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Thread: My 2017 USOpen recap.... Very very long. And DVL Report!! Enjoy

  1. #1

    Default My 2017 USOpen recap.... Very very long. And DVL Report!! Enjoy

    Boy its been a crazy month and a half since the US Open to say the least..
    But, here I am finally sitting down to write my US Open Story that so many of you have asked for and look forward to.
    So this year I left for the Open on Wednesday night with my buddy Damon Gomez.
    The plan was for Damon to practice with me on Thursday and then I was going to fish by myself on Friday and Damon was going to fish with another one of his buddies that day.... then If needed we'd go out and fish again on Saturday.
    So we wake up early Thursday morning and head to the lake..
    The plan for the day was to spend the entire day fishing the Overton arm and Echo Bay area.
    So we made the long drive to Echo Bay marina, launched the boat and off we went..
    Right away I saw the water was up about 6 ft or so from last year... lots and lots of water in the bushes...everything looked great except for the water color.. It was alot milkier than I expected it to be or like to fish.
    We bounced around for several hours before we even got a bite... It didnt take long to figure out that the bite was on the tough side in most of the areas we visited...
    So we kept moving and finally came across some water that was the right color in my opinion.... and low and behold we started getting bit... go figure..
    After half the day we started trying to duplicate several patterns we had going.... the problem was finding the right color water.
    The good stuff was far and few in between..
    By the end of the long day we had caught 4 keepers for about 7lbs and probably another 4-5 short fish...
    I knew by the end of the day that we eliminated ALOT of water... in fact we only had caught keepers out one small 400 yard area...
    I was extremely unimpressed.. But I still had another two days to go in completely different areas so I had alot of hope that Id find something because what I found up where we were wasnt going to cut it.. Surely not for 3 days of tournament competition..
    So as the sun started to go down on Lake Mead after day one of practice I started to think about my next step..
    I made the decision to fish the lower basin the next day by myself.
    So back to the hotel we went and the refocussing began... we had a couple beers, had a good dinner and I regrouped.
    The next day I got up early and headed to the lake by myself..
    This time I was going to launchout of Calville Bay and hit as much of the lower basin as I could in the 11 hour day.

    So I launched my Nitro and off I went....
    Instantly I liked the water color.... To me it just looked "right".
    So I made a short run to my starting spot, put the troller down and started firing away.
    One note.. On the first day of practice we used hooks... BUT on this day I cut all hooks.
    So I start firing away .. I actually said to myself.. "This looks good!"
    Within 5 casts IM BIT...and something loads up on my rod... remember Im not using hooks but Id like to see the fish so I keep moderate presure on the fish and all of a sudden a solid 4lb Lake Mead largemouth jumps 50 ft from the boat.... GOOD GOD!!! As it landed back in the water it finally let my bait go...
    Five minutes into the day and I could have boated a giant....
    INSTANTLY I got fired up.
    So with not wanting to see another fish bite from that area I left that area immediately.
    I made a five minute run.... dropped the troller and started casting around...
    Im fishing deep grass now in 15-17 ft...
    Within literally 2 casts....Something picks up my bait and slowly swims to deeper water... And it feels good.. I wanted to make it come up to see it so I put presure on it.... But instead of coming up...It bears down and literally takes drag....WHAT THE HECK?? Im not using hooks... This fish is mean... After it took drag the bait popped out of its mouth... but instead of reeling my bait in fast I did it slow hoping the fish would follow it back to the boat.. About half way in I let the bait sink back to bottom and I feel... THUMP... ITS BACK... So I apply presure and a big Lake Mead largemouth comes to the surface with my bait gone in its mouth... It rolls right in front of me and pulls drag back to bottom... I open my bail and shake the rod tip until this mean hungry bass finally lets the bait go...That fish was OVER 3 lbs..
    So I leave instantly I move around the corner about 300 yards and start firing... within minutes.... Im bit again ....this time a solid smallie breaks the surface and lets the bait go. That fish was about 2 lbs...
    25 minutes into the day and I already have more weight than I did for 11 hours of fishing the prior day...
    IM PUMPED.... So I make a move..
    I go to another one of my favorite areas.....
    I pull in and make a long cast.. to get the bait way away from the boat... TICK IM BIT AGAIN... REALLY?? This fish stays down... and holds onto the bait for about 30 seconds....Then makes a B-Line to the surface... as It jumps my bait comes flying out of its mouth but Not before I clearly saw that it was a 3 lb Largemouth.... Now Im starting to get excited... because Im doing what I want and the bite is on fire...
    So I move again... about 5 miles away... time to duplicate the patterns...
    I pull in to this cut... and make a long the bait for about 30 seconds and reel it back to the boat... Thats when I saw the mother load... There were about 30 smallmouth following my bait back to the boat....
    My hands started to shake... I needed to catch just one fish... so I quickly put a hook on and made a short cast to the group of about 30 smallies that all looked like the same size.
    My bait went down and TICK.... so I set the hook and land a solid 2 lb 12 ounce smallmouth... NICE ONE....REALLY NICE!!
    Of course the entire school followed that fish back to the boat... IT WAS SO HARD TO NOT MAKE ANOTHER CAST AND CATCH ANOTHER ONE.... But I didnt.. I just put the rod down and left that area completely..
    So I bounced around here and there the entire day.... I continued to get bit and I continued to duplicate my patterns all over in every area that looked right.
    By the end of the day, I had 15 keeper bites.. and I think my weight for my best 5 would have been around 14-15 lbs had I hooked them..
    Needless to say I was absolutely PUMPED!!
    So I headed back to the hotel as the sun began to set .... This is where things got interesting.. On the drive back to the hotel I began to get a very distinct pain in my side... I knew instantly what it was begause Ive been down this road before..... I had a kidney stone working ....AGAIN!!!! ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? I just had the best prefish day Ive ever had at Lake Mead and now my body is trying to pass a stone....
    Rewind for a minute to last year... I had to have 4 surgeries for kidney stones when I got home from the Open.... then this past August (2 months prior to this Open) I passed 3 stones in 3 weeks... All caused me pain initially but they passed no problem.

    So as I drove back to the hotel the pain got worse and worse.... by the time I got to the hotel the pain was peaking at about 9 on a scale from one to ten with 10 being worst..
    I parked the truck...hooked up the batteries and made my way into the hotel... I didnt say a word to anybody... I just went straight to my room and took a pain pill and laid down and went to sleep fast... I woke up 2 1/2 hours later with ZERO pain.... It was like nothing ever happened but I figured Id be passing the stone over the next 24-36 hours...
    So I made the easy decision to scrap the next days practice and focus on drinking lots of water and passing that stone before day 1 of the event..
    So I went to dinner and the never ending onslaught of water intake began.... I felt great... but in the back of my mind I knew I needed to pass that thing...
    The only person there I told was Damon... I just kept it to myself and hoped for the best.... Im kinda a beast like that.. haha
    So my wife and kids got to town that night..Friday night.. It was good to see them because it helped take my mind off the pending stone passage haha..
    I told my wife that I decided to not practice on that final day of practice just to get her opinion.. She agreed that my day that day was stellar and given the stone thing it was best to just rest up and try to stay hydrated to pass that thing...
    So I woke up early Saturday morning and went out and started rigging up my rods for game day.
    Then in the afternoon we headed out to the Monster Cup Supercross.. which was a blast as always.
    I kept drinking water after water but the stone never came...
    So Sunday came and it was the offlimits day, sponsor row and partner pairings.
    I continued to drink water after water but the stone never showed up... I was resorting to the very likely chance that Id pass it out on the lake during the event.... And so I just planned to tell my AAAs the situation in case they needed to take the front of the boat for a little while.... I know I know some of you are saying..."You were really willing to pass a kidney stone on the lake??" And my answer is a resounding HELL YES!!! Simply put this is my passion and the drive to be the best I can be burns through my veins... So Id deal with it if it happened... End of that story!
    So I go to the sponsor row and then to the pairings....
    My Boat is ready, my gear is ready, my mind is ready and my body is ready and I wasnt going to let the thought of the stone alter my thinnking... I WAS READY!!
    As I sit for the partner pairings Im already thinking about what number I hope to draw. Im wanting to get a really low number for the first day so I can get to my spots early and get my fish and get back in as early as possible, then that would give me a late flight the next day to put some work in and set up for day 3.
    The director starts calling numbers.... and at boat 12 he calls my name... FREAKING AWESOME!!!
    So I meet my AAA Mark Chadeayne and I get him pumped about day 1...
    Hes all in with my plan for the day and we're both really excited to get the event started..
    So day one is finally here.. And I feel great but still no stone... its okay... if it happens it happens.. but just in case, I tell Mark the situation... We're good to go..
    Mark and I blast off and get our US Open started..
    I went straight to where I started getting bit that last day of practice...
    But we werent getting bit... We got to like the 4th spot before I got bit... then we got the ball rolling...
    We were working great together.... Before we knew it we had a limit... I never had any pain and I felt great..
    After we caught a fish from certain areas Id leave as to not hammer my fish... I felt like I had enough lined up to last me the 3 days.
    We were due to check in at 2:30.. the first time I looked at the watch it was 12:30... the day was flying by.. But we were spanking them..
    Then we pulled into a cut and I catch a big smallie on a swimbait..almost 3 lbs... I was pumped.. Then I throw Mark a bait and tell him to use it and he catches a really nice smallie on that bait... we are putting on a clinic now...
    Then I went to check a couple areas for the next day... I figured we had over 9 lbs so I lighten up on the presure and take my foot off the throttle so to speak..
    I could have pounded alot more areas but I wanted to save them as the US Open is a marathon not a sprint..
    So before I knew it we had to head in and weigh our bag...
    We weighed 8.85 lbs...Not bad and that put me in 49th place.. great way to start... I thought we had a bit over 9 but Ill take it.. It was worth it for me to save fish for the other days..
    We caught about 8 keepers and about 8-10 shorts that day so I didnt hammer my areas bad at all.
    And I knew the next day was my long day... I was excited..

    I meet up with my day 2 partner Rick Melead and meet him at the ramp for the start of day 2. I was very pumped to get out there and even more pumped that I had a long day ahead of me..
    So off we go... 1st spot nothing, 2nd spot no love...3rd spot nada.... 4th spot zilch.....5th spot not a chance, 6th area empty, 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th..13th ....20th spot...NADA WHAT THE HECK??
    I couldnt for the life of me figure out why they werent biting...
    AT this point we had been on the water for hours and hours and still nothing... I literally went through every spot and area that I had planned to go to on day 1 and day 2.... but we were still keeperless... It was brutal.... and at 245pm I still didnt have a keeper in the boat.... it was very hard to stay focused to say the least..
    But I had to pull it together... So I was forced to head to my day 3 water that I was saving... So we made the 15 minute run to my day 3 water and along the way I regrouped.. I refocused and when I put the troller down I was recharged...
    I start firing away.... within minutes I get bit but it doesnt hook up....grrrrr... short bit... then it happens again short bit....grrrrrr.. "FOCUS".... I tell myself.. then I make a cast and BOOM...MY BAIT GETS SMOKED.... IM ON AND ITS A BIG ONE....
    BOOM 3 1/2 lber in the boat... we make a quick move... I make a couple casts and BOOM Im on again... Solid 2 lber... Then I look at my watch and its 330..we need to leave in about 20 minutes...
    Then boom we catch another one.. This one is just a keeper but we'll take it.... then we need to go...
    We get to the weighins and they weigh about 6.99 lbs for 3 fish..
    The day was salvaged... kinda...But It was a day I want to forget... I dropped to 60th in the standings but I knew I was going to get them on day 3 on that water I ended on..
    So day 3 comes..and I meet with my AAA Ron Chambers... We were both excited for the day we go..
    First spot... Im on.... keeper largemouth number 1 in the boat.... 2nd spot ..I get bit again..BOOM..keeper number 2 largemouth in the boat...
    We keep grinding.. Then I swing on number 3 and Ron nets another largemouth... Now were rolling and Im feeling it...
    Then Im bit again and Ron nets our 4th keeper...another largemouth.
    We keep grinding... and I feel tic and croos its eyes and Ron nets our 5h keeper largemouth.. Thats our limit... time to get some cull fish... this could happen because Im in the zone now..
    Then we both go through a couple short fish that werent big enough to keep and we hit a bit of a lull...
    So its time to make a milk run through a couple areas..
    I start casting and BOOM Im on again... Ron nets our 6th keeper largemouth and it culls out a small one... not big but its a cull...
    Then before we knew it, it was time to start making our way back... but along the way I wanted to hit one last spot...
    It was that area of deep grass where I had that 3lber jump in practice....
    So off we go... and I pull into the area with about 5 minutes to fish....
    I make a long cast into the deep grass and feel "tick" and I set the hook and a good size lake mead largemouth jumps and then surges back to the grass... but I make quick work of it and Ron nets our 7th keeper largemouth..our biggest of the day...
    I make the cull and its time to go to checkin and weighins...
    We weighed almost 8 lbs for the da.

    Ron was a great sport...even though he wasnt getting bit by keepers he stayed focused and tried his best all day long until the very last cast... and thats all I can ever ask for.

    when all was said and done I moved up to 55th place to end the event.... a MERE 1 1/2 lbs from a check.. Not having a limit on day 2 cost me horribly... Had I had even one of the two fish I needed I would have cashed a check... If I had both of them I would he been in the top 25 easily..
    But it is what it is... I was grateful for what I had.... but my goal is at least a check but it didnt happen this year..
    On a lighter note I learned some VERY valuable things this year that I look forward to appling next year... I cant wait!!
    And as far as that stone... it didnt hurt me again for another two weeks after the event.. I went to urgent care for an xray and sure enough I had a huge stone lodged in my ureter... My urologist said that no human could pass it because it was an 18mm GIANT...
    So we schedulled surgery and they removed it... and Im good now until my next surgery sometime after the new year for a couple on the left side. That giant stone was on my right side...
    My uroligist said the stones on the left are in an area where they wont pass so I can wait until after the new year to get them removed.. And they told me that my strong allergy meds were a main cause of my developing stones.. I wasnt drinking enough fluids to compensate for the amount of drying out my body was doing because of the allergy meds... go figure... haha


    As for right now at DVL its much like Perris in that there is a weird dynamic happening.... This warm weather over the last month has moved a lot of fish shallow and out of the deep water or midrange stuff..
    We have followed the majority of the fish back from deep water up into the brush... And the bite is good despite what you may be hearing.. THAT BEING SAID... the nights are longer than the days and they are VERY COLD... whats that mean you may ask?? It means that the water temps have been on a steady decline over the last couple weeks and with REALLY COLD nights ahead of us over the next couple weeks (30s-low 40s) the water will be dipping down into the mid 50s.. I think it will get down to 53-55 degrees before New Years (LIKE ALWAYS) and the bass will be back out in the deep water Winter haunts. But until then we are experiencing an out of the ordinary December where we are fishing very shallow and catching some REALLY nice bass..
    There are fish out in 40-60 and also up in 5-10.... They are SPREAD out to say the least... BUT there are good ones to be caught as was evident by the HUGE 28 lb 5 fish limit caught that won the ABA event last weekend.. That is sick!! And yes those fish were caught shallow in the bushes..
    I was unable to fish that event because we had an unexpected tragedy rock our inner circle two weeks ago and we have been dealing with that..and getting past it... So the tourney had to be a no go for me this time but you can bet I'll be back for the next event in January...

    Call me and book your trip with me for a fun December Bass fishing trip..

    Also follow me on Facebook at "Pete Marino Fishing"

    (909) 241-8283

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008


    Nice job....

    “ Slabs are fun to catch “


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Rancho Mirage CA


    It’s really nice to see a detailed report. Way to tuff it out under your circumstances both professionally and with your health.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Huntington Beach, CA


    Went to DVL on New Years Eve, Water temp was 59-61 (Warmer then your prediction above) but the fish were spread still from 15' to 60'

  5. #5


    Same here is as there that day also. Deepest fish I caught was in 64ft shallowest probably 10ft. Bite was good though and all quality fish.

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