Some last-minute heroics helped Jack Levert and Steve Barnett take the first win of the season on Big Rideau Lake.
The duo sacked up a 19.17-pound bag, cashed a check, and qualified for the Tournament of Champions.
Jack and Steve had less than 15 pounds in their live-well around lunch time and managed to catch their two biggest fish of the day in the last hour of the tournament.
They expected a good bag, since their practice went so well, but they had to grind out the win because the fish they saw in practice we’re mostly gone.
“We scrounged and worked our butt off to get what we got. We caught 30-35 fish.” Said Barnett. “The big one at the end ate the 3.8 rhythm wave. Smoked it.”
Most of their fish caught during the day were largemouth, but they did look around for smallmouth, bringing one 4-pounder to the scales.
“We got one today, 4.80 on the 3.8 rhythm wave in about 15 feet of water. When we were out there I wouldn’t say we were going for straight smallies, but you get that mixed bag out there because you got the smallies rolling in with the largies out there. We didn’t go straight out for any deep smallies.” Said Barnett.
Most of their confidence during the day came from a flurry of fish they caught using hollow bodied frogs. After that, they settled down and their day turned around.
“It was amazing. It got us relaxed and as Steve said; we got 14-15 pounds, let’s go back on a flat. We left there, and he caught the smallie maybe 5 minutes after we got there, and he missed another big one right after and then big momma came. He said I got one more stop, we got 20 casts. We caught it with 5 boats around us.” Said Levert.
Jack and Steve didn’t have a stellar morning, but they kept grinding and their luck began to turn around mid-day. They spoke about never giving up during a tournament.
“We’ve been fishing a long time and sometimes you just have to keep your bait wet. You keep your bait wet around where you know there’s fish. Sometimes it’s memory and sometimes it’s a gut feeling.” Said Levert.
Jack and Steve are both accomplished anglers on the Renegade Bass Tour, having both captured team of the year titles separately. Their goal this year is to try and get a TOY title together and so far, they are on pace for a year to remember.
Top 5 teams
- Steve Barnett / Jack Levert – 19.17 – $7000
- Tom Cundell / Darrell Medaglia – 18.44 – $3500.00
- Adam Howell / Kyle Healey – 17.64 – $2000.00
- Lenny Devos / Jeff Desloges – 17.31 – $1700.00
- Ashley Pilgrim / Josh Luloff – 17.11 – $1400.00