(Sep 25, 2015 - SANDUSKY, Ohio)
While some anglers were giving up and moving on to find new places to fish, Bassmaster Elite Series pro Derek Remitz knew better. He remained persistent, fine tuning what worked in the opening round Thursday until it finally clicked today.
As a result, he leads the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Northern Open presented by Allstate.
Remitz, of Grant, Ala., caught a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds, 6 ounces. Added to his Thursday score, it gives him a total weight of 46-10 — less than a pound heavier than that of his closest challenger, Pete Gluszek.
Remitz had plenty of temptation to give up, especially after he lost at boat side a 4-pound smallmouth at 10:30 a.m. It would have been his first keeper of the day.
He quickly regained composure and was able to capitalize on a feeding flurry that added four bass to his catch. Even then he didn’t leave. Staying resulted in another late afternoon frenzy that sealed the lead.
“I got a late start, but I knew the bass were still in the area,” Remitz said. “The biggest key is the wind, which is blowing in such a way that I can make controlled drifts across the best habitat.”
Ironically, the wind blew again from the northeast, although its predicted shift on Saturday could require making significant adjustments.
“I wouldn’t be catching what I am now had it not blown that direction,” he added.
Remitz is fishing specific, small objects on the bottom that create breaks in the current. The objects are rocks and the bass are using those to ambush and feed on baitfish as they are swept past them. His most productive lure is a drop shot rig that matches the live bait.
“I don’t like to drift, but it’s the only way to stay on my area,” he added. “The wind is too strong to stay precisely on top of my spots using the trolling motor.”
GPS navigation helps him pinpoint his drifts. Remitz’ most productive area is a large shoal in Lake Erie.
To minimize the risk of arriving late to check-in, the angler quit fishing to return to the weigh-in site at Shelby Street Boat Launch in Sandusky 30 minutes early.
Gluszek of Franklinville, N.J., is second with an overall weight of 45-15. He is making hour-long boat runs to fish the tailwaters of the Detroit River, taking advantage of the current and abundant baitfish.
“There is an unbelievable amount of baitfish there, and it’s concentrated in that area because of all that current,” Gluszek said. He is catching bass on a drop shot rig and a crankbait.
“The crankbait is my ‘plan B,’ and it’s reliable enough that if the other technique fails I can use it,” he added.
Today the following anglers received contingency awards.
Allstate Good Hands, Great Day: Pro angler Jim Dillard received $250 and Co-Angler Nick Leonard earned $150 for awards for climbing the most points from the first to second day. Dillard rose from 133rd to 81st place.
Livingston Lures Leader Award: Remitz earned a lure gift pack valued at $250 as the second-day leader.
The tournament winner and more will be determined on Saturday. The top pro angler receives a Triton 19TrX boat with accessories, a Mercury 200 Pro XS outboard and custom trailer. The package is valued at $45,000. The top co-angler receives a NITRO Z18 boat with accessories, a Mercury 150 Pro XS and custom trailer. The package is valued at $30,000.
The top pro angler, should he fish all three Northern Open events, receives an invitation to the 2016 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro. As it stands, that invitation would go to Remitz. He finished the 2015 Elite Series season in 83rd place, well out of the qualifying cut for the Classic.
Finally, the Top 5 anglers from the 2015 Northern Open season receive invitations to the 2016 Bassmaster Elite Series, the top tier of professional bass fishing.
On Saturday the final weigh-in begins at 4:15 p.m. ET at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in suburban Toledo. The address is 10000 Bass Pro Blvd., Rossford, Ohio.
2015 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Series Title Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops
2015 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Series Presenting Sponsor: Allstate
2015 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota
2015 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Series Premier Sponsors: A.R.E. Accessories, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, GoPro, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha
2015 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Series Supporting Sponsors: Carhartt, Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels, Huk Performance Fishing, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Power-Pole, Rigid Industries, Shimano
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines ,Bassmaster website, television show,The Bassmasters , social media programs and events. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.
The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series presented by Allstate, Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation events, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Costa Bassmaster High School Series, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.