‘Bass Week’ all set to go

It is “Bass Week” in Fort Frances. Driving past the Bayview Motel on Sunday evening, the trucks and SUVs were lined up with their boats tucked neatly in behind.
The extension cords were running from the plug-ins on the wall to battery chargers on every boat to restore the drained power from the abuse the strong winds played on the electric trolling motors.
Earlier Sunday, some pros took young anglers fishing. It was a one-fish tournament, with the angling pair of pro Shane Wepruk and upstart Davis Wielinga taking top spot in the new Safeway Pro-Am.
Several of the young people fishing Sunday morning had never done so before and the pros got a first-time chance to show them how to handle a fishing rod, reel in a fish, and experience the rush of speed as they zipped to the fishing locations.
Earlier today, many of the anglers participated in the first-ever Bass Boat “Show & Shine” on Scott Street. Area residents had the opportunity to meet and talk with the anglers, talk about the boat set-ups, and do some dreaming about owning one of those fully-rigged bass boats.
Today, many have GPSs and fish finders with bigger screens than my first television.
When you look at a bass boat in the water, it seems low to the surface. But when you see the boat on a trailer, you realize how deep they really are and how sharp the keel is.
At 4 p.m. sharp this afternoon, the angler rules meeting will get underway at the Sorting Gap Marina.
Then tomorrow through Saturday (July 23-25), the anglers and their boats will begin arriving at the Sorting Gap Marina shortly after 5 a.m. to be launched and inspected. The teams, which is approaching 100, will be given their send-off by the starter starting at 7 a.m.
The boats will roar down the river under the Ranier bridge and head for open water—travelling to four arms of Rainy Lake on the Canadian side of the border. Some will be showing off with giant rooster tails trailing behind.
Over the past three years, the split between boats fishing in the north arm of Rainy Lake and those fishing in the far-east stretches of Rainy and upper Red Gut Bay has been almost even.
The final decision on where the teams fish will be determined by the winds of the day.
Spectators will gather each afternoon under the tent to watch the weigh-ins and cheer on their local favourites. Brittany Hayes will perform Thursday night with “Distant Legacy.”
On Friday night, the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce will stage its annual “Quest for the Best,” with local performers competing under the big tent.
Following the final weigh-in and prize presentations Saturday, “FlashMob” will entertain the crowd.
It is a full-week event following up on the successful “Harmony of Nations” Music Festival here last weekend.

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