Anglers head out to net FFCBC crown

Lucas Punkari

A total of 92 boats launched from the Sorting Gap Marina early this morning as the 18th-annual Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship got underway.
As the anglers lined up along Front Street waiting to put their boats into the water, the excitement level was easy to see on their faces as they prepared to start three days of fishing.
“We are pumped up,” enthused Jay Samsal, who is paired up with Troy Norman.
“I love Rainy Lake, and I can’t wait to get down here every year from Kenora as I always enjoy this trip.
“It’s been a good pre-fish for us, and we are looking forward to getting started,” he added.
“Just coming up here is exciting itself,” noted Mark Raveling, who once again is fishing the FFCBC with long-time partner Mike Luhman.
“We love coming up here, and we treat our full two weeks here as a working vacation for us,” he explained.
Unlike last year, when anglers were catching plenty of fish during the lead-up to the tournament, this year’s pre-fishing proved to be a tougher battle.
“With the early and warm spring, we figured it would be just gang-busters up here, so we planned to set up in a couple of great areas and really have a ball,” Raveling remarked.
“But they [the bass] faked us out again, and we are not sure where they are at.
“We’ve had a couple of good days and a couple of bad ones, but we are still expecting to do well,” he added.
While the conditions were great this morning, and sunny skies mixed with warm temperatures are forecast for tomorrow and Saturday, there is a chance of thunderstorms later this afternoon.
But the anglers feel if there is any precipitation during the tournament, it won’t change things up that much.
“The temperature hasn’t dropped a whole lot, and there really hasn’t been a whole lot of wind, so I don’t think you will be seeing that big of a change from the pre-fishing,” Norman noted.
The Day 1 weigh-in is scheduled to get underway at 3:30 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena.
Tomorrow will see the boats launch once again, this time in the order of where they are in the standings, starting at 7 a.m., with the Day 2 weigh-in also starting at 3:30 p.m.
The Day 3 weigh-in Saturday will start a half-hour sooner (at 3 p.m.), with the 2012 champs to be crowned about three hours later.