Cain, Howard win ‘Castin’ for Cash’

Jason Cain and Wayne Howard are no strangers to Lake Despair.
And while the pair took a break from guiding this weekend, it certainly would not have been a bad idea for the 64 other teams competing in the fifth-annual “Castin’ for Cash” bass tournament to follow their lead.
Cain and Howard reeled in 10 bass for a total of 24.82 pounds at the two-day tournament, edging out Mark Wilson and Glenn Ward to claim the title Sunday afternoon.
It was the first tournament victory for both anglers.
“It’s been a blast,” Cain enthused after the final weigh-in. “The whole day was so exciting.”
While they eventually would rise to the top the leaderboard, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Cain and Howard.
In fact, the duo lost the first 10 fish they hooked on Day One of the tournament on Saturday, when blistering heat and a slow morning bite tested the anglers’ patience and fortitude.
“I guess perseverance pays,” popular emcee Lionel Robert said of the team’s early struggles.
“It definitely did,” replied Cain. “We just kept plugging at ’er. We’d catch one fish at a spot and just move on.”
In spite of their early troubles, the eventual champs weighed in a 10.68-pound basket on the opening day and were one of the first teams to leave the launch area Sunday morning.
Howard, with more than 20 years of guiding experience, figured it’d take about a 13-pound bag on the second day to cop the first-place prize. That’s about what he and Cain brought back—and it turned out to be just enough.
“It’s usually tougher the second day,” he remarked. “We knew it’d be close.”
Having brought in the biggest bag on Day One, Wilson and Ward were the final team to weigh-in on Sunday but fell short of knocking Cain and Howard off the top of the podium.
In the end, a pair of 0.25-pound penalties for dead fish cost the Fort Frances anglers, who reeled in a total of 24.38 pounds, the tournament crown.
“We knew it was really close but we didn’t have enough, I guess,” Wilson said. “Maybe next year.”
Tournament organizer Bill Godin, who owns and operates Lake Despair Lodge and often crosses paths with Cain and Howard out on the water, wasn’t surprised to see the familiar faces atop the field.
“I knew one of these years I’d be presenting the trophy to these guys,” he said as he presented Cain and Howard with the trophy, not to mention a cheque for $5,000.
Former “Castin’ for Cash” champion Pat Cross and partner Steve Ballan finished third, catching a two-day total of 22.50 pounds.
Doug and Zack McBride (22.46 pounds) and Karl Wolfe and Paul Visser (21.92 pounds) rounded out the top five.
Dave Evans and Randy Kirk had the big fish on Day One, reeling in a 3.52-pound lunker, while Cain and Howard’s 3.42-pounder was the heaviest bass caught on Day Two on Sunday.