Open champion


Rusty Brown’s rock-solid performance in the 2013 U.S. Open provides further evidence that Lake Mead defies the rules of tournament fishing. His catch goal, that revered and oft-repeated formula of “10 pounds a day” earned Brown the title.  But perusing the board after three days, it seems he wasn’t on “the winning fish.”

Take nothing away from the champ. His gameplan to avoid traffic by going far from the weigh-in was spot-on.  And his execution of milking the combination of grass beds and flat points each day (a small area by desert lake standards) mostly, though not exclusively, with a small bladed ProLine spinnerbait, was just plain flawless.

Indeed, he reported never losing a fish in practice or during the competition. That’s the definition of “flawless.”

But while he averaged two pounds per bass (for the requisite 10 pounds a day) he was around precious few of a larger grade of fish–the kind often referred to as winning fish. In fact, his best bass (just a whisper under four pounds), actually anchored his smallest bag–taken on the first day.

To the point, the likes of Justin Hanold’s 13.62 pounds on spinnerbaits and frogs, or Rick Clunn’s 12.92 (a jig and topwaters) and, of course, the unworldly 15.08 pounds that came with Clifford Pirch easily surpassed Brown’s best.

True, the final day weather conditions (an exiting front) may have contributed to the extra activity. Yet the fact is, larger fish (aka winning fish) were finally taken–because they were always available.

But the champion won without them.



One Response to “Brown: Wins without the ‘winning fish’”

I never got the point of “winning fish” is big fish. Especially in a three day tournament. Big fish hunting and tournament fishing never mixed IMO. Sure, guys get a special bite at times but more times than not they fail. If the U.S. Open was a 1 or maybe even a 2 day tourney it would work but for 1 guy to get 3 big bites over 3 days and land them most likely will not happen. And if the Open goes 4 days, yeah never going to happen. Rusty’s formula will win more times than not. Great job Rusty!