It was a race to the finish Sunday when the 40 entries in the seventh-annual Morson Bass Classic weighed in their catches.
Perhaps the most widely-watched teams on the leader board were two that featured the same names.
Bill Godin and Pat Handorgan were neck and neck after the first day with their wives, Nellie Godin and Virginia Handorgan. The men weighed in 13.8 pounds Saturday while the ladies tipped the scale at 13.32 pounds.
Both teams were right near the top, with only Mark Pentney and Doug Vandersteen (15.35 pounds) and Jason and Oliver Gibbins (13.55 pounds) challenging them for the tournament title.
When Nellie and Virginia approached the weigh-in with a huge bag of fish Sunday, the crowd gasped, thinking that perhaps they would win the entire tournament—and more importantly beat their husbands.
They weighed in 11.22 pounds of fish on Sunday for a two-day total of 24.54.
But Bill and Pat were not to be outdone. They weighed in solidly at 13.64 pounds for a two-day total of 27.44—putting them in first place.
Pentney and Vandersteen had only a modest day Sunday compared to Saturday, weighing in just 11.15 pounds for a two-day total of 26.5, which was barely enough to hold back the challenge of Rick Savage and Jeff Gustafson.
After catching only 10.93 pounds on Saturday, the latter pair weighed in a whopping 15.1-pound stringer Sunday to vault into third place with a 26.03 total.
The Gibbins also had a modest day Sunday, weighing in just 10.46 pounds to finish in fifth place behind Nellie Godin/Virginia Handorgan with a 24.01 total.
Bill Godin/Pat Handorgan took home $3,000 for first place, with Pentney/Vandersteen winning $1,750 for second. Savage/Gustafson pocketed $1,000 for coming third while Nellie Godin/Virginia Handorgan earned $800 for fourth place.
While the number of entries were down from 49 last year, organizer Rob Gate said they were pleased with the tournament, calling it an overwhelming success.
Weights also were well down from last year’s record two-day total of 36.08 pounds but they were still higher than two years ago when a 25.54-pound haul was enough to win.
Winning the hidden weight, which was 13.87 pounds, was Ray Paypompee/Henry, who had a two day total of 13.53. They received a portable Hummingbird Flasher.
In the Big Bass competitions, James Asplund and Pete Badiuk won $500 for netting the first day’s largest largemouth bass (3.68 pounds), with Jules Gibbins/Brian Paulson taking the honours on day two (3.82 pounds).
Pete Tiboni/Simon Lampi netted the $500 up for grabs for catching the largest smallmouth bass on day one (4.27 poounds), with Jim Sandelovich/Joe Bonhomme doing so on day two (4.02 pounds).
A new category this year was the largest smallmouth catch of the weekend, which went to the champs Bill Godin and Pat Handorgan. Rob and Rick Gate said the idea was to try to encourage anglers to fish for smallies.
Winning the booby prize this year was Clayton Lundgren/Al Meline, who caught only one fish all weekend that weighed 1.67 pounds.
Some 271 bass weighing 554.78 pounds were caught over the two days. Day one’s total weight was 287.69 pounds while day two’s was somewhat lower at 267.09 pounds.