Amazing Results For Canada's Best Bass Tournament!
For Immediate Release: October 27, 2009
The 2009 Bass Pro Shops Lake Simcoe Open presented by Jack Link's Beef Jerky and BoaterExam.com, and hosted by the Aurora Bassmasters on Sat. Oct 24th in Orillia Ontario lived up to its billing as Canada's premier one day bass fishing tournament.
A full field of 100 two person teams paying a $320 entry fee participated for their chance to be crowned 2009 BPS Lake Simcoe Open Champions. There aren't many one day bass tournaments in Canada that year after year consistently take more than 25 pounds (5 bass limit) to win ... but the Bass Pro Shops Lake Simcoe does in spades! Since 2002 - when it was still called the Crackle Cup, the winning weight has not only surpassed 25 pounds but has been much closer to the magical 30 pound mark. This year several teams were favored to surpass the benchmark 30 pound barrier and although none did, an impressive seven teams topped 25 pounds. In fact the top 10 weights came in at 260.9 pounds and all were smallmouth bass averaging 5.20 lbs each.
In the end, it was the team of Barry Graves and Jason Gough who brought in an even 29 pounds for their heaviest bass who took the prestigious 2009 Bass Pro Shops Lake Simcoe Open Cup Trophy and a total of $34,300 in winnings.
For many anglers, the fishing was incredibly challenging - as strong winds kept several teams from venturing into Lake Simcoe - or headed back to Lake Couchiching early in the day. The winners however persevered and reached their fishing area in 45 minutes. “ During the run there we were able to cut sideways and it was rather uneventful and we got there pretty much dry and in one piece. During the day, however, the wind picked up and we were faced with five to six footers. Because of this we decided to give ourselves plenty of time to get back safely which meant we left our fish a lot earlier than we would have liked. The ride back was a different story and the boat and our bodies took a serious beating. I was also constantly checking the health of the fish while Barry was manoeuvring between gigantic waves”, explained Gough.
Once fishing, the duo relied on 8 to 12 pound Sufix fluorocarbon line and Rapala r-type rods in 6'6" to 7' models of medium or medium/heavy action. “We were dragging tubes in colors of white, brown and green in mostly a half ounce and throwing Crippled Herring spoons to catch our fish.We only had 8 or 9 bites, lost one fish, and culled a couple of times, said Graves. When asked if there was anything else they did that added to their victory he commented about the extensive prefishing they did prior to the event and finding several areas that could potentially produce big bass. However when it came to the actual day of tournament fishing Graves remarked, “I think another key was our decision to only fish one or two spots given the conditions. We usually do a lot of running around and Jay made a great call the day before the tournament when he was adamant that we don't waste time running between spots given the weather conditions being dealt to us.
Placing a close 2nd and 3rd respectively were three time winners Jason Saliba and Bob Formosa (with 27.8 lbs for $10,000) and last year's winner's Howard and Mike Gifford (with 27.7 lbs for $5,000).
$ 9,300* $34,300 - Total
* Winners will receive 2 Shimano Core reels and 2 Shimano Cumara rods valued at $1,600, $5,200 Cash from the Shimano* Pay to Play and $2,500 cash for the Humminbird/Minn Kota Bonus
** 8th place team ran a Yamaha motor and therefore won the YamaBucks Award
***16th place team won Yamaha Big Fish Award with their 6.55 lb smallmouth worth $4,000
**** 18th place won the Strike King Hidden Weight Award
Jim Venizelakos and Nick Terpselas placed 38th but caught the only largemouth bass which weighed a mere 2.15lbs but it won the Berkley Bucket Mouth Award worth $1,000. Two places ahead of them in 36th were the team of Mike Watson and Jim Rodney with just a 5.9 total weight - but that was good enough for the Rapala X-Spot '36 Award worth a cool $2,000.
The public enjoyed a dramatic drive-by weigh-in hosted by Facts of Fishing TV Show host Dave Mercer at the beautiful downtown waterfront's Port of Orillia. Here they also witnessed the Berkley Conservation Award winning Lake Simcoe Bass Tagging Research Project in action. Fisheries biologists from the Ministry of Natural Resources and, Azimuth Environmental Consulting, students in the Fish and Wildlife program at Fleming College and other volunteers weighed, measure, collected scale and spine samples and tagged all the bass caught during the tournament before they returned to the lakes via the Shimano Live Release Boat. This project is part of the Ministry of Natural Resources' Community Fisheries and Wildlife Involvement Program and partners with the lab of Dr Bruce Tufts at Queens University. It is in now in its fourth year with over 1,000 bass tagged so far. Anglers catching a tagged bass are asked to record the tag and phone numbers and call in with details of their catch.
Excitement is already building for next year's event as the Toyota Truck Record Payout will grow by another $5,000 to a grand total $20,000over and above the guaranteed 1st place prize.
The Aurora Bassmasters are one of the founding clubs of the Ontario BASS Federation Nation (OBFN) and have been involved with tournaments, conservation projects and youth fishing initiatives since 1995. The club's website is www.aurorabass.com and more details on the OBFN are at: www.ontariobass.com More information on the BPS Open can be found at www.simcoeopen.com and plenty of photos of the event are available at www.luresandtours.com.
Press Release prepared by:
Wil Wegman and Simon Frost
Sponsors of the 2009 BPS Lake Simcoe Open Include:
Bass Pro Shops, Tracker Boats, Toyota, Yamaha, Shimano, Rapala, Berkley, Mustang Survival, BoaterExam.com, Jack Link's Beef Jerky, Hummingbird, Minn∙Kota, Strike King, Sub Way Subs, Advanced Taxidermy, Orillia Parks and Recreation, BassMan Magazine, Lures and Tours.