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Fort Frances teams take top spots at bass tourney

The excitement under the big tent just kept building during day three of the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship as each team weighed in their baskets of bass. The massive crowd was eager to cheer on the three local teams who were in the top five after Day 2.
Harry Bell and John Maffel (Team #24), were first to weigh-in their catch, and what a catch it was at 18.12 pounds for an overall three-day total of 51.87 pounds. This put them in first place with four teams left to weigh-in. The first two teams failed to bring in the weight required to take-over first. The final two teams were also Fort Frances natives and the crowd was cheering wildly as they were paraded through the tent in their boats.
Doug and Zack McBride (Team #104), a father and son team, were first to come through the tent. They showed off their five bass and the crowd waited in anticipation to see if they had enough weight to take over first. Their catch weighed 16.82 pounds, enough to move them into first position with a total wight of 52.14 pounds.
Next up was Steve & Kent Ballan (Team #86) who were leading after Day 2. They were also paraded through the tent and the crowd was eager to see their day’s catch. These brothers would not disappoint the crowd and held up their five, very impressive bass. They needed 16.12 pounds to win their first ever Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship. The crowd went wild when their weight went up on the big screen - 16.90 pounds.
Steve & Kent Ballan were the first place winner sat the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship and were presented with a cheque for $25,000.00. Doug and Zack McBride of Fort Frances were second and took home $15,000.00. Harry Bell and John Maffei placed third and received $10,000.00. Two teams from Minnesota rounded out the top five. Gene Boyer and Larry Hullett were 4th with their total weight of 50.64 pounds ($7,500.00), and Randy and Duane Anderson brought in a 3 day total weight of 50.62 pounds to capture 5th position ($5,000.00).
Cash prizes were presented to the top 30 teams, as well as hidden weight, Big Fish, Big Catch and most improved. The first place team also gets the opportunity to compete in the 2002 Chevy mercury Classic.
The 7th Annual Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship was a huge success with anglers from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Ohio, Missouri, Texas, Manitoba and Ontario.
“Awesome! Awesome fishing, awesome community and awesome tournament”, were the words Team #129, Mike Vinci and Mike Carter used to sum up the tournament. These first time anglers at the FFCBC from Forest CIty, Iowa and Baudette, Minnesota had a great rookie year and placed 8th overall.
The Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship is the premiere Canadian bass fishing tournament taking place on Beautiful Rainy Lake in Fort Frances, Ontario. 130 teams vie for cash prizes totaling $122,000.00.
Check out our website at for a complete listing of tournament results and additional information about the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship.