After months of planning and preparations, Lake Despair Lodge is set to host its first “Castin’ for Cash” live-release bass tournament Saturday and Sunday.
Lodge co-owner Nellie Halver-son is anticipating a smooth weekend.
“It’s going to be a great weekend,” she said. “Things are looking good, [and] the fishing seems to have picked up.”
Most of the 50 teams registered—including Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship regulars Jody Shypit, Dale LaBelle, and Denis Barnard—were out on the lake pre-fishing this morning.
Boats will leave the dock in three flights starting at 8 a.m. on both days, with the weigh-ins starting at 4 p.m. each day.
The top team will take home $5,000 while the runners-up will earn $2,000. Other cash prizes of $1,000, $500, and $250 are up for grabs.
Organizers have been working on this tournament for almost six months. It only took nine days to fill up when registration began in April.
Five teams are on a waiting list.
The derby will consist mostly of district anglers who think the FFCBC’s registration fee may be “a little too rich for their blood,” said Halverson.
A handful of teams will make the trip from Minneapolis and Thun-der Bay.
But rather than simply calling this weekend an alternative to the FFCBC, Halverson said “Castin for Cash” will develop on its own—both in scope and interest.
“Everybody who is fishing this weekend have already expressed interest in it for next year,” she said, quickly adding they have no problem putting the words “first -annual” in front of the tourney’s title.
Refreshments will be available starting at 2 p.m. on Saturday and noon on Sunday. A fish fry also is slated Saturday at 6 p.m. at the lodge (cost is $6 for non-anglers).