Norman, Samsal rule FFCBC again

There was a pivotal moment in their attempted title defence that changed everything for Troy Norman and Jay Samsal.

“The biggest challenge we had came [Friday] at 10 a.m.,” recounted Norman, who lives in Fort Frances.

“We had some poor misfortune not landing fish and lost three kings that five years ago [would] have ruined our day,” he noted.

“But we stayed focused and kept our nose to the grindstone, and carried on.”

FFCBC earlier in 2017

By Joey Payeur, Fort Frances Times Ltd.

The change of the calendar will bring a slight change to the scheduling of next year’s Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship.
The 23rd edition of the annual angler extravaganza will be held from July 20-22, 2017.
While that differs by just one day from this year’s event, the switch is in regards to the tournament traditionally being held one week before the long weekend that usually kicks off August.

Fort-Kenora duo wins first FFCBC

By Joey Payeur, Fort Frances Times Ltd.

Troy Norman and Jay Samsal came across the biggest threats to their lead, did a 180-degree turn, and pointed their bow elsewhere.
It wasn’t a sign of fear but respect. And by the end of the day Saturday, their integrity—along with fantastic fishing skills—were rewarded handsomely.

Godin, Lindsay grab Day 1 lead

Courtesy Fort Frances Times

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em—even if it’s 11 years after the fact.
Devlin’s Bill Godin and Dave Lindsay of Kenora are the team to catch after Day 1 of the 2016 Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship after hauling in 17.36 pounds.
It was the lowest Day 1 leading total at the FFCBC since Lindsay and his brother, Norm, brought in 14.62 pounds during the tourney’s inaugural year in 1995.
Lindsay, who won the tournament twice with his sibling in 1995 and 1997, also paired up with his father, Lee, for his most recent title in 2005.

Attention Anglers

WANTED: Anglers and boats for the Shops on Scott Boat Show & Shine. The event will be taking place on Wednesday, 30 July on Scott Street. There are three prizes of $500.00 each for the boats who win in each catogorie. Voting is determined by the public. There will also be giveaways by our co-sponsor FXR Sporting Wear. Please join us and show Fort Frances you encourage their support!! Show and Shine runs from 12:00 noon to 4 pm.

Attention Anglers

WANTED: Pro Anglers for the ProAm Tournament on 17 July, 2016 We are looking for boats that would be willing and able to take an amateur fishing for our morning tournament. It is a one fish tournament with the largest bass winning. It runs from 8 am to 1 pm. on Sunday 17 July 2016. A bag breakfast will be provided as well as hamburgers and hotdogs for lunch. If you can join us, please email Shelley at

Siblings net first FFCBC title

By Joey Payeur, Fort Frances Times Ltd.

Steve and Scott Sandberg lived by a basic philosophy all week—keep moving and the rest can’t catch you.
The Minnesota-based brothers (from Brooklyn Park and Ham Lake, respectively) netted a bounty of bass as they zipped around Rainy Lake for three days that translated into their first victory at the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship.
The Sandbergs took over the lead after Day 2 on Friday, then finished off the rest of the 92-team field with a Saturday haul of 16.24 pounds.

Brother duo capture FFCBC title

By Joey Payeur, Fort Frances Times Ltd.

From being a last-minute addition to the field that finished in 58th place on their first try to reaching the pinnacle, Steve and Scott Sandberg have travelled a long river together.
“We really dedicate this win to each other,” said Steve Sandberg, a Brooklyn Park, Mn. resident about his Ham Lake, Mn.-based brother, whom he joined forces with to win the $20,000 first prize at the 21st-annual Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship on Saturday at the Sorting Gap Marina.

Bass tourney to hold Pro-Am kick-off

Wednesday, 8 July 2015
By Joey Payeur, Fort Frances Times Ltd.

It’s the return of “KidPro”—except this time, it’s for “kids” from age 10-92 or even older, too.
The Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship will kick off a week of activities with the Safeway Pro-Am fishing tournament on Sunday, July 19.
Last year saw the annual “KidPro” tournament, which paired FFCBC anglers with youth in a one-day event, fall by the wayside.

So close—yet so far

By Joey Payeur
Staff writer, Fort Frances Times Ltd.

Bryan Gustafson can’t say he wasn’t warned.
Fellow angler Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson of Kenora (no relation) told the Fort Frances native he would be seeking revenge after Bryan beat Jeff by the narrowest of margins at a bass fishing tournament on Lake of the Woods back in 2012.

FFCBC Champs

John Peterson of Bemdiji, left, and Jeff Gustafson of Kenora proved too tough to beat once again as they successfully defended their title at the 20th-annual Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship on Saturday with a winning total of 57.18 pounds.

—Joey Payeur photo

Duo repeats as FFCBC champs

By Joey Payeur
Staff writer, Fort Frances Times Ltd.

It became clear Saturday that the name Gustafson was guaranteed to be on the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship trophy once again.
What wasn’t certain until the last moment was which Gustafson it was going to be.
In the end, defending champion Jeff Gustafson of Kenora and partner John Peterson of Bemidji, Mn. barely held off Fort Frances’ Bryan Gustafson and teammate Brandon McMillan, from Clewiston, Fla., to retain the title.

‘Gussy,’ Peterson grab Day 1 lead

On a day when anglers had to deal with every type of summer weather imaginable, the team of Jeff Gustafson and John Peterson was able to handle Rainy Lake the best yesterday.
With a five-fish bag that came in at 19.17 pounds, the duo found themselves in first place after Day 1 of the 2013 Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship.

Bass tourney to return to waterfront

By Lucas Punkari - Fort Frances Times Ltd.

Thanks to feedback from anglers and the public, there will be two major changes when the 2013 edition of the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championships hits the water July 25-27.
For starters, the 19th-annual event will return to the big tent at the Sorting Gap Marina for the daily weigh-ins and nightly entertainment following a three-year stint at the Memorial Sports Centre.
“We’re going back to the original roots of the tournament with a smaller venue at the waterfront,” FFCBC chairman Gord Watson noted.

Duo finally captures FFCBC title

By Lucas Punkari
Fort Frances Times Ltd.

After an 16-year quest that had seen its share of heartaches over the years, Mark Raveling and Mike Luhman finally have done it.
With a three-day total weight of 55.06 pounds, the three-time runner-ups at the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship finally were able to hoist the trophy late Saturday afternoon at the Ice For Kids Arena after being crowned the 2012 winners.

FFCBC returning for 2012 season

November 21, 2011
Gord Watson, Chairperson of the 2011 Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship (FFCBC), is pleased to announce that the 2011 Tournament returned the Rainy River District’s premier fishing event into the black.    

“We understand the importance of the Tournament to both the residents and the tourism strategy for the Town of Fort Frances and wanted to be sure that our event was both successful for the anglers, and that we lived within our means,” said Gord Watson.  “I am happy that the Tournament enters 2012 in the black.”

Ward, Good in first place after Day 1

By Lucas Punkari
Fort Frances Times Ltd.

    An increase in wind speed from pre-fishing earlier in the week played havoc for many of the anglers on Rainy Lake during Day 1 of the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship yesterday.
    But for the local team of Darren Ward and Sean Good, the condition changes ended up playing right into their favour as they jumped to the top of the table following the first day of fishing, with their five bass weighing in at 19.61 pounds.