The 13th annual Ute Lake Open bass tournament is coming to Logan Oct. 2-3. Bob Rutter, of the Logan Bass Club, said the tournament draws a big crowd for early fall.
“We should have between 50-60 two-person teams,” said Rutter. “That’s a lot of people coming into Logan and spending money on food, lodging and supplies.” The tournament will offer a guaranteed $1,000 for first place with the possibility of added money. “We will be giving money to competitors all the way down to 20th place in the standings,” said Rutter. “We will even give a trophy each day to the team with the smallest weight amount. We call it the “Dink” award.”
Each day of the tournament, $250 will be awarded to the team bringing in the heaviest bass. As much as $630 will be given for the team with the heaviest smallmouth bass.
Rutter said fishing is good at Ute Lake. “The smallmouth bass population is terrific,” said Rutter, “and if the weather is mild there should be really good fishing.” Only artificial bait is allowed during the tournament and Rutter said the most popular baits are senkos.
“A senko is a rubber worm. You cast it out with about 40 yards of line and just let it sink towards the bottom,” he said. “The bass thinks it’s something dead floating down and is likely to strike.” Rutter said fisherman spend a lot on tackle because fish can change their habits according to the seasons and even the time of day. “Senkos have been popular for the past couple of years, but often when new artificial baits come out, the fish will take the bait for awhile but eventually grow wise to the bait somehow,” he said.
A.G. Cook, another member of the Logan Bass Club, said knowledge is helpful but it is not the only thing necessary to catch fish.
“You can analyze a lot of variables like weather and water temperature,” he said, “but fishing is a lot about luck.”
Cook said a fisherman cannot afford to get set in his or her ways. “Something that is working might suddenly no longer be working,” he said. “That’s why there is such an investment in tackle. In a two-day tournament you might use 8-10 different lures.”
Rutter said the Ute Lake Open must have been doing something right over the years. “The prize money that goes out covers a lot of participants,” said Rutter. “There have been a lot of repeat participants.” Logan’s Big Valley Ford, Lodger’s Tax and other Logan merchants have donated prize money. The entry fee for the tournament is $100 per team. An extra $10 dollars is required to enter the Big Bass Pot competition. Call 487-2406 or 487-2872 for information.