Taku Ito has been knockin’ at the door. Maybe bangin’ on the door but politely, if you know what I mean. So even though this was a slugfest, can’t say I’m surprised he won this deal. BUT he didn’t win it on the St. Lawrence. Like Brandon Palaniuk did back in ’14 and probly others, he ran out to the lake where the fish are generally bigger.
Stoked he did the interview, and his English is pretty good and getting better – enough to talk bassin’ anyhow! Love it, here we go – and please know I made it flow a little better here and there but not much, and any mistakes are on me:
> “I like Lake Ontario fishing so I started in Lake Ontario. I checked…[various depths] and found a 5-lber school in Chaumont Bay.
> “Tuesday I tried river fishing…strong current…I’m not good at fishing strong current so I can’t find a big fish in the river. I decided to do the long run.”
> Day 1 – “I tried river fishing for 1 hour but it was no good. So I went to Lake Ontario, [for] maybe 2 hours of fishing. The morning on Lake Ontario is good but I was not fishing that [because he spent that time on the river]. Day 1 I had 17 lbs – no good fish.”
He weighed a couple river fish, and his main rigs were a Ned and a dropshot.
> “I decide day 2 to go [straight[ to Lake Ontario.”
> Day 2 – “I fished Lake Ontario – I couldn’t find a big school. I was fishing 13′, 14′ shallow. I had 1 5-lber and a few 4-lbers – 22 lbs. I caught maybe 8 fish – fished for 2.5-3 hours [because he had a] long drive and 2 times I need to stop for gas.
Same baits that day.
> Day 3 – “No wind, calm – a very tough bite but very tough is good for me. I fished in Lake Ontario. The fish stayed on the bottom and no feeding [slow bite].
> “Dropshot [mostly] and Neko Rig…one cast, sometimes 3 minutes and no action [meaning not moving or barely moving the bait].
> “…super-long fluorocarbon [leader] – 11-lb Seaguar [Smackdown] Flash Green Braid to 8-lb Seaguar Gold Label [fluoro], 15-18′ long fluorocarbon [leader]. 10-20 seconds [leave the bait on the bottom], a little shake, 10-15 seconds…long pause, no action.
He had 23 lbs and was on to the last day:
> Day 4 – “Strong north wind. In practice I found in Chaumont Bay those big 5-lb fish, 30-40 fish. At a point outside the bay [between Chaumont and another bay] there were 100 5-lbers under the boat…so crazy. Maybe spawning big females [had] come out [because of the] north wind to my spot.
> [The bottom was] 23-24′ and the fish were suspending in 13′. I caught all 5-lbers – very easy…easy bite. Any bait was okay – dropshot, Neko rig – very easy fishing.
> “The baits I was using had Japanese taste, Japanese smell/scent – different than US bait so they were very easy to catch.”
He only fished 2.5 hours because he knew he had the weight he needed, the run was a little rougher and “fish care was very important.” He didn’t want any penalties.
> “The MotorGuide Tour Pro I think is very important in smallmouth fishing. Smallmouths don’t escape…if I use Anchor Lock. They’re so easy to catch. The Tour Pro is very silent so fish are not scared. Most fish stay under the trolling motor and they’re easy to catch.”
> Dropshot: 4″ Ecogear Awua Swim Shrimp (gp), 1/0 Ryugi Talisman Hook, 1/4-oz Ryugi TG Delta Weight, 11-lb Seaguar Flash Green Smackdown Braid to 8-lb Seaguar Gold Label fluoro, Shimano Stella 2500 SHG Reel, Nories Roadrunner Structure NXS 680MLS Rod.
> Neko: 4.5″ Nories Lattelie (shrimp, pumpkin, stein wakasagi), 1/0 Ryugi Talisman and Heavy Guard Talisman hooks, 1/8- or 3/16-oz Neko weight, 11-lb Seaguar Flash Green Smackdown Braid to 8-lb Seaguar Gold Label fluoro, Shimano Stella 2500 SHG Reel, Nories Roadrunner Structure NXS 6100MLS Rod.
> “Everybody I say thank you.”
Too cool, love that!