Only one has fished them all

Northwestern Ontario’s two big bass tournaments, the Kenora Bass International and Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship, are two of the finest in North America.
No other team events attract the number of anglers, the media attention, nor the large crowds these two garner each year.
Neither of these events would be possible without all the fine support they get from sponsors, both local and national, and all the volunteers who contribute countless hours each year to make these the successes that they are.
This past summer, an angler was acknowledged by both tournament organizations for being the only one who has fished all 21 KBIs and all 14 editions of the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship. That angler is Frank McClymont from Kenora.
McClymont has racked up a number of top 10 finishes in those years—and has had a lot of fun along the way. It also should be noted he has no intentions of slowing down anytime soon as he already is signed up for next year’s events.
“I have a lot of great memories from each event and it’s tough to pick a favourite, but if I had to, my best memory from the KBI was when my partner, Al Carlson, and I were picked to be on Team Canada for the first time in the early years of the Can-Am challenge,” McClymont remarked.
“In those days, the teams were hand-picked and always included the Lindners, Izumis, and other big-name guys so it was fun to be associated with all those accomplished anglers.
“As for the FFCBC, my best memory there is, without a doubt, the first time that my son, Terry, and I were pulled through the tent in the boat parade on Day 3,” he continued. “It is a rush to go through the tent there, and to do it with your son makes it that much more special.”
The KBI started with 43 teams back in 1988 and the tournament has gone through many changes over the years. McClymont remembers the early years.
“That first year, we [all 40 boats] lined up and they fired a shotgun to start us off,” he recalled. “Today we have a much safer trickle start.”
McClymont said both tournaments have evolved into first- rate professional events that have raised the bar in tournament organizing.
“As well, both tournaments are led by a very committed group of volunteers with unbelievable community support,” he noted.
What about the future of these two events? McClymont feels it is bright, but all depends on community support and involvement.
“There will always be willing anglers, many of us old-timers, and every year there are young kids that keep coming along that have the right stuff to succeed in this sport,” he said. “The concern I have is the need to attract new people to help with these events.
“I have had the opportunity to help and fish, and both are very rewarding.
“Sponsorship is also important, especially in these times,” McClymont stressed. “Right now, we have solid sponsor support, but these events would not be possible without it.
“If anybody wants to become involved with these events, either as a volunteer or a sponsor, I encourage you to make the call. We need you!”
Few anglers who fish all the tournaments in Sunset Country have earned the respect and friendships that Frank McClymont has over the years and he should be proud of that.
McClymont also noted his success at these events would not be possible without the support from his own personal sponsors. “I look forward to many more years of pure enjoyment,” he enthused.

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