Ryan Allen helped co-ordinate an ice-fishing tournament for Mitaanjigamiing First Nation (MFN) last winter. The tournament was hosted virtually as anglers tallied their catches through the FishDonkey app.
With over 100 people competing there, Allen says that gave him a lot of confidence for helping organize what is set to be MFN’s first in-person open-water bass tournament this Saturday.
The one-day competition is set to take place with hopefully about 20 boats competing.
Ed Morrison, MFN band manager has been helping Allen in finding volunteers and making sure everything is set for the weekend’s fishing.
Noting that this is the first time they’ve run something like this, Morrison says it won’t be perfect.
“We know we’re gonna be making mistakes,” he says. “We’re gonna experience a huge learning curve … so we didn’t want to have a two-day tournament.”
Since many local anglers have experience in other tournaments, Morrison says they want to do their best to accommodate the anglers. He says the tournament will hopefully help inspire young people to spend more time outside.
“Our main goal was to get people outdoors, but at the same time, giving them some prizes to work hard for to hopefully win,” says Morrison.
The one-day tourney permits anglers to catch up to five bass. The heaviest bag wins.
Boat inspections will begin at 7 a.m. with flights departing an hour later. Anglers will return at 4 p.m. for weigh-ins. After the champions are announced, MFN will provide a light dinner for the anglers.
Based on 20 boats, the winning team will take home $4,000. Entry fee is $300 per team. If you have a rough day out on Rainy Lake, fear not — the smallest bag will win a $500 pity prize.
There’s also an optional big bass prize category which costs an extra $40 per team.
The deadline to register and pay is Thursday, August 10. Cash will also be accepted the morning of the tournament. Email Tanisha at email@example.com to register.
Morrison says they plan to continue running the tournament next year and beyond.