Bass Boats (Bass Pro Shops) and Mercury Outboards.

The second day draw is going to be posted at both Callville (go to the lounge at the end of the day tomorrow) and at Boulder Station.

It was great to see the Railhead Room of the Boulder Station filled with eager bass pros and their AAA counterparts and there were so many great pros on hand that even the silver tongued Harvey Naslund gave up after naming only a couple. Pictures are worth a thousand words and this late at night it's a blessing. So here are some photos from the official start to the 2010 U.S. Open:

The winner of the U.S. Open takes home this fully rigged Z-8 Nitro with an Optimax Pro XS 225 outboard.

"I didn't come out here to lose," said Gary Yamamoto, left. His son Derek replied, "He's kicked my butt so many times here, it's my turn."

Chilling before the draw are Keith Bryan of Novato, former U.S. Open champ John Murray of Phoenix and Fred Roumbanis of Bixby, OK.

Two anglers always in the hunt, 2007 U.S. Open champ Clifford Pirch of Payson, AZ and Sean Stafford of Fairfield, CA.

Bill Rice, left, was the editor when Harvey Naslund kicked off the first bass tournament circuit for Western Outdoor News in 1974.

The Railhead Room of the Boulder Station was filled to the brim with bass fisherman Sunday night.

A mix of excitement, stress, good feelings and frustration always accompanies the last day before a major event and the impressions from today include Rick Clunn introducing his boys to WON BASS Director Harvey Naslund and Bill Rice, the longtime editor of Western Outdoor News and  WON BASS down from Oregon to take in the Tribute dinner and be a part of the WON BASS Nitro/Mercury 2010 U.S. Open. As the check-in was winding down, a trio of anglers wondered what they could do with two hours until the draw -- standing in a casino ringed with restaurants, gaming tables and machines, a sports book and I think they even have bingo. Meanwhile, just as Leslie Elliott handed Tournament Director John Cassidy John Morrow's phone numbers to see why the SoCal pro hadn't checked in yet, Cassidy got a call from another competitor's wife saying her husband's truck broke down but he was still on his way.

The ultimate frustration had to go to our Colorado River and Nevada regions team director John Galbraith, who had his truck ripped off from the Stratosphere while he was attending the ICAST show earlier this week. The police called a day later to say they found the vehicle stripped to the frame. John was going to fish the Open, but the ripoff kept him from practicing and, let's face it, despite the need to be in touch with insurance adjusters and all that, his whole frame of mind was in the wrong spot.

To read a great instance of keeping your focus no matter what, be sure to check out Rich Tauber's column "Superstars of the Open" in the official WON BASS U.S. Open program that was mailed out last week. We have copies here on hand at Open headquarters.

The last chip leaders battle it out in the WON BASS U.S. Open Poker Tournament.

Earlier today there were two big events. Bryan Klem and Dick Watson were the final two chip leaders at the end of the Poker Tournament and decided to split the pot, taking away $571 apiece for the morning's action.

At the end Dick Watson, left, and Bryan Klem, right, split the pot and posed with the Boulder Station Poker Room manager after each winning $571.

Check-in began at 10 a.m. and at 11 a.m. the Sponsors Showcase got underway with a ton of great swag from the many sponsors who make the U.S. Open a special place to be. "They could hear me whoop way out in the casino," said AAA Chris Ricci, his Western Outdoor News bag full of goodies.

Neil Campbell and former U.S. Open champ John Murray get their Mercury hats from Michelle Kilborne during the Sponsor Showcase.

Michelle Kilborne of Mercury was on hand passing out hats and the fully rigged Nitro Z-8 bass boat with a MotorGuide troll motor, Lowrance electronics, trailer and Mercury Pro XS 225 outboard that goes to the winner of this year's Open is displayed prominently in front of Boulder Station.

Great baits were just part of the many giveaways at the Sponsors Showcase.

At 5:30 the U.S. Open official tournament meeting will take place in the Railhead Room and the draw for the first two days partner pairings will take place after the rules are read and all the inspection and launching procedures explained. I don't know about you, but I can't wait for this baby to get rolling. -- Rich Holland

Fishing is closed to all anglers this Sunday as the WON BASS Nitro/Mercury 2010 U.S. Open shifts into full speed starting with the Poker Tournament in the Poker Room at 9 a.m. and followed by the official check-in period, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m in the Railhead Room of host Boulder Station Casino. The mandatory tournament meeting with draw for partners for the first two days starts at 5:30 p.m. in the Railhead Room.

Now that pre-fishing is over, speculation on who will win this U.S. Open is at a peak, with some saying Derek Yamamoto is the favorite coming off his recent team win on Mead, although there is plenty of other good local/young talent signed up for this year's event. Moses Mokuhai was at or near the top of every WON BASS Lake Mead team event this year and got one of those hard-to-believe (especially now that it's summer and the spawn is a distant memory) 20-pound one-day Mead limits.

The one good thing about a tournament is the fishing settles the argument -- weigh a good weight every day, stay in contention and you could end up the next U.S. Open champ. We'll be posting complete results on http://www.wonbass.comcom as soon as we can get the numbers compiled each day and you can see how your favorite pro or AAA. You might even see their picture here if they catch one of the five biggest fish worth $1000 (if they are in the Big Bass Cash Bash) or at the top of the leaderboard. On the first day, the anglers with the big fish are usually also among the leaders.

Tight lips are the rule from the pre-fish period, but by now everyone knows that last year's champ Gary Dobyns, who's out this year due to complications from back surgery, said all week at the show that the topwater bite was hot.

Well, the weather was certainly hot. At the Tribute dinner last night three-time champ Mike Folkestad would only say his pre-fishing was "slow."  Dave Gliebe said it was "great, everything was perfect." As noted, this reporter fished with Rich Tauber and Fred Roumbanis and they had already located their primary destinations. What couldn't be revealed to them was that they both took me to some of the same areas while looking for secondary fish. I can tell you that because it doesn't reveal a thing and if they read this I'm not giving anything up.

My good friend and fellow writer George Kramer said John Kerr, another former Open champ, noted the extremely hot weather near the end of practice put a damper on the reaction fishing Thursday. Kramer fished with two-time Open winner Rick Clunn Friday and said small crankbaits provided more action than the topwater.

Kramer noted the meter showed bait, stripers and bass thick in 25 to 35 feet.

The chance for glory is just a day away. Who will create the stories with their angling prowess? We'll have to wait and see. Meanwhile, here's another photo from last night's celebration.

Forrest Wood, Harvey Naslund, Johnny Morris, Ray Scott, Jimmy Houston and Darrell Lowrance captured by Bill Mays prior to the start of the Tribute to the Legends ceremonies.

An amazing evening paying tribute to the Legends of Bass Fishing in the Railhead Room of Boulder Station Casino. From the dynamic emcee duo of Jimmy Houston and host Harvey Naslund to the heartfelt speeches from Ray Scott, Johnny Morris, Darrell Lowrance and Forrest Wood, the spirit of American enterprise in "one nation under God" filled the Vegas showroom, capped off with a rendition of God Bless America led by Darrell Lowrance. Johnny apologized for the length of his video segment, but noted, "I wanted to get all my friends and their fish in." It was all about fishing and the great country that allows free spirits to follow their passion with blessings from above. You really had to be there. Those who were won't forget it.

Bart Hall of Fred Hall and Associates with "two people who are very special to me and my wife Ginny," Nina and Forrest Wood.

Rich Tauber lives for the U.S. Open,
there's just no other way to put it. He's the only one of the more than 100 top pros who has fished every single Open championship on Lake Mead. Today while pre-fishing in temperatures pushing 120 degrees in the windless coves, Tauber told the story of a recent U.S. Open when on the way to the lake his AAA was babbling excitedly about the upcoming day. "You have to be quiet, these are the three most important days of my year," Tauber told the co-angler. "I don't want to hear 221 stories about Piru, I want to focus on the U.S. Open."

Rich Tauber with a couple of the afternoon spinnerbait fish.

Like Roumbanis the day before, Tauber had already identified the area he wanted to start the 2010 U.S. Open presented by WON BASS and great title sponsors Nitro and Mercury. So the morning started with a run to an area basically en route to his primary fishing area.

The fish were up and chasing topwaters and wake baits and nipping at follow up plastics, but it was amazing how long they would stay around a lure and still not commit. Finally as the morning got hotter and hotter and the high clouds were a blessing, Tauber went to some small Zip topwaters that at least got some shaker smallmouth to stay on the hook. It wasn't until the wind got up in the afternoon that the fish really wanted to bite and then we had a great flurry on bass to about 3 1/2 pounds on spinnerbaits. A little bit of effort went into getting a fifth fish for a "limit" but soon it was time to get rolling back to the Boulder Station Casino for the Tribute to the Legends dinner tonight. More on everything later. I will note it was 116 degrees at the top of Callville at 3 p.m. Bring a lot of water and electrolyte fluids if  you are fishing the tournament and start drinking them before you get on the lake. -- Rich Holland

It's 117 boats in the WON BASS Nitro/Mercury U.S. Open
in the latest update from headquarters in San Clemente. The headquarters for the 2010 U.S. Open is the Boulder Station Casino on Boulder Hwy. just off the 515 freeway on the way out to Lake Mead from the Las Vegas Strip. That's where we'll be holding the Tribute to the Legends dinner that kicks off Friday night with cocktails hosted by Johnny Morris of Bass Pro Shops. Johnny, Ray Scott, Forrest Wood, Darrell Lowrance and Cotton Cordell will be honored at the dinner emceed by Jimmy Houston.

This reporter spent Thursday morning on the waters of Lake Mead with Elite pro Fred "Boom Boom" Roumbanis. "I'm going to win this thing," he said as we headed out for a pre-fishing session for the Open. "Winning the Open is a chapter in my life that has to be completed. I'm going to fish the U.S. Open as much as I can, whenever I can."

Roumbanis quickly decided to try some water he had not fished yet, noting that in the two full days of practice he already completed he  found some big fish, one reason for his confidence. "But hey, maybe everybody else is on 4 pounders, too."

Fred Roumbanis and the kind of Mead largemouth you want in your limit during U.S. Open competition, although not the kicker you need. Save that for the actual fishing days. Fred caught the fish using his Ardent reel and a Mead "go-to" bait. On an ICAST note, Ardent won a Best of Show award for best combo with Lamiglas rods for a setup featuring the new Ardent C400 in the "Fishouflage" wrap finish.

With a heat wave kicking in, it was plenty hot, but a breeze in the morning made the conditions very fishable and we got blowups and bites on a variety of Ima lures and some Mead go-to baits. An Ima produced a big smallmouth right off the bat for Fred, while a Lake Mead standard kicked out a good largemouth. Not too much time was spent in any one area. The water temp was 81 degrees, a leftover of the cool early summer/late spring. One difference between a July and a September U.S. Open is it gets light a lot earlier in July, meaning there won't be that much of the morning witching hour.

Tomorrow I'm out on the water with "U.S. Open Iron Man"Rich Tauber, the only pro to fish every single Open event. More updates later -- Rich Holland.

We're up to 115 boats after some more signups by the end of business Wednesday and Billy Egan said today on the floor of the ICAST show that he's heard from pros headed this way that the total could go over 120. We'll have all the updates here as we headed into the U.S. Open competition, with stories from pre-fish and the weekend festivities. I'm headed out with Fred Roumbanis tomorrow for a quick morning look at Mead and then back to the industry sportfishing show. -- Rich Holland
A large field of Pros and AAAS can expect “hot” fishing when they tackle the waters of Lake Mead July 19-21 for the 2010 WON BASS Nitro/Mercury U.S. Open. The number of Pros entered has fluctuated in the last day or so due to last minute problems and cancellations, but seems to have settled out right around 112 boats, which was the number of rigs that blasted off last year.

Of course, soon after that first day launch Shaun Bailey ran into boat problems and had to withdraw. Word from Lake Mead today (Tuesday, July 13) indicated that Bailey had already run into the same situation. Luckily fellow Lake Havasu angler Tim Blanchard, who is fishing the AAA division in this year's U.S. Open, brought his rig along and is lending the boat to Bailey so Shaun can have another shot at the  championship that has been so close to his grasp in past years.

Winning the U.S. Open, a huge chunk of cash and the Nitro Z-8 bass boat fully-rigged with a Mercury Pro XS 225 outboard will require three days of hefty limits to beat out the likes of three-time U.S. Open winner Mike Folkestad and the greatest angler of all time, two-time U.S. Open champ Rick Clunn. Defending champion Gary Dobyns withdrew on Monday, July 12.

With Dobyns out, one of the top prospects to grab the 2010 championship is Clifford Pirch. The 2007 U.S. Open champion, Pirch finished second to Dobyns last year with a final day's weight that would have been enough if Dobyns had slipped at all.

Clifford Pirch, who won the U.S. Open in 2007, was second last year and is an early favorite to take the 2010 title.

Besides the usual malfunctions when over 100 boats hit the water, competitors will have to battle warm summertime conditions on the big desert lake as right on cue a heat wave rolled into the Southwest. While the worst of it is expected for Thursday and Friday's practice days, the heat never really backs off much this time of year.

“To say fishing is hot on Lake Mead is an understatement, what with morning temps already in the upper 80s,” said John Galbraith, the WON BASS Nevada Region Team Tournament director, who also noted winds were calm when teams fished his event on Lake Mead on Saturday, July 10.

The talent-laden team of Tim Klinger and Derek Yamamoto showed what it will take to get in position to challenge for the title of U.S. Open Champion when they won the team event with a single-day bag of five bass weighing
13.35 pounds topped by a 3.92 largemouth.

While Klinger has opted out of a chance at a major title, Derek Yamamoto is in the U.S. Open and will be going up against his father and former champion Gary. Besides Gary Yamamoto, Clunn, Folkestad and Pirch, former U.S. Open winners in the 2010 field include Rich Tauber, Byron Velvick, John Murray, Justin Kerr, John Kerr and Dave Gliebe,

“We had plenty of of bags in the 8 to 11-pound range, so plan on needing a 7 to 8-pound bag per day just to get in the money at the Open,” said Galbraith, who is also fishing as a Pro at the Open this year. “Topwater, jigs and drop shot proved to be the most effective weapons and U.S. Open anglers will need to employ one or all of these techniques to bring home a win on Lake Mead.”
The 2010 U.S. Open will kick off Friday night at Boulder Station Casino when WON BASS and Western Outdoor News present the Tribute to the Legends dinner feting the accomplishments of Forrest L. Wood, Ray Scott, Johnny Morris, Darrell Lowrance and Cotton Cordell. For information on U.S. Open entries and the Tribute to the Legends dinner, contact Ashley at (949) 366-0030 ext. 38.

Look for all the latest updates on the U.S. Open here and at as we head into competition next week, including news from pre-fishing and interviews with the many top pros on hand in Las Vegas this week for the ICAST show and the big event on Lake Mead.

Dobyns drops out, but huge names have signed up to  compete in the 2010 U.S. Open, including Zell Rowland, one of the most dominant pros in tournament history, and past champ Gary Yamamoto, whose wizardry at both creating and fishing plastic baits has made him possibly the best lure maker/tournament pro to  ever hit the competitive trail.

Gary Dobyns notified WON BASS officials Monday (July 12) that he would be unable to defend his U.S. Open title due to the lingering effects of recent back surgery. "Gary said he was hoping he would get better in time to fish, but he just can't handle that much time in a boat right now," said WON BASS Director of Operations Billy Egan.

(Change 1:45 p.m. PDT 7-13: Good news for Zell Rowland is bad news for the U.S. Open. Zell's son is unexpectedly getting back early from serving our country overseas and Zell understandably wants to spend time with him. Our best to the Rowlands and thanks for their service to our nation.)

Gary Dobyns says fishing will be great at Lake Mead for this year's U.S. Open, which begins competition July 19 and at the end of three days awards a fully rigged Nitro Z-8 bass boat with a Mercury Pro XS 225 outboard motor and a large cash prize. In addition, the five biggest fish weighed each of the three days will win $1000 apiece for a total of $15,000 dished out to anglers entered in the Big Bass Cash Bash. Dobyns expects to see a lot of quality fish out of Lake Mead.

“One of the reasons anglers want to fish the U.S. Open this year is this is the best bass fishing on Lake Mead for the past 15 years,” said reigning champ Dobyns. “There was a 20-pound limit taken in a tournament this year and a lot of 15-pounds limits weighed in, so I expect to see big sacks brought to the scales this tournament.

“This is one of those lake ‘up cycles’ that come along every so many years and it’s Lake Mead’s time,” he added. “No one knows the reason why the lake has turned on, the water level is down, but there is a lot of grass, so maybe that is the reason it’s so good. I think it will take 35-38 pounds to win the event this year.”

The addition of smallmouth bass to the black bass population has been a big factor in Lake Mead’s improvement, Dobyns believes.

 “The smallmouth are really thriving on the lake and you could see this year’s winner targeting the big smallmouth for the win,” he pointed out.

If you are a first timer on Lake Mead, here are some Dobyns safety tips: Bring plenty of sunscreen and water, don’t drink alcohol the night before fishing, start drinking water first thing in the morning before you are thirsty, wear the proper clothing to avoid sun burn, and because the water level is down, be on the lookout for islands just under the surface that are not marked.

Dobyns fishing tips: Plan on burning at least one tank of gas every day and don’t forget to bring plenty of oil, most anglers do not bring enough oil. If the stripers are running the shad, plan on fishing inside shallow or on the flats. If stripers are not running the shad, fish outside. If you are scratching for a fish, there are always fish on the walls of the narrows. Look for big patches of grass, since grass will always hold bait with bass close by. Additionally, Dobyns would rather have 30 mile an hour winds then dead calm conditions. The bass are always more active on this lake with windy conditions. The wind will break the light penetration and bring the fish up from the depths.

“Anglers must be versatile in all bass fishing techniques,” said Dobyns. “There may be a reaction bite one day, and then a drop-shot or jig bite, and then the fish move up and the topwater or spinnerbait bite will turn on.

“Ten years ago, I caught all my bass on a Zara Spook,” he went on to say. “That has never happened again and I have not brought a Spook fish to the scales in the last nine years. Anglers must be able to throw an arsenal of various baits and fish all the different techniques, everything from a jig to a spinnerbait.

“When you compete in the U.S. Open, it’s a fight to the finish,” said defending champion Dobyns. “There are going to be new faces and first timer’s like Randy McAbey, a bigger field of anglers, and excellent fishing, so bring your A-game and be ready to compete in the most prestigious bass tournament in the West, the WON BASS U.S. Open!”

Top Japanese pro Morizo Shimizu has signed up to fish the U.S. Open as the field continues to grow with just under a month until the big event gets underway with the Tribute to the Legends dinner in the Railhead Room of the host resort Boulder Station in Las Vegas the night of Friday July 16. Individual tickets and a limited number of tables (seating 8 or 10) are still available for this once in a lifetime event that will salute Ray Scott, Forrest Wood, Johnny Morris, Cotton Cordell and Darrell Lowrance. The Master of Ceremonies is a legend in his own right, the one and only Jimmy Houston. 

A photographer working for Morizo Shimizu's sponsors in Japan clicks a photo during last year's U.S. Open.

Getting back to Shimizu, the pro has been having a good year on tour this year, just missing qualifying for the Elite playoffs, but easily securing a spot for the Classic. While Shimizu is the definite headliner, this year's U.S. Open has more than a dozen entrants from Asian countries. The U.S. Open has always held an important place in Japan and the interchange that has resulted has opened the way for incredible innovation in tackle technology, with many of the top baits and techniques developed in Japan getting their U.S. debut on Lake Mead in the U.S. Open.

The first U.S. Open winner of Japanese descent, Gary Yamamoto, used his own innovative baits to win the championship in 1995 and solidified his position as one of the top lure makers in the world. Just two years earlier Pat Donoho had used a Michael's Rico popper to catch some of his winning weight, while last year Gary Dobyns pointed to his Lucky Craft Gunfish as putting the weight he needed into his limits.

Owner American, longtime hook sponsor for the U.S. Open, has used its connections with Owner in Japan to develop products especially for the demands of fishing waters such as Lake Mead, including it's new Softbait series and the Twistlock Light hook series designed in cooperation with Gary Yamamoto to match his swimming Senko baits. Owner's Dennis Yamamoto (no relation) said that once they got started they decided to make a full range of Twistlock Lights (which feature Owner's patent pending centering pin spring) to fit everything from skinny Senkos to Owner's new Shaky Worm and Shiver Tail.

Who will win the 2010 WON BASS U.S. Open and take home $50 grand and a Nitro Z-8 fully rigged with a Mercury 225 Pro XS outboard? Will an international pro break through or a young U.S. pro hungry for the recognition offered by winning the most prestigious tournament in the West?

Only time, and technique, will tell.

To enter the U.S. Open or to reserve a table or seat at the Tribute to the Legends dinner, call Ashley at (949) 366-0030 ext. 38. You can also find more information and an entry form at the WON BASS Web site.

Spotlight on past winners: the Brothers K. Justin Kerr and John Kerr actually aren't related, but they both played a huge part in the history of the WON BASS U.S. Open in the first decade of this century, with John Kerr,  from Ramona, CA, winning in 2003 and Justin Kerr, who hails from the Golden State's Simi Valley, taking the title in 2008.

They both have something else in common: each time a Kerr has won, the second place finisher was Gary Dobyns of Yuba City.

The Kerr curse was so bad that Dobyns mentioned it during his acceptance speech when he finally won his U.S. Open title last year. "My old friend Mike Long (the famed big bass hunter) kidded me that I got stuck in a Kerr sandwich," said Dobyns, trophy safely in hand.

Justin Kerr claimed the U.S. Open title in 2008 by finishing .47 of a pound ahead of Gary Dobyns.

That was literally the case when Justin Kerr took his U.S. Open title. Justin finished first with less than half a pound more than Dobyns, while John Kerr was third just over a pound behind Dobyns. When John won in 2003, he was 1.36 pounds better than Dobyns.

John Kerr finished third just behind Gary Dobyns in 2008. He was more than a pound better than Dobyns in 2003 when he won the U.S. Open.

Gary Dobyns shook off  the demons of last-second lost fish and the "Kerr sandwich" to claim his first U.S. Open title in 2009.

Dobyns will have to watch out again for the Brothers K when he defends his U.S. Open title this July 18-21 on Lake Mead. Both Justin and John are signed up and eager to once more grab the most coveted title in Western bass fishing: winner of the U.S. Open.

To enter the U.S. Open, call Ashley at (949) 366-0030 ext. 38. You can also find more information and an entry form at the WON BASS Web site.

U.S. Open Big Bass Cash Bash to pay $5000 a day!
For a mere $100 entry fee, both Pros and AAAs fishing the U.S. Open can fish the daily Big Bass Cash Bash. Each day of competition, the five biggest fish will be worth $1000 apiece to the anglers who caught them. That’s $5000 a day for a total tournament payout of $15,000.

There’s more! Two other prizes are on tap for big fish that require nothing more than the regular tournament entry fee.

The angler who catches the biggest bass of the U.S. Open competition will win a Lowrance HDS 7 broadband sonar with the Structure Scan module.

And if any angler manages to beat the WON BASS record fish on Lake Mead of 8.45 pounds (by a full tenth of a pound), they’ll drive home in a Ford F-150 XLT Crew Cab with a 5.4 litre engine courtesy of El Cajon Ford.

Paul Leader of El Cajon Ford with the truck that goes to the angler who beats the WON BASS Lake Mead record during the U.S. Open

To enter the U.S. Open, call Ashley at (949) 366-0030 ext. 38. You can also find more information at

Gary Dobyns will defend his U.S. Open title, he told WON BASS Director of Operations Bill Egan today (June 2).  Dobyns had waffled on defending his title because of the demands of his rod business, Dobyns Rods. The U.S. Open was placed right after the ICAST show in hopes of drawing more Eastern pros, but it does put a burden on manufacturers who would just as soon be fishing.

“I told him, Gary, you can’t let those Eastern guys come out here and win, you’ve got to kick their behinds,” said Pat Donoho, a Lake Mead icon who is a past U.S. Open winner himself and a longtime friend of Dobyns. “Besides, I said, you fished every morning of the fishing show with me last year.”

WON BASS Director Harvey Naslund said more than 100 pros have already made a commitment to fish the U.S. Open, which begins July 18 (check-in, sponsors showcase and draw) and continues with three days of competition on Lake Mead July 19-21.

In a bid to get the pros to let go of their cash sooner than later, the Early Bird Entry Contest deadline has been extended to June 15. Both Pro and AAA winners will be drawn and receive a free entry to the  2011 U.S. Open. In addition, the Pro whose name is drawn will win a Lowrance HDS 5 broadband sonar unit.

To enter the U.S. Open, call Sally or Ashley at (949) 366-0030 ext. 38. A link to an entry form can be found on the  WON BASS Pro Schedule page
of the Web site.

The Bacon Saver is back! Harvey Naslund is calling for AAA anglers headed to the U.S. Open July 18-21 to tow their late model bass boat to the Lake Mead event.

“We’ve done this in the past in order to have backup boats in case of breakdowns, but this year we also need boats for some of the top Eastern pros who are flying into Las Vegas for the ICAST sportfishing industry show,” said Naslund. “They’ve said they’ll fish if we can line them up with a boat. We already have a lot of AAAs from the Las Vegas, Henderson and Boulder City area signed up, so they would be naturals for the program.”

All AAA entrants in the U.S. Open have to do is call WON BASS and declare their boat available as a “bacon saver” in case an extra boat is needed by a Pro that wants to fly in without a boat (or a Pro in the tournament needs a boat due to equipment failure).

The AAA Bacon Saver is then paired with the fly-in Pro. That’s right, if your boat is chosen for the Bacon Saver program, you automatically are paired with some of the top pros in the nation.

The Pro will be required to pay the AAA fishermen $100 per day. While the AAA may opt to drive the boat to the fishing waters, the Pro fishermen will have the option of selecting all fishing waters, and to run the trolling motor.

To enter the U.S. Open, call Sally or Ashley at (949) 366-0030 ext. 38. If you enter as a AAA and wish to be part of the Bacon Saver program, provide the make, model and year of your boat.

The U.S. Open will kick off with a bang as  the “A Tribute to the Legends” dinner at Boulder Station will lead off the festivities. Ray Scott, Forrest L. Wood, Johnny Morris, Cotton Cordell and Darrell Lowrance will all be feted at the dinner Friday, July 16.
Preparations for the 2010 U.S. Open are well underway as WON BASS Director Harvey Naslund was just out in Las Vegas making arrangements with host hotel Boulder Station and host marina Callville Bay.
The move to Boulder Station was specifically motivated by the desire for a banquet hall large enough for the “A Tribute to the Legends” dinner — an event Naslund expects to be the crowning moment of the many U.S. Open bass tournaments he has run during his three stints as WON BASS Director.

 “Jimmy Houston has agreed to serve as master of ceremonies and promises some great footage from the archives of his television show,” noted Naslund. All of the ‘legends’ have committed to be there and seem quite enthusiastic about it.We are gathering historical information, old photos and film clips to be used in this salute. Boulder Station is providing high-tech video (and technicians) to be used in this production.”

 Besides what promises to be an entertaining tribute, the event features a sit down dinner in Boulder Station’s Railhead Room with a choice of New York strip, halibut, salmon or chicken. The dinner carries a $50 price tag and and advance reservations are a must. A table reservation for eight (8) will be $400.

 “Should you and your friends plan on attending, I want you to know the dinner will be sold out long before Friday the 16th, as many who are attending the ICAST show (which ends that Friday) will be attending,” said Naslund. “This tribute dinner/event is limited to 300 people.”

 Besides providing video support, banquet staff and the Railhead Room facility, Naslund noted Boulder Station representatives have worked out a plan to provide full charging facilities for the many boats that are expected for the U.S. Open July 18-21.

 Top pros from across the country will be splitting their time between pre-fishing for the Open and working the booths at the sportfishing show during the week leading up to the event.

Famous names like Rick Clunn, Gary Klein, Denny Brauer, Dean Rojas, John Murray, Fred Roumbanis, Dave Gliebe and Mike Folkestad have all indicated the U.S. Open is in their summer plans.

 Sunday, July 18 is the off-limits day for Lake Mead, but pros and their AAA partners have a full slate of activities available, including a poker tournament that begins at 9 a.m. at the Boulder Station.

 The Railhead Room will be set up for tournament check-in and Sponsor’s Row later in the day, with the draw for partners to follow that evening.

 Naslund has also been over the ground at host marina Callville Bay.

 “The water is up almost a foot,” said Naslund of Lake Mead. “The new ramp is about finished but they’re not using it yet.

 “We went over a lot of options for the weigh-in area and then settled for a giant tented area next to the Callville offices and restaurant,” added Naslund. “We’ll have a stage in there and about 150 chairs for spectators. Everyone will be kept cool by misters and a wet bar serving cold drinks.

“The competitors will pull their boats up to the weigh site and after the fish are weighed they will be transferred to two live release boats on trailers,” he noted. “Callville has committed a huge staff to make it all work and they’ll have half a dozen golf carts running at all times.

 “I think that if everything goes right we have the makings for a top-notch U.S. Open,” concluded Naslund.

Anyone interested in attending “A Tribute to the Legends” dinner or competing in the U.S. Open, or both, can sign up over the phone by calling 949 366-0030 ext. 38 and asking for Sally or Ashley. You can also find a link to the U.S. Open Entry Form on the bottom right hand corner of the WON BASS Pro Schedule page that can be found by going to

 SIGN UP FOR THE U.S. OPEN BY MAY 15 and you could win a brand new Lowrance HDS  sonar unit and a free entry into next year's big event.

Smack dab in the middle of summer, this year’s WON BASS U.S. Open promises to once again test the best of the best on the level playing field of Lake Mead from July 17 to 21. The chances of reaching the 150 boat “full field” are the best in many years and to get things rolling WON BASS is offering a special early bird drawing that will include a Lowrance HDS high definition broadband sonar unit and a free entry to the U.S. Open for both a Pro and AAA angler.

All you have to do to be eligible for the early bird drawing is to sign up for the 2010 U.S. Open before May 15. Taking home the free Pro entry at last year’s U.S. Open was three-time champion Mike Folkestad, making him the first top pro to make the list of big names expected to be on hand for this summer’s big event. Melanie McBride was the winner of a free AAA entry.

You can sign up over the phone by calling 949 366-0030 ext. 38 and asking for Sally or Ashley. You can also find a link to the U.S. Open Entry Form on the bottom right hand corner of the  WON BASS Pro Schedule page.

The U.S. Open will follow right on the heels of ICAST, the American Sportfishing Association’s annual sportfishing trade show and many of the pros from both East and West who will be working their sponsors’ booths have indicated they will stick around and fish the U.S. Open.

One of those is Lake Havasu City’s Dean Rojas, who still holds the BassMaster record for a single day’s five-fish limit with more than 45 pounds. Rojas said he’s fired up about fishing the U.S. Open.

“I think it’s great the U.S. Open is right after ICAST,” said Rojas. “There should be a lot more of the big pros there. You’re going to get a lot of the big names. Of course you’ll get Western guys like (John) Murray, Ish (Monroe) and me, but you’ll also get top Eastern pros. You’ll get Klein and Clunn and probably a dozen more from back East.

“The U.S. Open will easily have over 100 pros compete this year,” said Rojas. “I love that it’s back in the summer, back to the true U.S. Open. It’s the biggest tournament on the West Coast, and I hope they never change it from Lake Mead.”

Pro entry for the 2010 WON BASS U.S. Open is set at $1250 with the top pro going home with a fully-rigged Nitro Z-8 bass boat with Mercury 225 hp Pro XS outboard and a $50,000 cash prize (based on a full field of 150 boats).

The AAA entry is $350 and, as always, AAA entries are taken on a first come, first served basis unless a AAA signs up with a pro. Top prize for the highest finishing AAA is $7500.

All entrants will be eligible for the Big Fish Cash Bash by paying $100 to get into the daily big fish option that will pay $1000 each to the five biggest bass weighed each day of the three fishing days (July 19-21).

Remember, all you have to do to sign up is call 949 366-0030 ext. 38 and ask for Sally or Ashley. You can also find a link to the U.S. Open Entry Form on the bottom right hand corner of the  WON BASS Pro Schedule page.


Sunday, July 18, 2010
Lake Mead Off Limits
9:00 AM:
Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament
                   @ Boulder Station Casino.
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM:
Tournament Registration & Check-in
  Railhead Room @ Boulder Station Casino

5:30 PM  Tournament meeting and pairing of
partners. Attendance mandatory in Railhead
Room @ Boulder Station

Monday, July 19, 2010
Callville Bay Marina
05:00 Commence Boat Inspection
06:10 AM  : Presentation of Colors
06:15 First Flight Departure
          * Second, Third @ Fourth Flights
           to depart as called.
9:00 AM – 11:00 AM:   Ladies “Crazy Bowling” Tournament @ Sam’s Town Casino
(Transportation provided)
12:30 PM: Guest transportation bus to depart from Boulder Station to Callville Bay
2:00 PM:  First Flight Return
2:15 PM:  Second Flight Return
2:30 PM:  Third Flight Return
2:45 PM:  Fourth Flight Return
**Note: 2nd day Partner Pairings
     to be posted at Callville Bay and
     Railhead Room @ Boulder Station.
5:30 PM: No-Host Cocktails, posting
 of First Round Scoreboard standings.
Drawings for prizes (you must be present
 to win)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Callville Bay Marina
05:00 Commence Boat Inspection
06:15 First Flight Departure
          * Second, Third @ Fourth Flights
           to depart as called.
 12:30 PM: Guest transportation bus to depart
   from Boulder Station to Callville Bay.

2:00 PM:  First Flight Return
2:15 PM:  Second Flight Return
2:30 PM:  Third Flight Return
2:45 PM:  Fourth Flight Return

**Note: 3nd day Partner Pairings
     to be posted at Callville Bay and
     Railhead Room @ Boulder Station.

5:30 PM: No-Host Cocktails, posting
 of First Round Scoreboard standings.
Drawings for prizes (you must be present
 to win)
 Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Callville Bay Marina
05:00 Commence Boat Inspection
 06:15 First Flight Departure
          * Second, Third @ Fourth Flights
           to depart as called.

12:30 PM: Guest transportation bus to depart
 from Boulder Station to Callville Bay.

2:00 PM:  First Flight Return
2:15 PM:  Second Flight Return
2:30 PM:  Third Flight Return
2:45 PM:  Fourth Flight Return

  5:00 PM: No-Host Cocktails
  6:00 PM: Awards Ceremony
   with over $5000 in drawing
   prizes to be given away.
(you must be present to win)


$1250 Entry Fee

1st Place: $50,000 plus Nitro/Mercury Package
2nd Place:$20,000
4th Place:$9,000
5thPlace: $8,000
6th Place: $7,000
7th Place: $ 6,000
8th Place: $5,000
9th Place: $5,000
10th Place $5,000
11th thru 15th Place: $3000 ea.
16th thru 20th Place: $2000 ea.
21st thru 30th Place: $1500 ea.
(Cash awards based upon 150 paid entries)


$350 Entry Fee

lst Place: $7,500
2nd Place $5000
3rd Place: $3500
4th Place  $2500
5th Place: $2000
6th Place: $1500
7th Place: $1250
8th Place: $1000
9th Place: $1000
10th Place: $1000
11th thru 15th Place $750 ea
16th thru 20th Place: $500 ea
21st  thru 30th Place $ 350 ea.
(Cash awards based on 150 paid entries)



Five big bass each day receive $1000
For a total payout of $15,000

Reader Comments
how many people go as a pro and what is the difference if any except the money is it years of fishing or do you just take chance thet your going to have a better day then a pro??

While all weights are shared, the Pro entry fee is higher and only the Pros are competing for the Nitro Z-8 bass boat and Mercury Pro XS 225 outboard combo in addition to a higher cash payback. In addition, the Pro makes all the decisions on where to fish and runs the troll motor from the front deck during the fishing. More glory, more money and, most importantly for many Pros, the chance to control your own destiny are the main reason anglers opt to fish Pro instead of AAA.
Rich Holland

Hey iam thinking of going to the open but this is my first time and iam going as a AAA want to know if there is anybody in hanford area that is going as a pro that i could sign up,that way i know i will be fishing,contact me at my email

Amazing who knew people win so much money in fishing, I encourage people to go towards professional fishing and popularize the sport

It would be nice to hear about other anglers that have entered this competition like Mike Hart who has dominated the so cal area (check it out online). I hope he does well!! Also maybe some AAA anglers. Thank you,
Yolanda Hart

The team of Hart and Zank certainly did clean up on the Southern California Team Tournament region headed by WON BASS' Brian Linehan. We wish Mike all the best of luck.
Rich Holland
Rich, thanks for all your efforts in keeping those of us who could not participate this year up to date on the U.S. Open. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you as you proceed on to day 2 of the tournament.
Jim Ower

IT is 9:20pm in Las Vegas and there is no results posted for the US Open for day2.

The results were posted at 7 p.m. on and were checked on multiple browsers and platforms. You may have a browser issue.
I'm following the U.S. OPEN online and I must agree with Byron Velvick's comment,"wished it was a five day tournament". Would this be feasible? Has anyone thought of this?
Jesse V. Hernandez
Don Mcbride of Phoenix was not fishing this tournement. thank you
Chris Carlson
This was my husband ,(Victor)first year fishing this great tournament. We are from South Fla., and we we impressed with how organized you all are. I would like to make a suggestion for next year. Being a ER RN may I suggest having a first aid station for the anglers,having medical professionals ,I.e. Paramedics,, RNs ,MD, assessing possible signs symptoms of dehydration.and providing IV therapy as needed. I think this may help those in need ESP being the closest hospital is approximate 30 miles away. I personally would like to volunteer to help assemble this for future events. Great times, Hope to hear back . Angela Cole Rn,Bsn,Ms,CEN
Angela cole
well, we are getting to know mike hart and we fishermen don't like cheaters!!!!!
I never know fishing is so much fun. The bad publicity about the cheating lead me to this site. Maybe I will start gearing up to be a fisherman.
Henry Diep
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