Patience is a virtue.
It also happens to be the secret to success for local anglers Morgan Cadene and Doug McBride.
Cadene, of Emo, and McBride, of Devlin, credited their patience above all else with helping them finish as runners up at the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship this past Saturday.
“Patience, that’s got to be the key,” Cadene said.
“There was a time when even I was looking at Doug and saying, ‘I think we have got to move and try something different,’ because it wasn’t working.”
“Doug’s been here before, I’m a rookie, and he just said we have to sit this out. We did and it worked out for us.”
Cadene and McBride put together three extremely consistent days of fishing on Rainy Lake to finish with a combined weight of 53.76 pounds—just under a half a pound less than champions Mark Libitka and Dave Bennett.
“We kept doing the same thing day after day and it kept working for us,” Cadene said. “We didn’t run out of fish.”
“There’s a running and gunning technique a lot of guys use and it works sometimes but sometimes you have to have some patience because the bite can turn on or off,” he added.
The anglers devised their patient strategy around a simple philosophy McBride introduced during pre-fishing.
“Never leave fish to go find fish,” the FFCBC veteran told Cadene.
And while that mantra seems like an easy enough strategy to carry out, Cadene said it can test a person’s patience—especially in a tournament atmosphere.
“It’s hard to do when it’s 12 or 1 o’clock and you haven’t got a big live well yet,” he said.
Neither Cadene nor McBride needed to worry about the size of their live well as they returned for the final weigh-in Saturday afternoon.
As they sat in their boat under a blazing sun, waiting to be towed under the big tent for their turn on stage in front of the raucous crowd, the duo were cautiously optimistic about their chances.
“We knew we had a great live well and that helps (with nerves),” Cadene said.
The “great live well” turned out to be an 18.46 pound basket, good enough to overtake the team of Steve and Scott Sandberg for the lead with only five boats remaining.
Their lead lasted until the eventual champions Libitka and Bennett took to the stage as one of the two final boats.
The only question remaining for Cadene and McBride was whether they would finish second or third.
It was a question that would linger for several minutes after the weigh-ins were completed.
Emcee Paul Morrison misspoke the final weight for the team of Bill Godin and Norm Lindsay announcing a weight of 18.60 as opposed to the correct weight of 16.80.
Cadene and McBride, thinking Godin and Lindsay had won the event, happily consigned themselves to a third place finish.
It wasn’t until later they were informed they’d actually finished in second place.
“It took half an hour until my Dad finally told me, ‘You came in second,’” McBride said.
His first thought?
“Wow, that’s a big payday.”
As runners up, McBride and Cadene would now split $20,000 as opposed to the $12,000 for a third place finish.
The unexpected windfall naturally led to the question—what are your plans for the money?
“I’ll probably take the family out and spend some money on them,” McBride answered.
“And catch up on some bills.”
“Most of it is going to go back into fishing,” Cadene said.
“But you know, to be honest with you, if I didn’t get a penny back I’d still enjoy it because I just love fishing.”
While the big payday was certainly a nice bonus, both McBride and Cadene were most pleased to finish so high up the leader board.
The result was especially sweet for McBride, who was forced to enter this year’s field via the lottery thanks to a poor showing at last year’s event.
“It’s nice to come back after a tough year, actually two or three tough years,” McBride said.
“It’s not easy to put three days together on Rainy Lake,” he added. “The quality of anglers is right up there (at the FFCBC) so when you do good, it’s a great feeling.”
Patience is a virtue.