The WON Bass U.S. Open has a reputation of being the toughest tournament in the country. A look at the history of the event at Nevada's Lake Mead show that 11 pounds a day will give an angler a shot at claiming the title in most years.
With a second consecutive solid performance at a stingy Mead, Cody Steckel (at left in photo) placed 10.59 pounds on the scale to back up his 11.44-pound day 1 to take the lead with 22.03 pounds heading into the final day.
He will have his work cut out for him to claim the trophy, as noted desert ace and two-time FLW Tour winner Tim Klinger from Boulder City, Nev. is hot on his heels. Klinger posted the biggest limit of the event thus far with a 13.49-pound performance that put him in 2nd place with 21.15 pounds; less than a pound behind the leader.
Steckel, who landed in 2nd place after day 1, said that he was able to fish the same areas, but the day did not develop as quickly.
“I had my limit by 11 o'clock yesterday, but didn’t get a bite until 10 o'clock today,” said Steckel. “I was able to work around and find them again, but it took a little longer.”
The Las Vegas-based angler said he felt good about his chances.
“I feel like my area has enough fish to finish this tomorrow. I think I can go out there and grind out what I need; 11 more pounds and I think I can do it.”
Klinger, who posted a little over 7 pounds on day 1, said that he fished the same areas both days.
“I’m making a fairly long run, so I’m committed to the area,” he said. “I made three stops on a spot I caught 2-pounders on yesterday, and on my third visit the big ones were there. I really think I can pull another good sack out of there tomorrow.”
Former U.S. Open Champion Roy Hawk put another 9-pound limit on the board to bring his total to 19.21 pounds. He's within 2 pounds of the top spot.
“I’m fishing fairly close to takeoff, so I’ll have plenty of time to fish,” he said. “I feel like I have a chance – anything can happen.”
Rounding out the Top 5 in the pro division were David Baca with 19.01 pounds and Carl Limbrick Jr. with 17.65 pounds.
For complete pro standings, click here.