WON BASS is an acronym for “Western Outdoor News Bass” and is the bass fishing tournament arm of the nation’s largest weekly outdoor newspaper. As a member of WON BASS, you are entitled to fish the Pro or AAA divisions of our WON BASS circuit as well as our team tournament events and the famed U.S. Open. Come and take part in one of the oldest and most respected tournament circuits in the Western United States – WON BASS.

WON BASS Pro Circuit format

The WON BASS circuit for 2007 consists of 6 events – 3 in a Northern Region and 3 in a Southern Region. Each event has an official two-day practice period prior to the event. All tournament entrants must officially check-in at the tournament headquarters on either Thursday from 6-8 PM or Friday from 3-5 PM with the official partner pairings starting at 6PM on that Friday evening. There are no off limit periods on the WON BASS Pro/AAA circuit.

For 2007, WON BASS is pleased to offer regular season cash events leading up to the Mercury Motors – Ranger Boats Western Classic sponsored by Lowrance Electronics where top anglers will compete for a Ranger 188VS boat/Mercury 175hp OptiMax motor packages and cash prizes. Our 2007 season is outlined as follows:

Pro anglers will be fishing for a top cash prize of $20,000. More importantly though, they will be accumulating points which will be used to determine the Northern Pro “Angler of the Year” and the Southern Pro “Angler of the Year” and qualify to compete in the General Tires “Road Warrior” fish-off for the opportunity to win a new Ranger 188VS / Mercury Motor package – more on this later.

For the first two tournaments in each region, points will be awarded on a declining scale with 125 for first, 124 for second, 123 for third, etc… Anglers will also receive 15 participation points for each event. The final tournament of the season in each region will have the points doubled to give all anglers a chance to come from behind and claim the Northern or Southern “Angler of the Year” title. Anglers must fish all 3 events in the region to qualify as “Angler of the Year”

The final regional tournament will receive the same single point value for the purposes of determining other cup and points races such as the Daiwa Cup and Mercury Cup. Full details of the tournament season can be found on our official website at www.wonbass.com


The AAA program utilized by WON BASS has attracted a wide range of anglers to tournament fishing. It differs from the Pro/Am concept in that AAA contestants compete only with other AAA anglers for cash and prizes. AAA anglers are paired with Pro’s for each day’s fishing and they work with their Pro’s to catch a daily limit of bass.

The reason WON BASS utilizes the shared weight concept with both the Pro and AAA receiving the same weight is to garner cooperation and camaraderie on the boat. No longer will a non-boating AAA fisherman butt heads with the Pro angler and receive the “back seater” treatment, instead they will work together as a team since it is to both their advantage to catch as big a limit as possible.

This format also allows a Pro boater are better chance to catch his or her fish. The Pro angler is guaranteed the use of his or her boat for both days of tournament fishing and has the exclusive right to the use of the trolling motor and selection of waters fished. By the same token, the AAA angler has the opportunity to fish with and learn from two different Pro fishermen for a mere $225 entry fee. Try buying a one-day guided trip for that price!

Of course, the true purpose of the AAA division – just as with the Major and Minor league in baseball - is to develop professionals who are confident and knowledgeable enough to run their own boat and succeed in the professional ranks. This concept works each season as AAA anglers advance to the Pro division. For anyone who is serious about expanding their fishing abilities with the goal of one day becoming a Pro, the WON BASS AAA division provides a fertile learning ground in which to test your abilities.

WON BASS Open events payback

Payback is based upon full field of 150 anglers - **1st place payback cash is guaranteed Big bass Daily Double award is included in the entry fee.

Pro Anglers AAA Anglers
1st $20,000** 1st $2,000
2nd $10,000 2nd $1,500
3rd $ 7,500 3rd $1,250
4th $ 6,000 4th $1,000
5th $ 4,000 5th $ 750
6th $ 3,250 6th $ 700
7th $ 2,750 7th $ 600
8th $ 2,500 8th $ 600
9th $ 2,250 9th $ 500
10th $ 2,000 10th $ 500
11th $ 1,250 11th $ 400
12th $ 1,000 12th $ 400
13th $ 1,000 13th $ 400
14th $ 1,000 14th $ 400
15th $ 1,000 15th $ 400
16th $ 900 16th $ 350
17th $ 900 17th $ 350
18th $ 900 18th $ 350
19th $ 900 19th $ 350
20th $ 900 20th $ 350
21st $ 700 21st $ 300
22nd $ 700 22nd $ 300
23rd $ 700 23rd $ 300
24th $ 700 24th $ 300
25th $ 700 25th $ 250
26th $ 500 26th $ 250
27th $ 500 27th $ 250
28th $ 500 28th $ 250
29th $ 500 29th $ 250
30th $ 500 30th $ 250

Day One Big Fish $ 800
Day Two Big Fish $ 800
Day One Big Fish #2 $ 350
Day Two Big Fish #2 $ 350

Pro Anglers – AAA Anglers

The all cash portion of the prize purse is based upon one place for every five entrants in each division. No added merchandise is included in the cash payout total of WON BASS events. WON BASS offers some of the highest cash paybacks based on entry fees in all of bass fishing. WON BASS will post the full payback for each event at the tournament site after the partner pairings have taken place.

Entry fees for the WON BASS events are $500 for Pro anglers and $225 for AAA anglers. This amount includes a Big Bass Daily Double prize that pays the largest bass caught the first day of competition $800 and the second largest bass caught the first day of competition $350. WON BASS then doubles this up and pays the same amounts for the first and second largest bass caught during the second day of competition.

Each contestant also has the option of competing for additional cash prizes awarded in each of our two additional option pools. The $50 Big Stringer option pays back the big stringer each day of the competition with a 50% payback to the first day’s big stringer and the remaining 50% payback to the largest stringer of the second day. This option is available to both the Pro and the AAA division as each group is paid out of their own option pools. The Pro’s are fishing for the Pro’s money while the AAA anglers are fishing for the AAA money.

The $100 High Roller option pays back the top three anglers in each division at the end of the tournament with a cash breakdown of 50% for first place, 30% for second place, and 20% for third place finisher in each pool. These pools are also divided among the Pro and AAA fields, with each group fishing for their own money. As with the Big Stringer option, the High Roller option is a 100% payback

Mercury Motors–Ranger Boats Western Classic presented by Lowrance Electronics

It’s back by popular demand. Through the efforts of sponsors like Lowrance electronics, Mercury motors, Ranger Boats, and General Tires, the WON BASS Western Classic will once again be a part of the WON BASS circuit. The top 15 anglers in points ranking in the Northern and Southern regions at the end of the regular season tournaments will advance to the Western Classic. Additionally, the top 5 WONdering region anglers (Those who fish both the North and South) will qualify based upon points. Any angler who may qualify as a WONdering angler will automatically advance the next angler in the North or South region should they have qualified there as well.

On the Pro side, anglers will be fighting it out for the title of Western Classic Champion and more importantly, a Ranger 188VS boat & trailer equipped with a Mercury Optimax 175hp motor, Lowrance Electronics, and MotorGuide trolling motor. AAA anglers are fishing for a Mercury Optimax 175hp motor, Lowrance electronics, and MotorGuide trolling motor.

Cash and Merchandise prizes will be awarded to Western Classic winners as follows. Cash payback to the Lowrance Elite anglers who finish 2nd through 6th at the Western Classic will be:

Pro Anglers AAA Anglers
1st Ranger 188VS 1st Mercury 175 hp Optimax & accessories
2nd $ 5,000 2nd $ 3,000
3rd $ 3,000 3rd $ 2,000
4th $ 2,000 4th $ 1,000
5th $ 1,500 5th $ 850
6th $ 1,000 6th $ 650
$42,500 $19,500

Additionally, Costa Del Mar will be contributing monies to daily big fish awards at the Western Classic. These amounts will be announced at a later time. Options will also be available at the Western Classic for those who want to participate.

General Tires “Road Warrior” North/South fish-off

The Pro anglers who emerge as the Northern “Angler of the Year” and the Southern “Angler of the Year” will advance to the Western Classic where they will not only be fishing against the rest of the Western Classic field, but will be competing “head to head” against each other in the General Tires “Road Warrior” Pro fish-off. Should the winner of this fish-off be a registered Ranger Cup participant, they will win a new Ranger 188VS boat and trailer equipped with a Mercury 175hp Optimax motor, Lowrance electronics, and MotorGuide trolling motor package valued around $30,000. If the winner is not a registered Ranger Cup participant, they will win a $5,000 Ranger Boats certificate, a Mercury 175 HP Optimax Motor, Lowrance Electronics, and MotorGuide Trolling Motor.

Along with the chance to win the boat, the Northern and Southern “Anglers of the Year will each receive $6,000 cash for their regional “Angler of the Year” titles and have 3 Pro entries for the 2008 WON BASS season paid for them by General Tires. This is a $7,500 value.

The AAA Northern and Southern “Anglers of the Year” will be competing against each other in the same fashion for the General Tires “Road Warrior” AAA fish-off. This again is a head to head competition with the winner walking away with a Mercury 175 HP Optimax Motor, Lowrance Electronics, and MotorGuide Trolling Motor. Both the AAA Regional “Anglers of the Year” will receive $2,500 cash for their titles courtesy of General Tire.

Pro and AAA fish-off anglers will be alternately paired with each other at the Western Classic.

Daiwa Cup

Longtime WON BASS Sponsor Daiwa is once again pleased to sponsor the Daiwa Cup for the 2007 season. The Daiwa Cup is a point race whose $10,000 bounty is settled at the Western Classic. The top six pro anglers in terms of total points accumulated in the Northern and Southern regions after the regular WON BASS season will go into the Western Classic and will settle the Daiwa Cup shoot-out style with all points being zeroed. The highest-ranking Daiwa Cup finisher in the Classic will be crowned the Daiwa Cup Pro of the Year and will receive the Daiwa Cup trophy and a check for $5,000. The second through 6th place Daiwa Cup finishers will receive checks for $1,000 each.

Mercury Cup

Mercury will once again be sponsoring the AAA Mercury Cup for 2007. Mercury Cup anglers will accrue points in the Northern and Southern region. At the end of the regular season, the top 5 Mercury Cup anglers with the highest points total in the North and South will advance to the Western Classic where points will be zeroed and they will fish “head to head” for the Mercury Cup trophy and a Mercury 175hp Optimax motor.

U.S. Open

The U.S. Open is the marquee bass fishing event in the Western United States. Second only to the BASSMasters Classic in terms of longevity and name recognition, the fishermen who have participated in the U.S. Open reads like the “Who’s Who” in bass fishing.

Held annually on Lake Mead, the U.S. Open is now in its 24rd year. This event is open to all WON BASS anglers with a Pro entry fee of $1,600 and an AAA angler entry fee of $600. The entry fee includes 5 daily big bass awards worth $2,000 each and daily big stringer award for both the Pro and AAA angler valued at $2,500 each.

For the 2007 season, the U.S. Open will offer as the top Pro prize a new Ranger Z20 boat and trailer equipped with a Mercury 225hp ProXS motor, Lowrance electronics, MotorGuide trolling motor, and more. The winner will also receive a new Ford F150 truck from Paul Leader and the folks at El Cajon Ford, not to mention a U.S. Open championship ring from Markey’s lures and a check for $50,000, placing the total value of the 2007 U.S. Open championship at $135,000. The U.S. Open AAA champion will receive $10,000 cash from Mercury.

Ranger Cup program

WON BASS and Ranger Boats are pleased to announce this year’s Ranger Cup program for the WON BASS open events in the 2007 season.

During the course of the 2007 WON BASS season, any pro angler who is a registered Ranger Cup participant prior to the tournament is eligible to receive $3,000 should they win a WON BASS Open event. If a registered Ranger Cup participant does not win the pro division of the tournament, Ranger will award to the highest placing registered Ranger Cup pro participant $1,500.

“MotorGuide on Board” award

At each of the WON BASS Open events, including the U.S. Open, should the winning pro angler have his tournament boat equipped with a MotorGuide Trolling Motor, WON BASS will award on behalf of MotorGuide, $500 to the Pro angler during the awards ceremony.

WON BASS Team Tournament circuit

Chose your own partner in the Team tournament program.

In addition to the WON BASS Open circuit, WON BASS serves western fishermen with 13 team tournament regions consisting of 91 tournaments during the 2006-07 season. Each tournament awards thousands in cash to the top placing teams – all with an eye on the WON BASS team championships at the end of the team tournament season.

These great team events are open to all caliber and gender of bass anglers form the 16-year old beginner on up. This is not a hard-core legion of old time bass anglers either. It’s a family affair with many teams comprised of father-son, father-daughter, and husband-wife. If you like to fish competitively and have fun at the same time, maybe the WON BASS team tournament circuit in your local area is the perfect answer.

Each team region features 7 tournaments and offers anglers a chance to qualify for the WON BASS team championships. There are two fish offs, one for the North and one for the South with each winning team receiving a Ranger 188VS boat and trailer equipped with a Mercury 175HP OptiMax motor, Lowrance electronics and MotorGuide trolling motor. In addition to the top prize at each WON BASS team championship, thousands in cash and prizes will also be awarded.

Each team region will send anglers to the WON BASS team championships. 35 percent of the average region’s participation over the course of the season will qualify for the WON BASS team championships based upon year end points standings. An additional 15% of the average region’s participation over the course of the season will qualify from the final tournament. To qualify in the final tournament, you must have fished at least 4 of the 7 tournaments in that region.

Additionally, there is a WONdering region that allows anglers to fish at least two different regions to accumulate points towards the team championships. The top 10 WONdering teams will qualify for the team championships. Full details on team qualification methods may be found in the official WON BASS rules located on our website at www.wonbass.com

The awards program is liberal in the team competition all year long, with thousands of dollars awarded at each local event. The basic entry fee is only $120 per team with additional options pools with 100% paybacks for those who are so inclined. All team tournament events are single day competitions with a 5 fish limit per team.

WON BASS Rookie Teams

The WON BASS Rookie teams region has been put together to encourage beginning anglers to participate in organized tournament fishing. As such, some specific criteria will apply to the Rookie teams to ensure that this remains an entry-level competition. All other WON BASS rules will apply to this region. Rookie Team division anglers will also be eligible to fish in the WON BASS team championships based upon the same qualifying criteria as the team divisions.

WON BASS DVL Night Tournaments

Want to try something different? For 2007 WON BASS Teams division will feature 3 Diamond Valley Lake night tournaments scheduled for the summer months. These two man team tournaments will have accrual points towards the WON BASS Team WONdering division standings, but will not have any anglers qualify for the team championships based upon these three tournaments as a stand alone region. Contact DVL Night tournament director Bill Ponting for further details on these events.