Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Blog

Vermilyea with a limit

10:19 am EDT, Sep 24, 2015

Matt Vermilyea is one of the anglers hoping to clinch a Bassmaster Elite Series bid and he is off to hot start this morning.


He just filled his limit and culled. The Ohio native was hooked up with his fourth as we found him and soon after he boated number five.


In the 10 minutes we have been here he has caught five and culled twice.


Vermilyea is seventh place in the Northern Opens points race at the moment and is in very good position if he wants to get an Elite invite.


He has three big smallmouth and two that he said were small. Vermilyea estimated that he has over 19 pounds.


It's unbelievable at the moment. Anything he throws is getting bit at the moment. He has used at least three baits since we've been here and all have helped him.

Lake Erie ride

9:29 am EDT, Sep 24, 2015

These big water lakes, these inland oceans, they are a different sort. Right now on Eerie the waves are 'building'. Mere 1-to-2-footers but they're coming from every direction. As the day wears on the waves still rolling from yesterday will yield to the wind of today. The 2-foot waves that are stacking against each other will be added together in a common direction. And the 4-footers will actually be easier to navigate. Right now, the chop on the water makes the ride a little bumpy. Not to brag, but I've been fighting gravity ever since around my freshmen year of college. I'd say I'm sitting on a real muscular 239.99999 pounds right now. But my rear end hasn't been in contact with the seat out here for more than 15 consecutive seconds. Each time I get air, I find the prediction process difficult when trying to figure out how to brace myself for the next landing.


You don't think about how many things there are in a boat that you don't really want to land on until you've landed on a few and find yourself back in the air. Every now and then a rouge wave from a bigger boat sneaks in, masked by the endless white caps. Those are the ones that rearrange your exhaust pipe to sit somewhere between your shoulder blades. All them cowboys think their 8 seconds are something, come out here and ride this bull for 8 hours.

Sheephead galore

9:09 am EDT, Sep 24, 2015

Action is hot this morning, but unfortunately it's the wrong variety. We have already seen three sheephead get boated by co-anglers.


My camera boat driver Don says that Erie is full of sheephead and that they hangout in the same areas where you can find smallmouth.

Erie starts to rock 'n' roll

9:02 am EDT, Sep 24, 2015

One in the box

8:57 am EDT, Sep 24, 2015

The first angler I stop on hooks up quickly and boats a keeper smallmouth. Jeff Kuhar from Ohio has one in the box and is working on more.


We moved on to cover some others and we found Captain Larry Draughn, who sports an American Flag wrapped boat.

Takeoff concluded

7:37 am EDT, Sep 24, 2015

All 151 boats are out on Lake Erie and are looking for some big smallmouth! First check-in is at 3:00 p.m. ET. Shaye Baker and I will be on the water giving updates so stay tuned in on for more.

Pano pic

7:35 am EDT, Sep 24, 2015

Photo by Craig Lamb

Day 1 launch

7:34 am EDT, Sep 24, 2015

Photos by Mark Shopene

Wind's out of the east...

7:30 am EDT, Sep 24, 2015's least. Or that's how the fisherman's old saying goes.


By looking at the blog entries the wind blowing the proverbial bad luck direction doesn't apply here.


When seeing this tournament on the schedule for the first time thoughts came to mind of cancelled days ahead.


That doesn't appear to be in the forecast. Today it calls for northeast winds at 10 mph. Right now there only is a slight breeze.


Pretty amazing for the third week of September on Lake Erie.

Practice on Erie

6:32 pm EDT, Sep 23, 2015

Rick Nitkiewicz shared some photos from his Northern Open practice on Lake Erie.