2005 REVIEW

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My 2004 season is now behind me.  There were many of ups and downs throughout the year.  For 2005, I hope to improve and learn through hindsight and be successful in all events this year.  I have many goals for this season.  I would like to once again qualify for the Renegade Bass Classic after missing the cut in 2004.  As well, I will putting in some extra research into being successful on the Bay of Quinte where the 2005 BASS Provincial Qualifier will be held - hopefully prefishing will benefit me and help me in obtaining a position on the Team Ontario roster.  Closer to home, I will be concentrating on our Petawawa Bassmaster circuit and hope that we have strong fields this year to compete against.  I can't wait for the 2005 season finally start.

I hope you enjoy my summary of my 2005 competition season.

20 May - Joe Parsons Memorial Pike Tournament - Ottawa River, Petawawa This event has become a annual spring high-lite in honour of Joe Parsons, a former soldier who died while serving overseas.  This pike tournament is held as well to raise funds for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.  For this day, I was teamed up with my buddy Stu Smith.  The weather for the day looked promising and was light winds and sunny.  On blast off, Stu and I went to a creek mouth and fished with chub minnows and bobbers in a deep hole, hoping for some early morning cruisers.  We only saw one small cruising hammer handle pike and after 1.5 hrs, we had no success and left that spot.  We then decided to go shallow and proceeded into a bay trolling/casting our way around.  As the sun came out higher and brighter, Stu and I spot a few nice pike sitting in the sand.  We both cast our bobbers in the direction of them and they wanted nothing to do with the juicy baits.  We continued down the shore and Stu spots another huge pike.  Once again, we cast towards the pike and the pike slowly turns and comes towards us.  The pike and my bait disappear and the fight is on.  After a great struggle, Stu and I land a 23 lb beauty.  We were high fiving each other and excited that we now had our first fish of the day.  We continued circling the bay and spotted a few other nice sized pike but were unable to get them to strike.  My bass tournament partner, Mike Augot, was in another boat close by and he spots a huge pike.  We watched as he set the hook on a monster and break off.  Not long after that, we spot another monster pike lying shallow.  Once again, Stu and I approach quietly with our bobbers.  The pike wouldn’t even move.  I switched to a black mepps spinner and bam!!!! The water explodes and the pike runs for open water on us.  We chased him on the trolling motor for about 10 minutes.  We were nervous that the pike would break, since I did not have a leader on, but luck was with us and the line did not break.  We landed the big guy and he topped off at almost 22 pounds.  Awesome!!  We now had over 40 lbs of pike on two fish and were excited.  We continued around the bay but were unable to upgrade our bag there.  We headed back to the weigh-in and decided to try another creek mouth.  Stu immediately sets the hook on 6 lb pike and we landed him and put him with the other two in the live well.  We were now running out of time and decided to head back to weighin.  At the dock, we weighed the two large guys in one at a time, and we were at 43+ lbs with one fish left to weigh in.  I go back to the boat and grab the last fish and to my horror, the fish starts flopping and rolling and I drop him on the boat, he flops out and hits the dock and then splashed into the water.  Uh oh – now Stu and I were nervous that the fish would cost us first place.  As it turns out, we were well ahead of the 2nd place team and won the total weight category as well as big fish one and two of the day.  Thanks to Stu for a great day on the water and perfect start to the tournament season.

3-5 June 05 – Blind Anglers International Tournament (B.A.I.T.):  This weekend is one of the events that I look forward to each year on the calendar.  This would be my third time participating in the tournament hosted by the Lions Club out of Nangor Resort at Westmeath, Ontario.  The main purpose of this weekend is to provide a sight challenged angler a day of fishing in tournament conditions.  For this year’s event, I was paired up with Ross Miller from Kingston, Ontario.  Ross and I met on Friday night at the meet and greet and struck up a friendship right away.  It turns out that Ross had a connection with the military in past years, providing communications on the amateur radio systems for deployed soldiers.  He had many stories to tell me through out our day on the water.  Ross and I had a great day together fishing and telling many stories (and lies).  We caught a few small pike and even a few hungry bass.  After all was said and done, Ross and I  became great friends and promised to keep in touch and tell more fishing stories to each other.  I am already looking forward to seeing Ross again at next year’s event.

26 June 05 – Renegade Bass Pro-Am (Mississippi Lake) Well, bass season has finally arrived and what a great way to start the season off by participating in a pro-am event.  I was looking forward to this event all winter since it was going to be my first participation in this event as a “Pro” – I prefer the term angler/co-angler for these style of events.  The focus of the event was to introduce new or developing bass anglers to the tournament scene at a low cost.  It was to allow for anglers to experience bass fishing in a tournament environment such as blast off, boat driving control skills, different tactics, use of sonars and GPS and a wealth of other knowledge.  My draw partner for the event was Wayne Rankin.  Upon introduction and shaking hands, Wayne and I proceeded to load our gear and launch and wait for blast off.  The format for the day was for each team to bring one largemouth and smallmouth – by doing so, the co-angler would be able to experience different approaches to two separate species in their environments.  When our number came up to blast off, Wayne and I proceeded to a flat close to the launch and we both started throwing spinner-baits, hoping for some aggressive early morning smallmouth.  Immediately, we were rewarded with some scrappy smallies – nothing big, but at least the first half of our goal was accomplished.  We continued to catch a few more throwing various baits such as spinner-baits, senko’s and weedless tubes.  Unfortunately, we were unable to upgrade our weight so we fired up the motor and headed to some back bays to start looking for some largemouth.  For the remainder of the day we chased buckets in slop, pads, wood, pencil reeds, deep weeds – you name it, we fished it.  Wayne and I caught quite a few largemouth, just not many that weighed heavy.  The highlite of the day was when Wayne and I headed up a creek only inches deep and black with mud.  Wayne's observation and comment was – “there are no fish in there, is there?”.  This is where Wayne experienced rat fishing and how explosive it can be.  We had a great time in this spot.  After all was said and done, we finished the event in 9th place with a weight of 4.90 lbs for one smallmouth and largemouth.  I had a wonderful time with Wayne and look forward to seeing him at future Renegade Bass events, possibly as a Gold series competitor.

2 July 05 – Petawawa Bassmasters (Muskrat Lake):  Our 2005 season for the Petawawa Bassmasters was set to begin on Muskrat Lake, which is usually known for producing early season heavy bags of both smallmouth and largemouth.  For this tournament, my draw partner was Bob Busby.  Bob and I were both excited about this tournament, since we had a great prefish and had located some quality largemouth.  On blastoff, we ran to our first spot and started to fish the area with rats and frogs.  The water was extremely high and murky as well as a major cold front had come through the previous two days.  Uh oh, little did Bob and I know that it would ultimately affect our pattern.  We ended up not adjusting early enough, and by the time the day had passed, we came into weigh in fishless.  That was the first time ever on Muskrat Lake that I didn’t even get to put water in the live well.  After speaking with the rest of the competitors, it was revealed that the weights were down overall with everyone having an extremely tough day on the lake.  On a positive note, Bob and I had a great day together on the water and are looking forward to our next outing.  Hopefully we will have better success on our next Bassmasters event at Westmeath.  For results, visit www.petawawabassmasters.com

3 July 05 – Renegade Bass (Mississippi Lake):  This was the first event of 5 tournaments on the 2005 Renegade Bass trail.  The goal of all Renegade anglers this year is to qualify for the Classic in hopes of winning the prize of a Ranger bass boat – excellent prize for the membership, showing that this is a premier tournament series.  For my partner Mike Augot and I, this is our 3rd year of competing together on this circuit.  After having a few days of pre-fishing as well as the Pro-Am event, Mike and I both had many spots to choose from in hopes of starting of the season well.  Our plan was to go to a flat and try for a quick limit of smallmouth and then proceed to slow down and try for some meatier largemouth.  This year, Mike and I drew team 4 for blast off position.  When we proceeded down the lake at 07:00 am, we pulled into a bay and started spinner baiting and tubing.  Within minutes, we had landed our first feisty smallmouth.  The action then became fast and furious.  We were unhooking smallies in the boat and another one would be on the line.  We had quickly caught our limit before 07:30 am, in fact, the tournament field was still blasting off when we boated our fifth fish.  As it turns out, our flurry of action quickly ended.  For the remainder of the day, we were unable to upgrade our bag.  We tried shallow, deep, fast, slow – no success.  We even returned to our start point hoping for another frenzy to start, but no success.  As it turned out, we finished with a final weight of 9.64 lbs, starting the season off in 55th position of 85 teams.  This was not the start to the season that we had hoped for, however, there were still 4 events to go so we just put the day behind us and started looking forward to the Rockland event where we hope to get a big bag and get back in the pack.  For results, visit www.renegadebass.com

9 July 05 – Renegade Bass (Ottawa River – Rockland):  The second stop on the Renegade Bass tour takes us to the big bass waters of the Ottawa River in Rockland.  Last year at this event, Mike and I goose egged here and never caught a fish.  This stretch of river is known for it’s potential of huge weights, so, this year we had no where to go but up.  We approached our pre-fishing strategy different this year.  We spent two days checking areas that we had never went to before and then confirmed some old spots.  Going into the event we knew that we had to get a good bag of fish to allow us to stay within striking distance of a classic berth.  On tournament morning, a rainstorm had just finished and the humidity and heat were high.  Mike and I went to the back of a large bay and started throwing once again, frogs and rats.  We caught a couple quick fish and slowly started building our bag.  Around noon we had our limit caught on the rats and frogs and a couple of sluggo fish.  We were now feeling pretty good compared to last year.  We continued to slug it out for the rest of the day, slowly upgrading our bag to a final weight of 14.96 lbs, 26th for the day.  More important to us was that it moved us to within striking distance now of a classic position – we were now sitting 37th position overall with 3 more events to go.  We now have our confidence back on the Ottawa River and we are looking forward to the smallmouth bite on the St Lawrence River.  For final results and team of the year race, visit www.renegadebass.com

16 July 05 -  Petawawa Bassmasters (Ottawa River – Westmeath):  The 2nd tournament in our Petawawa Bassmasters series takes us to the stretch of Ottawa River out of Westmeath.  This event was staged out of Laurentian View Resort.  This portion of the river usually is able to produce some quality bags of largemouth from some of the shallow back bays.  For this event, Pierre Lafrance and I were partnered up.  Both Pierre and I were unable to get out for a pre-fish so we were going to target traditional spots that had produced in the past.  A cold had just finished passing through the area for the previous two days, so initial reports were that the day was going to be a tough one – go figure, is it ever easy on the river?  Anyways, Pierre and I make a long run down river to a well-known community hole to start our day.  Our plan was to try to get a limit by noon and re-evaluate our plan at that point.  It was very slow going in the morning.  Pierre and I were only rewarded with 2 fish at our first spot – one of them being over 4lbs – we were hoping for 5 of those in that area.  Our day continued to very slow and we were only able to land 3 fish this day finish with only a little over 7 lbs.  Although Pierre and I were disappointed with our results, we both enjoyed our day fishing with each other and look forward to partnering up again.  For full results, visit www.petawawabassmasters.com

23 July 05 – Renegade Bass (St Lawrence River):  After having a decent bag of bass at Rockland to keep us within striking distance of a Classic position, Mike and I were anxious to get in some quality pre-fishing for our 3rd tournament on the St Lawrence River.  Last year on this body of water, Mike and I gambled and ran 1 hr 45 minutes up river to Lake Ontario and the gamble failed.  This year, we approached our prefish in a different manner, hoping to locate a few fish in many areas and capitalize on closer areas to maximize our fishing time.  Our two days of prefishing went well and we were able to locate some smallmouth in many areas ranging from shallow rock/weeds to deep water drop offs.  We headed into the competition optimistic, but cautious.  On tournament day, we initially took a very short run to the golf course and fished a shallow weed line hoping for a quick limit by 0730.  Unfortunately, nothing came from there, so we decided to make the run and start our milk run of spots.  We thought that by being behind that early in the morning, our next spot would probably be covered by many competitors.  To our surprise, only one boat was there on our arrival, and they were on the outside of the area.  Mike and I proceeded to spinnerbait and twitch bait the flat.  Within minutes, Mike spots two nice smallmouth trailing his spinnerbait and instructed me to drop a tube.  Immediately, I dropped a tube jig and the smallie turned and swallowed the bait.  Great.  Our first fish of the morning was a heavy 2 pounder.  Very soon after, we landed another quality smallmouth in the same area, once again, on a tube jig.  Our day was starting to fall into place.  We ended up having our limit of approx 13 lbs before noon and were now hoping to upgrade.  Around 2:30, we tried the tip of a shoal in about 4 ft of water.  The tip had a good wind chop going on it.  With some luck, we were able to land two quick quality smallies, approx 3 lbs, that pushed our bag to a final weight of 15.7 lbs and a 5th place finish.  We were extremely pleased with the day’s results.  When we arrived home that evening around 9:00 pm, we were surprised to hear that we moved into 7th overall in the standings for team of the year race.  We now have even more work cut out in hopes of that small chance that we could overtake the lead in two more events.  Our fingers are crossed.  For final results and overall standings, visit www.renegadebass.com

30 July - Town of Deep River Bass Open - Ottawa River, Deep River - This event was being hosted by the Town of Deep River and organized by Deep River Outfitters.  I usually do this event with my wife, Faye.  For this years event, this was Faye’s first time in our new Triton bass boat – it was certainly a step up for her from our last boat.  She was like a little kid on a carnival ride.  After a long ride down river to our spot for the day, we started to catch smallies and largies.  During one of the lulls in the day, I started to idle slowly from one point to another.  Faye had not brought her line in when I started to move and at one point she says she has a fish on.  I looked back and commented that it was probably weeds since we were moving to fast for a bass to strike.  She once again states she has a fish.  I look back once more, and to my surprise, a 2.5 lb smallie was doing cartwheels on the surface.  So I quickly put the boat in neutral and helped Faye land her fish.  And like a typical women, she says “I told you so!!”.  She was happy and so was I since it was a quality fish for our livewell.  We continued on fishing for the remainder of the day and were able to weigh in our limit at the deadline.  Although we did not place in the money, we did receive a draw prize.  Well done to the Town of Deep River and special thanks to Terry and Karen from Deep River Outfitters for all their excellent efforts in organizing this successful event again this year.

6 August - Renegade Bass - Newboro Lake, Newboro - Our fourth stop on the Renegade Bass trail takes us to Newboro Lake – part of the Rideau waterway system.  Having never been to this lake before, some extra effort to learn the lake was required.  A good friend of mine has parents who still have a home on the lake so he graciously offered to orientate us around the lake.  During a pre-fish, he took me out and showed me how to navigate certain parts of the lake – this was certainly helpful since the lake has many islands, arms, shoals and bays.  A few days later, Mike and I headed down for two days of pre-fishing prior to the event.  Based on what we put together during our pre-fish, we were able to narrow it down to a couple of spots that we thought would produce a reasonable bag for us.  Come tournament day, we were confident that we would be able to at least get our limit, however, larger fish could become the problem.  Throughout the day, we hit various spots on the lake – everything from shallow to deep, rocks to sand, and wood to slop.  Around noon, we were not having much success, so we decided to venture into a remote spot where we caught a few fish earlier in the week.  As luck would have it, we started to catch a few more fish in a mix of logs and stumps.  We spotted a quality largemouth cruising that would have increased our bag, but we were unable to locate him after he bolted.  Once the day was finished, we were able to weigh in a respectable bag of 12.79 lbs, which was acceptable for the day based on the tough overall weights.  At least this weight allowed us to stay in the pack to continue searching for a Classic position heading into the final Renegade Bass event of the season.

13 August - Petawawa Bassmasters - Ottawa River, Arnprior/Braeside - The last time I was on the Ottawa River at Arnprior, I had a great day with the member I was teamed up with – this time, I got lucky and drew him again - good ole Ron Schultz.  And just like last time, we had another tough day on a tough stretch of river.  After a long day of sharing stories and trying to catch some fish, Ron and I finished up our day with 11.72 lbs.  Oh well, the great company made up for the small weight – we’ll do better next time, eh Ron?

20 August - Renegade Bass - Rideau River, Kemptville - Well, the final event of the Renegade Bass trail has us competing on the Rideau River, staged out the Rideau River Provincial Park.  Up to this date, Mike and I have had four successful tournaments – we are entering this event with a comfortable margin to qualify for the Classic.  After reviewing some historic weights on this waterway, we figured that if we could get a minimum of 3 lbs, we could sneak into the final cut position.  Upon blast off, we headed down river to start in a area that usually produces lots of fish.  In this case, we were not initially concerned with big fish, just enough weight to ensure a safety margin for a Classic cut-off position.  We ended up getting 3 quick fish and immediately were excited and confident that we were now going to be in the Classic.  We kept on fishing now, knowing that the initial pressure was off.  Throughout the day, we continued to catch a few more largemouth and upgraded our bag to over 12 lbs.  At the final weigh in, we discovered that the fishing was generally tough for all the competitors.  Our bag of fish gave us over 10 lbs up on the cut-off position with a comfortable final season weight, placing us in the top 10 of 85 teams in the year end totals.  We were very excited now knowing that we now were able to focus on the Classic and the grand prize of a Ranger bassboat.  Both Mike and I were excited about the Classic.  Congratulations to Steve Barnett and Trevor Cheney for their outstanding season in conquering the Team of the Year award.  Best of luck to all the Classic competitors.

21 August - Petawawa Bassmasters - Ottawa River, Petawawa - Once again, our Bassmaster chapter is back at it’s home “port” for the fourth event in our schedule.  For this event, I was paired up with Brett Miller.  Brett and I enjoyed previous success together on Lake Clear a few years ago, so we were hoping to capitalize once again.  Our plan was to hit a couple rocky flats just off some of the main river channels.  We started the morning off with some other competitors on a local flat and hoped to catch some early morning smallmouth.  Our plan, unfortunately, did not work out.  We ended up having to resort to looking for isolated fish.  We proceeded into a bay for a few hours and Brett and I were rewarded with a meaty 5lb plus largemouth that engulfed my Bassmagnet stik – this fish ended up being the big fish of the day and rewarded us with some welcomed cash.  For the day overall, we ended up with a total weight of 12.52 lbs, not good enough for a cheque (except for the big fish prize), but under the tough late summer conditions, it was a bag that we were content with.  Thanks again for another fine day with Brett.

27-28 August - Ontario BASS Qualifier - Bay of Quinte - This year’s OBF Qualifier takes us to the Bay of Quinte, hosted and staged out of Belleville.  I always have this event highlighted annually on my calendar, especially this year, since it will be my first time to the Bay of Quinte for bass.  Hopefully the water will live up to the reputation as one of the top waters in North America.  At the Friday night meet and greet, I met up with my day one partner – Shawn Richardson from KWC Bassmasters.  Shawn and I chatted on how each others pre-fish had gone and we both reported good numbers of fish, not necessarily any big ones though.  A bonus we had for day one was that Shawn had previously been to the Bay of Quinte and I was hoping that our combined spots would benefit both of us.  At the 7:00 AM blast off, Shawn and I made quite a long run towards the Hay Bay region in my Triton.  Our initial plan was to start in the middle of a small bay and cover some open water quickly with spinnerbaits (approx 3-4 feet deep), hoping that we could get a few quick, aggressive, morning feeding largemouth.  The wind was starting to pick early this day by the time we made it there.  The wind caused the shallow water to become stirred up, and combined with the low light conditions, this initial spot became tough to fish and didn’t produce for us.  We proceeded to head over to a stretch of shoreline that was semi-sheltered, but allowed us to target some buckets with the conditions we were faced with.  We started flipping the shore for a stretch of about 1 km long.  It had everything we were looking for in about three feet of water – rocks, weeds, overhanging trees, docks, cat-tails – everything perfect for starting our bags.  I rotated between a weightless texas-rigged Bassmagnet stik, sluggo’s and flipping jigs and caught many fish on each presentation.  This stretch was able to give us each over 10lbs, which was a great starting point.  Around noon, we decided to make a move back towards Belleville in hopes of upgrading our individual weights.  It was an extremely rough ride back due to the extremely high winds, but, in the end the rewards were worth it.  Shawn and I were both able to cull up our weights on the next spots, targeting the same type of cover as we had in the morning.  After all was said and done, Shawn had 11.22 lbs and I had 14.29 lbs (placing me 11th for day one).  With both our weights, we were able to keep within striking distance of a top 12 position on Team Ontario.  After weigh-in, I headed back to where we were staying with the rest of our Petawawa members, and started preparing for day 2 of the competition.  For the 2nd day of the event, I drew Bob Thornington, who was also from the KWC Bassmasters as well.  Bob had a great day one, bringing in over 15 lbs to keep him in the race as well for today.  Bob and I both went over our plans for the morning and proceeded to launch.  Bob and I agreed to head back towards the Hay Bay region – we figured the winds had passed and we may be able to capitalize on similar structure as we did on day 1.  Sure enough, we approached day 2 with the same patterns that worked for us on day 1, although we started in a different area close by to our day one spots.  Bob had great success by exclusively throwing a texas rigged flipping tube, pegged with a bullet weight.  Once again, Bob and I had a good bag of largemouth going and decided around noon that we would make the run back to Belleville and try for additional weight.  We found another stretch of shoreline, much like our start spot, and we were able to upgrade our bags.  The weight time was now quickly approaching and we made our way back to the weigh in area.  Now the nervous part came.  Bob and I waited our turn, floating in the harbour while teams ahead of us started the day 2 weigh in.  Our turn came to the weigh in with the other competitors and we started to watch the bags of fish hitting the scales.  When our turn came up, Bob went and weighed his bag first – a great bag of largemouth, which tipped the scales at 14.79 lbs.  Now it was my turn.  I emptied my largemouth into the basket and waited for the scales to stop moving. The weigh scales flashed my final weight – 15.21 lbs.  I was extremely pleased with my weight.  I ended up with a combined two day weight of 29.50 lbs, placing me in 3rd place overall for the event.  Finally, I made Team Ontario after many close attempts in previous years.  Congratulations also to Bob, who ended up in 2nd place overall and will accompany the remainder of Team Ontario to Lake Champlain in September 2006 for the BASS Federation Eastern Division Championships.  I can’t wait.  Just like in previous OBF Qualifier’s that I have competed in, I once again drew two great fellow anglers in Bob and Shawn.  They were awesome guys to be paired with for both days and they certainly helped me in my success.  I hope they are able to attend next years qualifier in Petawawa, where we can share stories on our day on the water.

3-4 September - Renegade Bass Classic X - Well, after having competed in five regular season events, we found ourselves having qualified for the two day Classic on Charleston Lake.  Our quest to compete at the Classic did not start off quite as we had hoped.  I had intentions of heading down early in the week in order to get in some additional time to learn the lake for pre-fishing.  Unfortunately, Mike was unable to head down and our trip was delayed by two days.  Another factor to hit us was that the remnants of Hurricane Katrina were passing through the area, which made accessing the lake virtually impossible due to the treacherous conditions.  As a result, our pre-fish was not as successful as we had hoped – we ended up getting limited time on the lake for our most important team event of the season.  After two mediocre days of not being able to catch 10 quality bass to weighin, Mike and I ended up finishing near the bottom of the field at the end of the Classic.  Congratulations to Steve Horvath and Ted Ramsay for a dramatic win and well deserved Classic Championship.  Oh well, I’ll try again next year and hope for the best.

24 September - Petawawa Bassmasters - Members Only - Mystery Lake - Calabogie Lake – This final event of our chapter series is an annual joint effort where we combine a members only tournament with a Ministry of Natural Resources research project.  What we do is conduct a regular tournament (boater/non-boater pairings) as well as we take scale samples of all bass caught and record that data, which is passed to the MNR for record purpose.  The MNR considers this a valuable project each year where they are able to obtain over 120 man hours of on-water research, in one mass setting, which they are unable to obtain due to manpower restrictions.  The tournament side of the event is conducted in the same format as the OBF qualifier, where each angler is responsible for his own five bass.  My non-boater for the day was one of our chapter front-runners for the season, Rob Yantha.  With some fog on the lake, all teams carefully proceeded out into the lake looking for some smallmouth and largemouth.  A few hundred yards from the launch, the fog bank broke and it was a clear morning for driving and fishing.  After eight hours of competing, all teams returned to weigh in and turned in their scale samples from the day.  I ended up landing a 5.8 and 5.5 lb largemouth, which helped round out my bag to a first place club finish weight of 16.1 lbs.  After having a slow start to my Bassmaster season, I was very pleased to finish up on high note with a win and two quality fish.  Thanks to Rob for the day – his knowledge of the lake was key in my performance this day.

1 October - 4th Annual Fall Brawl - Ottawa River, Petawawa

8 October- Round Lake Open  – Each fall, I organize an “invitational” type event on Round Lake.  It typically falls on the closing weekend of the Provincial Park closing for the season.  This lake has become a jewel for outstanding fall smallmouth action.  This year, ten hearty teams were organized to participate.  Our start was delayed due to two teams thinking they knew where the event launch was and proceeded off on their own, getting lost instead of following us (and then blamed us – go figure).  Once they finally arrived, we got our event underway.  I was partnered up for the day with a fellow Petawawa Bassmaster, Pierre Lafrance.  The morning started off quite cool and windy, but that did not cool anyone’s spirits for the day ahead.  Once again, Round Lake did not disappoint any of the competitors.  The Voldock brothers (no strangers to the smallmouth tournament scene) wowed everyone at weigh in time when they emptied their bag and the scales registered 24.13 lbs – applause all around.  Pierre and I caught over thirty smallies that day, but came up short on the scoreboard and finished 2nd with 20.65 lbs.  The majority of our fish were caught in 10 feet or more of water on tubes, however, a few were coaxed into biting senko’s and spinner-baits.  Big fish for the day was caught by Ray McFarlane and Mark Miller – it topped the scales at a chunky 5.77 lbs.  Overall, it was a great day – ten teams competing and five of them with over 20 lbs.  Can’t wait for next year – this lake has yet to disappoint anyone in the fall.  Thanks to Pierre for the great day together.  Congratulations to the Voldock’s on their outstanding catch.

15 October - Muskrat Lake Open  – Well, now that tournament circuit season is over, many small invitational events are organized, mostly for bragging rights but as well to take advantage of the fall feeding frenzy taking place on all the lakes and rivers.  Today’s event had mother nature dishing out everything she had to offer – high winds, driving rain, fog, blue skies and sunshine, whitecaps and calm water.  Since Pierre Lafrance and I had enjoyed a great day on the water the week before, we agreed to try our luck once again together.  After 8 hours of fishing, all the teams arrived at the dock for weigh in.  With all the adversity encountered today, the anglers still managed to obtain some great bags of fish.  Mike Augot and Stu Augot topped the field today with a final weight of 20.98 lbs.  Pierre and I once again came up as bridesmaids and finished in 2nd place with a bag of 20.2 lbs.  Big fish for the day was a beauty 5.49 lbs smallmouth, caught by Ermanno D’Angelo and his girlfriend Nancy.  As fall progresses, the fields are getting smaller, but the weights are getting larger.  Congrats to everyone that participated today.

 22 October - Muskrat Lake Open – Much like the week before, due to popular demand, another informal event was organized to capitalize on the fall feeding frenzy of smallmouth that Muskrat Lake is known for.  Today’s event started out foggy and cold, but turned out to be a fine day.  Once again, great numbers of smallmouth reported caught by all the competitors.  The event winners for this outing went to Claudio Pelligrini and Nigel Touhey, with a weight of 21.31 lbs, which was anchored by the big fish of the day at 6.00 lbs.  I was competing solo this day and managed another 2nd place finish at 21.00 lbs – can’t get the kicker to get over the top.  Thanks to everyone that participated today.

 29 October - Muskrat Lake Open – After last Sundays reports of lot’s of quality smallmouth being caught, my phone at home was ringing off the hook with requests to organize one last extreme event.  So, with another list of eager teams available, we set out for one last final tourney on Muskrat Lake.  The day was very mild with no winds all day.  For today, I was teamed up with fellow Renegade Bass competitor, Steve Barnett.  After all was said and done, Muskrat Lake did not disappoint the anglers.  The day’s winners were Charles and Brett Sim, with a nice bag of 22.62 lbs.  Steve and I ended up with a final bag weighing 20.47 lbs, placing us – you got it – 2nd place again!!!!  Oh well, maybe next year.  I was starting to feel like Aaron Martens and his three 2nd place Bassmaster Classic finishes in recent years.  Big fish of the day once again was caught by Mark Miller and Ray MacFarlane with a 5.74 lbs smallmouth.  Congrats to Charles and Brett on winning the final open event of the season.  Now we have to sit back and let winter settle in.

 

 

 

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This site was last updated 04/25/07