Renegade Bass, Canada’s Premier Professional Bass Angling Circuit is underway!
Mississippi Lake, located in beautiful Carlton place Ontario played host to the best Professional Bass Anglers in Canada in what turned out to be an insanely blustery day on the water. In fact, even of the Southern Ontario Pro’s who routinely visit the punishing waves of Lake St Claire and Erie lamented on their experience spent out on the water. Some were quoted in saying that they were surprised a lake this shallow could whip itself into such a fury, and regrettably reported that in some instances the rough waters damaged their boats and equipment.
But as in all professional sports the competitors heed no concern to the arena of play, and dug deep into their bag of tricks to find a solution to fool the bass of Mississippi Lake. It was no surprise as the expected names that orbit the proverbial winners circle finished where they did. However the 2012 season started off with some interesting characters cashing cheques and taking an early lead in the coveted “Team of the Year” point’s race. Initially anyways…
Of the top 10 teams, the most unexpected Pros to take a swipe at top spot were team number 10 Pete MacCormack and Dave Morin. Combined these two share 15 years of tournament experience and have to date limped along with a lack luster career crediting only 1 cheque cashed, 0 wins, 0 big fish awards, and 0 classic wins to their names.
However, in a day where many of the most notorious anglers were poised to take advantage of the poor conditions, these two decided to finally turn their careers around and find an extra gear to put some sizeable bass in the box! Loading up heavy at day’s end they dropped 15.21 on the scales, earning them 8th place and a nice points cushion heading into the Ottawa River event July 14.
Another positive move forward was 6th place finishers Kevin Kot and John Davis. Having only fished 2 seasons these two have yet to cash a cheque, earn a classic berth, or accumulate any contingency awards. Assuming that these two fine anglers have maybe begun to gel as a team, we can expect them to ride the momentum and work super hard to place well in the Ottawa River Event. Hopefully they don’t sell their expectations short and limit their efforts to just making the championship, rather understand they’re in a position to win the Team Of the Year points race. This is an opportunity they should not squander!
The biggest surprise of the 2012 opener was actually the littlest surprise. That being Big Charles Sim, who by the looks of his body profile, isn’t “Big” anymore by dropping a huge amount of weight in the off-season. At this point it is unclear if he has an illness, or if it he committed to a healthier lifestyle, but either way he looks lean and very confident. Clearly he’s fishing as good if not better than he ever has, teaming up with Nigel Touhey in hopes of claiming their second TOY title. And after their 3rd place finish on Mississippi last Saturday, all speculators can bet on these 2 to capitalize on their current position of influence.
With the Ottawa River and Double Lake St. Francis coming up in the tours scheduled, there is a fine chance that this charismatic power house team will pull ahead with a commanding lead. On separate note, Militant Outdoors salutes Sim for his efforts in health. It’s a seriously major transformation that is really going to help this angler’s game tremendously.
Rounding out the top 10 included Canada’s leading money winner Mike Desforges and his teammate Jay McCormack. As well Robert Yantha and partner Scott Lefebvre. Of these 2 teams it is widely speculated that only Yantha and Lefebvre will fair well on the Ottawa River, however, Militant Outdoors pundits warn that Desforges and McCormack are incredibly crafty and competitors shouldn’t discount their attempts to claim a cheque at the next event.
Curiously, many spectators and competitors were left wondering “Where was Scott Bullen?” one half of the Bullen/Ramsey match up. And why was Militant Outdoors Pro Jason Kluver filling in for his absence? Bullen, a local on Mississippi Lake, obtained the proper permissions from Renegade Brass to make a substitution as he was involved in friend’s wedding. Kluver, potentially Canada’s most dominant angler did not disappoint and yanked 16.33 from the wind-swept waters. Kluver had mentioned in a post event discussion that he and Ramsey had really zeroed in to a prolific pattern pounding ultra shallow cover mixed with rock that bunted up against an inside weed line. Given even 1 more hour Kluver felt that he could have sealed the deal and cranked out at least 1 four pound plus fish that would have put him over the top.
Of course there must be a winner to every tournament and Carl Roy and Eric Clemot gladly accepted the responsibility. With a winning weight of 16.92, these 2 anglers move on to the next event with a slim 1 ounce lead in the TOY points race. Historically speaking the Ottawa River has not been that generous to them as they have averaged catches that weighed in the mid to low teens. Hopefully they can solve these deficiencies before the next event in order to compliment their outstanding performance on Mississippi.
June 30th 2012
By Trevor Kunopaski