Well-known and long-time tournament angler Mike Baranowski of Nestor Falls has created quite a stir lately with his ongoing series of letters to the editor and we wish to add our perspective.
Concerned that Mike’s first few letters may, in some way, be referring to the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship, director of media relations Bud Edwards called him on Oct. 3.
During a long telephone conversation, Bud asked Mike about how the FFCBC is doing looking after fish and Mike replied, “They’re doing great as far as the bass tournament is concerned.”
Bud also asked for his thoughts on how the Fort Frances tournament is run, to which Mike replied, “It is run OK. I have been in it. I like the Fort Frances tournament. They run it well. They are on their way as a premier tournament.”
With respect to the Ministry of Natural Resources involvement in fish care, Mike had this to say, “They (MNR) take all these tagging and are doing a lot of good things.”
Bud asked Mike very specifically if he had any concerns about how the Fort Frances tournament handles fish and he replied, “Well, I haven’t heard anything more than they have very, very little kill. Like I said a few minutes ago, it’s run as good as you can possibly get. I can’t see anything wrong with what they did.”
Mike went on to say that “This (his letters to the editor) has nothing to do with your Fort Frances Canadian Bass tournament.”
Throughout the conversation, Mike expressed his concerns about the use of live bait in walleye tournaments, the need for highly-trained volunteers involved in fish care, location of live wells in boats, using ice made with chlorinated water to cool fish waiting to be weighed, and his desire for an expanded role for the MNR controlling tournaments to ensure the long-term survival of this valuable resource.
While we respect the positive suggestions Mr. Baranowski is making, and do support some of them, we want everyone to know the FFCBC has always worked closely with the MNR and the local sportsmen’s club to ensure that we live release 98 percent or more of the fish weighed during our tournament.