Aurora Bassmasters fish for pike

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A 9.20-pound pike was the big fish of the Aurora Bassmasters annual pike tournament.

BOLSOVER, Ontario, Canada — High wind warnings and high water caused the Aurora Bassmasters to change the date and location of the club’s annual pike tournament.

The tournament originally scheduled for May 7 at Lake Simcoe was changed to May 28 at Canal Lake. This year’s tournament had a smaller field than the previous year, which was probably due to the cancellation, according to Club President Scott Cochran. This year’s event attracted 23 teams whereas the 2016 tournament held three weeks earlier drew 50 teams.  

Aurora Bassmasters club members Terry Chomski and Stan Tsysar won this year’s tournament with three pike weighing 17.10 pounds and had the big fish with a 9.20-pounder. Second place went to Aurora Bassmasters Dave Meadows and Rick Lewis with three pike weighing 14.40 pounds.

“The fishing was a grind for all the teams,” Cochran said. “The majority (of the teams) caught fish, but the fish were smaller this year. We are experiencing a high amount of rain this year, so the fish aren’t as cooperative as they normally are. It was still a fantastic event this year with many returning who have been fishing the event since its inception.”

Club members who helped run the tournament were Sid Haynes, Doug Wadden, Dave Meadows, Rick Lewis and Cochran.

The Ontario B.A.S.S. Nation club started hosting the pike tournament in the late 1990s to give the club members a chance to fish competitively in the spring because the Ontario bass season is closed until the fourth Saturday in June. “Many of our members realized that the early spring pike fishing opportunities can be a great stop-gap to fulfill our yearning to get out on the open water with our bass boats after a long cold winter of walking on frozen water and staring down an ice hole,” said longtime club member Wil Wegman. “We also realize that pike can be a great warm-up for early season bass as they are often in shallow waters and prone to many of the same techniques and lures that we would throw for bass.”

The tournament pays back 80 percent of the entry fees to the anglers with the remaining 20 percent allocated to the club to help pay for conservation and youth initiatives, according to Wegman. “We are proud to have a strong reputation as being more than just another fishing club among other anglers with our conservation and youth projects,” Wegman said.