At the risk of sounding like Jurgen Klinsmann, come September, I know I can’t win the U.S. Open. But as the year has progressed (not to mention the historic condition of the Colorado River) I find I’ll be going back to Lake Mead–because I need to.

I was on hand with U.S. BASS for the first one back in 1981 (10 years after the first Bassmasters Classic was held there). But unlike with the Open, B.A.S.S. can pick any old lake with a convention center nearby and have a “world championship.”

But the U.S. Open is a singular test–on big water under hostile desert conditions, where every year the lake offers promise, but more often than not, delivers frustration. You think you know, and then you end up chasing ghosts.

For those reasons, I fully admire previous winners and perennial contenders: they have so much more of what it takes than I’ve been able to muster. But that pushes me to try it again (and also has my neighbors scratching their heads as I do my outdoor workouts in the hottest part of the day–in my sweats.)

Of course, a big concern is the water level. Not that somehow we won’t get in…if there’s a tractor and a slope leading down to the water, there will be launching. But as you can see by this news account (and some others even more graphic) there is real doubt about the future. If this were to be the last Open (not saying it is) then I don’t want to miss it.

Now who will be there in 2014? Circumstances may preclude some of the “national” names from showing up this year–those circumstances relating to qualifying for championships elsewhere. I’m okay with that, though it used to bother me when web posters would say, “The U.S. Open? That’s just a western event.”

Well, yeah. Because they’re not going to move Hoover Dam (or the Arizona/Nevada desert) to South Carolina. It’s the U.S. Open on Lake Mead, in the heat, with the clear water.  So it’s probably not for everybody.

And maybe I can’t win. But I’m going to try.



5 Responses to “Can’t win, but I’ll be there anyway…”



Even if you don’t win, George, you will have a great time, and be stylin’ in your new Ranger! The US Open is the only really BIG tournament that I’ve fished (not counting a Bass ‘N Gal event I fished on Lake Fork back in the day), and boy what a blast! I’ve fished two. If I were younger, and could handle the heat, I’d be fishing it again just for the fun! Good luck, George!

by George Kramer

And in my Nitro Z7 as well. (My loaner earlier in the year was a Ranger, I’m back in the red boat). And thanks, Darlene!

Seriously? That’s not your Ranger??? The way Rick posted your picture it seemed that you had traded in your red boat for that big ol’ Ranger! LOL I saw that picture and thought you were moving up to a Ranger for the US Open!

by Mark talmo

Somebody’s gotta let you borrow a 20 ft champion. Forget about the Ranger. You can do it George, I’ve been a fan since I was a kid. You know what’s up on Mead. You were in the money when all the big names were there if I’m not mistaken.