Father-son duo dominate at Bronzeback Classic

The sixth-annual KMTS Bronzeback Classic bass tournament took place this past weekend on Lake of the Woods.
Anglers were faced with some great weather over the weekend—and plenty of nice smallmouth bass were brought to the scales.
Although the bite was off a little bit for most of us who competed in the tournament, the father-and-son team of Jeff and Scott Dingwall weighed in 31.56 pounds to win by about two pounds in a dominating performance.
This is a unique tournament in a number of ways with a successful recipe because the anglers keep coming back year after year. The 100-boat field filled quickly, which is impressive because most of the other tournaments in the region are not drawing full fields for their events.
The Bronzeback Classic is a smallmouth-only tournament, so largemouth bass are not eligible to be weighed. This is significant because largemouths usually always factor into winning catches at the Shaw Kenora Bass International, which will take place in a couple of weeks.
This is a competitive tournament, with many of the top bass anglers in region participating, but the atmosphere surrounding the entire event is a little more laid-back. Most of the anglers are fishing with good friends or family members.
There also were a lot of happy kids fishing in this tournament, which was nice to see. This is great because if kids are not exposed to competitive fishing or bass fishing, they may never catch the bass-fishing bug.
The weekend was a special one for me. I fished with my fiancée, August, and we had a great time, ending up with a fifth-place finish Sunday afternoon. We had pretty good pre-fishing, but ended up grinding it out when the tournament started.
We caught pretty good numbers of fish, but had a tough time finding big three-pound plus fish.
August caught most of the big fish that we weighed in, by the way! She is fishing the SKBI with her cousin, Tara Savage, so everybody had better watch out!
Second place on the weekend went to the team of Chris McDermid and Jeff Engstrom. These young guns put in some serious time pre-fishing and were rewarded with a great finish.
Day 1 leaders Derek Wagenaar and Rob Klassen wound up third while the father-and-daughter team of Darryl and Soccoro Galusha landed in fourth. They also won $1,000 for the top finishing male/female team on the weekend.
Kenora anglers Ron Achilles and Cameron Belanger finished eighth and won the top adult/youth award, also worth $1,000.
There also was another $1,000 prize handed out to the top team fishing out of a 50 h.p.-and-under rig, which went to Todd and Blaine Zurkan, who ended up in 13th place overall.
A big thanks to the crew from the Wharf Marine and Bob Stapleton from JB Tackle in Kenora for running a great event this past weekend. All the anglers had a great time!
This week, the bass action slides south to Rainy Lake for the 18th-annual Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship. This is one of the premier events in North America on one of the best smallmouth bass fisheries in world, so it’s always a highlight of the summer for me.
I drove down to Fort Frances on Sunday night after the tournament in Kenora wrapped up, and got a full day on the water on Monday.
Fishing was tough for me (my best five fish probably would have went for about 11 pounds) so my partner, John Peterson, and I have some work do to before the three-day tournament starts tomorrow morning.
Look for the report from the FFCBC next week.

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