The first day of the 2014 US Open concluded today with Payson Arizona’s Clifford Pirch (2007 and 2010 US Open Champion) posting an incredible 15.47 pound limit to take a commanding lead of almost 4 pounds on the frugal Lake Mead. Anglers were greeted with pleasant weather in the morning, but an afternoon thunderstorm shook things up, showing the anglers something they didn’t see in practice.
Pirch looks poised to win his 3rd US Open, after narrowly missing winning the event last year as well. The other 166 pros in the event have their hands full to track him down and deny him a 3rd trophy.
The San Diego anglers were spread about the leaderboard with San Diego’s Mark Rauenzahn leading the group with 9.81 pounds, putting him in 10th place. Rauenzahn’s bag included only 3 fish, two short of a limit. You have to go all the way down to 121st to find another angler who weighed only 3 bass, so Rauenzahn is on the right fish – he just needs more of them for a top-tier finish this year.
Mike McLernon of Oceanside was next in the bunch with 8.95 pounds (4 bass, 1 short of limit) in 22nd place. Ramona’s Gabe Bolivar was immediately behind him in 23rd place with 8.84 pounds for his best 5.
The AAA side (co anglers fishing for a different prize package) had two San Diego area anglers in the top 10; Carl Limbrick Jr of Bonita was 7th and El Cajon’s Matt Menzel was 9th.
Anglers still have two intense days of competition left. Tomorrow’s weather is likely to include more thunderstorms, and the creeks will be running with water all night, muddying up areas of the lake.
How the rest of the local guys fared
Wade Strelic is in 42nd with 8.06
Rusty Salewske is 58th with 7.57
Tom Lowery is 61st with 7.47
Dan Price is 78th with 6.85
Tom Leedom is 82nd with 6.68
Josh Rhodes is 88th with 6.54
Chris Studinger is 100th with 6.00
Adam East is 103rd with 5.83
Klayton Belden is 121st with 4.53
Marco Fenelli is 128th with 4.1
Justin Hanold is 129th with 4.05
Elliott Holsbo is 130th with 3.93
Ed Arledge is 136th with 3.35
Melvin Williams is 148th with 2.6
Tony Richards is 149th with 2.33
Ron Hammett is 158th with 1.11
Carl Limbrick is 7th
Matt Menzel is 9th
Bryan Klem is 20th
Dustin Tingle is 45th
Stephen Lamb is 140th
Brent Benish is 144th
Alex Galvin is 153rd
You can watch the live weigh-in online at 2:00 PM pacific time at this link. For full results, check here.