Libitka, Bennett win FFCBC

Mark Libitka and Dave Bennett won the 12th-annual Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship this past Saturday in front of a large crowd of spectators under the tent at the Sorting Gap Marina.
The angling duo caught 17.82 pounds of bass on Day Three of the tournament giving them a three-day combined weight of 54.23 pounds.
Afterwards both Libitka and Bennett struggled to find the words to express how they felt.
“I’m still in disbelief,” Bennett said of their accomplishment.
“To do it (win) on the biggest stage in Northwestern Ontario, or probably in Canadian bass fishing, it’s just incredible,” Libitka added.
“It’s the best feeling in the world.”
Libitka, from Kenora, and Bennett, of Sioux Narrows, narrowly edged out local anglers Morgan Cadene of Emo and Doug McBride of Devlin for the $50,000 first-place prize.
Cadene and McBride netted 18.46 pounds on Day Three giving them a three-day combined weight of 53.76 pounds.
The pair earned $20,000 as the runners-up to Libitka and Bennett.
Bill Godin and Norm Lindsay, who led heading into the final day of the tournament, caught 16.80 pounds of bass on Day Three for a total of 53.71 pounds.
Their effort earned them third-place and a cheque for $12,000.
Steve and Scott Sandberg finished in fourth-place with a three-day total weight of 52.21 pounds.
In fifth-place was the team of Greg and Frankie Savino. The pair caught a three-day total weight of 51.61 pounds.
Wayne and Dean Howard caught a total of 15.73 pounds on the final day of the tournament giving them a total weight of 50.93 pounds and sixth-place.
Day One leaders Chip Leer and Jeff Gustafson ended up in seventh-place courtesy their 50.64 pounds.
In eighth was the team of Jim Sandelovich and Karl Howells who caught 50.33 pounds of bass over the course of the three-day tournament.
Scott Cook and Jerry Millar, the only team to fish all 12 years of the FFCBC together, finished in ninth spot with a total weight of 50.07 pounds.
Rounding out the top 10 were Pat Jeffries and Kurt Johnson who finished the event with a combined weight of 49.98 pounds.
Jason Berg and Brad Cline won $3,000 for catching the big fish and the biggest catch on Day Three as well as being the most improved team.
The pair of Minnesota based anglers caught an impressive five fish total of 21.46 pounds—including a 4.92 pound lunker.
Their Day Three bag moved the team from 100th to 33rd spot in the rankings.
Lauren Ras and Chuck Olson earned $1,000 for being the top rookie team.
Ras and Olson finished in 20th place with a three-day total of 46.71 pounds.
Cadene and McBride won an additional $2,000 as the top Rainy River District Team in this year’s competition and the top MinnKota team.
The top Lund/Mercury team was Cook and Millar. The team won $1,000 for their efforts.
Leer and Gustafson won $1,000 as the top finishing team that participated in the Kid-Pro Tournament last Sunday.
Ron and Dan Lindner earned $1,000 and the distinction of being the team with the lowest weight for 15 live fish caught during the three-day event.
Ted and Leo Heyens didn’t make the cut as they finished in 91st spot but did leave $500 richer courtesy their placing.
Pat and Jules Gibbins of Morson rounded out the cash prize winners.
The duo won $250 when their 10.80 pound bag came closest to the Day Three Hidden Weight target of 10.84 pounds.