ith his recent win in the 2019 U.S. Open
Nick Salvucci, of Atascadero, Calif., etched
his name in the list of champions of the most prestigious bass competitions of the West; but
that was only his most recent accomplishment.
Salvucci also earned his second win in only three
years as the Wild West Bass Trail Lucas Oil Western
Classic champion on Clear Lake this past summer.
His wins in 2017 and 2019 put half of all the event’s
trophies in Salvucci’s hands.
After it had a chance to sink in, WesternBass
checked in with Salvucci to see how the success feels
and find out about the angler the angler behind the
In his own words… Nick Salvucci
WB: Thinking of this year and the success would
you say that anything was different about you or your fishing?
SALVUCCI: Nothing comes to mind. It was
the same as past years. I always fish for the win, no matter where it’s at. I kind of just swing for the fences, but that’s not different. That is just how I am.
WB: Was the U.S. Open win extra special
because of the finishing runner-up in the past?
SALVUCCI: Yes! I would’ve been devastated, if I
would’ve finished in the top-five or something. It hurt a lot last year when I took second. It took me a long time to get over that mentally. I have thought about that tournament and played it over and over in my head. I practiced for 2 1/2 days. I was practicing with no hooks, but I got one or two big bites a day, which dialed me to what I needed to do and then I just went to grind it out.
WB: Would you say that your success this year
changed anything in your career path for fishing or do you just chalk it up as wins and keep going down the same path that you were?
SALVUCCI: Just keep going down the same
path that I am. I just like fishing the bigger stuff out West. I have a real good job. I make a lot of money. I’m a shareholder in the company. I don’t plan on doing anything in the near future different than what I’m doing right now.
WB: Did you ever have the thought of making fishing
your career, even as a kid?
imagine I will retire at an early age. I am not married and have no kids. I’m good with my money, so we have talked about when we retire going out and maybe trying the Opens for year. But that’s as far as I’ve went. It’s just talk.
I was that kid watching Bassmaster and all the fishing shows and I was definitely in to. But I feel like I’ve kind of lived it already, vicariously through Jared Lintner. I pre-fished with him for his first Bassmaster Classic, when you were able to do that. I’ve flown back to Georgia and went and pre-fished Lake Seminole with him. Stuff like that makes it like I live vicariously through Jared.
WB: When did you start fishing?
SALVUCCI: I’ve been fishing, since I could walk but
I started fishing bass tournaments when I was 14. My brother heard of a bass tournament. It was an American Bass tournament. He was 16 and I was 14 and we had a Bayliner Fish and Ski boat. We signed up for this 50-boat tournament and we got third place. We didn’t even enter the options. We didn’t even know what the options were. That was the first time I met Jared. He ended up winning the tournament. He kicked everybody’s butt. Eventually, me and him became friends and started team fishing together and we team fish to this day.
SALVUCCI: I don’t treat it as a hobby. I treat it
very much like a second job, because it’s work. You fish daylight to dark. You don’t sleep. It’s not easy. When I do something, I go for throttle and I do that with fishing.
I’m sure I dreamt about it at some point. Me and my buddy have talked about it. Maybe when we retire. I
WB: What is it that attracted you to tournament
SALVUCCI: I’m a very competitive person. I
remember that first tournament when we won money. I was hooked.