Local anglers favoured in Falls bass tournament

When the International Falls Bass Championship winds up on Saturday, don’t be surprised if local teams are among the winners.
That was the prediction today of tournament committee member Pete Schultz, who is one of the co-ordinators of the event.
“There’s definitely a good possibility local teams who have experience on the river will do well,” Schultz noted this morning from the Convention and Visitors Bureau in International Falls.
The tournament has a unique format in that the field of 32 teams will be split in half with one half fishing Rainy River from the dam down to Long Sioux Rapids tomorrow and the other half will fish the American side of Rainy Lake. On Saturday, the fields will switch locations.
Schultz feels local teams could have the edge in that they have more experience on the river, from which some of the biggest catches are expected to come.
“The tournament will be won or lost on the river,” he stressed.
Furthermore, Schultz said conversations with out-of-town anglers indicate some of them are intimidated by the river because of the way the water levels fluctuate and there is some concern for the safety of their boats. Those with experience on the river should be more confident and able to exploit it better.
There has been speculation in some quarters that the teams who fish the river on the first day will have an additional advantage because the best fish will be taken tomorrow, leaving fewer chances on Saturday.
But Schultz dismissed that theory.
“I don’t think that will make a difference,” he remarked. “After all, people have been pre-fishing for some time now and the fish are still there,” he reasoned.
A coin toss this afternoon at the rules meeting will determine who gets the river and who gets the lake tomorrow.
Activities get underway this afternoon with the parade of boats taking place at 6 p.m. The beer garden and concessions open at the same time.
Things begin for real at 7 a.m. tomorrow when the boats take to the water. Weigh-ins begin at 3 p.m. at Smokey Bear Park.
Launch and weigh-in times are the same for Saturday.
There are four local teams in the line up.
Doug McBride of Devlin is paired up with Tom Forstrom of International Falls as Team #4. Dwayne Pihulak of Fort Frances and Jason Kasprick are Team #23 while Dale LaBelle of Devlin and Karl Howells of Fort Frances make up Team #27.
Dallas Mosbeck of Emo and Mike Wilson of International Falls make up Team #31.
There is $17,000 US up for grabs with payouts going to the top 12 teams. The winner of the tournament has an automatic entry into next year’s Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship.