Third MBI crown for duo

Ken Johnston

Terry Gill and Chad Hanson won the annual Morson Bass International for the third time this past weekend with a 35.7-pound total.
They were in first place after Saturday’s weigh-in with 18.31 pounds, and for that reason were held back on Day 2 until the very end.
Rounding out the top five teams on Day 1 were Rueben Gibbins/Brian Paulson in second place (17.18 pounds), Allan Wolanicki/Scott Asselin in third (16.34), Jon O’Connor/Alexis Wilcott in fourth (16.16), and David Byrnes/Andrea Turgeon in fifth (15.95).
When all the boats but the top five from Day 1 had weighed in on Day 2, Pat Gibbins/Pat Handorgan stood atop the pack with 28.87 pounds.
The top five from the previous day then were brought through the tent in their boats to show the audience their fish right out of the livewell.
Byrnes/Turgeon needed 12.93 pounds to knock Gibbins/Handorgan off the podium. But they came up short with 10.69 pounds for a two-day total of 26.64.
Next up was O’Connor/Wilcott, who needed 12.72 pounds to take over first and did so with force—weighing in the largest basket of the tournament (18.57 pounds) to grab the lead with 34.73.
Wolanicki/Asselin then made the boat trip through the tent. They had nearly the same weight as Day 1 with 16.12 pounds, for a tournament total of 32.46.
Gibbins/Paulson were next to take a shot at O’Connor/Wilcott and they nearly duplicated their weight from Day 1, as well.
They added 17.02 pounds for a two-day total of 34.20—just half a pound less than the leaders.
With two time champs Gill/Hanson still to come, O’Connor was a bit nervous.
“They are always tough to beat!” he noted.
And he had every right to be nervous. Gill and Hanson hoisted up 18.39 pounds of fish for the audience to see and won their third MBI title, earning $3,300.
Gill said the tournament is held two weeks later than it used to be and that was the reason for so many big fish coming in.
“They are starting to school up for the fall,” he noted. “If they keep this weekend, I bet we will see a 20-pound basket next year!”
Hanson said they primarily used brown tube jigs, and that they “fished pretty close to Morson!”
“This lake has a really good population of bass,” elaborated Gill. “We had our best two days of fishing on the lake ever!”
The weather was the biggest challenge on Day 2 for most anglers, including the champs.
“The [strong south] wind kept blowing us off our spot,” said Gill. “You would be fighting with a fish and be 50 feet off the spot by the time you landed it.
“We used up two sets of batteries today,” he added.
O’Connor, who shared $1,600 for second place, said that even though it was windy, the fishing on Day 2 for him was unbelievable.
“It was a dream day of fishing,” he remarked. “We were catching three-pounders left and right.
“Normally you just hope for one or two of them in a day!”
Gibbins/Paulson won $1,200 for coming third, Wolanicki/Asselin pocketed $900 for finishing fourth, Gibbins/Handorgan claimed $700.
The duo of Clarence Gibbins Sr. and Clarence Gibbins Jr. earned $600 for their sixth-place showing.
The biggest baskets on Day 1 included Gill/Hanson with 18.31 pounds ($500), Gibbins/Paulson with 17.18 ($300), and Wolanicki/Asselin with 16.34 ($200).
Wolanicki/Asselin had the largest smallmouth on Day 1 at 4.29 pounds while Mike Graham/Paul Visser had the biggest largemouth (3.41).
Both teams won $250 for their efforts.
The biggest baskets on Day 2 belonged to O’Connor/Wilcott at 18.57 pounds ($500), Gill/Hanson with 18.39 ($300), and Gibbins/Paulson at 17.02 ($200).
Gibbins/Paulson had the largest smallmouth for Day 2 (4.08 pounds) while Oliver/Jason Gibbins had the biggest largemouth (3.02).
Both teams again took home $250.