A rundown of ‘Castin’ For Cash’

Another Sunset Country bass tournament took place over the weekend, just north of Fort Frances on Lake Despair and although the weather was not perfect, plenty of nice bass were brought in. Bill and Nell Godin, who own Lake Despair Lodge put on this fun event, named “Castin’ For Cash,” that hosted a field of 62 teams.
Taking home the first place prize of $5,000 was the husband and wife team of Wayne and Pat Howard, who also own a resort on this chain of lakes. The Howards had a solid two-day total of 26.32 pounds to squeak out the win.
The sun did shine for most of the weekend, but the wind was relentless both days and Wayne Howard used it to his advantage. Howard runs a Lund tiller boat and was able to fish in the wind and target bass in deeper water by sitting over top of them and back-trolling.
Other teams with bow mount trolling motors had a much tougher time fishing in the wind and were forced to find protected islands and shorelines, where a lot of anglers were sharing spots.
The Howards narrowly edged the second-place team of Bryan Gustafson and Brian White, of Fort Frances, by .14 of a pound. Their total of 26.18 netted this team $2500. Gustafson and White held down the lead after day-one with a 14.47 pound total.
My girlfriend, August Collinson and I took third place with a total of 25.97 pounds, not too far off the pace.
We had a good day-one, but struggled on day-two in the heavy wind. We caught fish on a whole variety of lures including spinnerbaits, topwater baits and soft plastics.
This is the third year that August and I have fished together and it is becoming a tradition at this event that she always catches the big fish.
She caught the big one for our boat each day, including the big bass of the tournament on day-one which weighed in at 3.43 pounds.
Big bass on day two went to Brent Kellar and Keith Mckinnon with a 3.58 pound smallmouth.
Rounding out the top five was the team of Greg Swire and Jay Kelly who nabbed fourth with a 24.87 pound total and Bob Steele and Darcy Robson who weighed in at 24.40 for fifth.
This tournament is unique when compared with all the rest of the great Sunset Country events. Being that it takes place in a relatively remote location, most of the anglers stay on-site at the Godin’s lodge and trailer park.
Many teams include their families for the weekend festivities and can find plenty to do, especially at night when it is not hard to find a bonfire and some party atmosphere.
The tournament waters are not like any other, either. Anglers have the option of fishing three different lakes on this chain, including Despair, Footprint and Jackfish.
To get to third lake, Jackfish, teams must navigate their boat through the dreaded “pull-through,” which has claimed many props over the years.
We traveled to Jackfish each day of the tournament along with probably half the field but made it through each day unscathed.
I’m headed to Fort Frances this week to start pre-fishing for the Canadian Bass Championship taking place next weekend (July 23-25) on Rainy Lake.
There are still spots open for any anglers that are considering fishing this top-notch event, so if you can find the time, support this awesome tournament and sign up!

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