Berkley B1 Tournament
October 2, 2010
I was on the water again this weekend with Norm, but this time we weren’t pleasure fishing. We were entered in the Berkley B1 Tournament, along with another 143 boats. The competition had boats from as far away as the east coast, along with plenty from Ontario & Quebec. This would prove to be the largest tournament event ever held in this province and Norm wanted to fish it. After many, many years of tournament competition, I really had no desire to enter. Norm had already enrolled us though and I was going to show him just what it was all about. As with every event, this one was also going to have its pro’s & cons! The first morning saw cold, crisp air temps barely above freezing after a torrential rain just days before. Would our fish still be there and would they be willing to bite? Winds were light but out of the NE making the long run a little bumpy at times. Add the cold air and it felt like you were driving on the highway with your head out of the window! When we did arrive I wasn’t surprised to see the water color looking like coffee with three creams. It had changed from clear to mud with the 50 plus millimeters of rain that had fallen and this was definitely going to affect the fishing. We had only practiced a day and a half but realized where we needed to be and we were here. Water color wasn’t going to stop us from catching! Along with the color, we had also lost about 5 degrees in water temperature and that worried me more. With only two fish in the livewell within the first couple of hours, I knew we were going to have to make a serious adjustment. High, muddy water and fish tuck in tight! Tight it was and we went right in and just started pounding them! Norm was on fire and the fish were big. We were culling soon after and three pounders were a thing of the past as they were exchanged for quality. One more big fish was all we needed to exchange but this was a little more difficult than all the previous ones. Eventually we were able to get the last cull done and I knew we had a phenomenal bag for the first day of the tournament. With plenty of time left in the day, I decided to pull the plug and head back comfortably. We took our time and didn’t pound the fish along the way in ensuring their safety and arrived with over 30 minutes to spare. With the weigh in under way from the first flight of boats, we had to wait until the second flight was called. This felt like forever but we finally were able to weigh our fish. I knew there were a lot of low weights but there were also a couple of big bags weighed and I was sure we would be another. The water weigh in system finally had the scales stop on 24.71 pounds and we officially took first. Two other bags over 24 pounds were also weighed in making it a close event and one we surely had a chance to win. In all this mass of fish, we really didn’t have a kicker in the bag as all were pretty much clones. Hopefully tomorrow, we would be able to change that!