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Canadian Anglers Net Record Setting 30+ Lb Tournament Haul

Canadian Anglers Net Record Setting 30+ Lb Tournament Haul

WOW. We all knew Lake Simcoe was a smallmouth factory, but...WOW. The Jack Link's Simcoe Open was due for a big bag winner, but the haul of tanks Jason Clay and Matt Belzil brought in was the biggest in the storied history of Canadian fishing.After pre-fishing their practice round they estimated about 26 lbs would be their haul. Then, on tournament day, they brought in football after football and landed 31.80 lbs of smalljaws!

Photo courtesy Laurie-Anne Ferris
The previous record was 31.55, and was also set at Simcoe in 2010. Lake Simcoe is a remnant of a gigantic prehistoric lake known as Lake Algonquin, which closed off after the last Ice Age, forming a few Canadian and American lakes today housing the a few of the biggest smallmouth bass in the world.Simcoe is a huge lake, but as Jason Clay and Matt Belzil noted, it fishes small. There is about 90% dead water and smallmouth gather to feed on a wide array of baitfish such as gobie and smelt. The availability and array of baitfish allow the smallies to get HUGE, as all 5 of their bass were over 6 lbs.They caught their bag on a variety of baits, including blade baits and crankbaits, and of course the trusty dropshot. They targeted points and bluffs they had identified on their practice day.The second and third place teams at the tournament each also pulled in 30+ lb bags, which is a heartbreaking way to lose. Our winners said they even lost a 7 pounder early on in the day! It just goes to show you, even on a record setting day like this, there's always one big one that got away...

Updated November 3rd, 2017 at 1:45 PM CT