Canadian smallmouth 5-fish bag record?

Category: News Release

 Nov 1st, 2017 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Nov 1st, 2017 at 12:00 AM

In it to win it! is Matt Belzil’s mantra. He and tournament partner Jason Clay did just that with a historic 31.84-pound limit of five bass at the 2017 Jack Link’s Lake Simcoe Open out of Orillia on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017. The two not only won the tournament, they set a new Canadian 5-bass tournament record, pending verification.

The annual one-day Jack Link’s Lake Simcoe Open is considered the premier smallmouth tournament of the year – and for good reason.

“Having fished the event since 2010 and come so close so many times, we are thrilled to finally win it,” said Clay. “In practice, we wanted to get a feel for the lake and fished spots we normally don’t fish in the tournament. That day, we landed about 28 pounds of bass. That gave us the motivation that we were doing things correctly. In practice, we criss-cross huge areas with the graphs and side scan to find groups of bass. Then, we use an Aqua-Vu underwater camera to verify that they’re bass of the right size for the tournament. If you don’t verify with the camera, you’re wasting your time.”

The 47 teams faced damp, rough conditions at blast-off, but winds calmed down considerably, making it ideal for fishing massive Lake Simcoe. “We landed about 30 bass and lost another 10 during the whole day. We landed our last six-pound bass and culled out a 5½ bass at noon,” said Clay.

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