Gunnar Stanton of Boulder City came in third place in the pro division of Western Outdoor News’ 2021 U.S. Open bass fishing tournament held Oct. 11-13 at Lake Mead.
He won $12,000 for his total of 20.27 pounds of fish, after a .20 pound penalty for a dead fish, caught during two days of fishing.
He said 201 boats launched out of Callville Bay for the tournament.
For this tournament, he was paired with an AAA co-angler, who was fishing his own tournament out of the back of Stanton’s boat.
He said the random assignments help keep the fishermen honest.
Before turning pro, Stanton competed in high school and college tournaments. He has been fishing since he was 14 years old.
Stanton, 24, said there are tournaments nearly every weekend and he competes in between 20 and 25 a year.
“I’m definitely one of the younger pros out there,” he said.
He said he is eyeing the Major League Fishing Toyota series next year and hopes to qualify for a national tournament.
Stanton said the sport never gets boring because it’s always changing.
“There is no right way to catch a fish; you can learn from everyone.”
He said because the conditions are constantly changing no two days are ever the same.
“The unknown keeps me coming back,” he said.
But, he admits, it’s also the competition. Stanton said he is “really competitive” and he enjoys the opportunity to “win money and beat other guys.”
Since graduating from Northern Arizona University in 2019, Stanton has been fishing professionally and working at his family’s business, Characters Unlimited, which specializes in animatronic people and animals as well as fortune telling machines including the well-known Zoltar.
Boulder City residents Brett Becker came in 86th place with 12.57 pounds; Corey Williams came in 119th place with 10.5 pounds; and Tim Klinger came in 182nd place with 5.04 pounds.
Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at email@example.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.