JOE URIBE, Jr. in practice

I hope you’re following the weigh-in coverage of the U.S. Open this year. Rich Holland (with Bill Mays as his right hand man) are giving us an enthusiastic weigh-in report. Having been over at Lake Mead last week to sample the fishing and viewing the first-day standings, with this bite the contest is way too close to call.

But beyond the generally consistent action, it was evident from talking to anglers before and during the contest, the conditions are physically demanding.

Those who were able to climatize, either by coming to the desert well in advance of the contest, or those who did outdoor preparation regionally, were handling the heat better than others. Said AAA regular Chris Ricci (from Oregon) “This is definitely the hottest weather I’ve ever fished in.” Quite apart from the weather in Las Vegas proper, over at Lake Mead he said thermometers registered, “124 on Thursday, 122 Friday (when I was out) and 122 on Saturday.”


The fish didn’t seem to mind, but he added, “I couldn’t carry enough water.” Finally, he settled on a bath towel that he soaked and put over his head and back.  “That worked so well today,” he said. “When a gust of wind blew, I actually got a chill.”

Monday was much breezier than the last week of practice, and proved to be a double-edged sword. Yes, it was cooler and provided a riffled surface for the shallow water guys, but it also made fishing outside a challenge.

Another AAA contestant, Texan Tami Curtis (Tami on Tour), found herself in the boat with Henderson, Nev. pro Keith Ferlanie and enjoyed a joint sack of 10.86 pounds, good for seventh place.  Tami had nothing but praise for Ferlanie and his willingness to stay out in the rough water, which meant taking some over the bow.

“There was wind in so many areas,” she said, “I totally admire what he did.  In my 10 years of bass fishing, I’ve only had a handful of guys who fish out in the wind.  They know how to use (the wind) to their advantage.”

WEATHERIZED, Rick Clunn was in 'protection' mode

Although not in the top 10, with more than 10 pounds, Rick Clunn–who I spent a day on the water with–is also in the mix, as is anyone with 9 pounds or more. Below that, no one is out of it, but with only a 3.60-pounder as big fish so far (Dick Watson, the leader with 11.65) there doesn’t seem to be a lot of “catch-up” fish around. A bag with a couple of 3-pounders will look like sack of bricks.

Anyone playing from behind will have to make their move tomorrow. It would go against Lake Mead form that anyone could come from more than 5 pounds behind on the final day. On the other hand, if the gaps are no wider Tuesday than they are today, we may have one of the closest U.S. Open finishes of all time.

Here’s what I pulled off the WON site:

1. Pro Dick Watson, AAA Allen Todd 11.65 lbs. Watson big fish of the day. 3.60
2. Pro Kevin Johnson, AAA , Keith Covey, 11.48 lbs.
3. Pro Sean Stafford, AAA Yasuhiro Okada, 11.39 lbs.
4. Pro David Kemper, AAA Alan Zamora, 11.33 lbs.
5. Pro Steve Czerniski, AAA Yoshikazu Komada, 11.09 lbs.
6. Pro Shaun Bailey, AAA Michael Piarino, 10.89 lbs.
7. Pro Keith Ferlanie, AAA Tami Curtis, 10.86 lbs.
8. Pro Clifford Pirch, AAA Roger Cummings, 10.74 lbs.
9. Pro Jeff Hudson, AAA Neil Burns, 10.64 lbs.
10. Pro Dennis Kolender, AAA David Duff, 10.60 lbs.

Later, I presume, they will have the total standings on the WON Bass site, (click here).


2 Responses to “Open very close: Tuesday is ‘moving’ day”

Toughest tournament I’ve ever fished.

I agree also…including the 119 degree temps in the shade and up to 120’s in the sun…then add all the HUGE waves for a few of the days! Brutal but totally worth being a part of.