September 14th through the 20th will mark the dates for what is largely regarded as the marquee bass fishing event on the west coast. The 2006 WON BASS U.S. Open will feature nearly a half million dollars in cash and prizes to be awarded among the angling field. Included in this amount is an upgraded first place pro division award featuring a Ranger Z20 equipped with a Mercury ProXS 225 motor, MotorGuide TE82 digital trolling motor, and Lowrance electronics. All told, this prize alone tops out at $50,000. Add to this an additional $50,000 in cash, a new Ford F150 truck from Paul Leader and the folks at El Cajon Ford valued around $30,000 and a $1,000 Championship ring from Markey’s lures, and the 2006 Pro Champion will walk off with a cool $130,000.
The U.S. Open features a shared weight format in which Pro anglers are paired up with AAA anglers who can together bring in a total of 5 fish per day. These anglers collectively share the day’s weight in each of their respective divisions. Anglers change partners for each of the 3 days of competition.
Entry fee for the 2006 U.S. Open is $1,600 for Pro anglers and $600 for AAA fishermen. Your entry fee includes $30,000 of daily big bass awards paid in increments of $2,000 to the top five largest bass caught each day and $15,000 in big stringer awards paid in chunks of $2,500 each day to the top Pro and AAA stringer brought to the scales. Add to this ample product bags from the Sunday morning Sponsors Row and partner paring dinner sponsored by Ranger Boats, and the U.S. Open becomes quite a value.
Now in its 23rd year, the honor roll of the U.S. Open regularly draws the top names in west coats bass fishing. Some of the names from the 2005 Open included Rick Clunn, voted the “Greatest Bass angler of all time”, Aaron Martens, the 2005 B.A.S.S. “Angler of the Year”, 3-Time U.S. Open Champion Mike Folkestad, former U.S. Open Champions Gary Klien, John Murray, Rich Tauber, Kevin Wiggins, and John Kerr. Add to this esteemed list the likes of Gary Dobyns, Don Iovino, Brent Ehrler, Art Berry, and many, many more and it’s easy to see why the U.S. Open is considered the west’s premier event. Look for many of these same fishermen to partake in the 2006 Open.
As in years past, the Sunset Station Hotel will serve as the tournament headquarters with WON BASS participants receiving special rates. Anglers calling in should identify themselves as “WON BASS-U.S. Open” participants to receive rates of $69 per night from Sept 10th through the 14th, $89 rates per night for Sept 15th & 16th, and $69 per night rates from Sept 17th through 20th. Be sure to call for your reservations early, as these rates will only be held up until August 14th. After this, they return to regular guest rates. You may contact the Sunset Station Hotel by dialing toll free (888) 786-7389.
A U.S. Open entry form is included in this issue of WON BASS and previous year’s participants will receive a priority entry form in the mail in the coming days. For further information on the 2006 U.S. Open, please contact tournament director Bill Hutcheson at (949) 366-0030 ext 29 or WON BASS coordinator Bonnie Froehlich at ext 38.