Diamond Valley Lake hosts first ever pro bass tournament, April 30-May 1

HEMET—The first professional bass tournament ever held on Diamond Valley Lake will take place April 30-May 1 when WON BASS hosts the 2005 Anglers Marine Open.

The event will feature a $38,000 top prize of a fully rigged Ranger 519VX bass boat fitted with a 200 hp Mercury Optimax outboard, the biggest prize offered among the four qualifying events for this summer’s WON BASS Western Classic on Lake Mead.

The top 15 professional and AAA co-angler finishers (excluding any who have earned a spot in the three previous events) will qualify for the championship event, which will be held in conjunction with the U.S. Open, Sept. 15-21.

Diamond Valley, located within three hours of the Southland’s population hubs of San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles counties, is a 4600 acre reservoir touting bass as large as 14 pounds. Open less than two years, the fishery sports one of the fast growth rates among California waterways.

If the big fish do appear, and the tournament is ideally scheduled when the biggest bass are active, it could mean a bonus to one lucky angler. The Mercury OptiMax big bass award for the largest fish caught this season during a WON BASS Open could easily come from the Diamond Valley. That prize is a new Mercury 175 hp Optimax outboard.

“I’m going to make sure this is the best event we can make it” said Rick Grover of the title sponsor, Anglers Marine. To do so, he upgraded the boat for the winner and has added some $10,000 in incentives for the winners of either pro or AAA division if they meet certain qualifications.

The entry fee on the pro side is $500 while the AAA entries pay $225. These fees allow each contestant to compete for all cash and contingency awards including daily big bass cash. The only exceptions are the $50 Big Stringer (sack) option and the $100 High Roller options.

For the pro competitors, the daily big bass awards pay $1500, and the daily big bass on the AAA side pays $500. These are individual cash prizes. The pros also are in line for leadership cash at the end of the first day of competition. First-day leader gets a bonus of $1000, while second place gets $750 and third place at the end of the first day earns $500, regardless of their eventual finish.

Commemorative hats and T-shirts will be provided for all the contestants and Saturday afternoon at the Diamond Valley Visitors Center, Anglers Marine will host a Santa Maria style barbecue with tri-tips and ribs.

Although Diamond Valley Lake only permits new technology outboards, features a 25 mph speed limit and all boats must be inspected in advance (www.dvlake.com has details); WON BASS is waiving its horsepower restrictions—as For additional entry information, contact WON BASS headquarters at (951) 366-0030, extension 38; log on to www.WONBASS.com.