Lake Simcoe Living "Hooked On Fishing" columnist Wil Wegman has won the Aurora Bassmasters 2013 top trophy
While the Aurora Bassmasters pride themselves as being “More than just a fishing club,” and perform several conservation projects every year, they still love to fish. They host 10 club tournaments annually for their members. In these draw-format tournaments, boaters in the club fish with a different non-boater for each tournament. Each angler retains his own five bass limit, and so fishes as an individual.
In 2013, the schedule included three new lakes in the Muskoka region where the club had not previously held tournaments.
There is no single championship event; instead, the Angler of the Year trophy goes to the club member with the most points at the end of the season. This year, 38 members qualified to take part in the competition.
Wil Wegman, who has been with the Aurora club since it formed in 1995, started the 2013 season with a bang, winning the first two events. He had only ‘so-so’ performances mid-season, however. With the final two tournaments remaining, one on Lake Couchiching and the last on Lake Simcoe, there was still no clear winner.
Focussing on largemouth instead of smallmouth, Wegman was on the right pattern when he landed his personal best Canadian largemouth at 6.10 pounds during the pre-fish in Cooch.
“Ironically, it came from a weed line that we swam right over during Orillia’s Sun City Swim in August,” he said.
Wegman did well enough with largemouths to place second to Dean Hornick, of Keswick.
A week later and strong winds were predicted for the day of the final tournament, but to everyone’s pleasant surprise they never really materialized. Instead, an eerie fog rolled in around noon and blanketed Cooks Bay. Although several excellent anglers were in mathematical contention for the AOY title, most eyes were on Hornick, in first spot, and Wegman, who was second overall. Both would spend most of the day focussed on largemouth instead of smallmouth bass despite the realization that smallmouth usually win Simcoe tournaments.
“I knew the smallmouth bite at that time could be quite tough and I just happened upon a consistent largemouth pattern during pre-fish, so that’s what I targeted,” Wegman said.
Wegman’s largemouth cooperated by slamming his Rapala DT 20 crankbait and oversized brown coloured tube jig over and over again during the day. At weigh-in, he brought in 15.80 lbs (five bass limit), enough to win the tournament and the 2013 AOY title. With it comes the club trophy and free entry into all of the 2014 club events.