Greg Swire and his younger brother Grant are going to spend three full days in a boat together this weekend when they compete in the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship (FFCBC).
They’ve done it together just once before, and Greg says it was no problem for them.
“We both get along good,” he says. “We both have the same style of fishing.”
He’s anticipating more of the same relaxed energy this year.
“There’s nothing to be real serious about,” says Swire. “We’re just looking forward to having a good time with each other on the weekend.”
The brothers’ three-day total of 47.13 lb. helped them finish around the middle of the pack in the 2021 tournament, placing 38th out of 86 teams.
Swire says last year, their first two days on the water were mediocre, but on their final day, they earned an 18.27-lb. bag. This year, Swire does have his hopes set a little higher.
“It’s always nice if you can cash the cheque, that’s for sure,” he says. “If we could even make the top 20, we’d be happy with that. If you finish that high with the calibre of fishermen that are out there, that’s doing pretty good.”
Swire — who says he’s fished bass for 20 years — isn’t concerned about much; he just enjoys being out on the water with his little brother.
“Catching fish is a bonus for us,” he says.
With record-breaking flooding in the area, the championship’s occurrence was uncertain until just recently, and there are some who still question how water levels might impact both boating and fishing. Swire says he isn’t worried about high water after a few days of boating around and getting used to the levels.
He says he and his brother pre-fished last Friday and this Sunday. They’ve noticed that there’s less weed than usual, so rock piles might be the best place to go. He says the bass have been sitting in shallow water close to shore, but they’ll have to find out for sure this weekend.
“You have your struggles and you have your good days,” says Swire. “So you’ve got to go with what the fish are giving you on that day.”
The pair has tournament experience this year already, competing in the Emo Walleye Classic (EWC) in May. The difference in Emo being that the brothers were on separate teams. Grant placed 24th of 31 teams with his partner Leroy Wilson while Greg, a first-time EWC angler, finished third with his partner Bill Godin.
FFCBC fishing begins Thursday morning, and runs through Saturday afternoon. Weigh-ins begin at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and at 3 p.m. Saturday with the top-10 boat parade concluding the event.
FFCBC co-chairman Wayne Allen said he expects about 100 teams to compete this year following a smaller tournament in 2021.