The third time most definitely was the charm for Bill Godin.
After winning the Kenora Bass International in 2006 with Dave Lindsay, and then in 2013 with Leroy Wilson, Godin paired with Wilson again this past weekend to win his third title overall at the 30th-anniversary edition of the event.
The duo garnered a three-day total of 55.58 pounds to pocket the first-place cheque of $21,500. Toss in other smaller prizes due to their efforts and they wound up with an even $24,000 in all.
A last-minute decision before heading out on the water for the final day of competition Saturday turned out to be all-important.
“Going into the third day, it was up in the air what we were going to do,” recounted the owner of Lake Despair Lodge about he and his International Falls partner’s mindset.
“We’d basically fished five spots hard the first two days,” Godin said. “[Then] two minutes before take-off, I asked him what he wanted to do.
“Leroy said let’s live or die with what we had going,” he added.
“It turned out the big ones were there for us.”
Sitting in third place after Day 2, but only three ounces behind leaders Brian McNanney and Matthew Rydberg (Sioux Narrows) and even less than that behind second-place Bryan Gustafson of Fort Frances and his Kenora partner, Jamie Bruce, Godin and Wilson had no room for error.
They wound up bringing home the biggest bag of the day at 20.09 pounds to blow past McNanney and Rydberg, who finished second (53.33), while Gustafson and Bruce came third (52.43).
“I think having a good showing at [the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship] helped my confidence going into Kenora,” said Godin, who claimed 11th spot with Lindsay at this year’s FFCBC.
“I always seem to do good in Kenora,” he added. “It’s where I grew up and I’ve spent a lot of time fishing there, and did a lot of pre-fishing this past week.”
Godin will team with Matt Goldamer of Fort Frances this Friday and Saturday for the Atikokan Bass Classic, then will rejoin Lindsay for the International Falls Bass Championship running Aug. 24-26.
Taking fourth place in Kenora was the father-son team of Jim and Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson of Kenora (51.62), with Scott Anderson and Craig Peterson from Bemidji, Mn. rounding out the top five (51.48).
Sixth spot went to last year’s champs, Adam Bachynski and Andrew Beernaert of Keewatin (51.19), while Aaron Wiebe of Howden, Man., and Peter Tully of Winnipeg were seventh (51.08).
Kenora’s Stuart and Diane Neniska grabbed eighth spot (50.39).
Mike Reid (Virden, Man.) and Paul Skoczylas (Estevan, Sask.) used the big fish of the tournament (6.49) to land in ninth place (49.35).
Curtis and Bill Scott of Keewatin closed out the top 10 (49.18).