|Anglers waiting to weigh in at the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship|
But besides the payout there is lot's of reasons why to experience a fishing tournament. The Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship goes all out and has a major celebration. The event starts with the Safeway Kid Pro fishing July 17th from 7am-3pm. On July 19th, there is a Much Music Video Dance Party. The Boston Pizza Parade of Boats begins at 3:00 and then at 7pm the Quest for the Best begins. July 21-23 the fishing starts with the Flight #1 departing from the Government Dock at Pithers' Point Park. Thursday the anglers return at 3:30pm. There's a Chicken 'n Ribs dinner from 4:30-7:30pm. Friday the dinner is Floppin' Fresh Fish Dinner and then Kartune Kriminals and Bed of Roses (Canada's #1 Bon Jovi Tribute Band) hit the stage. Saturday the excitement grows as people wonder who will come in with the biggest catch, who will win? The Top Ten Boat Parade begins at 5:00 and the Angler Awards presentation begins at 7:00. There is a Kiwanis Streak Fry and in the evening Borderland's favourite local band, Thinking of Pinky takes the stand. For more information visit the FFCBC website or visit their Facebook page.
The 5th Annual Friends and Family Bronze Back Classic is held from July 23-24, 2011 on Lake of the Woods. The entry fee is $400.00 and there is a 100% pay out on entries. The focus of the Bronze Back Classic is to get families, friends, local anglers, long time summer residents, and especially youth involved in this boating event.
|Angler showing his bass to the crowd at KBI|
August begins with another big bass tournament. The Kenora Bass International (KBI) is held on Lake of the Woods in Kenora, Ontario from August 4-6th. If there are 150 entries, the top place receives $25,000. There are many other ways to win as well. There are 10 big catch prizes, biggest smallmouth, biggest largemouth, prizes for the top 30 placing in the KBI, adult/youth team, man/woman team and more. See the pay out schedule for complete prize estimates. Every year a battle wages between Canada and the U.S. along the shores of Lake of the Woods. 5 teams representing Canada and 5 teams representing the USA compete against each other for the honour and glory of being crowned the winner and for the Frank Townsend Can-Am Challenge trophy.
Anglers will fish Thursday to Saturday. Delicious dinners and beer gardens welcome anglers and the public in the evenings. Saturday is the big finale with the top 10 boats parading through the tent to an exciting finish. There also is a KBI Kids Tournament that is open to kids ages 4-13. The children will be fishing off the Kenora Harbourfront docks. There will be a prize presentation at the end of each flight, loot bag and t-shirt for every child who participates. A trophy and a special prize will be awarded to the male and female anglers with the biggest bass on each day! There is also free kids entertainment including Minnow Races from 11:30am - 2:30pm. For more information on the Kenora Bass International visit the KBI website. With Shaw as a major sponsor, the tournament can now be viewed on TV. Current standings can also be found on the KBI website once the tournament starts.
Next in the line-up of Sunset Country Tournaments is the Atikokan Bass Classic August 12-13. It is touted as the "Funnest Bass Tournament in the Northwest". Payout is 96% of Team Entry with the first place finish netting approximately $10,000. Besides the top 10 teams, prizes will also go to the best Parent & Child, Grandparent & Child, All Women, Male/Female Teams and for the biggest fish. Access into Marmion Lake is at the Anderson Dam Landing. Competitors are provided a free steak supper the Friday night of the tourney.
|Fishermen bringing in their bass to get weighed|
The Morson Bass International is held on Lake of the Woods in Morson from August 27-28. This Catch and Release Bass Tournament starts at the Government Dock in Morson. View a video of the Morson Bass International. Like many of the other fishing tournaments in Sunset Country, the MBI has a kids fishing tournament, yummy dinners and entertainment. You can download an Entry Form or get more information on the Morson Bass International website.
September begins with the Red Lake Fall Classic Catch & Release Walleye Tournament on the Red Lake Chain of Lakes on September 2-4. Based on 140 team entries, the top prize is $11,000. Second prize is $5,000 & 2 Humminbird Trolling Locators and third is $3,000 & 2 MinnKota Trolling Motors. See the Red Lake Falls Classic Prize structure for more prizes. Both days the 3 flights leave between 7 and 7:30am. Saturday there is a free supper for tournament participants where they can see the posting of first day standings. Sunday around 6pm you can visit the Red Lake Legion to see the prize and trophy awards. Saturday afternoon also has a Junior Championship at the Government Docks. Prizes for all children.
Perch Lake Bass Challenge is held on the Seine River Chain of Lakes September 4th. Meet at Homer's Cabins on Perch Lake 20 minutes west of Atikokan. Top prize is $1000 & possession of tournament trophy for 3 months. Top 5 win cash prizes. There are also prizes for the biggest fish, Top Lund team, top young angler and top couple. Rules & Boat Checks at 8am, fishing between 9am to 3:30pm. The 2011 PLBC is now full. To get your name on the waiting list, email email@example.com
Bassin' for Bucks is a fishing tournament on Lake of the Woods from Sioux Narrows September 9-11. The Sioux Narrows Bassin’ for Bucks tournament format is a two person team, fishing for 3 days, daily and total combined weight, live release tournament. Besides prizes for the top 6 each day, the grand aggregate weight prizes are as follows: 1st place is $6000, 2nd is $5000 and 3rd is $4000. There are also prizes for Tournament Big Fish, Big Smallmouth each day and Big Largemouth each day. Prize structure based on 120 entries. The flights leave between 7:30 & 8 each morning. Must fish these areas: Red Cliff Bay, Yellow Girl Bay, Whitefish Bay, Lobstick Bay, Regina Bay, Cross, Knickerbocker and Blueberry Inlets, and anywhere else accessible by boat that is within the boundaries. Out of bounds is all waters West and North of the longitudinal line #25’ that runs from the Northwestern tip of the Eastern Peninsula, South to the West side of Ferrier Island to the Aulneau Peninsula.
|One of the Top 10 anglers parading through the tent|
Crow Lake Classic Bass Tournament is held on Crow Lake September 16-17. Held at Hansons Hideaway Lodge on Crow Lake (Kakagi lake). $350 entry fee per team. Download registration form at the Crow Lake Classic website. Based on 50 entries, the top prize is $4,000. The top ten get cash prizes ranging from $4,000 to $350. New in 2011 are first, second and third top daily bag prizes. There is also a team draw for 2 Shimano Rod & Reel Combos, a Secret Number Placement and Closet Team to 10lb Daily bag prizes. The top 2 placing Princecraft boats powered by Mercury motors win 24 volt trolling motors.
During the fall the Ontario walleye tournaments start up again. The Rainy River Walleye Tournament in Rainy River is held September 22-24. The overall prize purse will be $43,450 with the champion earning $15,000. There are prizes for the top 15, 4 hidden weight prizes, a parade prize, River Champ, Day 1 & 2 Big Fish and the Lionel Roberts Memorial Award Largest Basket of Tournament $1,000 prize. Thursday has a parade of boats at 4pm, Fisherman's Dinner (contestants only) and then beer gardens open to the public. Friday, anglers leave between 8:45am & 9:15am. Saturday anglers leave between 7:45 & 8:15am. 3:15 the anglers weigh in and then the Awards Presentation and the Rainy River Junior Curlers Draw follows. There is a Weekend of fun and excitement for the whole family under the Big Tent on the shores of Beautiful Rainy River! Visit the Rainy River Walleye Tournament website for more information.
The Last Chance Bass is held on Shoal Lake September 24-25. Contact Randy Paishk 807-733-3940 or or Vern Fair 807-733-3191 for more information.
The Whitefish Bay Fall Bass Classic is held in Nestor Falls on Dogpaw, Caviar and Flint Lakes. The tournament runs October 1-. For more information call 807-226-5411.
The third annual Lake of the Woods Walleye Challenge will be held on Lake of the Woods in Morson October 7-8. It is a 2 day fishing tournament. $300 per team. Cash and merchandise prizes to anglers and spectators. Last year 21 teams participated for $6,500 in cash and prizes with 100% of entry fees going back to the top placing entries and prizes for hidden weight, top finishing husband/wife team and top finishing parent/child team. Spectators and anglers are invited for a dinner at the Morson Hall. For more information call 807-488-5905.
So, while it may sound easy to win 10 or 20 thousand dollars, it is far from it. Sure, there's a lot of luck in fishing, but there is a lot of preparation. Many anglers spend time and money pre-fishing a lake before a tournament. All in all though, a fishing tournament can be quite fun to participate in. Some anglers do the circuit and fish tournaments all summer long, some just do one in their community. The fishing tournaments I have listed here are coming up in the rest of 2011. For a complete list of fishing tournaments in Northwest Ontario, visit our fishing page on Sunset Country's website. Maybe next year I'll be reading about you winning the jackpot.