ESTEVAN - After two years of cancellations due to COVID, the Boundary Bass Classic (BBC) returned June 18 at Boundary Dam.
The reservoir is home to the only population of largemouth bass in Saskatchewan, so this tournament represents a truly unique opportunity for anglers looking for a different challenge out on the water.
The team of Bryce Godin and Brooke Werner, both of Yorkton, were not only the tournament winners with a four-fish basket of 13.29 pounds, but they were also the top travelling team and the top mixed team. Taking the 2022 championship earned them a $1,000 prize, plus amounts of $500 and $300.
The team of Lance Marcotte and Karen Soke, both of Estevan, came in second, weighing in a basket of 13.14 pounds, earning them $750 plus $300 for being the top local team.
In third place came the team of Manitoba anglers Matt Terleski of Russell and Derek Robins of Brandon, weighing in a basket of 13.11 pounds. They picked up $500 for their efforts.
They also weighed the big fish of the classic. Their 3.74-pound catch earned them an additional $500.
The team of Nate Smart and Zack Miller, both of Estevan, came in fourth with a 12.97-pound basket, taking home $300 in prize money. Rounding out the top five was the team of Brad Frater of Kipling and Sheldon McManus of Regina, weighing in a basket of 12.93 pounds, which earned them a free entry into the 2023 Boundary Bass Classic.
Fishing tournaments everywhere take pride in attracting young anglers to competitive fishing. The top youth angler of the tournament was Dallas Litton (along with his Dad Phillip Litton) of Poplar Point, Man. Dallas took home a prize pack.
When IOM Presents took over the Boundary Bass Classic in 2018, they made the commitment to further Tourism Estevan's marketing of this unique fishery and to use the tournament to draw both anglers and attention to the Estevan area.
Despite record gas prices and an unstable economy, 25 per cent of the registered teams were from outside Saskatchewan.
"These fish are an important tourist draw to the Estevan area, but they will be put at risk with the forced future closure of the Boundary Dam Power Station," said tournament director James Turner. "The more people we can make aware of this unique fishery, the greater the motivation will be to try and find a way to keep this extraordinary largemouth population thriving."
Helping to provide information that will be integral to those efforts is the Saskatchewan Sportfishing Research Group from the University of Regina. Students from the group were on site once again, making use of the BBC anglers' talent for catching fish to study their growth and development.
For more information about the Boundary Bass Classic, please visit their Facebook page for IOM Presents.