skeeter boats

DRAGONFLY - RAYMARINE

SEAN STAFFORD WINS U.S. OPEN

Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 09/13/2012

WON BASS US OPEN - SEAN STAFFORD

The theme for the 2012 WON Bass Nitro Boats / Mercury U.S. Open has been the proverbial adage, "change is constant." Once again, the conditions at Lake Mead made an about face and it made for interesting decision making for the 256 anglers in the field.

But, when you are running the most prestigious single tournament in the Western United States; one that has a reputation for being the toughest tournament in bass fishing, a little adversity adds to the story.

Following a day with dense clouds and desert monsoon conditions, Lake Mead became a gentle lady and provided the field with high, bluebird skies and glassy surface waters. While those conditions are perfect for a boating day with the family, they are certainly no gift for the bass angler.

High skies and light winds the day after a front mean tough fishing. But, these are among the best anglers in the world, and they have the ability adjust to the conditions with efficiency and deal with adversity in confidence.

While a large portion of the field showed their dexterity, in the end it was Sean Stafford who made the best decisions and emerged as the 2012 WON Bass Nitro Boats / Mercury Outboards U.S. Open Champion.

In an unlikely turn of events, Stafford posted 13.16 pounds of bass; including the largest bass of the day. His three day total weight of 34.60 was enough to leapfrog the eight anglers in front of him to claim the title of 2012 WON Bass U.S. Open Champion. To make matters more interesting, Stafford weighed in during the second flight, and sat in the Costa Sunglasses hot seat until the final angler weighed in.

"I'm a little speechless right now," said Stafford of his win immediately after weigh-in concluded. ""This is my ninth U.S. Open, and it's my favorite tournament to fish in; I still can't believe I won."

Stafford said that he used a two pronged approach to the U.S. Open, depending upon the conditions the day presented him. On days one and two, he focused primarily on using a variety of topwater baits, but turned to a Canyon Plastics tube when the conditions slicked off. "I really targeted isolated grass clumps with either approach," Stafford reported. "The topwater baits were used around the clumps, and the tube helped me fish tighter when the sun was high." Stafford earned over $40,000 in cash, and a Nitro Z8 / Mercury Outboard prize package bringing his total winnings to more than $80,000

Stafford remained standing as the leader until Clifford Pirch, a two-time WON Bass U.S. Open Champion came to the scales. Pirch's fish hit the scales and his 9.92-pound five bass limit fell .15 ounces short, narrowly missing his third U.S. Open title.

"I'm really disappointed that I fell short today," said Pirch. "That's not to take anything away from Sean (Stafford); he fished really well, congratulations to him. "I got the bite I needed at 3:05 today and wasn't able to land it. It was the biggest fish I've ever seen at Lake Mead, and I lost it."

Pirch reported using multiple approaches to produce his fish throughout the event. He said that spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and deep crankbaits produced for him in the wind, but he turned to Roboworms on a dropshot rig today when the conditions slicked off.

Dick Watson, who began the day in third place, maintained his position by tossing Revenge spinnerbaits and jigs to bring his total weight to 32.64 pounds. Jamie Shaw wound up fourth with 32.54 pounds and Chris Bozarth rounded out the top five with 31.66 pounds.

The AAA division proved to be a landslide by Lake Mead standards. Ken Whalen of Lompoc, Calif. placed 34.45 pounds on the U.S. Open scales to claim the title of 2012 WON Bass U.S. Open AAA Champion. Whalen also managed to bring a 4.94-pound largemouth to the scales on day one, which proved to be the largest bass of the tournament.

Overall, WON Bass paid out $30,000 in big fish awards and an additional $12,000 in big bag awards for the event.

The WON Bass Nitro Boats / Mercury Marine U.S. Open has been presented by Costa Sunglasses on www.wonbass.com, at the event page of the 2012 The WON Bass Nitro Boats / Mercury Marine U.S. Open presented by Costa Sunglasses - http://www.wonbass.com/archives/2012/pro/news/us_open/us_open.html

The WON Bass Nitro Boats / Mercury Marine U.S. Open has been presented by Costa Sunglasses and was also brought to you by Mustad Hooks, Yozuri, SNUGTop, Seaguar, Plano Tackle Systems, ZBlok, Daiwa, TOP This, Mud Hole, Promar, Big Hammer Swimbaits, Trolling Motor Doctor, River2Sea, SPRO, YUM, Seeker Fishing Rods, Optimum Baits and Zip Baits.

 

FINAL STANDINGS

 

Place

Name

Hometown

Fish

Weight

Penalty

Big Fish


Total

1

Sean Stafford

Fairfield CA

15/14

34.60

0.20

4.92

*

34.40

2

Clifford Pirch

Payson AZ

15/15

34.25


3.20


34.25

3

Dick Watson

Alta Loma CA

15/15

32.64


3.21


32.64

4

Jamie Shaw

Coolidge AZ

15/14

32.54

0.20

3.55


32.34

5

Chris Bozarth

Henderson NV

15/15

31.66


3.96


31.66

6

Wade Strelic

El Cajon CA

15/14

31.46

0.20



31.26

7

Justin Kerr

Lake Havasu City AZ

15/13

30.92

0.40



30.52

8

Dean Rojas

Lake Havasu City AZ

15/15

29.66


3.83


29.66

9

Johnny Johnson

Lakeside AZ

15/14

29.44

0.20

3.99


29.24

10

Brent Becker

Henderson NV

15/15

29.22




29.22

11

Michael Caruso

Surprise AZ

15/15

28.93


3.97


28.93

12

Shaun Bailey

Lake Havasu City AZ

15/15

28.83


4.46


28.83

13

John Morrow

Brea CA

15/14

28.92

0.20



28.72

14

Derek Yamamoto

Boulder City CO

13/13

28.46


3.82


28.46

15

Roy Hawk

Lake Havasu City AZ

15/14

28.26

0.20

3.22


28.06

16

Vern Ridgway

Chandler AZ

15/12

28.61

0.60

3.97


28.01

17

Garrett Lorenzen

Escondido CA

14/14

27.95




27.95

18

Moses Mokuahi

Las Vegas NV

15/14

28.02

0.20

2.96


27.82

19

Kyle Grover

R. Santa Margarita CA

15/14

27.71

0.20



27.51

20

Tim Klinger

Boulder City NV

15/15

27.39


3.29


27.39

21

Duane Dunstone

Reno NV

15/15

27.15


3.16


27.15

22

Wayne Carey

Alta Loma CA

15/15

26.90


3.03


26.90

23

Andy Manahl

Mesa AZ

15/15

26.67


2.51


26.67

24

Clay Lippincott

Goodyear AZ

15/14

26.45

0.20

4.04


26.25

25

Rick Mason

Glendale AZ

14/13

26.38

0.20

3.96


26.18

25

Chris Studinger

Poway CA

15/15

26.18


2.90


26.18

27

Michael McLernon

Oceanside CA

15/15

26.13




26.13

28

Trey Campbell

Gardena CA

15/14

26.27

0.20

2.66


26.07

29

Kevin Wiggins

Las Vegas NV

15/15

26.02




26.02

30

Devin McDonald

Las Vegas NV

15/15

25.99


3.12


25.99

30

Gary Boyd

Reseda CA

15/15

25.99


2.81


25.99

32

Rich Tauber

Camarillo CA

15/15

25.98




25.98

33

Tai Au

Gilbert AZ

15/15

25.86




25.86

34

Kevin Norling

Poway CA

15/14

25.97

0.20



25.77

35

Josh Rhodes

Lakeside CA

15/15

25.33


3.17


25.33

36

Wade Headrick

Herriman UT

15/15

25.21


3.66


25.21

37

Richard Dutzi

Murrieta CA

15/14

25.28

0.20

2.63


25.08

38

Josh Polfer

Nampa ID

14/14

25.05




25.05

39

Trevor Young

Fontana CA

15/15

24.90




24.90

40

Mitch Southern

Yucaipa CA

15/13

24.92

0.40



24.52

41

Kevin Johnson

Valencia CA

13/13

24.38


3.40


24.38

42

Jay Wright

Seal Beach CA

15/15

24.28




24.28

43

Keith Beever

Mission Viejo CA

11/11

24.25


4.55


24.25

44

Rob Sanford

San Diego CA

12/11

24.31

0.20

2.87


24.11

45

Gabe Bolivar

Ramona CA

15/14

24.24

0.20



24.04

46

Clint L. Goodwin

Lake Havasu City AZ

15/13

24.40

0.40

2.99


24.00

47

Marco Valdez

Mesa AZ

14/14

23.97




23.97

48

Gary Pinholster

Lake Havasu City AZ

13/13

23.96




23.96

49

Aaron Martens

Leeds AL

13/13

23.82




23.82

49

Joe Uribe, Jr.

Lake Forest CA

15/15

23.82




23.82

51

Keith Ferlanie

Henderson NV

15/15

23.77




23.77

52

Zack Holwerda

Glendale AZ

15/12

24.35

0.60

2.54


23.75

53

Jesse Tacoronte

Orlando FM

15/15

23.30


2.52


23.30

54

Eddie Rodriguez

Las Vegas NV

13/11

23.38

0.40

3.60


22.98

55

Neil Campbell

Fallbrook CA

14/14

22.92




22.92

56

Matt Massey

Golden CO

13/12

23.10

0.20



22.90

57

Mark Walsh

W. Sacramento CA

15/14

23.01

0.20



22.81

58

John Mackey

Boulder City NV

15/14

22.73

0.20



22.53

59

Eric Schook

Scottsdale AZ

15/15

22.42




22.42

60

Byron Velvick

Del Rio TX

14/13

22.61

0.20



22.41

61

Trent Huckaby

Fort Stockton TX

14/14

22.33


2.83


22.33

62

Kevin Stewart

Elk Grove CA

14/13

22.44

0.20



22.24

63

Bill Spence Jr.

Livermore CA

14/13

22.36

0.20



22.16

64

Brent James

St George UT

15/14

22.22

0.20



22.02

65

Cody Compton

Palisade CO

14/14

21.92




21.92

66

Chris Kinley

Lake Havasu AZ

13/13

21.52




21.52

67

Ben Byrd

Moab UT

14/14

21.41




21.41

68

Justin Hanold

Rancho Cucamonga CA

13/12

21.60

0.20



21.40

69

Ray Arbesu

Henderson NV

15/15

21.28


2.49


21.28

70

Michael Phua

Chino CA

15/13

21.63

0.40



21.23

71

Mike Brillhart

Waddell AZ

13/13

21.16




21.16

72

Mike Hawkins

Boulder City NV

13/11

21.49

0.40

3.93


21.09

73

Aaron Leon

Henderson NV

13/13

20.89




20.89

73

Joel B. Marshall

Los Bonos CA

13/13

20.89




20.89

75

Ernie Stumpf

Henderson NV

14/14

20.81




20.81

76

Greg Gutierrez

Red Bluff CA

14/12

21.12

0.40



20.72

77

Troy Lindner

Los Angeles CA

12/11

20.74

0.20



20.54

78

Mike Folkestad

Orange CA

15/11

21.31

0.80



20.51

79

Robert Lee

Angels Camp CA

10/10

20.50


3.56


20.50

80

Bob Simmons

Morro Bay CA

15/15

20.38




20.38

81

Clayton Meyer

Henderson NV

13/13

20.37




20.37

82

John Murray

Phoenix AZ

15/14

20.51

0.20



20.31

83

Kenichi Tanaka

Minamikawachigun

13/13

20.26


3.15


20.26

84

Greg Garza

Boulder City NV

12/10

20.53

0.40

2.82


20.13

85

Brett Leber

Dixon CA

13/13

20.08




20.08

86

David Kemper

Tempe AZ

13/13

20.03




20.03

87

Boris Antolos

Torrance CA

10/7

20.22

0.60

3.11


19.62

88

Ken Mercurio

Reno NV

14/13

19.81

0.20

2.77


19.61

89

Tom Pryor

Page AZ

13/13

19.52


2.38


19.52

90

David Behm

Las vegas NV

13/13

19.04


2.79


19.04

91

Jimmy Savoini

Prescott AZ

10/10

18.98


2.92


18.98

92

Pete Manfrina

Lompoc CA

14/13

19.17

0.20

2.20


18.97

93

Kyle Richins

Washington UT

12/12

18.79


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