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Ontario Tournament Fishing: Interview with Adam Lariviere
I first noticed Adam Lariviere when he posted a photo of his new Team Canada Ardent Jersey. Very cool jersey and with a little more investigation, I quickly found that Adam is a very skilled fisherman. I appreciate that he took the time to fill us in on some of his favorite tackle, his perspective on Catch and Release and fishing Ontario's Muskrat Lake.
GFN: One of your most recent posts on Twitter is a photo that describes the growth rate of smallmouth bass and that an 18 incher is 8 to 10 years old. As a recreational and tournament angler, what are some of the catch and release techniques you pay attention to and how have they changed over the years?
I would say that C & R tactics have evolved in a huge way that have improved every angler's chance at catching "the big one". Bigger fish are being caught every year. Global warming is a major contributor, but smarter fish handling is also a factor.
Competitive bass fishing has certainly helped to educate the angling community about proper catch and release tactics. Tactics range from ensuring you have sufficient equipment to ensure the fight is as fast as possible for both you and the fish, to simply ensuring your live well is performing at it's best. I personally fill my live wells up with the coolest water that I can find on the body of water that I am fishing and continue to aerate the water all day long. After a fish is boated, I will attach my Ardent culling system to the bottom lip of the fish, take a quick weight measurement and carefully drop my fish in the live well.
The Ardent culling system consists of a series of color coded floating balls which allows you to manually set the exact weight of the fish by simply turning the two halves of the ball until the desired weight is shown. The floating ball has a wire on it which attaches to the bottom lip of the fish via a clip which gently penetrates the light layer of skin on the bottom jaw of the fish. This allows the angler to put a ball on each of the fish in the live well, and perform an accurate cull, without having to re-weigh any fish. Not having to re-weigh any fish virtually eliminates any stress that a fish will receive from spending time out of the water.
The folks at Muskies Canada continue to do an unbelievable job at promoting catch and release. I never thought so much attention could be given to the care and handling techniques of such a massive predatory strain of fish. Since I joined the group in 2009, I instantly became more aware of the importance of proper fish care. It is very rare to see anyone holding a muskellunge in the vertical position, a vertical hold could potentially harm or kill a large fish, nor is it common to hear of anyone not releasing one. If improper fish care is observed, it is generally due to lack of awareness, and it is our job to educate these individuals of the importance of proper fish care.
GFN: What have been the highlights of your tournament season so far this year?
I think the biggest highlight of our tournament season this year was our opening tournament. On this day, we were sitting with only 8 lbs of smallmouth bass in the live well at around 2 PM. Given that the weigh in was only two hours away and knowing that this particular area on the body of water does not typically produce big smallmouth bass, we decided to make the 20 mile run to an area where we knew there were big largemouth. This paid off, as we were able to catch 5 nice buckets which was enough for a 5th place finish.
GFN: What is your favorite body of water to tournament fish and why?
My favorite body of water to tournament fish is Muskrat Lake, located in Cobden ON. This particular body of water is as diverse as they come. Although the lake consists of an extremely deep single basin, one side of the lake consists mainly of deep rocky edges with sparse cabbage weeds and deep underwater points. Smallmouth Bass can be found anywhere on the lake but anywhere along this rocky side of the lake is a gold mine. The other side of the lake is teaming with shallow weedy bays which commonly produce largemouth bass in the five pound range. Tournaments can be won on this lake with a bag of Smallmouth or Largemouth or commonly both.
GFN: On that body of water, I am going to run a September tournament but with a rule change. You can only select 3 lures for the day. What would those be and why?
If I had only 3 lures to choose from I am definitely taking a senko, a jerk bait, and a flipping jig. A Senko is the most diverse lure on the market, it can be fished in any situation.
A jerk bait generally shines in September when chasing smallmouth. The baitfish begin to ball up and suspend over deep water in late summer and early fall. Throwing a jerk bait over deep water can be a winning ticket.
A flipping jig doesn't get you a lot of bites, but it will get quality bites, especially in September when Largemouth Bass prefer a larger, slower presentation.
GFN: You rep Ardent reels. Ardent is a company that has been supporting a lot of fishermen. How did you get involved with Ardent and what is it like working with the company?
I got involved with Ardent Reels simply because they make a top notch quality product. The performance of these reels is unmatched in all aspects and the price is right as well. I was offered a staff position with this company because of my fishing success and my use of social media platforms in which I promote the sport of fishing and products.
GFN: I saw on Twitter you recently received your order of their Performance line reels. Will you give us a review of these reels and what you like about them?
Ardent Reels shine because of two things. Precision machining of reel components and light weight materials. The use of carbon fibre eliminates a ton of weight and these reels fit any anglers hand with comfort and confidence. They are perfectly balanced and have a silky smooth drag system. Their line of bait casting reels are unmatched. I've never owned a reel that has the casting, flipping, and pitching capabilities as the APEX Grand. Ardent also carries a line of finesse reels with a very reasonable price tag. I use these reels cause I trust them, and they have won me money in the tournament scene.
GFN: What about the other companies you represent?
In addition to Ardent, I represent GLISS and Liquid Mayhem. For those who aren't familiar with GLISS line, it is a 4th form of fishing line which is produced using a breakthrough extrusion process of high modulus polyethylene fibers. Gliss shares properties of both monofilament and braided line, and excels in both categories. Gliss is a manageable line, with virtually zero line twist while maintaining maximum strength. I've hauled 5 lbs buckets out of pure slop using this stuff, with no issues at all.
Liquid Mayhem fish scent is a must have for anyone's tackle box. This stuff really is a difference maker. Liquid Mayhem is a highly concentrated formula made with natural baitfish which mimics the scent of numerous species which fall prey to bass, walleye, pike, and even muskie. I have never used a scent that has the staying power of Liquid Mayhem. The formula is so sticky that I only re-apply every 30 or so casts. I have actually set the hook, missed and stung a fish, only for the same fish to come back and hit again. The only explanation I have is that I am using Liquid Mayhem. It really does work.
GFN: What do you like about the PULSE swimbaits and how are you fishing them?
I like pulse swim baits because they work. They can be rigged in so many different ways, for so many scenarios. My favorite is to rig them with a foot ball head jig and use this to punch through thick weed cover to get into the areas where those big largies hang out. They can also be rigged be rigged weedless, Carolina Rigged, or even wacky. Fish just eat them.
GFN: Great info. I loved his thoughts on Muskrat as it is lake I have wanted to fish for a long time. Thank you Adam. You can follow Adam on Instagram and Twitter: