Largemouths could be a factor at KBI

Ever since the first time I fished the Kenora Bass International with my dad back in 1993, the tournament has been a big part of my life.
I fish tournaments all over Sunset Country and in the .US. but the fact that this one is in my hometown really makes it hold a special place in my heart.
For Savy and I, we have had a fair amount of success in the KBI so that really adds some sentimental value to the weekend for us.
Now that the pre-fish is nearly over most anglers have a plan in place with regards to how they are going to approach the tournament.
Where they are going start fishing Thursday morning, what kind of water they are going to fish and what lures they are going to rely on.
The reason that anglers spend time pre-fishing before the tournament is to gather information to answer these questions before the event starts.
Let’s take a look at some interesting facts leading into the 2010 edition of the Kenora Bass International.
The unique thing about Lake of the Woods is that it is such a large body of water.
Anglers can choose from several different basins, where they want to fish.
Some anglers will target largemouths, which are localized in certain parts of the lake.
Others will target the more plentiful smallmouths, found in all areas of the lake.
The wild card here is that while largemouths are found in smaller numbers, the top end size is generally larger than the smallmouths.
We have been pre-fishing long hours this week in preparation for the event and though we have found a few things that we like, overall, our practice has been tough this year.
We generally like to spend a lot of time largemouth fishing in the tournament and it has paid off for us in years past, but this year, we have found much better success targeting smallmouths.
We will still chase largemouths on Thursday but we are feeling confident that we can bail and catch some good smallmouths if the largemouths don’t bite.
Other anglers are finding similar results. Troy Norman and Jay Samsal are teamed up together for the first time this year at the KBI and they have found that the smallmouths are biting better than the largemouths as well.
Samsal mentioned to me that they have been catching and seeing more smallmouths than he can ever remember in the days leading up to KBI.
“We like to fish largemouths but we’ll be happy if we can continue to catch smallmouths like we’ve seen the past few days. If we can add a nice largemouth or two to our catch, then that will be a bonus,” he said.
Winnipeg anglers Alex Keszler and Wayne Wagner are members of Team Canada at this year’s KBI thanks to their fifth-place finish last year.
They are some of the most consistent smallmouth anglers year in and year out and Keszler said their pre-fishing has been good, but they have had to work for everything their catching. They are not finding big schools of fish but they are getting one here and one there and the size is decent.
My prediction is that largemouths will likely factor in to the winners catch but I think that smallmouths will be important to the winning team as well.
The teams that are putting together a mixed bag will be strong.
A general rule to keep in mind is the nicer the weather, the better the smallmouths bite and we have had a string of consecutive nice days so the smallmouths should be biting pretty good. Look for the winning team to be in the neighbourhood of about 50 pounds.
One thing to remember about bass tournaments is that it is not about catching the most fish, it’s about catching the five biggest fish you can each day.
One thing is for sure, anglers will be faced with plenty of options when the tournament starts tomorrow.
The weigh-ins will take place each day on the Kenora Harbourfront, starting at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.
If you can’t make it, you can follow online at and Shaw will be broadcasting the final weigh-in live across Canada on Saturday afternoon.

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