Rice Lake has a long tradition as being a Classic destination for many tournament circuits. It has wealth of largemouth and smallmouth. Anglers love this lake for its vast array of cover and structure. Part of the famed Trent-Severn Waterway, water funnels from the Otonabee River, through the lake and out through the locks in the town of Hastings at the lake's furthest eastern portion.
September is an awkward time of year. Making the transition from summer to fall can cause turmoil the bass and the anglers who are trying to catch them. Summer's heat has lowered water levels eliminating key shoreline cover yet it hasn't gotten cold enough to trigger aggressive feeding. Fish can be in transition in early September making finding and locating them difficult. Whomever wins this Classic will have to work hard for every bite.
IBASSIN contacted Dave Chong (via cell phone while he practiced) about his chances of winning on Rice Lake. Dave will be fishing with his tournament partner Danny Dunn. Note that this pair won last year on Rice, so they know what it take to win here.
"Practice is tough today (Thursday)" explains Dave. The water has been brown in most of the lake but some areas are now having some sort of green algae bloom." When I asked him to describe the water colour, he make an off-colour remark about how terrible the brown water looked.
|With several practice days in on Rice Lake,|
Dave Chong is hoping for a Classic win.
"Smallies like to disappear!" laughs Dave
That is why he is targeting both largemouth and smallmouth. He feels that it is a must to focus on both. Fish are not ganged up yet. Dave has found some pods of bass but other areas he will focus on during the tournament are only good for one or two bass max.
"I don't have a feel for how big or how many bass are in these good spots." Dave says optimistically. This is referring to the fact that he hasn't hooked a bass nor stayed too long in a productive area. He did say that a week ago, several of the bass he did hook were over 4 pounds apiece.
Dave feels that between 55 to 57 pounds should be enough to win the three day event.
A front is approaching on Friday and they are calling for rain and thunderstorms all day Saturday. Sunday will have isolated showers with a high of 19 but a low of 9 degrees C. "We are going to really try and get the heaviest bag on Friday and then catch average bags the other two days." reveals Chong. Worried that the post-front conditions will make fishing difficult, he feels that his best chance at a very heavy catch will be Friday as the front approaches.
STAY TUNED TO IBASSIN THROUGHOUT THE WEEKEND FOR UP-DATES AND THE LEADER BOARD