Anglers rave about ‘Castin’ for Cash’

If the comments made Sunday are any indication, Bill and Nellie Godin won’t have to bother printing up entry forms for the 2006 “Castin’ for Cash” bass tournament at Lake Despair Lodge.
There likely won’t be any spots available.
Less than an hour after Jason Cain and Wayne Howard hoisted the championship trophy, and even before they had collected their $5,000 prize, a number of anglers already were making plans to attend next year’s tournament.
“I’m sure looking forward to coming back,” enthused Sioux Narrows angler Norm Lindsay.
“It’s a great tournament,” echoed Chris Bell, also of Sioux Narrows. “We always have fun when we come down here and we’ll be back again next year.”
Cain, Dallas Mosbeck, and Steve Ballan also shared similar sentiments. One by one, they hailed the efforts of the couple responsible for the event.
“They do an excellent job, a super job,” Lindsay said.
“Bill and Nellie do a really good job,” agreed Ballan. “Everybody keeps coming back. They must be doing something right.”
Comments like these are nothing new for the Godins, who pour hours upon hours of their time into lining up teams, wrangling sponsors and draw prizes, and entertaining their many guests at the annual tournament.
“Every year, they’re all gung-ho for next year,” Bill Godin said, noting it’s always nice to see familiar faces back. “It makes us feel good that everybody had a good time.”
And, the anglers agreed, having a “good time” is what keeps them coming back to the Godins’ Lake Despair getaway each July.
After all, “Castin’ for Cash” is unlike most of the other tournaments on Northwestern Ontario’s summer angling circuit—one where the focus is on having fun, not walking away with the top prize.
Last weekend’s tournament drew a total of 65 teams, including a handful from Manitoba and even a few from south of the border. Other teams were on the waiting list, which has grown in size every year, but never got in.
Still, the tournament fills up with predominantly local anglers.
“It’s a totally different atmosphere at a tournament like that,” said Devlin’s Greg Stahn, who shared the boat with his 10 year-old daughter, Samantha.
“It’s more like a big family reunion than a competitive thing. We all just kind of kick back,” he noted.
“Everybody seems to enjoy themselves there,” echoed Lindsay. “Everybody seems to have a good time whether they do well or not.”
Like both Stahn and Lindsay, Ballan was competing in “Castin’ for Cash” for the first time this year and said he “definitely” would be back.
“I was pretty impressed,” he said. “I didn’t hear any complaints from anybody. Everybody had a great time.”
Ballan said although things are slightly more laid-back at Lake Despair than at some other tournaments, catching fish in the two-day event is no easy task.
“The fishing is really hard so it really makes it a challenge,” he remarked. “It’s fun fishing up there.”
Bill Godin noted while there’s always plenty of interest among anglers, it’s finding volunteers to help out at the two-day event that is crucial to its long-term success.
“We can keep doing it as long as we have help,” he stressed.