Pennsylvania duo excited about FFCBC

    The Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship, already a host to anglers from far-off locales, will be welcoming a pair from Pennsylvania, Walter and Chad Gasiorek, as first-time participants.
    “We’re looking forward to coming up to Fort Frances,” Walter said, taking a break from packing for the trip.
    The two brothers will be spending time with their parents, who live in Baudette, Mn., while on the trip.
    Walter is an avid tournament fisherman, competing in Pennsylvania as well as New York and New Jersey—both a short drive from his hometown in Lackawaxen.
    He placed second in a local weekly tournament a month ago, but is looking forward to fishing in Northwestern Ontario against a large field.
    “I miss the tournament fishing,” the 37-year-old admitted. “We love coming up there.”
    Chad, two years Walter’s junior, will be coming up for his vacation a little closer to the tournament. While Walter’s fishing north of the border has mostly been on Lake of the Woods, he has fond memories of Rainy Lake.
    “My parents and I were there many years ago and we caught two of the biggest smallmouth [bass] we every caught” at four and four-and-a-half pounds, he said, as well as several two-pounders.
    “I know there’s a lot of good fish in the lake.”
    While Chad doesn’t have the tournament résumé of his brother, he figures the duo have “got as good a chance as anybody . . . some guys will have lake knowledge, but there’s so many good spots in that lake,” he reasoned.
    “Hopefully we’ll do well.”
    Walter would like to make a splash in the brothers’ first appearance at the FFCBC, which runs July 26-28 this year, but admitted they didn’t have much up their sleeves for that weekend.
    “I don’t really have any secrets,” he conceded. “I mean, I’m just going to go out and fish, and fish like I always have, and it’s always worked.
    “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it, I guess you could say.”
    Chad’s also already planning for the annual parade of boats, saying the brothers have “a really neat idea.”
    “Hopefully it’ll work out, and we’ll win that thing, too,” he chuckled.
    The pair have been looking forward to the big weekend for some time. Part of it was getting their schedules to work out for a shot at a big tournament—which is difficult with Chad working as a chef for many years and Walter’s job as a high school automotive instructor.
    Once they knew this year would work out, it was all a matter of getting their names pulled in the random draw to round out the bottom third of the field.
    “As soon as they drew us, the phones were ringing. It was very exciting,” Chad recalled.
    Walter is anxious for the change of pace since his local fishing season has seen “a slow start,” having been affected by a long winter and some bad weather in the spring.
    “From what I can tell, the fish just recently spawned . . . when you get into the shallows, you can still see the bass protecting the fry,” he noted. “Usually by now, they’re out and feeding heavily.”
    They’re also both happy to get away from it all for a while. Because of the long travel time (two solid days of driving both ways), they’re both taking a month off to spend in the area to get the most out of their trip.
    Once here, other than some fishing (before, during, and after the tournament), the brothers suspect they’ll take it easy.
    “A lot of fishing, just relaxing, maybe play some golf with my dad,” Chad said. “That’s pretty much it. We go up there to get away.”
    Walter said he’d like to do more with his family than he may get to.
    “Well, money’s tight. Fuel prices are rising, so we’re looking at a $1,500-$1,700 fuel bill round-trip and that’s putting a big clamp on our other plans,” he admitted.
    Instead, he’ll have to focus on—what else?—fishing.
    “Been fishing all my life,” Walter said. “Parents and grandparents took us fishing, myself and my brother, and kept it going, fishing and fishing and fishing, and now my time is spent with my kids fishing.”