Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Fear & Loathing on the Top Bass Tournament Trail: Rice Lake 2013

This past weekend event #3 and #4 of the Top Bass Tournament season were held on Rice Lake, Ontario Canada. Although at first glance this may look like a two day event, it is in fact two separate one day tournaments with none of the weights carrying over from one day to the next. Day one of saw 130 boats competing for a top prize of $6,000

Congrats goes out to Blair Wraight and Stuart Carrick for taking home top spot on day 1!

here is your top 15.. to find out how Dustin and I faired.. keep reading

If you would have asked me 8 years ago what Lake I considered to be my home lake, I would have stated Rice Lake. I grew up not 20 minutes from multiple launch sites, and as I grew as an angler I was taught how to  tournament fish on Rice Lake. It was home to my first ever fishing tournament ( I was a last minute fill-in when a friends partner had to pull out). But as the years went by and my career and life moved me all over Ontario Rice lake kinda got lost in the mix.. when I pre-fished for this event last week it was officially my first time on Rice in 6 years.. and needless to say I was a little rusty

Tournament Day:

With a field of 130 boats I wanted to get to the lake early, launch and find a decent parking spot. I left the house just after 4am and was greeted with high winds and pouring rain. The result of weeks on end of temp in the 40's the weather had finally decided to turn, and thus moved the fish around quit a bit

Come launch time the rains had stopped, and we managed to stay dry all day long (a nice turn of events after the Scugog drowning we took). The wind itself never backed off and actually picked up as the day went on, leaving many middle portions of the lake with white caps. We stuck to our original game plan from pre-fish and it was nice to not be doing a lot of needless running around.

On Rice we made a conscious effort to transition from out usual game plan.. get your 5, then look for a big fish. This time we focused on big fish areas first, and once we had a few we would move to areas we knew we could fill out the remainder of the bag with smaller fish.. this plan started out well as first two fish I boated were both sitting at the 3lb mark.. one just over and one slightly under. This put us at 6lb for 2 fish and we were smiling.

In our second spot I hooked into our third fish of the day (just over 2lbs). When I removed my spinner bait I noticed he was bleeding, at this time I made the decision to release him as i felt he has a better chance of surviving in the water and out of my live well.. this can be debated, but to me it was the right decision.

As the day wore on the bite became tougher and tougher. We managed a few more fish all of which although fat, were under the 13 inch minimum required to weigh in. By 3pm our bag still sat at 2 fish for 6lbs and we made the decision to release the fish and call it a day. Knowing Rice lake I knew it would take a 20lb bag to win the event and something in the mid to high teens to cash a cheque. as you can see from the above I was right.

This was our last Top Bass Event for 2013, not it is back to the BBTS and Weslemkoon on August 5th

Weapons of Choice

Ganns Hummer Jig  - on a Dobyns Savvy SSM704c paired with a Daiwa Advantage 100

War Eagle Spinnerbait - on a Dobyns DX744 paired with a Daiwa Zillion

El Grande Hatch Match Stick (wacky) - on a Dobyns DX703sf paired with a Daiwa Procyon

Zoom Ultra Vibe Craw- on a Dobyns DX795 paired with a Daiwa Lexa 300

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