Records smashed at ‘Bassin’ For Bucks’

Despite some tough weather this past weekend, fishing was excellent on Lake of the Woods for the annual “Bassin’ For Bucks” tournament that took place in Sioux Narrows.
As always, the tournament sold out with a 120-boat field and the bar was set high to cash a cheque, with teams needing more than a 15 pound/day average to finish in the top 20.
Day One on Friday produced the nicest weather of the weekend and the most big catches. Kurt and Kevin Dafcik, from Crow Rock Lodge, brought in what may be the largest bag of smallmouths ever brought in on Lake of the Woods—weighing 19.70 pounds.
“Bassin’ For Bucks” has a unique format in that they pay out the top six finishing teams each of the three days of the tournament, and the top 20 teams overall.
But after Day One, the team of Brian McNanney (Sioux Narrows) and Ken Ellis (Green Bay, Wis.) took over, bringing in the heaviest catch each of the last two days on their way to a massive blowout victory.
After ending the first day in second place with 18.70 pounds, the duo brought in 17.71 pounds on Day Two before blowing the socks off the rest of the field with a tournament-record catch of 22.73 pounds on Day Three on Sunday.
I have been fishing bass tournaments since I was 10 years old and this is the biggest bag of five fish ever brought in on Lake of the Woods. To put things in perspective, nobody has ever cracked 20 pounds at the KBI and these guys had almost 23.
Their three-day total of 59.14 pounds also is a tournament record that likely will not be broken anytime soon.
McNanney and Ellis were able to solve big largemouths all three days of the tournament—something nobody else could do.
Taking home second place was the team of Jess Swenson and James Asplund. They improved their catch every day—something that’s really hard to do in three-day events—and finished with a total of 53.05 pounds.
They and the rest of the anglers in the top 10 brought in bags of smallmouths with the odd largemouth mixed in.
My partner, Mike Reid, and I spent all of our time targetting largemouths and finished in 12th place with a three-day total of 47.71 pounds, nearly the same weight that won the KBI.
We caught more than 50 fish on the first day, but something changed for us and we really scrounged on Day Two and Three to bring in five decent fish. We just could not get any “kicker” fish to bite, but we still had a good weekend.
“Bassin’ For Bucks” in one the best fishing tournaments in Sunset Country and one of the reasons for this is that there are a lot of prizes up for grabs. Taking home the prize for the top finishing team with an angler under 16 was Scott and Blair Dingwall, who had a three-day total of 50.75 pounds and finished in sixth place overall.
Roger and Dorese Harrison took top honors in the couples’ division with a three-day total of 46.85 pounds. Both of these categories had stiff competition so congratulations to both teams.
For a complete list of the standings, check out

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