Let us help

Phil Bangert

Dear Fort Frances,
It is no exaggeration for me to say that the week of the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship is the best and most important week of the year for me—even better than Christmas. (Yes, even though my partner, Rob Plumridge, and I seem to always be plagued by one very bad fish catching day which pushes us deep into the pack.)
I started fishing in tournaments early in the 1970s, mostly in small club or jackpot events and worked my way up to National deals like Western Bass, US Bass, and what may be considered the real big time, BASS.
I really was not very good at it to start and I only got worse. Oh, I managed to make a buck once in a while and even was paid to work promotions at Bass Pro Shop or Cabela’s or grand openings.
I loved it and still do, even travelling to the Classic to promote the Fort Frances booth with Jim Cumming and Doug Cain as an unpaid volunteer. But no event comes close to the excitement of yours.
I can say this because of having been competing in maybe 200 or more from California to Texas to Florida to Washington DC to the 1000 Island area of New York and Ontario. Yours would be anyone’s favorite.
But there is some concern about the future of FFCBC. I miss the parade having Terry and Pam Munn drive my truck down Scott Street and finally through the tent.
My sweet wife, Melba, drove up the 850 miles by herself to work in the “Bobber Tent” with June Caul and Diane Maxey and other pals only to find it not operating this year. Disappointing to be sure.
All kinds of ideas are blamed like “The Ecomony,” “The Weather,” or “Burn Out,” and of course each of these things are a consideration.
I was impressed to see a picture in the Times of angler Rollie Roy helping to set up and hearing of the great Joe Thrun being the only angler helping to tear down.
Let me assure you that some of us anglers would be honored to be asked, and those of us who had the time would give a few hours.
Let me say also, that the anglers would be willing to stock the Bobber booth with items.
Can you imagine the tickets placed in the box in front of the items donated by Moynagh and Thrun? Or if Jeff Gustafson made up a tackle box with examples of what he used to finish so high in the last few events?
Why, I bet even the tackle box made up by Rob and Phil would get a little attention. Heck, I even have sponsors shirts and hats which are duplicates to display.
Anyway, if this special event went by the wayside, your town would miss Melba’s MasterCard activity at Betty’s or Northwoods Gallery & Gifts.
We would miss having a couple of meals at the first class La Flambée or the really good ribs at Kettle’s or the breakfast at the Rendez-Vous with our friends Delsie, Grace, Evie and Edith after church on the day after the last weigh-in.
Let the anglers know what they can do to take up any slack.
If you think the Bobber tent idea would work, I will get on the phone right away to get it started.
I love the this town and I love the people of this town and I love the Kid-Pro event.
You can count on me to talk you all up any chance I get.
Phil Bangert
Camdenton, Missouri