Putting my downtime to good use

I love this time of year. The weather keeps getting better, the days are getting longer, and with open water, we have plenty to look forward to.
Since ice fishing wrapped up a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been spending some time in the woods scouting around some of my deer-hunting spots looking for shed antlers, so I’ve been getting out in the woods.
At home, I have about 20 hours into raking my yard, with one more shift to go before I’m finished. I’ve also been putting in some time in my garage at night to get all my fishing tackle ready.
There is always something going on around our place.
Between all the preparations for a new summer season, however, there is news regarding some of the notable events coming down the pipe in our region that everyone should know about.
The two big bass fishing tournaments in our region—the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship and the Shaw Kenora Bass International—both are well on their way in preparations for another year.
The FFCBC is boasting a 97 percent payout in their event this year—a significant increase from the past few years thanks to Gord Watson and the rest of his team who brought the tournament back into the black after a few years in the red.
The SKBI, meanwhile, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and organizers are planning some extra events around the tournament, starting with a boat parade on Wednesday before the event.
The boat parade in Fort Frances always receives an incredible turnout and the hope is that the same will be had in Kenora.
The parade is a great way for folks from around the community to come out and check out the rigs the anglers fish out of, as well as mingle with the anglers.
It also is like Hallowe’en for the kids because each boat throws candy, fishing tackle, hats, and a wide array of other goodies. It will be fun to do this in Kenora.
More details on the parade route and time will follow as we get closer to the event.
It also will be the first time that the SKBI uses the new HarbourDome tent, which will be a great venue.
There still are plenty of spots left open for anglers in each of these high-profile events. For anglers that already are registered, the remaining balance of the entry fees is due by April 31 to hold your current spot.
In other news, the folks from the Fort Frances Gun and Hobby show filled me in on their upcoming event this week, which will take place May 5 at the Fort Frances Curling Club starting at 10 a.m.
In addition to more than 60 tables featuring all kinds of outdoor hobby items for the whole family, Dale Chambers will be on site to measure whitetail deer antlers.
There will be People’s Choice prizes awarded for both full antler sets, as well as shed antlers.
Anyone with an interest in setting up a table can contact Scott at 274-7624.

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