Stewner, Carlson net ‘Classic’ title

Once they hooked the lead, they weren’t about to throw it back.
Ted Stewner of Winnipeg and Kenora’s Al Carlson built enough of a first-day lead Saturday to hold off a Sunday surge by district pair Bill Godin and Karl Howells to collect top honours and the $5,000 first prize in the inaugural Rainy Lake Bass Classic at La Belle’s Birch Point Camp.
The champs brought in a five-fish catch of 20.66 pounds Saturday, then backed that up with a five-fish, 18.46-pound effort Sunday for a two-day total of 39.12 to outdistance the 61-team field.
Godin and Howell jumped from fourth place Saturday to second on Sunday, finishing with a 10-fish, 37.66-pound total to earn $2,500.
The Fort Frances duo of Mike Graham and Daryl Begin shot from ninth to third with their Sunday catch, winding up with 35.90 pounds for 10 fish to pocket $1,400.
Tom Pearson (Fort Frances) and Eric Lessman (Devlin) missed out on the top three by a whisker, taking fourth spot and $1,000 with a 10-fish total of 35.88 pounds.
Winnipeg’s Jerry Millar and Scott Cook were another Sunday sensation, skyrocketing from 11th place to fifth by snagging 10 fish for a combined 35.56 pounds and a $750 payout.
Corey Curtis and Wayne Howard of Emo had the top total weight for Sunday with 19.02 pounds to finish in seventh place ($450) with a 35.14-pound total, just behind Greg Stahn of Devlin and Emo’s Theo De Groot, who had 35.32 pounds ($500).
Rounding out the top 10 were Jess Swenson of Sioux Narrows and Jeff Gustafson of Kenora with 33.10 pounds ($400), Roger and Dorese Harrison of Sioux Narrows with 32.96 ($350), and Norm Lindsay and Kari Hicks of Sioux Narrows with 32.58 ($300).
The Harrisons also won an additional $300 for having the big fish Sunday (4.44 pounds).
The Devlin duo of Dennis and Glenn Smith captured Saturday’s big fish title—and $300—with a 5.16-pound whopper.