Tourney big boost for small community

The 22nd-annual “Bassin’ For Bucks” tournament took place over weekend on Lake of the Woods out of Sioux Narrows.
The tournament, which has become a favourite of many local anglers, as well as visitors to Sunset Country, attracted another full field of 120 teams.
“Bassin’ For Bucks” is a great event for Sioux Narrows because it basically adds another busy week of economic activity in the small community where tourism and fishing are so important.
The summer is short so this event, which brings more than a couple of hundred people to town for at least four or five days, is huge.
Troy Norman of Fort Frances continued his awesome season, which included winning the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship back in July, as he and Andrew Carlson of Emo topped the tournament with a three-day total of 47.52 pounds.
That total, which was down a few pounds from what the winning total has been for the past several years, was a result of some tough fishing on Lake of the Woods over the weekend.
It appeared that the weather was almost too nice. As anglers, we wish for warm, sunny weather all summer long. But at this point in the year, these fish are ready to really start eating heavily as they prepare for the long winter and it seems like the cold weather is a trigger for that to start happening.
There were quite a few bass out deep on traditional fall spots. We and other teams could see them on our electronics, and we could catch a few, but they really were hard to catch for the most part.
Second place in the tournament went to the Sioux Narrows’ teams of Brian McNanney and Matt Rydberg, who followed up their second-place finish at the KBI last month with a three-day total of 46.75 pounds.
These guys are tough to beat on this part of the lake, regardless of the conditions.
My partner, Mike Reid, and I have fished the tournament together since it started way back in 1996 and we have had several good ones over the years. Things went pretty good for us last weekend with a third-place finish despite a tough second day when we only could muster a 12-pound limit.
Our total weight came in at 46.69 pounds. It was simply tough fishing out there–at least for big bass.
One of the reasons that “Bassin’ For Bucks” is such a popular event is the organizers really spread the prize money around with a bunch of different prizes. The top adult-youth team went to Jeff and Jared Rooney while the top male-female team going to Ted and Louise Stewner, who have won this award several times.
They finished 17th this year, which was the first time they have been out of the top five in many years.
The big fish of the weekend went to Darren Neniska and Clay Lajeunesse, who caught a 6.06-pound largemouth on Day 3 of the tournament. The big catch of the weekend also came in on Day 3 when Terry McClymont and Tim Strempler dropped 19.38 pounds on the scale.
A big thanks to all of the volunteers who make this such a fun bass tournament every year, especially Barb Salvador and Debbie Ducharme, who run a great team of people.
Those of us who enjoy fishing in these bass tournaments have a few weeks of competition left this season. This coming weekend, the action switches to Nestor Falls for the annual Crow Lake Classic taking place Saturday and Sunday.
There still are a few spots open for teams looking to sign up.
Any information you may need can be found on the Crow Lake Classic’s Facebook page.