Great year ahead for bass tourney circuit

Now that the new year has arrived, those involved with volunteering their time to organize area bass tournaments are back to work planning for 2011 events.
Deposit periods have come and gone for the area’s two premier bass tournaments, the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship and the Kenora Bass International, and committee meetings are being planned.
There are changes in the air for some events in 2011 while others will stay the same. As it stands right now, all the events that took place last year are slated to take place again this year, with the addition of the Crow Lake bass tournament in mid-September after a one-year hiatus from the circuit.
The biggest announced change to the bass tournament scene here in Sunset Country is the restructuring of the prizes at the FFCBC, which will run July 21-23.
The committee has gone to a format which pays the top 10 teams on their three-day aggregate catch. The remaining teams in the field will be further split into two flights and have their weights reset to zero on Day 3.
As well, the teams that catch the largest one-day limits in each flight will win significant prizes.
There’s no doubt this format serves to spread the money around the field more than a traditional format does. The feedback from anglers on this new format remains mixed—some feel it is great and offers all teams a fair chance at winning prizes. Others, on the other hand, feel like the luck factor is increased significantly, which does not benefit the angler who spends a lot of time practising prior to the event.
One thing is certain, the new people, especially tournament director Gord Watson, deserve the support of anglers this year to try this new format and see how it goes.
There has been increased enthusiasm brought to the table by the new volunteers for this event, and I can’t wait to get to Rainy Lake in July.
Registrations already are up to 65 teams at this point, with the tournament looking for 120 teams to fill its field.
Meanwhile, the KBI, slated to take place Aug. 4-6, has 91 teams registered after the first batch of entries came in. The field for this event will take up to 150 teams.
The KBI has not announced any major changes for 2011 at this point, but there is talk of some slight restructuring of the payout. The likely change for 2011 will be an increase in the number of daily prizes handed out after the positive feedback from the change to more daily prizes last year.
Look for an announcement on that in the coming weeks.
The final weigh-in for the 2010 KBI was broadcast live across Canada by Shaw. I finally was able to watch the re-broadcast over the holidays and I thought they did a great job on the production.
They plan to broadcast live again in 2011—a great boost to the event.
The annual “Bassin’ For Bucks” event, slated for the weekend of Sept. 9-11 in Sioux Narrows, is well on it’s way to filling up its 120-boat field again.
This tournament is one of the favourites for local anglers because of the unique format that offers a lot of prizes, and because the fishing on Lake of the Woods in September is typically very good.
The community of Sioux Narrows really supports this tournament, as well (there actually seems to be a surplus of volunteers every year, which is amazing).
This tournament has filled its field for 10-straight years—a fact they can proud of.
The Crow Lake Classic, a tournament organized for a number of years out of Nestor Falls, did not take place in 2010 but is coming back in 2011. Randy and Maureen Hanson have offered to host the event at their resort, Hideaway Lodge on Crow Lake, which will be a great site.
A committee is being put together in Nestor Falls to actually run the tournament and anglers can expect to see entry forms available soon. The event will take place in mid-September (the same weekend it historically was held on).
Crow Lake is one of the nicest lakes in the region, with its super clear water and pine-covered shorelines.
As I’ve said before, we have the best open bass tournaments in North America right here in Sunset Country. Big events that attract large fields, crowds of spectators, and offer great prize money all the while taking place on waters that have some of the finest bass fishing in the world.
We are fortunate. I’ve made more friends and met more people from fishing these tournaments than anything else I have taken part in.
If you have a competitive attitude and you like to fish, you will have fun fishing in these events. If fishing is not your thing but you still want to be part of these great community events, volunteers are always wanted to help make them happen.

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