Salvucci Wins WON Bass U.S. Open

Nick Salvucci of California claimed the 2019 WON Bass U.S. Open on Lake Mead by more than two pounds over his closest competitor.

Salvucci Wins WON Bass U.S. Open

Nick Salvucci of California claimed his first WON Bass U.S. Open championship with more than 31 pounds in three days on Lake Mead in Nevada. (Photo by Paul Lebowitz/WON Bass)

After a runner-up finish in 2018, California angler Nick Salvucci took top honors on Lake Mead with a big final day flurry to win the WON Bass U.S. Open.

Salvucci took the lead on the second day of the tournament and finished strongly on the final day despite being a fish shy of his five-bass limit. His pair of 11-pound limits the first two days along with the third day total of 9.44 pounds gave him 31.98 pounds and the win.

Salvucci nipped DeeJay Evans, who finished with 29.28 pounds. Salvucci will receive $100,000 an a 2019 Bass Cat Puma FTD powered by a Mercury Pro XS 250 Four Stroke outboard. 

“I’ve wanted this trophy for so long, and I’ve been fishing this lake so well for the past several years that it hurt to come so close,” Salvucci said. “Now, I get to put my hands on that trophy and I’ve got the perfect place for it at home; I can’t believe it’s finally happened.

Salvucci fished the midlake Echo Bay area of the Overton Arm on the massive lake, and junk fished his way back towards the main lake. He said he caught them on multiple lures.

“I didn’t really have any one thing that I caught them on. I junk fished my way through, throwing what I felt l needed to throw,” he said. “The reel key to this week was to keep a positive attitude and just keep my head down.”

Evans, who lives in nearby Las Vegas, said he fished in one small area with finesse baits.

“I fished a pocket near Temple Bar that was not more than 100 yards by 100 yards,” he said. “I caught them on finesse fishing tactics, tubes and dropshot rigs. I just kept circling the area catching as many fish as I could on each pass.”

“I really did all I could, and doing the math at the tanks, I really didn’t think I had enough to catch Nick,” he added. “He did a great job all week, and I congratulate him on his win.”

Scott Hellesen of Whittier, California, was third with 26.74 pounds. Ryan Yamagata of Las Vegas finished fourth with 25.47 pounds. Dylan Maxon of Phoenix rounded out the top five with 25.45 pounds.

On the AAA side, day one leader Bo McNeely struggled on day two, but rebounded nicely on the final day with pro partner Ryan Yamagata to earn the win with 26.92 pounds.

Complete standings can be found at www.wonbass.com.

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