Las Vegas, Nev. – When WON Bass announced the October dates for the 25th edition of the WON Bass, Bass Cat / Mercury U.S. Open, the hope was that the field size would increase once again tonew record levels, and that the fishing would be excellent.
WON Bass got their wish on both instances.
The 207 boats that ventured out onto the waters of Lake Mead at daybreak on the first day of the event found Lake Mead’s black bass population to be cooperative, and the larger fish seemed to join into the festivities as well. In a tournament that has long taken less than 11 pounds a day to win, on day one of the 2017 edition, the top 13 anglers eclipsed 11 pounds and it took more than 10 pounds to crack the top 20 in the standings.
Of all of the outstanding performers, Phoenix, Ariz. pro Justin Patti proved to be the cream of the crop on the day one. It is the second consecutive years that Patti has sprinted through the tape in first positon on the first leg of the U.S. Open marathon.
Despite a late takeoff slot, Patti said that he was able to work his way into an area, working with the other anglers who had set up shop there, and in the end, he was able to get the bites he needed. “I really have to give a lot of credit to the other anglers we were working around,” he said. “We all worked well together and we were really fortunate that we were able to get the bites we needed.”
He said that he, and his day one AAA Kevin A. Smith used several techniques to catch their creel. But it was Smith’s early 4.50-pound big fish that set the tone. “He really fished hard all day, but at 9:00 this morning, he caught that big one that made a huge difference,” said Patti. “It really made us settle in and focus, and we were able to cull several more times; it was a really good day, and I hope to be able to get close to that weight tomorrow, and have a chance on the final day.”
Sandy, Utah pro Travis Jewell and his AAA partner Michael Fisher brought 13.22 pounds to the scales at the Calville Bay weigh-in site, which was enough to earn them second place by the day’s end. He said that it was the quick comfort level his AAA gave him that helped when things did not go as planned on their first stop. “I had metered the area with my graph in practice, and found some big fish, but when we got there today; they were gone,” he said. “It was frustrating, but we worked together and made a short move and found them again; then we pulled out the dropshot and started catching them.”
Third place went to pro Nick Salvucci and his AAA partner Yoshikazu Komada. The pair posted 13.07 pounds, and did so by fishing multiple techniques in traffic. “It was a true junk fishing day,” he said. “We fished around a lot of boats today and just did what we had to do to make things happen.”
Fourth place went to Arizona pro Josh Bertrand and his AAA partner Wes O’Brien with 12.74 pounds, and Anaheim, Calif. pro Kyle Grover and his AAA partner Aaron Haring rounded out the top five with 12.51 pounds.
The Costa See What's Out There Live Coverage will continue to bring all of the action from Las Vegas and Lake Mead throughout the rest of the event. You can go to WonBass.com to connect and watch the live streaming video on the following schedule – ALL TIMES PACIFIC.
Through Wednesday October 17
Event Coverage 9:00AM - 11:00AM
Live weigh-in 2:00PM - 5:00PM
Daily Post Game – 5:30PM to 8:00PM
Wednesday Sept 14 Awards Show 6:30PM - 9:00PM from the Railhead Room at Boulder Station Casino
In conjunction with the event, Bass Cat Boats will continue to host demo rides in their newest boat; the Lynx, powered by Mercury at Calville Bay on Monday and Tuesday following weigh-in. The public, and event competitors are invited to take a ride in their flagship vessel, the one with the longest running pad in the industry from 5:30PM to 7:00PM Pacific Time
Once again, the Costa Live Show will bring all of the action of the 2017 WON Bass U.S. Open presented by Bass Coat Boats and Mercury. The Costa Live broadcasts will continue with the On the Water, weigh-in and post-game shows carrying on through the awards presentation Wednesday night.
The Sponsors of the 2017 U.S. Open are: Bass Cat Boats, Mercury, Costa, Daiwa, St. Croix, Lowrance, Yo-Zuri, Bridgford, Seaguar Fluorcarbon, Rapala, Savage Gear, Hayabusa, Plano, MotorGuide, Phenix Rods, Lew's, Roboworm, Kuiu, Ichikawa, Sure Life, Anglers Marine, Chevy Montebello and Boulder Station Casino.
Beginning Monday, 207 Pros and their AAA partners will head out onto the waters of Lake Mead Monday to contest the 34nd Anniversary of the WON Bass Bas Cat Boats / Mercury Marine U.S. Open.