Gibbins win an unprecedented third Morson Bass Classic

After one day of fishing the competitors at the 8th-annual Morson Bass Classic had no clearly defined leader. Only three pounds separated 1st to 10th place, leaving the championship up for grabs on day two.
The classic enlisted well known tournament emcee, Lionel Robert, who works the Rainy River Walleye Tourney and the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship. Robert had the top five boats from day one wait until all other boats had been weighed on day 2 before bringing them up from 5th to 1st.
The crowd thought that the top spot from the day before, John and Reuben Gibbins, would be knocked off when really good weights came in from that top five.
However when John and Reuben’s fish hit the scale and 16 lbs came up on the display the crowd knew right away that they were the winners. That added to their 14.64 lbs. from the first day gave them 30.64 lbs. from ten fish. While it was not near the tournament record of 36.08 lbs., set by them in 1999, it was about three pounds more than last year’s winning total, landed by Bill Godin and Pat Handorgan.
The defending champs had a good first day and appeared to be on their way to a good finish after a day one total of 12.84 lbs. However, Sunday morning they had major boat trouble when the gear box blew out of their motor. Venturing out on the water with a small skiff, they thought if all went well they would have a chance to do okay.
However, five minutes after starting to fish the trolling motor in the boat quit. Pat had to control the boat while Godin had to cast all day. They still managed to bring in more fish than their first day with 13.26 lbs. for a two day total of 26.1 lbs. That was good enough for fourth place.
Coming in just ahead of them was Francie Kavanaugh and Pat Handorgan, Jr. with 27.28 lbs and in second place was the 2001 Kenora Bass Invitational champs Jason and Oliver Gibbins with 27.8 lbs.
This was the champs third time winning the tournament.
Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship co-winner Steve Ballan teamed up with co-runner up Doug McBride to take eighth place with a total of 23.54 lbs.
Biggest largemouth bass of the weekend went to Francis Kavanaugh and Pat Handorgan, Jr. with a 4.88 pounder and John and Reuben Gibbins with a 4.44 pounder. Each team received $500.
Biggest smallmouth bass went to Rick and Chris Savage with a 3.9 pound monster and Andrea Turgeon and Dave Byrnes with a 3.32 pounder. Each team also won $500.
The number of fish caught on the weekend was 298. Last year there were 271 caught, but there were only 40 teams last year as compared to 45 this year. Total weight for the two days was 645.82 lbs. as compared to 554.78 lbs. last year.