Calder, Woodgate net first ‘Castin’ for Cash’

Cory Calder and David Woodgate of Fort Frances weighed in a 10-fish total of 21.03 pounds to capture the $5,000 first prize Sunday in the inaugral “Castin’ for Cash” live release bass derby on Lake Despair.
Denis Barnard, defending champ of the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship finished in second place in the 50-team field with regular walleye partner Pete VanDrunen.
They took home $2,000 for their 16.67-pound total over the two days.
Cory Caul and Tom Heyens finished third (15.83 pounds) to take the $1,000 prize while Dave Byrnes and James Asplund came fourth (14.5 pounds) to win $500.
Sponsored by Lake Despair Lodge, lodge co-owner and derby organizer Bill Godin was pleased with the turnout–especially Saturday when 500 turned up for the first day’s weigh-in and fish fry.
“The turnout was unbelievable,” he said. “The volunteers did an excellent job all-around.”
Calder and Woodgate jumped out to an early lead, netting 10.2 pounds after the first day Saturday. Calder said Friday morning’s pre-fish proved to be invaluable, especially for Lake Despair, which he added isn’t known for its bass population.
“It was very effective. We really found where they were and it worked all weekend long,” he added.
Rounding out the top 10 finishers, each winning $250, were Mike Mihichuk/Darren Wood (13.9 pounds), Tim/Ryan Mutz (13.1), Frank/Corey Curtis (12.41), Brian Halverson/Terry Dolk (9.84), Jody Shypit/Dale LaBelle (9.66), and Ray Ducharme/Buzz Grennier (9.52).
The Curtis duo won Saturday’s “big fish” prize of $250 after catching a 3.8-pounder while Paul Jewiss/Dale Strand earned $250 for the big fish Sunday (4.01 pounds).
The team of Bob and Mike Badiuk won the draw for a $650 fish-finder.