Big Bass Challenge Better than Ever

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by Lorraine Payette, written July 10, 2013

(GANANOQUE, ONTARIO) A field of 500 participants were invited out to try their hand at the second annual Big Bass Challenge held in Gananoque from July 6-7. Early morning rain brought out the anglers and the fish were biting with a vengeance. This fantastic event took place on the St. Lawrence River and was open to amateurs of all ages and from all places who enjoy the thrill and sport of fine bass fishing. In addition to the fishing, the Challenge reached out to assist three charities – McKenna’s Dream, Ms Bassin’ and Tim Horton’s Kids Camps.

Kathrine Christensen, speaking at last year’s event for the 1,000 Islands Accommodation Partners (TIAP), was overjoyed. “As title sponsors for the event, we’re delighted by the turn out at this first ever tournament. It’s time we brought fishing back to Gananoque in a big way, and the bass fishers have really shown us they mean business when it comes to catching the big ones. Gary Fisher has really shown us he knows what he’s doing.”

Described as a “bull dog”, Fisher did everything in his power and more, and brought in a tournament people will long talk about.

“Last year I had a big draw with a tagged fish worth $50,000,” said Fisher. “Well it never got caught and I was a little disappointed as I wanted to give away that big prize. When I go fishing I love to see people in my boat kids, women anyone but me catch that fish to see the look on there face and the fun that they have pulled in something on the end of their rod. Well, that is the same as my Big Bass Challenge is going to work from now on with everyone’s help.”

They planned to give away $16,800 over the two days this year, more than twice the $8,000 of a year ago. Fisher also put a new twist on the competition by getting sponsors to provide prizes valued at $50 or more to be given away for specific weight categories. Each prize would be awarded for a fish of an exact weight, making it a bit trickier for those out doing the fishing.

“You had to bring in a fish that weighed exactly what the prize was marked at,” said Fisher. “The first person to bring that fish in that weighed that got that prize.”

And entrants were more than up to the challenge. Starting at two pounds, weights went up in increments of one-tenth of a pound apiece, and prizes were eagerly snatched up.

Nearly 45 sponsors provided all manner of prizes for the event, including three $1,000 prizes put up by TIAP, various items and gift certificates. In addition, there were hourly winners for the biggest bass. This year’s posted winners were:

Saturday July 6th Hourly Winners

7 a.m.
1. 5.3 Kent Cassell
2. 5.2 Allen Wheeler
3. Joe Melo
8 a.m.
1. 4.7 Bob Lowery
2. 4.7 Patrick Dee
3. 4.6 Sean Sala
9 a.m.
1. 4.8 Andy Rathwell
2. 4.6 Rob Stevenson
3. 4.5 Richard Smith
10 a.m.
1. 5.2 Matt Lake
2. 5.1 Andrew Clendenning
3. 4.7 Alex Combe
11 a.m.
1. 5.3 Pepe Parisian
2. 5.1 Nicole Peterson
3. 5.0 Tim Dickson
12 a.m.
1. 5.0 Matt Lake
2. 4.7 Mike Miller
3. 4.0 Chris Serson
1 p.m.
1. 5.5 Pepe Parisian
2. 5.0 Sean Sala
3. 4.9 Brian Bolger
2 p.m.
1. 4.6 James Bouvier
2. 4.3 Chris Serson
3. 4.1 Kevin Piatowski
Sunday July 7th Hourly Winners

7 a.m.
1. 4.5 Dan Kearney
2. 4.3 Wanda Caffarin
3. 3.2 Kyle Robertson
8 a.m.
1. 4.6 Mike Stafford
2. 4.3 Joel Perry
3. 3.7 Robin Soluri
9 a.m.
1. 4.7 Matt Lake
2. 4.2 Neal Laurie
3. 3.5 Allen Wheeler
10 a.m.
1. 5.0 Shawn Stenson
2. 4.3 Ryan Perry
3. 4.1 Pirate Cove
11 a.m.
1. 5.2 Matt Lake
2. 4.5 Andrew Clendenning
3. 4.1 Robin Soluri
12 p.m.
1. 4.9 Dagg Abrams
2. 4.7 Ben Covell
3. 4.5 James Bouvier
1 p.m.
1. 5.4 Pepe Parisian
2. 5.1 Bryan McConall
3. 5.1 Shawn Stenson
2 p.m.
1. 5.0 Tyler Harper – 11 year old boy
2. 5.0 Tom Tarasof
3. 4.9 Martin Flowers
(List as posted at the Big Bass website)

The top three prize winners have as yet to be posted, but you can bet that Fisher will be grinning ear to ear when they go up. And he isn’t done yet.

On August 24, Fisher will be hosting the Big Bass Classic. A one day tournament, he plans to exceed all prize levels he has put out before. If a full field of 500 contestants participate, there will be top prizes of $2,000 given out every hour for eight hours, with second place at $800, third place, $500 fourth place $400 and fifth place will be the same as the ticket cost of $300. The plan is for about one in every five contestants to come home with some kind of prize.

For more information on both the Big Bass Challenge and the Classic, please go to http://www.bigbasschallengecanada.com/ .

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