ORILLIA, Ontario — A tournament initiated by the Aurora Bassmasters established a new mark in the history of Canadian bass tournament fishing. During the 2010 Bass Pro Shops Lake Simcoe Open, Oct. 27, 2010, the team of Mark Moran and Joe Muszynski set the new all-time record weight for the five heaviest bass ever weighed in a Canadian tournament with 31.50 pounds of smallmouth. The total topped the previous record of 30.35 pounds set in 2009.
Moran and Muszynski caught their fish 20 to 40 feet deep. "We caught around 20 fish during the day," said Moran. "I was using a green pumpkin tube jig on a 3/16-ounce weight and drop shotting a custom hand-poured black-and-white minnow bait. We moved fast looking for fish on our Humminbird electronics and then dropped the baits down on them."
The Lake Simcoe Open hosted by the Aurora Bassmasters began as the Crackle Cup in 2001. "We started the tournament to highlight the incredible late fall smallmouth fishing opportunities available in Lake Simcoe," said club member Wil Wegman. "Back then very few anglers would fish past September. We knew Simcoe had the potential to offer anglers near-record weights." Total weights more than 28 pounds soon became the norm as the tournament grew in popularity. "We have a unique weigh-in procedure that we started last year," said Wegman.
"All those teams who have more than 20 pounds, or think they do, are asked to go through a drive-by weigh-in. The rest of the anglers are weighed in the conventional manner. Everyone now shoots to make The 20-Pound Club." Wegman said this year was the first that video of the entire weigh-in was streamed live to www.aurorabass.com and www.simcoeopen.com.
"We are told this is the first time this has ever happened for an Ontario bass tournament," Wegman said. Aurora Bassmasters club members who worked the registration, take-off and weigh-in were Herb Quan, David Meadows, Mike Otani, Chris Leboeuf, Rick Lewis, Dan Fuligni, Lidio Godino, Paul Godino, Gary James, Cameron Mitchell, Stan Tsysar and Carlo Puiatti.