Sturgeon Bay Bass Open Kicks Off May 17th
May 15th, 2008 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified May 15th, 2008 at 12:00 AM
The Sturgeon Bay Open Bass Tournament is one of the largest fishing events in the Midwest. With 200 teams competing for cash, prizes and of course the pride of winning such a major event, it's fascinating that so many anglers outside of the region know nothing of the event.
In 2007, the Sturgeon Bay Open paid out $450,000 worth of cash and prizes. The first place team this year will receive a Ranger/Mercury boat and motor package, plus $10,000 cash.
The winning team in 2007 was Donald Hewkin and Dave Davis from Chicago, IL. This team has won the event four times. Their winning weight was 51.61 pounds. That's an average weight of approximately 4.3 pounds per bass. With an average weight that high, there is no doubt Sturgeon Bay and the area waters provide some of the best smallmouth bass fishing in the Midwest and Great Lakes region, if not in the country.
With a late spring this season, the fishing may be slightly different, but still look for some big pigs to be pulled in. Fish will be caught throughout the bay up to Washington Island.
Last year Mark Duerr, who finished in second along with Hans Juech from West Allis, WI, popped a huge smallie weighing 5.77 pounds. Duerr was using a jerkbait.
If the smallies are turned on, look for fast moving jerkbaits, spinnerbaits and crankbaits to light them up. Of course, tubes, grubs, drop-shot soft plastics and soft-plastic jerkbaits may also play a part in anglers' success.
"I think a team will need over 50 pounds to win the event this year," said John Bauer President of The Sturgeon Bay Open Bass Tournament. "If the bite holds up like it has been it may take 55 pounds. Most of the fish have been coming on jerkbaits and soft plastics like tubes and grubs."
Weather forecasts for the weekend call for high temperatures in the upper 50's to lower 60's along with the possibility of rain.