You know you're doing something right when you're culling 5-pound fish. This was the case with Charles Sim and Nigel Touhey Sept. 26 on Lake St. Francis near Lancaster, Ontario, Canada. The pair was fishing a "Ripple" tournament hosted by www.fishin-Canada.net, an online fishing community for Canadians.
Touhey, an employee of the Canadian Border Services Agency, says the duo caught all eight of their fish on Berkley plastic baits, specifically jerkbaits and tubes. The tubes were fished on exposed hook leadhead jigs ranging from 1/4- to 1/2-ounce. The 7-pounder struck a 3-inch Berkley pumpkinseed tube. During competition they culled two 5-pounders and another that was nearly 5 pounds.
"St. Francis is a big fish lake for sure," Touhey said. "You may not catch a lot in a day, but when you do, they're huge."
"The water of St. Francis is crazy clear, so using Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon was vital," Sim said.
They were working the plastic baits across a large sand flat that is a grass flat during summer. As the water cools in the fall, the grass dies revealing the sandy bottom.
The previous Canadian record of 29.90 came from Ontario's Lake Simcoe, which has been a monster smallmouth factory. Lake St. Francis has been spitting out larger and larger bags of smallmouth thanks to an influx of round gobies, the protein-rich baitfish that feeds much of Lake Erie's bass population.
Touhey and Sim won the Ripple tournament along with $2,000 in cash and prizes.
"We want to thank Berkley for helping us out a lot," Touhey said.
Sim went on to say he couldn't have done it without the help of his sponsors.
Charles Sim's Web site: www.charlessim.com
More photos from the event: www.fishin-canada.net/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=2808