With the sixth-annual International Falls Bass Championship set to begin tomorrow on Rainy Lake and the Rainy River, tournament president Gary Potter said preparations for the tournament are just about done.
With the exception of a few final tweaks, all that’s necessary now is for anglers to hit the water.
“We’ve got a bunch of experienced board members that have been around for a few years, and they know exactly what they have to do,” lauded Potter.
“They’re so efficient at it that I’d hate to even step in because you feel like you’re going to screw it up.
“Everything is going perfect,” he enthused.
Potter estimated that “95 percent of it is done, there’s just the other five percent left to do.
“A few chairs and tables, and we’re ready to go,” he noted.
Weigh-ins are slated for 3 p.m. both tomorrow and Saturday at Smokey Bear Park.
Even though pre-fishing
conditions have been less than stellar, Potter said some initial reports have been encouraging, especially with the wind expected to die down heading into the final day of competition Saturday.
“We’ve had some strong winds this week, and that’s kind of hampered them [the anglers],” Potter explained.
“But I’ve talked to a few of my friends that have been in the tournament, and they’ve said that the pre-fishing’s been very, very good.”
In terms of number of teams, the tournament still is going strong with 59 set to go this year—only one short of a full field.
Potter feels there is a higher sense of anticipation for the tournament this year, with spectators coming from all over the U.S. just to visit and enjoy the festivities.
“The town is more excited this year than we ever have been,” he remarked.
“The crowds are always packed, but I just think there’s more enthusiasm this year around town.
“You can hear people talking about how their friends came to town from California or Florida just to come for the bass tournament because they’ve been hearing about how good it is,” Potter continued.
“It’s people’s relatives or friends,” he noted. “They’re hearing about it and they’re showing up for it, so people in town are pretty excited about the whole championship.”
The format sees half the field fishing either Rainy Lake or the Rainy River on Day 1, and then switching for Day 2.
Festivities today include the parade of boats at 6 p.m., followed by a “Teen Idol” contest at 8 p.m.
Friday brings the “Casting Call” talent show at 7:30 p.m. and then “Damian the Hypnotist” at 10:30 p.m.
Top 40 cover band “Sweet Siren” hits the stage Saturday starting at 8:30 p.m.
There also is a full slate of daytime events, including kids’ eating contests, a bike ride, and a car show.
For more details, visit www.ifallsbass.com