News

Day One – Awesome Start!

As a harbinger of good things to come, a Bald Eagle hovered overhead excited anglers early this morning as they awaited the starting gun. And what a great day it turned out to be! Large crowds, great entertainment, fantastic weather and fabulous fishing! The gods were truly smiling down on day one of the 11th Annual Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship.

Expressing the attitude of many fisherman, Dan Thorstad of Ray, MN said, “We’ve had better days, but at least I‘m not at work!”

They're Off!

Under clear skies and near perfect weather conditions 136 competitors headed out onto Rainy Lake early this morning to start the 11th Annual Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship.

More than just a casual day of fishing, the anglers are after a share of $170,000 in prize money. Hailed by many as the number one sport fishing event in Canada, anglers from as far away as California, Texas and British Columbia have gathered to test their skills against the best in North America.

Parade of Boats Welcomed To Fort Frances

Fort Frances residents do love a parade, and the 11th Annual Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship Parade of Boats was certainly no exception. A crowd estimated by some at close to 4500 people lined the streets of Fort Frances Tuesday evening to welcome the 136 teams competing in the catch and release fishing tournament. Deafening roars of appreciation greeted the anglers as they arrived at the tournament site, in what was the first official interaction between residents and the competitors.

Something Else – Double Winner in Band Competition

The local Fort Frances group “Something Else” took the top award at the third annual ‘Battle of the Bands’ at the Canadian Bass Championship on Tuesday night. Winning is not something new for the group of grade nine students. They too walked away with first place in the Teenage Battle of the Bands just two days earlier.

Band members of “Something Else” pictured above (l-r) are: Cody McCool, Dayton Brown, Patrick Bobczynski, Ryan Shortreed and Zack McCool.

Jason Goldamer Wins Kid-Pro

Ten year old Jason Goldamer (at right) took first place in the Kid Pro Fishing Tournament on Sunday. Goldamer, who is a grade six student from Robert Moore School in the Fort, teamed up with Pros Gene and Kirk Boyer from Minnesota for a three fish one day catch of 11.44lbs. That total was more than a full pound ahead of the second place team Garnet Paxson and his mentors Keith and Terry Wilson of Fort Frances, while Tanner Bell and Pros Trevor Guderyan and Guntram Keck from Keewaitin took third. Bell landed the largest Bass of the tournament with a 5.19lb catch.

Pinewood Delivers

By Bud Edwards

Tournament organizers received some exciting news from Chuck Arpin & Bob Fichuk of Pinewood Sports & Marine, FFCBC chairman Doug Cain confirmed today. Pinewood, together with Lund Boats of Canada and Mercury Marine are donating $8,000.00 in cash to the 2005 event.

Remembering Al Meline

On July 2nd this year the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship lost a friend, a sponsor, a supporter and an angler with the passing of Al Meline at his home in Nestor Falls.

We fondly remember his joy in 1995, the Tournament’s inaugural year, when Al and his partner Jimmy Klick won the big fish prize. His pleasure and excitement was tremendous and indicative of the way in which he approached all aspects of life.

New champions for 2005 as defending team loses member

The Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship will crown a new winning team in 2005.

James Lindner, captain of the 2004 defending team announced earlier this week that his partner and brother Bill Lindner will be unable to participate in this year’s event. Bill and his wife Katherine, are expecting their first child during the week of the Bass Tournament. “He wanted to come, but I didn’t think he’d be able to keep his mind on fishing,” James chuckled. Bill will be replaced by Mike Hehner on the number one team this year.

KID•PRO 2005 fishing tournament registration next week!

The annual KID•PRO tournament registration is Monday, July 4th, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce Office, located at 474 Scott Street (across from Safeway).

The tournament date is Sunday, July 17th.

KID•PRO anglers must register with a parent or guardian and be between the ages of 10 and 14. Kid anglers who have participated previously are not eligible. A limited number of positions are available. Names will be drawn on Tuesday, July 5 and will be published in the Fort Frances Times July 6.

International Falls Bass Champion invited to 2006 Tournament

By Bud Edwards

Our field will grow by one to 137 in 2006 chairman Doug Cain announced in a press release explaining a resolution adopted by the board of directors at their first meeting of the New Year.

“Historically we have extended invitations to the winners of six area bass tournaments (Atikokan, Kenora, Morson, Sioux Narrows, Lake Despair and LaBelle’s). The creation of a bass tournament in our sister city International Falls gives us the opportunity to do the same for their 2005 winner” Cain explained.

Famous Outdoor Writers Wants to Come Back

By Bud Edwards

Bill Thompson, executive director for the Outdoor
Writers of Canada, who attended and wrote articles on
the Tournament last year, is seriously considering doing
it again in 2005.
Thompson jumped at the opportunity in 2004 to take
in the local bass tournament he heard was second-to none.
Known within the industry as “Billie T.” and
signs all his correspondence “Yours in the outdoors”
has covered the Kenora Bass International, some of
the biggest Bass Anglers Sportsmen Society (BASS),

Ron Erb has been working since the last tournament

By Bud Edwards

Ron has been a tournament volunteer since 2001 when he began working with director Jim Brow as Team Leader helping create and take down all of the infrastructure that comprises the Sorting Gap Marina Site.

Following Jim’s retirement from the Board in 2003, after three years of hard work, Ron stepped forward and assumed one of the most challenging portfolios. Fortunately his previous experience as Team Leader, meticulous attention to detail and ability to see tasks through to completion made the transition seamless.

$1 Million and Counting

By Bud Edwards
Our week long community festival and Canada’s largest all cash smallmouth bass tournament achieved a significant milestone in 2004 when the total prize money won broke the million dollar plateau.
Since it’s inception in 1995, when only 47 teams participated, few would have dared dream that just ten years later winning teams would have cashed prize cheques totaling more than $1 million.
Chairman Doug Cain thought for a moment, did some quick math is his head and asked if the million dollar figure included the Reel Raffle.

FFCBC ends 2004 with a large deficit

By Bud Edwards

Chairman Doug Cain confirmed that the Tournament incurred an operating deficit of $23,061.02 in 2004.
“We spent a lot of money celebrating the Tournament’s 10th Anniversary last year. The good news is that we had money set aside in reserves and I want to assure everyone that we are not in any danger of folding. We are not broke” Cain emphasized.

New Web Site Launched!

By Brian Kahler
Each year the Bass Championship draws visitors and competitors from across North America.  What better way to keep in touch with the Canadian Bass Championship’s supporters than through the web. Although the address is the same, the content is significantly different.