Another KBI is upon us

As has been the case for the past 15 years, the past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind for me.
The week in Fort Frances for the Canadian Bass Championship was hectic to say the least. Then I spent most of last week guiding clients on Lake of the Woods, chasing walleyes for the most part.
Then this past weekend, I started my pre-fishing for the annual Kenora Bass International, which starts tomorrow.
This has been a pretty standard routine since I started fishing the FFCBC back in 2000.
I have told the story before but my first time fishing the KBI was in 1993. For Christmas the year before, my present was an entry fee for my dad and me in the KBI.
Although I was only 10 years old at the time, there was nothing else I would have rather done that summer.
Our goal that first year was to catch a bass so we could walk across the weigh-in stage to weigh our fish. Although I don’t think we caught a limit either day that first year, we were hooked on the tournament—and the KBI has been a big part of our lives ever since.
Today, my dad fishes with my younger brother, Ben. They have had a few good tournaments over the years, including a couple of second-place finishes.
My wife, August, also has fished the tournament several times, including the past three with her cousin, Tara Savage. So it really is a family event for us.
I’m very proud of August because over the weekend, she spent two long days pre-fishing by herself. She launched the boat herself and ran around on Lake of the Woods looking for bass.
I hope they have a great tournament!
Most of us fish the tournament for several reasons. Obviously, there’s the chance to win some big money if the fish co-operate. But beyond that, those of us that have the bug for fishing in these tournaments do it because they are fun.
There is a lot of camaraderie amongst the anglers and, for most part, everybody is friendly with each other since we all share the same passion. There also is that competitive instinct that kicks in for many of us.
We want to beat our buddies.
Events like the KBI and the recent FFCBC are large, community-run events that are just fun to be a part of, as well. And at both events, the anglers are made to feel like rock stars regardless of how many fish they catch.
Since we finally are getting a nice week of weather after a spring and summer that have not been all that great, I expect the fishing will be pretty good this weekend. Stable, warm weather certainly helps.
With the high water, the lake is a little bit different than past years. Shallow areas that previously were unfishable are holding fish now and there is current in places where it’s usually not noticeable.
I have heard mixed reports over the past few days but for the most part, anglers are saying the fishing has been pretty good. It should be noted, though, that most anglers aren’t as truthful as they would be in their every-day life this week, especially when talking amongst the competition.
Still, look for some big bass to be caught from Lake of the Woods this weekend.
Weigh-ins start at 4 p.m. tomorrow and Friday, and 3 p.m. on Saturday down at the Whitecap Pavilion in Kenora. If you want to follow online, do so at