Bass reaction

With the big tent dismantled and the last volunteer thanked, organizers of the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship breathed a sigh of relief at yet another successful tournament.
“I thought it went great. It was quite a learning experience for me,” said chair Gary Rogozinski, who served his first term on the board of directors this year.
“I had a great group of people (on the board) and things went surprisingly smoothly,” he added.
“It was absolutely fantastic,” said Bud Edwards, director of media relations.
Edwards said one of the most memorable parts of the tournament was when the final ten boats entered the tent Saturday afternoon and the anglers waved and tossed things to the 2,500 cheering fans both within and outside the tent.
“It added to the whole excitement of what was going on,” Edwards enthused.
It wasn’t just the crowd that enjoyed the building anticipation for the final weigh-in Saturday, or all of the entertainment surrounding the tournament.
“The fishermen I talked to all said they had a great time,” Rogozinski said.
This year was the largest pay out for prizes and after talking to the anglers, Rogozinski said they really appreciated the expanded prize board which allowed a few more teams to take home $1,000.
As of press time, the board of directors were still working to find out if this year’s event was in the black.
“It’s going to be close,” Rogozinski admitted. “We did a few things differently this year. We bought the basscot which went over really well. The kids loved it, and even the fishermen thought it was a good idea.”
Additional costs were also incurred by expanding daytime activities and creating “Daytime Land,” but Rogozinski said that money from “Bobber’s Big Bass Bargain table” could actually cover those costs.
The tournament also awarded a $1,000 bursary for the first time this year, and Rogozinski said that these projects were aimed at giving back to the community.
As for security Rogozinski said that there wasn’t much trouble at the tournament this year.
“The only thing was that the trees were pulled down on Front Street and the mayor was understandably upset, but nothing happened on site,” he noted
“Saturday there was nothing, even though we had the most amount of people there,” Rogozinski added.
Cst. Al MacDonald of the Fort Frances OPP agreed that for the most part things were quiet at the tournament and everyone behaved themselves.
Both Edwards and Rogozinski said they were looking forward to next year.
“We’ve got to work more closely with Sunset Country Métis, Kiwanis and Business Women’s Network next year. Attendance (at their dinners) was a lot higher than any of us anticipated,” Edwards noted.
He also suggested that because of the constant growth of the tournament, they should consider expanding the board of directors.
Rogozinski focused on finding ways to mark special occasions in upcoming events.
“We’re already thinking of what to do differently for the 100th anniversary of the town next year, and the 10th anniversary of the tournament in 2004,” he said.
There was no doubt in his mind he’d be back at the helm next year.
“You’d have to kick me off not to have me back,” Rogozinski said.