Orillia, Ontario Canada: Organizers of the Bass Pro Shops Lake Simcoe Open bass tournament, hosted by the Aurora Bassmasters, are thrilled to announce they have signed the legendary Big Jim McLaughlin to be MC of their tournament weigh-in ceremonies for the 2012 event out of Orillia Oct 20th. "It's been many years since I won my second Canadian Championship out of Orillia, but when I see the weights that come in now for a 5 fish limit surpassing even those of the old 6 fish tournament limit... I am absolutely jacked to be the Emcee at the 2012 BASS PRO SHOPS LAKE SIMCOE OPEN Canada's Premier one day bass fishing tournament. PERIOD!" - said Big Jim.
About Big Jim
"Big" Jim, as he is affectionately known has been an integral part of the Canadian sportfishing scene for nearly 30 years now and shows no signs of slowing down. Having first gained notoriety as a tournament angler, "Big" Jim was vaulted into the sport fishing spotlight with two CFT Canadian Classic Championships… Canada's premier tournament title along with a slew of tournament victory's numbering 28 to his credit. Following his tournament success, "Big" Jim founded what has become Canada's largest FREE fishing publication - Just Fishing with "Big" Jim McLaughlin. For nearly 20 years this successful publication has brought top notch angling information to Canadian and American anglers alike.
The BPS Lake Simcoe Open is the only event in the country that produces several weights over 27 pounds year after year and holds the record for the heaviest five bass ever weighed in during a Canadian tournament at 31.5 lbs. It also lays claim to the heaviest bass ever weighed in during a Canadian Tournament- an 8.05 pound smallmouth also caught in 2010.
"Being asked to Emcee Canada's most incredible one day sportfishing event ....the BASS PRO SHOPSLAKE SIMCOE OPEN on what "IS" the country's premier destination for giant smallmouth is a privilege equal to that of having won a CANADIAN CHAMPIONSHIP on the same waters so many years ago...MAYBE EVEN BETTER because the bass are bigger now than ever before!" concluded Big Jim.
Everyone is invited to come out to the Free Weigh In that begins just before 3pm and enjoy a complimentary BBQ hosted by Maple Lodge Farms.
Support from the angling industry and community has always been strong for this event and this year is no exception as we are pleased to offer over 100% payback to the anglers. Of course Bass Pro Shops as title sponsor has offered the greatest contribution both in cash awards and their marketing and organizational expertise. Additionally we have retained platinum sponsors Jack Links Beef Jerky and BoaterExam.com Shimano Canada will once again supply their live release boat and in-water weigh-in system. Anglers can also enter the Shimano Pay to Play Pot during the pre tournament meeting the Friday night before. Their optional $40 per team will go into the pot and directly to the winners - if they entered before the event. If not it goes to the 2nd place team - if they entered.
The Berkley Big Gulp Award is for the biggest largemouth bass caught on a Berkley bait during the event. Berkley must be called out by the competitor while on stage and he/she must also let everyone know specifically what bait they used to catch their big bass. The Award is worth $1000 to the winner. Additionally, the Berkley 8lb Test Award is for the heaviest smallmouth bass caught over 8lbs. It will only be awarded if the 8 lb plus bass was caught on a Berkley/Johnson bait and/or fishing line. This award is for the biggest fish only and will not be awarded if that fish is not caught utilizing one of these products. Berkley/Johnson must be called out by the competitor while on stage and he/she must also let everyone know specifically what bait/line. The Award for this will be $1000 in addition to the overall BIG Fish Pot that all anglers are eligible for.
Humminbird/Minn Kota will offer $2,000 to the winners if they used their products during the tournament. Rapala will contribute $2,000 for a hidden position prize and Mustang will provide four Floater suits. These are all major sponsors who make this event the most anticipated and exciting one day tournament in the country.
How The 2012 Bass Pro Shops Lake Simcoe Open Works:
After each of the 100 boat field is checked carefully by tournament officials at the Port of Orillia, Anglers will blast off at 8am Saturday morning in flights of 25 boats each. As long as weather allows, the vast majority of teams will leave Lake Couchiching go thru the Atherly Narrows and on into Lake Simcoe. "It's here that the vast majority of those monster six pound plus smallmouth bass reside and it's those very bass that are required in order to not only win- but typically even place in the top 20," said David Meadows president of the Aurora Bassmasters.Anglers will use a variety of proven tournament techniques with different artificial lures (no live bait permitted) and must keep their bass in tip top shape during the day in their aerated livewells. The five heaviest bass - largemouth or smallmouth will win the tournament. Both Simcoe and Couchiching have tremendous largemouth fisheries, but it's the smallies that outweigh their big mouthed cousins. Beginning at 3pm, right at Couchiching beach park in downtown Orillia's beautiful waterfront, anglers will begin weighing in. Those who think they have 23 pounds or more, will be invited into the prestigious Drive By Weigh-In. Others will walk their bags of live, healthy bass in to have them weighed by Big Jim. Large crowds of fishing fans and curious onlookers are expected to enjoy the FREE entertaining weigh in on site, while thousands of others can watch the live streaming video of the weigh-in on the Aurora Bassmaster site below.
Other Important Notes For Anglers:
• Registration night will start at 5pm in the Simcoe Room of the Highway Man Inn, located in Orillia. The meeting will take place at 6:15pm and we hope to be finished shortly after 7pm.
• Umbrella or Alabama Rigs with just four hooks (as per Ontario regulations set out in: http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/LetsFish/2ColumnSubPage/STDPROD_097331.html will be permitted for this 2012 event. Results and usage by anglers will be evaluated by survey to determine if any conservation or other issues exist with this new rig.
• We expect at least one team member to be proficient in the fizzing procedure to treat fish caught in deep water to prevent symptoms of barotrauma.
• All teams must have at least one fully charged working cell phone and provide that number to tournament officials. Cell phone use during tournament hours is for safety, reporting mechanical problems and emergency use only.
• At this time of year, anglers are encouraged to wear their Mustang Floater suits which also serve as PFD's.
Press Release prepared By:
Aurora Bassmasters Media and Conservation Director