This is my second season of competing in major fishing tournaments. Events in Manitoba and Northwest Ontario vary in size and level of competition from one day casual derbies to smaller ‘club’ or town tournaments to big multi-day tournaments. The majority of events target either walleye or bass and are almost all two-person team formats. All of the events are catch and release. I have entered or am registered for numerous competitions this year of all sizes and species with various partners. Bass season is winding down but there are still a few major walleye events to go.
I consider myself to be a pretty decent angler but the learning curve at all of these events has been steep. There are a multitude of talented and skilled anglers who compete every week and trying to beat out the field for a share of the prize money is no easy feat. To ‘cash a cheque’ or prize, a team typically needs to finish in the top 10-20 percent of the field. I have had moderate success so far in the bigger events as a ‘rookie’ but am getting much closer to figuring out what it takes to challenge for a title.
The biggest bass tournament in our area is the three-day Kenora Bass International in August. This year’s field had 141 teams including a good number of professionals who actually compete and/or guide for a living. This is the second year for me and my partner Jeremy Santos. We finished in 52nd last year and fell a bit to 73rd this year. Another major bass event I attended was the three-day Bassin’ for Bucks in Sioux Narrows, ON this past Labour Day weekend. I fished this event with Jeff Matias who was fishing his first ever bass tournament. We were close to the top of the field of 124 boats after the first day but our weights went down each day and we slipped to 53rd. I also compete on the Central Walleye Trail with my wife Divine and we are currently in the hunt for Mixed Team of the Year and me for Angler of the Year with two more tournaments to go.
At most of these events we are quite often the only ‘minority’ people there and we tend to stick out quite obviously. The local fishing community is very welcoming however and we have made many new friends and acquaintances though these competitions. My goal is to have even more avid anglers from our community start to participate. If you are interested in learning more about local competitive fishing visit my website at www.kickerfish.ca or email me anytime.