Around Erie with Hicks Mark Hicks went to Lake Erie a week ahead of time to practice for the final Bass Pro Shops Northern Open out of Sandusky Bay. Posted on September 23, 2013 Photo: Mark Hicks - BoatUS Angler insurance saved my bacon on Mondayâs official practice day when my outboardâs fuel pump gave out. I was in Canadian water 20 miles from the ramp. The tow didnât cost me a cent. Photo: Mark Hicks - The Ann Marie towboat out of Marblehead, Ohio, came to my rescue when my outboardâs fuel pump died on Mondayâs practice day. BoatUS insurance paid off big time for me. Donât leave for a tournament without it. Photo: Mark Hicks - Cory Schenk (left) and Kevin Holmes towed me in when my fuel pump quit while I was fishing in Canadian water during practice. Thank you Cory, Kevin and BoatUS. Photo: Mark Hicks - Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Tournament Director Chris Bowes goes over the rules at the pre-tournament meeting. Photo: Mark Hicks - You canât tell by this photo, but the competitors at the pre-tournament meeting canât wait to get after Lake Erieâs giant smallmouth bass. Photo: Mark Hicks - Someday I hope to earn one of these Bassmaster Open trophies, preferably, the one on the left. Photo: Mark Hicks - When the second day of the tournament was canceled due to weather, my daughter Valerie, Opens angler Brian Schram and I trekked to Cedar Point to enjoy some thrill rides. The parking lot was empty and the off-season hours were 6 to 9 p.m. We needed sleep for the next tournament day more than thrill rides. Photo: Mark Hicks - Val and I pose in front of Tyrannosaurus rex outside the gates at Cedar Point. Photo: Mark Hicks - There were no pirates or pirate types at the Thirsty Pirate on Catawba Island. However, The Thirsty Pirate had a wide assortment of beer. We bought sample glasses so we could imbibe several beers without getting woozy. Photo: Mark Hicks - The next stop on cancellation day was the Nagoya restaurant, which is known for its sushi. We had five rolls of sushi brought to our table. Photo: Mark Hicks - Val and Schram are adept with chopsticks. I got by, but had to resort to a fork on one occasion. Photo: Mark Hicks - The Erie Open was Michael Iaconelliâs last chance to qualify for the 2014 Bassmaster Classic. His clutch performance will go down in history. Very impressive. Photo: Mark Hicks - Iaconelli takes a moment to read the inscription on his Northern Open trophy. He said that every win is special in its own way. Itâs hard to believe that any win is more special to Iaconelli than this one when his back was against the wall to qualify for the Classic. Photo: Mark Hicks - I pose with one of the few big smallmouths I caught during the Erie Open. This one weighted 5-2. Photo: Mark Hicks - Tournament Director Chris Bowes was kind enough to let me say a few words on stage at the Lake Erie Open.