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bpsbassman

A Rookie's Experience

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My son Paul (Ned Devine) & I had entered the Bass Pro Shops Simcoe Open, our first foray into a Professional Tournament. I was a 58 year old "Rookie" :D

1st Place paid $10,000 with a $10,000 bonus for a bag over 30 Lbs (5 fish). If you could break the current Canadian Small Mouth record (9.84 Lbs), you would win a Toyota Tundra and Nitro Bass Boat!

We were the long shots in the Tournament, not only being rookies and having one of the smallest boats (Tracker Pro-V16 with a 75 Four stroke), but Friday was our first time on the Lake! Some of Canada's best and most famous anglers were in this tournament. Our goal was to finish in the top half of the standings (40th or better in an 80 boat field).

We met around noon on Friday and pre-fished for about 5 hours trying some of the spots we had been gathering from fishing buddies. It was windy and cool and the best we could do was catch a perch. It did however give us a chance to see the lake and relate it to the hydrographic maps we had been studying. We pulled the boat out and had an excellent dinner at the Lake Simcoe Arms Restaurant and then went over to register for the tournament. We registered and picked up our awesome gift bag and went back to Paul's home in Brooklin to spend a little quality time with my Grandson Evan (my Granddaughter was already in bed) and retie a number of rods in preparation for morning.

We left Paul's at 5:30 am Saturday morning and got to the launch at Sibbald Provincial Park an hour and a half before the start, where it was already a gong show, but a well organized gong show. We got the boat in the water, passed inspection and did some preparation before our blast off. We were boat #48 and would take off in the second wave at 8:15 am. It was very well organized with a staggered launch based on a digital read out from a pontoon boat well offshore.

 

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Fishing proved to be extremely tough with wind and steady rain. Many of the spots that we wanted to work already had a dozen boats on them. We tried the shoal off Fox island and the backside of Fox that had structure similar to what we caught our fish at Cooch last week....nothing. We worked the South West side of Snake Island where we were seeing balls of baitfish and lots of "hooks" off an edge in about 25 feet of water. Paul finally says "Get the net!" His rod is bent over and he's got a good one on. Turns out to be about a 10 pound Pike. You can see how excited Paul was to catch this.

 

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The day ended on a bit of a sour note for us as my alarm started going off on my motor everytime we got over 3000 rpm.........$$$$$$.

 

The weigh-in was very professionally done with boats (that had fish) trailered up to the stage and fish weighed while being interviewed by Dave Mercer.

 

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It was kind of weird sitting out in the water listening to the weigh-ins. You realize that the last boats coming in don't really have much idea of how well they're doing and haven't seen a lot of the awesome fish that have already been weighed in.

 

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Mike and Howard Gifford had the winning weight of 28.36 pounds!!

 

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The good news is that we achieved our goal by finishing 40th! Unfortunately, we tied with 40 other boats (including many high profile fishermen that had pre-fished all week) that got the old "bagel" as well! :lol: :lol:

 

This was a great tournament from the aspect that you didn't have to be a pro to compete. The tournament offered a $2000 prize from Rapala for finishing 36th (the year Rapala was started). Winning weight was 3.74 Lbs.! There was also $1000 for the largest Largemouth Bass (none were entrered last year). There was also a prize for hidden weight and a bonus for best finish with a Yamaha motor. The interesting thing is that the second place team won more than the winning team with their add-ons (Hummingbird/Minn Kota and Shimano Bonus money). I believe it was $11,000 or $12,000.

 

I would like to thank George Wallace of Bass Pro Shops, Herb Quan and the Aurora Bassmasters and Andy Palotta and all the other support staff for running such a well organized and rewarding tournament.

Special thanks to Mark Kulik and his Strike Zone Tournament Baits. They didn't do the trick this time out, but we've been catching a whack of fish on his Slammers!!!!

 

It was a great experience and our only regret is that we didn't have fish to weigh-in.

Can't wait till next year!!

Edited by BPSBASSMAN

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That was cool to read, i hope that in the future i can enter a tournament like that but i would enter a pro/am tournament (amature side) just to get a taste of tournament fishing. Thanks for sharing :)

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Congratulations to both of you :thumbsup_anim:

A 40th place finish the first time amongst the pros.... that's quite an accomplishment :clapping:

 

Best of luck for next year B)

Leechman

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So Roger, when are you going to change your name to BPSBAGELBOY??? :whistling:

 

I'm not really one to talk, I got the big bagel in my last two tournaments. :wallbash::stretcher:

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I just looked at the results and you know it`s a tough bite when some of the best pro`s in the province weight in a dounut!

Edited by lookinforwalleye

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Great report Roger!

I'd like to get a taste of tournament fishing some day but I think I would start off a little smaller than the Simcoe Open!

How about a CTTS tour stop on LV in May? Count me in.

-Brian

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Roger....great report....excellent account of your first tourney! Must have been pretty cool to participate despite the weather and fishing. Nice pictures too!

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Sounds like you had a good time though! Sounds like a really tough day on the water. Good luck with any future tournaments you enter.

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Great report Roger. Just think, it couldn't get any worse than a "bagel" on any future tourneys. Good on you and your son for giving it a go.

 

Stan

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great report

 

even when I did bad in a tourney, I would learn a lot from the day of fishing, I found it a good way to speed up the learning curve

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even when I did bad in a tourney, I would learn a lot from the day of fishing,

 

It was a great day just to be part of.

What I would really like to know is just how deep the 20 pound bags were?

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Good report Roger and Paul, this was my first O in a tournament of any kind, but it can happen, the Lake turned recently and the bass just havnt gotten used to it, hence the tough bite, the important thing is not to get down over a poor event-it's only 1 day, as a matter of fact I can't wait for next year already! the way I look at it I got to fish , compete , and be a part of a cool event, this was my 2nd time fishing the fall event, and it's turned out to be a really well-run event! my partner Joe and I won our last event together on Simcoe in July, so we fish well together, when I realized our spot was not going to pan out we made long runs to other spots that were usually very reliable, I knew it was a bad mistake when I ran into Dave Chong and a couple of other good anglers who were not getting them, after battling huge waves across Simcoe we returned to find that the fish did have a small time frame that they bit, 2 freinds of mne caught 21 lbs for 4 fish, on slammers but did not get a bite in the last 4 hrs , all in all I had a fun time and hold your head up guys -it WAS a tough one!

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Hey Roger, thanks for the report! I can that retirement is agreeing with you! With the new found time on yer hands, I suspect that those other angles will be looking over thier shoulders in the tournaments to come!

HH

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Looks like fun, despite the 0! At least a pike was caught in your boat, lol. Last tournament I fished we didn't get a BITE! I miss it though. Hopefully next year I can get back in the tournament scene a little bit.

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Great thing to read! What a great experience. Sounds like tough conditions hit most there.

Thanks for sharing,

ehg

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