Bemidji pair repeat as MBI champions

Jamie Mountain

Scott Andersen and Tim Donaghue had such a good time at their first Morson Bass International last year that they thought they would repeat that success this past weekend.
The Bemidji, Mn. natives captured the MBI title for the second-straight year Sunday with a two-day haul of 36.03 pounds to top the 18-team field.
Sitting in third place after Day 1 with a 17.36-pound total, the duo followed that up with a 18.67-pound haul on the final day to overtake Day 1 leaders Terry Gill of Morson and Chad Hanson of Fort Frances.
But Andersen and Donaghue revealed their winning fortune this year almost wasn’t to be.
“Today, we took off down the Sunset Channel and our motor blew up,” recalled Andersen, who came into the MBI fresh off a win at the Kenora Bass International the previous week.
“So yeah, it started off pretty much like crap,” he remarked.
“But my father-in-law towed the boat in, Dana [Kaliska], he stopped and asked us if we needed help, so I really appreciate that.
“So we got his boat, put it in the water,” Andersen added. “His boat has a 35-gallon tank so we couldn’t fish, realistically, where we wanted to go fish.
“So we stayed a little closer to home.
“We actually fished a spot that I like to run to after I get a decent bag because there’s bigger ones but they don’t always bite,” he noted.
“We fished there all day and the big ones were there so it was really fun.”
Andersen also touched on how he appreciates the work of all the volunteers that makes competing in the MBI an enjoyable experience.
“Thanks to all the volunteers, we really appreciate it,” he lauded.
“It’s an absolute blast,” he enthused. “Last year, we kind of got brought into your little group of people and everyone’s kind of accepted us.”
Gill and Morson ended up settling for second place with a two-day total of 35.09 pounds, with their bag of 18.03-pounds on Day 1 being the second-largest of the tourney.
After sitting in second after Day 1, Raymond King and Mason Medved slipped all the way down to 14th after hauling in just 6.61 pounds on the final day to finish with a total of 24.45.
Clarence Gibbins Sr. and Ryan Kirkrude of Morson placed third (31.92) while Dana Kaliska and Gerry Rousseau took fourth (31.47).
Rounding out the top five was back-to-back Emo Walleye Classic champ Les Morrison of Baudette, Mn. and Bill Stay (31.39), who had the biggest bag of the tournament after tipping the scales at 19.20 pounds on Day 2.
The duo also had the biggest largemouth of the weekend–a 5.39-pound lunker.
Felicity Jack and Pat Gibbins of Morson placed sixth (30.91), with Coel and Paul Forsyth of Kenora taking seventh (30.78).
Kris Almers of Morson and Al Wolanicki finished eighth (30.07), with the duo also snagging the largest smallmouths of the weekend with a 5.41-pounder on Day 1 and a 4.53 lunker on the final day.
Mike Graham and Paul Visser of Fort Frances just missed out on hitting the 30-pound mark, finishing ninth with a total of 29.75 pounds.
Rounding out the top 10 was Pat and Caleb Handorgan of Morson (28.98).