The CSFL"S Casey Cup is now in the books ,and in a record breaking way for a bass opener event.I"d like to take this opportunity to congratulate Liam and Huw Spicer on there record breaking "WIN " ,and huge bag of smallies . I would also like to thank Andy ,Vita and staff of the CSFL for providing such a competitive fishing event ,and Dan Miguel from National Pro Staff for coverage of the event and one of my sponsors. A special thanks also to ,Rapala , State Farm Insurance , Amsoil , and Brandon Knaggs from The Perfect Jig , these names all contribute and make it possible for some of my success .
I"m fortunate to be able to fish with a great friend and tournament partner Greg Klatt , whose tournament credentials speak for themselves and hes a riot to have in the boat .Tournament fishing can be very rewarding not just for the wins ,but the adventures if you have the right partner and a "shared plan " . Saturday the much anticipated bass opener and pre fish ,Greg and I decided to split the lake in half and go our separate ways to cover more water .
I couldn't sleep the whole night I was so pumped to hit the opener of bass for the big pre fish , and what a day I had . I left at 5:30 in the morning ,and by noon had my game plan all set out for the Casey Cup on Sunday .You couldn't have asked for a more relaxing beautiful day to pre fish. The only frustrating part of the day was the temptation to hook fish ,and that's a cardinal mistake many anglers make as I did many years ago . So as a NPS tip to any future tournament anglers ,"resist the temptation to hook fish " on your pre fish. Cut your hooks off the,the fish will still bite, and you "ll have plenty of time to see them before they cough the bait out ,and gps your spot .
Casey Cup "Big Day"
Greg and I arrived early ,which gave us a chance to discuss strategy and results from the day before . "Shock " , that's right the look of shock , my partner looked mortified when I told him my plan on how our first hour was going to unfold . Largemouth ,that's right your reading this right ,you see Lake Simcoe for years has been dominated by smallmouth wins every year . Greg knows me well and trusted my good judgement ,and we both agreed and our plan was set .
Blast off is always exciting with Andy and his early morning venue of the national anthems with the bag pipes ,and then the roar of the boats and anglers taking off to there holy grale ,secret smallie spots.Shortly after Greg and I touched down we were seeing huge "buckets" .I looked at my partner and all of a sudden this shocked if not mortified " look " went to a reassuring "lets get er done " attitude and within an hour we had 5 buckets with one over 5lbs and one 4 . The pre fish on saturday was hot bright and sunny .Today was a lot different the skys were very overcast and the buckets were roaming the flats looking for a meal.Greg lost a beauty probably over 5 lb on a wacky rig ,and we saw a few others in that weight range that would absolutely touch nothing we tossed at them.
As promised to my partner we fished an hour then changed stratagies to his program ,smallies. We were fishing shallow 4-6 feet ,unusual I thought for greg ,but after a few minutes I understood why . Like ghosts the smallies appeared swimming beside the boat ,it was like looking through a mirror . Gregs approach was to "jerkbait" ,hes the king at this ,and mine was" finess",and within no time we were culling the smaller buckets with 4lb smallies .After exhausting the area , we played run and gun the rest of the day jumping from spot to spot looking for active smallies.The weather had changed to pouring rain and the smallies were now crushing the jerkbaits out in open water off of the shoals in 8-12 feet . I was culling numerous fish that were in the 4,5 to 4.8 range ,and double checking each time .We just needed a six pound kicker and we figured we could seal the deal ,and then our time ran out .
We blasted off , then checked in with the check -in boat and joined the line-up with all the many other teams anticipating to weigh in . Greg and I talked with some of our fellow anglers ,while we listened intently to hear some results.Greg and I were crossing our fingers ,that our big largie was going to take big largemouth category ,which pays a hefty $1500 in the Casey Cup .
As I held the bag greg carefully , one by one loaded the bass in ,and off I went to weigh in our fish .While I was approaching I overheard someone had weighed in a big largie but I never caught the weight ,so my nerves were now in overdrive all along staying positive and what seemed like forever was now reality .I weighed the fish and Andy announced our weight was 24.7 lbs ,not enough to win but held 5and 6 th place for a tie . I then told Andy I had a suprise ,a large" bucket " ,he looked at me and said folks lets see this fish . After a short session of showing the fish to the crowd and Andy wooing the crowd on, as Andy always does it was down to buisness .I lowered the big bass in the tank and what seemed like an eternity to me ,with time standing still and the crowd silent ,Andy then muttered the words ,folks we have a new leader for big largemouth,Greg Klatt and Steve Delyea.
Greg and I never won this day ,but we did walk away with a tie for 5 th and 6 th place , big Largemouth , and $2150 in our pocket and a smile on our soaked faces. On a final long note" thanks " goes out to a great friend and tourney partner Greg Klatt for a successful day on the water and having faith in " our " plan.
To any of the followers out there on NPS ,if you ever want an " Adrenalin , Exhilarating ,Rush ",give tournament fishing a try ,you"ll get "HOOKED " , and there's numerous pro staff you can contact to find out how....Best of luck and stikm...