Call it the little derby that could!
After a humble beginning in 1995 with 47 teams, then growing to 72 in its second year, the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship has ballooned into one of the premiere fishing tournaments in the country—with a full field of 130 teams set to take to the water again tomorrow morning.
And judging by the turnout at last night’s parade of boats, both in terms of the anglers and spectators, the excitement and anticipation that’s slowing been building here over the past few days is sure to hit fever pitch by the final weigh-in Saturday afternoon.
Can local favourites Denis Barnard and Clint Barton defend their 2000 title? Will Joe Thrun and Jim Moynagh—so close to a “three-peat” last July—regain their winning form? Is it time for the Lindners to finally win Rainy Lake, as Al Lindner clearly relishes?
Or is there a “dark horse” out there set to take the leaderboard by storm?
Whatever scenario unfolds here Saturday afternoon, what is clear is that the FFCBC board of directors has organized yet another first-rate tournament, with a myriad of events planned under the big tent at the Sorting Gap Marina this week that’s sure to appeal to all ages.
The anglers, spectators, and sponsors all have played an integral role in helping the FFCBC blossom into what it is today. So, too, have the residents who volunteer their time during the tournament to ensure everything runs smoothly.
But the real heroes are the board of directors who, as volunteers, work tirelessly for months to pull it all off. Be sure to say thanks when you see them at the Sorting Gap over the next few days.
Remember, the FFCBC’s continued success—and tremendous economic impact here—will only go as far as the incredible volunteer effort needed to stage it. That must never go unnoticed, nor taken for granted.