September 1, 2009

The WONBASS U.S. Open

This week WONBASS is holding their annual U.S. Open on Lake Mead near Las Vegas, NV. Day Two just wrapped up and Gary Dobyns looks like he is running away with the event with close to a six pound lead over Clifford Pirch...six pounds on Lake Mead is like 20 pounds on Guntersville. This place is tough.

I grew up fishing Lake Mead and this is where I started fishing bass tournaments. This tournament always means alot to me and I follow it every year. I fished it twice, once in 2000 and again in 2002 and I always loved how much of a challenge this tournament is. For one, it is the middle of the Summer in the Nevada desert. The temperature can easily reach 115 degrees. This makes the event even more challenging on the fisherman and can make you lose focus in a hot minute. The second thing that makes this tournament so interesting is that the lake is very hard to fish, and the weights are usually very low. The intrigue of this event draws many top names to fish. This year several Elite series pros are fishing the event; Aaron Martens, Dean Rojas, John Murray, Byron Velvick, Morizu Shimizu, and the legend...Mr. Rick Clunn. Even some FLW Tour Pros like Clifford Pirch and Gabe Bolivar are also fishing. Add to this all of the locals and western icons like Gary Dobyns, Rich Tauber, Mike Folkestad, Justin Kerr and you have a stacked field.

My first Open was in 2000 when I was a just starting my senior year in high school. On the first day, I caught one of the five biggest fish of the day on a crankbait and took home $2000 for one single fish. They still give out five prizes each of the three days. It is a great tradition, and means even someone who is out of the event on the last day still has something to shoot for. This picture is old, but you can see me standing with legend Dave Gliebe and FLW Tour Pro Gabe Bolivar. What a great memory.

I was talking to fellow blogger, Tami Curtis last week as she was prefishing for the event and I wished I was there. I can't wait to fish this event as a pro and see if I can pass the test.
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