Don Dubuc / Eyewitness News

Today was a scouting mission for the upcoming 65th Annual City Park Big Bass Rodeo. It is the oldest freshwater fishing even t in the nation. Drafted into duty were the brother combination of former rodeo winners, Drew and Spencer Mullen, bass tournament angler Jeff Bruhl and rodeo weigh master Aaron Gelfand. Armed with crickets and worms we landed a respectable amount of bluegill and according to what we saw in the front ponds it looks like those participating in the bream categories will have good success.

On the bass front, the fish seem to be plentiful but are in the spawning stage making them very difficult, if not impossible to hook. Males and females are on their beds along the banks and are plainly visible but unless you're willing to spend a lot of time making repeated casts until you can aggravate the fish into picking up your bait to remove from the nests, you're better off casting plastic worms into the deeper water. All of today's action was shot in the front ponds near the Casino Building but according to other reports the larger fish can be found in the back ponds near the riding stables. There's also less grass lining the bottom in the back area making it easier to work your lures.

Today was also a scheduled ' fish shocking' survey that turned up among many other bass, a 5 1/2 pounder and the biggest cichlid (Rio Grande Perch) I've ever seen. Previous shockings have produced an 8-8 that is still swimming somewhere in the park's lagoons.

The rodeo and 'Fishtival' complete with food, music and educational exhibits is set for Saturday march 31st with registrations on site at the Casino building beginning at 6am. Admission is only $5 for youths and $10 for 13 and older. Complete details are available here.

Remember to hook 'em hard!

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