UPDATED, 1:38 p.m. Just in: Gary Klein, 2-time B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year has just entered the Open.

Hopefully you haven’t wasted all of your tournament resources by fishing some circuit that no one will remember in six months. Then, if suddenly in June, you read some of this way-too-late-to-act propaganda about fishing the U.S. Open, you might think, “I can’t do it.”

Well, I’m telling you that you can! No, I’m not shilling for the company I used to work for.

I’m talking to you as a former (long former) competitor who fished the Big One couple of times back in the day when it was four days, pro on pro, no shared weight–and yes, made the money both years.

Well, today, I walk through the parking lot at Castaic or Diamond Valley (or even secretly at Shasta) and it’s so clear to me. You guys are so much better than I was at my peak–I couldn’t carry your lifevest to the launch ramp! If you put your mind to it, you could go over to Lake Mead the week before the tournament and be “game ready” in three or four days.

It’s true. Mead is the most level playing field ever created by pouring concrete in a riverbed. And because of that, I am going to give you the three secrets to contending for what Rich Tauber likes to call, “The best title in fishing,” ie, U.S. Open champion.

First thing (no secret, actually) is get your money in and reservations made. This is not some start-up, hope-for-the-best event. Getting in will commit your psyche. Also, at the same time, read over the rules carefully and check out your lake map so you know where the marinas are and what is off-limits and what is open.

Secondly, shrink the lake. This year’s contest with the lake up some 25 to 30 feet from the last decade, is new to everybody. High and rising water floods the bushes, drawing bait and bass right where they’re supposed to be. You get a breeze and it’s even better. Plus, you won’t have to worry about Mike Folkestad beating you off some rockpile built by Native Americans back in the 1700’s.

And where do the biggest fish come from? Only two places (and neither have been fishable for years): above Echo Bay in the Overton Arm, and in Las Vegas Wash (though now much more crowded with Jetskis). Bring your “Gary Dobyns All Muscle Fishing Kit” including topwaters, small bladed spinnerbaits, and for that shady cliff or grass bed edge, a 3/4-ounce spider jig. But if you’re still doubtful, you will be permitted to carry a drop-shot rig (red plastic or shad colors still work), or even a light Carolina if you get scared by clear water.

And lastly–and this is the most critical–start this very afternoon and play basketball, or ride your bike or take a walk during the hottest time of the day. If you live closer to the coast, take the next couple of weekends and drive inland (with no A/C) to the warmest clime you can reach and walk 5 to 10 miles, double that on a bike, or exert yourself like you were back in a PE class. Sweat and don’t sissy out.

And that’s all there is to it. I’ve told you where to fish, so get in (you already know how to do this). Then work to get yourself climatized.

Oh, and one more thing. Wear a nice shirt to the awards ceremony.





5 Responses to “U.S. Open: Become an ‘instant’ champion”

So you are fishing? Right? 😉

I know if we held the US OPEN on that tough little lake he calls home ( Lake Elsinore ) he would be a heavy favorite. He has done well at Lake Mead though and I think he still would if he was to ever try again.
Thanks for the post !

Amen!….good read George.

by Kevin Johnson

The Open is coming the Open is coming!! Can’t wait! Great read GK!

I’ve fished two US Opens. I fished one in 1992 and one in 2010. It’s a challenge, for sure. Bring lots of sports drinks, water, and sunscreen! Good luck to all that will be fishing this year. You’re going to have a GREAT time and meet some very nice people. I wish I could afford to go this year.