|Gerard Cocks and Jarrod Dean hope to add another|
Classic Win to their name.
(Photo: Lures and Tours)
Rice Lake, Bewdley, Ontario, will be host to the Top Bass Classic. Seventy-five of the best will fight on September 7 and 8 to claim the Classic crown. This year, Top Bass was the hottest ticket in town and had larger than average fields. Culling through so many anglers, only the top will be able to fish for cash and prizes this weekend.
Rice Lake holds historical significance with so many tournament circuits and anglers. Part of the famed Trent Severn system, Rice Lake has a bounty of structure and cover appealing to all anglers. Home to potbellied smallmouth and largemouth, this lake allows anglers to play to their strengths. September can be fickle. Cool nights mixed with hot, humid afternoons can be tricky for anglers to juggle.
With heaps of trophies and several Classic wins to their name, the team of Gerard Cocks and Jarrod Dean make IBASSIN's list as a potential Classic winners. Currently, they dominated as Team of the Year with an approximate 37-pound lead but Rice Lake has not been overly kind to them in 2013. Regardless, this team knows Rice Lake intimately.
IBASSIN: How has your practice been going?
Cocks: It has been OK. I'm worried about the cold front that came through on Thursday. We have a lot more fishing to do before we can make any serious decisions.
Dean: This year we have not done well. No big bags for us!
IBASSIN: What is your biggest tournament bag here?
Dean: My best was 24.90lb but that was some time ago.
IBASSIN: So, will smallmouth or largemouth be the key?
Dean: Definitely, smallmouth will win this Classic. Time of year and the lack of weed in large sections of the lake make it difficult to dominate with largemouth. Gerard is unconvinced that largemouth will not play a key role in victory. He feels a few key largemouth will vault them to victory.
IBASSIN: Will the rivers play any part in producing a winning creel?
Dean: I doubt it. The rivers have not done much for us in years. The main lake is where we will focus our efforts.
IBASSIN: Winning baits?
Dean: Tube, jerkbait and jigs. The jerkbait has not been great for me this year but it works. A lot of good bass will come on it.
|Spiro is after two titles this year|
AOY & the Classic
Spiro Agouros, Peterborough, Ontario, is another heavy hitter. With over 20 years experience plus several years as a co-angler on the FLW circuit in the States, Spiro is well groomed. The 2011 Top Bass Angler of the Year will be fishing with Peter Worosz and hoping to capture another Angler of the Year Title plus the Classic.
IBASSIN: How will the cold front affect the bass?
Agouros: The weather is going to be a big factor. Water temp was 76 F last weekend and I figure it will fall to about 67 F by Sunday. This might kill the shallow water largemouth bite. But, it is not cold enough to group up the smallmouth.
There has been some good largemouth deep if you can find the correct weed. The guys who are good dunkers (off-shore pitching) will do well like they always do.
IBASSIN: Smallmouth or largemouth?
Agouros: I think it will be a mixed bag. A few good largemouth will be caught on Saturday but then taper off by Sunday. Smallmouth should do well and be more consistent.
IBASSIN: Winning Weight?
Agouros: 38lb or 39lbs. This is lower than past years but the whole year (weather wise) has been this way. The weather patterns don’t last more than a few days and the fishing has been up and down. Some one will have a 20lb bag and then follow up with a day 2 catch of 18 or 19lbs.
|The Goo Bug from Trigger-X should be Spiro's ace.|
IBASSIN: Will the rivers play a role?
Agouros: Yeah, the rivers will be good. I find there are more smallmouth in the river than usual. It isn’t cold enough for schools of smallmouth to pack up but there are a lot of scattered bass out there. If the river current is moving, the smallmouth bite should get better. One thing I noticed this year is that the largemouth size is smaller than past years. Not as many big largemouth in the river this year or even last year as in the past.
IBASSIN: 3 Top Lures
Agouros: The three best should be:
Texas Rig soft plastic like a Trigger X Goo Bug.
There you have it from three-esteemed anglers who know Rice Lake well enough to be hoisting the Classic Crown over their heads Sunday afternoon.
Come back for daily reports and the Classic Champion interview.