Well another summer is about to ramp up on the Renegade Bass Tournament Trail. My partner Len Horbik and I have secured some great sponsors for this summers series namely Wescar Corp., Ontario Iron Works and Paintball Paradise. Without the help of these fine people we likely wouldn’t be on the Trail this summer and a huge debt of gratitude is owed to them.
In the 2008 season Len and I pre-fished 19 days, in 2009 we hit the water to practice 24 days. It is a huge time commitment to fish the series and without the support of our families we wouldn’t be able to get through the summer.
Renegade Bass is the top tournament trail in the country in my eyes. With unreal payback percentages and the highest competition level anywhere Canada it is a formidable task to compete at this level. Len and I have put a ton of time into the past 2 seasons and have been rewarded with a Top 10 finish each season at one of the qualifiers and a berth into the Classic at years end in both years we have competed together.
The 2010 season will be an interesting one. The bodies of water provide a great challenge and the potential for big weights!
Here is a rundown of the schedule and a bit of an idea what each body of water is about.
July 3rd is Big Rideau Lake. Len and I love the Big Rideau! It has been good to us and really fits our style of fishing. Fish can be caught on every style imaginable on this lake from shallow water slop fishing to deepwater smallies off the humps. It has the potential for 20 pound bags at any time. Big Largies will be our target on Big Rideau. Traditionally we fish “flats” of about 5-9 feet of water. We sure hope to do well at this event and create a nice cushion on the field moving forward to qualify for the Classic.
July 17th is Newboro Lake. As much as we love Big Rideau, we dislike Newboro. Last time here we weighed in our worst weight ever at a little over 9 pounds. Though it is the Rideau system it fishes very differently than the rest of the system. Deeper water weedlines hold the majority of the quality fish as well as deeper flats and offshore structure. Len and I have our work cut out for us here. Hopefully 4 or 5 days of pre-fish will give us the confidence we need to compete at this lake.
August 7th and 8th is Lake St. Francis. The home of the Monster Smallies! and well Largies too! This body of water is a tough nut to crack but when you do it holds some very impressive fish. Last time Renegade was there you needed at least 20 pounds (5 Fish) to crack the Top 10. Len and I pre-fished it for 3 days last year and finally put something together on the Friday before the event and weighed in a mediocre bag of 14.68. Each day of pre-fish we caught a 5 pound plus fish so we knew the place could kick out a giant for us but just didn’t on tournament day. This weekend of back to back events will be make or break for most as far as the Classic qualifying is concerned. Shallow flats for roaming packs of giant smallies is the ticket here or roll the dice and try to locate the giant Largies that exist. Hopefully we hit the bronze pile both days!
August 21st is the Ottawa River on the downstream side of Ottawa. Most people have a huge Love/Hate relationship with this body of water. We like it! It certainly has the ability to be a very tough fish but can also kick out monster Largies. The water level this year could be an issue as well being that it is as low as it ever has been. The numerous bays off of the river get most of the action. Last time we were here Len and I fished 300 yards of shoreline all day and placed in 13th place. The flats of those bays and the heavy pads and wood that is abundant on the river will see loads of pressure from the anglers.
I plan to do full blog entries about our weeks leading up to the qualifiers. Pre-fishing results, strategies and results will all be featured. Seeing the behind the scenes work and “game day” results will make for an interesting read I think.
It will be an interesting season on the Renegade Bass Tournament Trail. Come out to a weigh-in! It surely is a sight to see and feel free to say Hi to us as no matter how we did as we are just happy to be there and doing what we love.