Cousineau enjoys role at FFCBC

Covering the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship the past three summers, the person I’ve chatted with most hasn’t been one of the anglers, one of the event organizers, or even emcees Paul Morrison and Jason Gauthier.
It’s been weighmaster Paul Cousineau.
It’s probably because of where I’m situated—at the front of the stage taking photos. But during the last three FFCBCs, Cousineau has answered any questions I’ve had as to what the weight was for any big fish, along with giving me a heads-up as to when a monster bag was about to show up at the scales.
So as I prepared to cover the Day 3 weigh-in Saturday afternoon under the tent at the Sorting Gap Marina, I decided to find out more about how Cousineau became the weighmaster at the FFCBC.
“During the first two years of the tournament, I was in one of the spotter boats. And the next three years, I tried to fish in it but I was no good at that,” he joked.
“At that time, the man who was doing the weighmaster job was leaving that role and he asked me I wanted to take over.
“I said sure, and I have been having a blast ever since,” Cousineau enthused.
One of the things that Cousineau enjoys most about the tournament is the friendships he’s formed with the anglers who have come across the stage.
“You get to know them really well and they all treat you incredibly nice,” he remarked.
“When my boys [Chandler and Donovan] have gone down to play hockey in Minneapolis, the anglers from that area come to watch them play, which is really cool for us,” Cousineau added.
Although some might think the job of weighmaster is quite simple, there actually have been some changes to how things have been done over the years at the FFCBC since Cousineau took over.
“We used to do what was called a ‘dry weight,’ where we would put the fish in a dry bucket, put a real thick Plexiglas top on the top of the fish to settle them down, and weigh them that way,” he recounted.
“That was a terrible way of doing it, though, because the guys who came in with some real lively fish got penalized as the slime and the water would run off of the scale and onto the ground, which caused them to lose some weight.
“So about six or seven years ago, we started to use a ‘wet weight’ system, where we weigh the fish in water, and it’s absolutely fair and perfect for everyone,” Cousineau stressed.
One of the things Cousineau is known for on stage is the fact he can get absurdly close, time and time again, to guessing the weight of each big fish a team weighs during the tournament.
However, he insists there is no real secret to the ability.
“It’s just a good guess, that is all it is,” he smiled.
The FFCBC also is a family affair for Cousineau, whose wife and children also are involved with the tournament.
While Cousineau has a blast being weighmaster year after year, he also knows that if wasn’t for the tournament volunteers and the sponsors, none of this would be happening.
“It would take forever to name them all but they are all very important to this event,” he stressed.
“I know that on the sponsorship front that Sunset Country Ford and Badiuk Equipment have been huge, but Ed Kaun and Son has played a big role since Gord Watson became the chairman,” Cousineau noted.
“He has been getting a ton of phone calls there while he is been at work and they have had no issues with it, which has been great to see,” he added.