BY BLAKE WARREN
WON BASS Editor
At the WON BASS U.S. Open, to the victor go the spoils. And, for 2022, those spoils are likely to be bigger and better than ever.
Not only will this year’s Open winner claim the prestigious title of 40th U.S. Open champion over October 10-12 at Lake Mohave, and take home a cool $100,000 (based on a 250-boat field), but they will also be awarded the most decked out and valuable prize boat in the event’s long and storied history.
That prize boat would be the Bass Cat Cougar FTD, among the most elite tournament fishing platforms on today’s market. Armed with a Mercury 250 ProXS, Power-Pole Pro II Blade unit and a Next Gen lithium battery, the 2022 U.S. Open prize boat checks in at an eye-popping value upwards of $85,000 — a prize truly befitting of the 40th U.S. Open champion.
Check out the graphic at the bottom of this page for the full layout.
The Cougar FTD — FTD stands for “Full Tournament Deck” — boasts an amazing amount of deck space both forward and aft, allowing plenty of room for two anglers fishing side by side at either end and particularly so up front.
Throw in tons of easily accessible storage compartments, rod and tackle lockers, deep triangular livewells that greatly reduce sloshing and other nifty features like LED lighting in its compartments that automatically come on with the hatches open, and you have yourself a bass tournament fishing juggernaut of a boat.
Powered by the Mercury 250 Pro XS, the Cougar can reach top-end speeds approaching 80 mph with tight, predictable and smooth handling thanks to its dry-riding Legacy Bass Cat 20-foot hull. Bass Cat left no stone unturned with the Cougar, seemingly adding just about any and every creature comfort and tournament angler-minded feature one could imagine, including a custom-molded console which offers plenty of space for a multi-function display.
On top of all that high performance and functionality, the Cougar FTD is one heck of a looker too, with a glossy gelcoat featuring stunning metal-flake and crisp color accents.
With U.S. Open sponsors Power-Pole and Next Gen Lithium Batteries adding their high-end products to the mix, this year’s prize boat is indeed “fully loaded.” The flagship of Power-Pole’s line of products, the Pro II Blade Shallow Water Anchor offers quick deployment with the strongest hold in the most aerodynamic package.
The unit’s bottom-sensing technology automatically detects different bottom types and applies the perfect amount of pressure to hold your boat securely in place while featuring the most powerful and reliable hydraulic pumps on the market, all while being light and compact without taking up much valuable storage space.
With the Pro II Blade unit on board, anglers can rest assured they can handle any shallow water anchoring situation effortlessly. Meanwhile, Next Gen Lithium Batteries are safer, stronger and last longer than any other batteries on the market, ensuring the Cougar is ever-ready and fully powered up at a moment’s notice.
Make no mistake, whoever rises to the top to claim the 40th U.S. Open crown in October will be taking home an absolute beast of a bass fishing boat in the Bass Cat Cougar FTD