What is the Kid-Pro fishing tournament all about?
It’s about kids like Jason Goldamer, who partnered up with Kirk Boyer, who described their ride back to the Sorting Gap Marina on Sunday afternoon like they “were riding like cowboys through the waves, and hooting and hollering and having a great time.”
It’s about kids like Garnet Paxson, who shouted in jubilation when his name was called by emcee Paul Morrison as the runner-up to Goldamer.
“I think he’s still here,” Morrison joked.
It’s about kids like Kyle Sinninghe, who had the privilege of being paired with two-time defending FFCBC champion James Lindner—and made the most of it by hauling in the biggest walleye the youth had ever caught.
“A lot of these kids don’t get a chance to go out so when you get a chance to fish with guys like this, then these kids are going to catch some fish,” said Lindner.
Or how about kids like Tanner Van Drunen, who was paired up with Andrew Perrault and, like everyone else, went for a wild ride in gusty conditions.
“There had to have been six-footers out there today, and I would head into a wave and the front of the boat was straight up in the air pointing at the sun,” recalled Perrault.
It’s about kids like Gabe McMahon, who asked his partners, Andrew and Gary Rogozinski, if he could take a quick dip in the lake to cool off from the sweltering sun.
Andrew obliged by jumping in with him. “We just hopped in and cooled off to get refreshed and then started fishing again,” he noted.
And it’s about kids like Jordan Larson, who was able to fish with Guy Johnston and Doug Wright, the top local team at the FFCBC last year. But it was Johnston and Wright who considered themselves the lucky ones.
“The gleam the kids show out there and the smile on their face is definitely worth it,” said Wright.
It was about each of the 40 kids who went out on Rainy Lake on Sunday with fishermen of “the big show,” which gets going tomorrow, but this was young Goldamer’s day.
With a haul of 11.44 pounds, which was 1.11 pounds heavier than Paxson’s bag, Goldamer was crowned the winner of the eighth-annual Kid-Pro tournament.
His biggest fish—a 4.29-pounder—was caught on one of the hot spots of the lake. At least, it’s a hot spot for Boyer, who used that same spot to snare fifth-place at last year’s FFCBC.
“We stopped at one spot and didn’t catch anything, and we went around the corner and caught a little one and went around the other corner and caught a nice one, and then got some little ones,” noted Boyer.
But it was nothing substantial and that’s when “we looked at each and we said that we needed a big fish, so I decided to go to one of our good tournament spots.
“So we pulled it in there and I hooked it,” said Boyer. “I handed him the rod and he was like, ‘It’s a big one,’ and he reeled her in and I put it in the net and brought her in the boat, and we knew that was the one we needed.”
Goldamer, who was standing beside Boyer while he recounted the day, interjected, “It was just tugging and fighting pretty good.”
But you won the fight, though?
“Oh, yeah,” the 10-year-old responded with a smile.
“And the best part is that we’re bringing in the fish and there are five more coming,” Boyer added. “And he looks down and says, ‘This is a really good spot, we should stay here and fish some more.’
“And I was like, ‘No, we got our big fish and have three good ones, so let’s go to a new spot,’” said Boyer.
One of the positives the Kid-Pro, said Boyer, is that because of it being held five days away from the start of the FFCBC, there really isn’t any risk of ruining your “tournament spots” if you decide to touch down on them to give your Kid-Pro partner that fish they ache for.
“All of the pros should be fishing it for that reason alone because they don’t have to worry about wrecking their spot or killing their fish,” said Boyer, whose brother, Gene, wanted to come out to the Kid-Pro but because they arrived the night earlier, the brothers decided Gene would go out in their extra boat to get some pre-fishing done.
Obviously you don’t want to push your luck by catching everything in sight, but the 4.29-pound fish that Goldamer caught was returned to the water after a quick photograph was taken and a measurement recorded.
The same was true for the 5.19-pound bass that Tanner Bell caught with the help of FFCBC fishermen Trevor Guderyan and Guntran Keck, which turned out to be the big fish of the day.
Adding to this year’s Kid-Pro was Morrison emceeing the event, which is the first time the FFCBC emcee has provided their services to the Kid-Pro.
“I think the kids were more interested in the prizes to be honest with you,” said Morrison, who has taken over the emceeing duties from Lionel Robert. “But I think it does add a little bit more of a tournament feel to it.”
Morrison added his own stamp to the event by having a replica of the big fish brought in by Alyssa Kupila, who won last year’s Kid-Pro with the help of Johnston and Wright.
The replica was donated by Mr. Fish, based out of Hazelridge, Man. The same will be done for Goldamer for next year.
“This is the future of the sport,” said Morrison. “And if these kids get hooked on fishing through this, then it’s good for the sport and great for the tournament.”
What is the Kid-Pro fishing tournament all about?