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It's been a long time...
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I thought I'd show off some of the slob Smallies we enjoyed during Seth V's fabulous Lake Erie Open Tournament. Conditions were less than perfect, with stiff SE breezes up to 20 mph, and air temperatures hovering about 50 degrees with overcast skies. Water temperature was about 55 degrees. After the blastoff, the initial run to our spots began with a spectacular sunrise, with the sun showing through a thin, clear area far off to the east, and setting the clouds along the horizon ablaze in shades of red, pink and orange. It was short-lived, though, and the day was pretty much gray from that point onward.

Noel (wnybassman) pretty much wrapped our experience on Seth's report thread:

Click here for Seth's Report Thread

Like last year in October, I was again finding myself rather ill from the waves, with three footers being dominant in our initial Canadian waters. Both Noel and I didn't find the quality fish we needed, and with the brisk SE winds chopping it up in the Canadian waters we were fishing, we knew there would have to be at last as good of quality fish and calmer conditions in US waters. Both of us were not feeling the greatest from this particular day, and the sea-sickness came and went in waves for both of us all day long. Sometimes we felt fine - as if nothing were wrong. Then, only a moment later, the sickness would return. :(

Culling fish on the water in the latter part of our tournament brought the sickness back on for us, but especially me, and Noel urged me to sit up higher in the boat while we sorted through the big Smallies. Sorting through two livewells separating monster Smallies while "mouth breathing" to keep my stomach composed was a bittersweet time to say the least!

The strangest thing during the tournament was the amount of static electricity in the air during the light showers which began in the afternoon. Although the storms did not bring lightning, they were evidently charged with massive amounts of static electricity. At first, I could hear my 7' MH BPS Extreme rod (the one I use for my jigging spoon presentation) crackling and buzzing. When I invited Noel to hear it, he could not, and he though I was joking around with him. A few minutes later, I was literally electrocuted by my 6'6" tube dragging rod! I was forced to drop it because the shock was continuous and intense! Noel seemed to still think I was jerking his chain.

Finally, when our lines were floating in the air and not descending into the water, Noel doubted me no longer, and we both realized that there was a potential for real danger. We put our rods down and Noel called his dad and Meg, who were experiencing the same electric buzzing and floating lines.

Noel and I, his dad and Meg, and Gregg (nybassfan) and Wade all met up on the vast water, not fishing, but amazed at the phenomenon which overpowered us. Just a little while later, when the light shower of rain was done, we saw that our lines would stay down, and so all of us resumed fishing.

Finally, at 2:15pm, there was time for one more drift over our “sweet spot.” It began to rain again, and with the rain came so much electricity in the air that ALL of our rods started buzzing loudly – in my hand, down on the boat deck – everywhere! We forsook the last drift and decided to head back to the Small Boat Harbor and call it a day. If there was going to be lightning starting up over Lake Erie, we would be the clear targets!

Yes, the weigh-in was exciting. A steady rain began and the winds shifted from SE to NW, cooling down the air noticeably. Noel and I bested our prior personal bests for a 5-fish team limit with 23.83 pounds! It was only good enough for 4th Place, though, as the winners had 25.16 pounds! Meg, on her first Lake Erie experience, caught a 6.01 pound tournament lunker fish (her first Lake Erie fish, I might add). I know she’s hooked on Erie now!

With a per-fish average of 4.45 pounds, not one angler weighing in missed out on Erie’s precious gift of gigantic Smallmouth. The deeply bent rods straining in your hands, long lines rushing to the surface, drags peeling away, and those fat heads thumping back and forth on the line.

Thanks go out to Seth for organizing and putting on a great day. What a class fellow you are, Seth! There’s no shortage of quality fish on Erie, and diehard anglers willing to brave the elements to find them. Whatever it takes!

Here are some of the photos I was able to get:


The afternoon weigh-in was an exciting place to be. On the right, you can see that Seth has a complete tournament weigh-in setup with sinks, baskets, bags and an Equalizer precision scale. Would anyone weighing in not have a limit of Smallmouth? The answer was a resounding NO! And HOW! :)


Wade and Gregg (nybassfan) show off 4 of their 5 Smallies. Their total weight came in at 19.42 pounds.


Charlie (cmackintosh) and Seth V hold up 23.75 pounds of Erie bronze! Notice the extra arm which Seth puts on just for these occasions! :p


Noel (wnybassman) and I hold up our 23.83 pound bag of Smallmouth. It is a personal team best for both of us, and we still came in 4th Place! It was worth every moment of illness on the water!


A few of us remember when Meg took us to school on Keuka Lake in 2002 with a huge 5+ pound Largemouth. Well, even though this was her first time on Lake Erie, she showed no less an effort, as this 6.01 pound Smallie was not only the tournament lunker, but also her first Erie fish ever! Way to go, Meg! Nice job!

So that’s it. Another great Lake Erie tourney in the books…

…and the year isn’t over yet… :yes:

Tight Lines…
 

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Drool, drool, drool with envy.
Some super fish guys. Way to go Meg. Not bad for an Erie rookie.
Tim
 

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Meg obviously has a penchant for catching the biggest fish!!!

great report and photos as always....

amazing smallies.......

you guys are VERY spoiled.....
 

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as i seat way down here on longisland and cry. just seeing those smallies makes me want to move up north more. nice fish everyone. and meg what a fish to break in a new body of water. seth , meg's smallie makes my cayuga smallie look small. LOL:eek:
 

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my 4 lb Maho Smallie looks like baitfish to those 5 lber's...

nice fish, Meg....congrats...

great job, Noel and Rob...wow....what a bag...!!!

Joe
 

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WOW!!!!

Nice report Rob and some awfully nice fish!!!! Certainly worth freezing your butt off for.:)

:beerchug: :beerchug:
 

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Rob,

You are one of the BEST here. Your reporting is always TOP notch brother. Thanks so much for sharing.

Pat X
 

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Meg, congrats on that slob smallie. Nice fish guys. It is beautiful to see a winning bag with just under a 5lb average....man oh man would I love to see that during a tournament.
 

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Envy wouldn't even begin to sum it up... Those smallie pictures look like something out of a Billy Westmoreland book! You guys (& gal) put up some monster numbers... 19+ pounds through 11 places... What a day... Those memories are going to last a very long time...

OK, so who wants to go to Erie for the Halloween classic next year??? Tell Scully to change things up a bit...
 
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