Japan’s best bass anglers, including several who have their own television programs on bass fishing or own major tackle companies in their nation, travel to the U.S. to compete in the U.S. Open.
The tournament in the past has also drawn anglers from Mexico, 24 different states of the U.S., and last year the first entrant from Australia.
“It’s the richest bass tournament in the West, with more than $450,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs. We expect another big field of international bass anglers again despite the low water levels at Mead,” said Mike Kennedy, WON BASS Director.
This year’s U.S. Open is slated for Sept. 8-10 at Lake Mead. The entry fee for the U.S. Open is $1,600 for Pros and $600 for the AAA anglers. These fees include automatic entry into the Miller High Life big fish awards daily — with the 5 largest bass each day worth $1,000 apiece to the top 5 anglers. There are also daily “big stringer” awards with $2,500 each going to the Pro and AAA angler weighing in the day’s heaviest catch.
“This has been an amazing benefit to the anglers,” noted Kennedy. “We have very few anglers who do not fish all three days. Even if they get blanked the first two days, an angler can still catch the big fish on the final day, and possibly the heavy stringer, too, which would earn $3,500 for one day of fishing. Several anglers have picked up $1,000 in the last couple of hours of the tournament.”
For information on entering the U.S. Open, see the WON BASS website at www.wonbass.com — or contact WON BASS, 185 La Pata, San Clemente, CA 92673; telephone (949) 366-0030, ext. 38 or FAX (949) 366-0804.
Last year there were over anglers from Japan who entered the U.S. Open, along with anglers from 17 U.S. states. The contest was won for the second straight time by Mike Folkestad of Yorba Linda, with winnings of over $115,000 both years. That included prizes each year of $50,000 in cash plus a Ranger boat equipped with a Mercury outboard, Trojan batteries, Lowrance electronics and MotorGuide trolling motor.
The Open will again be headquartered out of the Sunset Hotel & Casino in Henderson, with the tournament running out of Callville Bay Resort & Marina on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 8-10.
Official practice for the Open is on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, while Sunday is a day off with all anglers invited to attend “Sponsor Row” at the hotel. Here, representatives from the WON BASS sponsors will set up a mini show of their products and hand out samples of many lures, lines and fishing clothing to all participants. Usually, every angler gets more than $200 in merchandise at Sponsor Row.
In addition to the fishing field, the U.S. Open features several events for the wives and families, including bowling, special breakfast hosted by El Cajon Ford, and free bus transportation to Lake Mead for the daily weigh-ins.