STRAY CASTS: Strub, Izumi win back to back Quinte Classic bass tourney

Bob Izumi is something of a fishing legend in Canada. He gained fame and fortune through many years of hard work, promotion, and some good luck. He’s also known as a good guy, too.

These days, he is fishing with Elora’s Derek Strub, who is also making a large name for himself in bass fishing circles. Like Izumi, Derek has been fishing for many years, struggling with the costs of competitive bass fishing tournaments, and now, after all those years, he, too, is earning some major time in the spotlight.

Strub and Izumi began fishing together last season and they had some incredible finishes in the few events they entered. Izumi thus asked Derek to continue hunting bass with him in events where partnerships are allowed. In many tournaments these days, teams consist of a professional teamed with an amateur, which introduces many amateurs to the tournament trail, something that is deemed to be good for the sport.

The final event of the 2008 Quinte Fishing Series season, the Quinte Classic, started on Sept. 20 with 71 boats registered for the two day tournament.

Weather forecasts were calling for clear skies and fairly calm waters but Saturday morning the winds came up and a number of teams switched their strategies.

Those who fished the area in the days before the tournament had determined that the smallmouth bass were hitting hard and at least a half-dozen teams had planned on making the run but the winds and six foot waves on the Lake resulted in only three or four boats making the run.

Defending Classic champions Bob Izumi, of the Real Fishin’ TV show and Derek showed why they were the defending champs. They weighed in an amazing (and record) weight for the Series at 25.65 pounds for their five fish. The team did run to Lake Ontario and its smallmouth catch contained the big fish of the day also, a monster weighing at 5.70 pounds. With a 4.5 pound  lead on the field, they were prohibitive favourites to win the Classic.

The final day had more wind and more teams deciding not to make the lake run, especially when the day is shorter with weigh at 3 and 3:30pm.

Derek and Izumi finished the second day with 20.70 pounds, the second best total of the day.  took the title again for 2008 with a total weight of 46.35 pounds. The finished second in the weight for the day, but their huge lead from the previous day held on for the win.

They took home $4,100 as well as two fleece coats compliments of Mark’s Work Warehouse, and a $50gift certificate from Kelsey’s/Montana’s, in Belleville.

Izumi stated from the stage, “This body of water is an amazing fishery – and my partner, Derek, is an exceptional smallmouth bass fisherman – and I have learned so much from him.”

Derek explained their success for this event. “We fished in 40 to 45 feet of water most of the weekend and the fish were quality fish.” For their big fish from the first day, they also claimed the Bass Magnet Lure Company’s Big Fish award, giving them $1,360 in cash as well as big fish trophy and $150 n custom soft plastic baits, compliments of Bass Magnet Lures.

Mat Seeley and Scott Palmer jumped two positions from the first day to take second place with a total weight of 41.55 pounds. Their second day total of 23.35 was the only weight that finished ahead of Strub and Izumi. They received $3,300 for the weekend and made the run for smallmouth to the lake instead of staying in the Bay of Quinte.

Congratulations to Derek (the Stray Caster calls him by his first name because he has fished with him – and learned an awful lot) and Bob Izumi.

The Stray Caster has fished with another other bass champion (not because any fishing skills, but because of this column) and the champs seem to have a number of traits in common. First, they are patient, and second, and probably most importantly, they are willing to try new tactics if the old ones are not working. What worked well one year might end in utter failure the next, and they recognize that and will change tactics and locations. It’s a tough lesson for some anglers, but one well worth learning.