UPDATE: Mitchell’s Bay Bass tournament hooks star angler
A legendary fisherman with local roots is coming back home to fish in the Annual Mitchell’s Bay Open Bass Tournament next month.
Bob Izumi, who was born in Chatham and raised in Blenheim, will be trying to land a few big ones with his son Darren on July 8 and 9 as part of a huge 95-boat field at the tournament.
Izumi said it wouldn’t surprise him to see some record weights broken at Mitchell’s Bay this year because Lake St. Clair is a “fish factory” because of the prolific fishing.
“It’s going to be a heck of a shootout. I think you’re going to see a lot of big fish and obviously, somebody is going to crack the code. But these tournaments are won by ounces, that’s how close it’ll be,” said Izumi.
Izumi said he hasn’t fished in a local tournament since about 1990 or 1991 and he’s excited to get here.
“It’s going to be fun. I like the competition. I know a lot of the competitors that are in this event and they’re not giving anything away. They’re out there to win. So, it’s not going to be easy to do well, but I’m going to work hard at it anyway,” he said.
Izumi doesn’t think he has an advantage being a local guy and having fished Lake St. Clair before because the fish have migrated to different spots and the anglers have improved over the years.
“There’s probably two-thirds of the teams that are capable of winning this tournament, maybe three-quarters of the teams that are capable anglers that could win,” Izumi said.
Izumi competed in Canada’s first-ever bass tournament, the Rondeau Bay Bass Tournament, run by his father Joe when he was 15 years of age.
Izumi is now 64 years old and is promoting some outdoor companies. His show, called Real Fishing, ended in February after a 38-year run.
Bob’s brother Wayne is also fishing in the tournament. Wayne said he’s been fishing at this tournament for many years and it’s one of the best around.
“I fish a lot of tournaments and average about a dozen a year and this is in the top tier for organizations. The local people who organize it do an incredible, top-notch job,” said Wayne.