Lindsay and Swenson ‘big hit’ way to FFCBC title

The big hitters came out to play this weekend with the biggest of them delivering large when it counted.
Norm Lindsay and Jess Swenson (Team #39) of Sioux Narrows overcame a 2.44 pound deficit heading into Day Three Saturday, bagging 20.74 pounds to finish with a 55.72 total to win the eighth-annual Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship and $25,000.
It was an end to a consistent derby as they registered 18.08 and 16.9 pounds in the first two days.
“We just wanted to come in and catch the best fish we could. The rest was up to everybody else,” said Lindsay, who also collected $1,000 each for Day Three’s “big catch” and Top finishing team registered in Kid/Pro.
The duo surpassed Mark Raveling and Mike Luhman (Team #6), who had grabbed the lead on Thursday with a record-breaking 22.28 pound haul. But they weighed in with 15.14 and 16.48 pounds on the last two days, respectively, and failed to keep pace with Lindsay and Swenson to settle for second-place and $15,000.
“We’re disappointed for sure,” said Raveling, who had placed second in 1998. “My hats off to Norm and Jess. They performed when they had to.”
The title was the first FFCBC crown for Swenson, 20, and the third– another FFCBC record–for Lindsay, 34, who shared the 1995 and 1997 titles with brother, Dave.
Jim Moynagh and Joe Thrun (Team #57) returned to the top of the board after falling out of the money last year with 53.01 pounds and the $10,000 third-place prize.
“We didn’t fish our places the right way last year,” said Moynagh, himself a two-time winner here. “We’re happy we came back with better weights. It would’ve still been nice to win though.”
Winnipeg’s Scott Cook and Jerry Millar’s (Team #18) 51.42 pound total good for $7,500 another top-20 finish, their six in the last seven years.
Rounding out the top ten were last year’s runner-ups, Doug and Zack McBride, with 49.36 pounds, Scott Ourada and John Allen (Team #35) with 48.92, Corey Curtis and Chad Hanson (Team #90) with 48.26 pounds, John and Rueben Gibbins (Team #8) with 48.14 pounds, Ron and Dan Lindner (Team #29) with 47.70 pounds and Roger and Dorese Harrison (Team #91) with 45.39 pounds.
Defending champions Steve and Kent Ballan finished in 24th place with a 40.32 pound total.
Other money winners included Raveling and Luhman with Day One’s $1,000 “big fish” with a tournament-high 5.46 pounder along with their $1,000 “big catch.” They also took home $1,000 as the Top MinnKota team.
Devlin’s Kelvin Caul and Murray Witherspoon (Team #71) won Day Two’s “big catch” and Day Three’s “big fish,” a 4.58 pounder as well as an additional $3,000 for Most Improved team.
And another local team, Tony Richards and Ken Olson (Team #32) won “big fish” for Day Two with a 4.80 pounder.
Other cash awards (each at $1,000) were given to the Harrisons for Top Rookie team, the McBrides for Top Rendezvous Trail team, Fletcher and Jimmy Klick (Team #37) as the Top Lund-Mercury team.
Hidden weight winners (each at $250) were Bob Duncan and Kevin Kameda (Team #61) and Randy Stecky and Bill Daniels (Team #139) in a tie for Day One, Norm French and Tom Grimes (Team #99), on Day Two and Francis Kavanaugh and Don Jones (Team #76) on Day Three.
Al Meline and Tom Burri (Team #36) won the $1,000 “lowest weight” prize for 15 live fish.