Local anglers qualify for next BASS level

DeForest, Rich reach podium in tough Nipissing tourney

Published by: Dave Dale from the North Bay Nugget (Published on: August 28, 2018)

Ben Woo, left, gives a big thumbs up with North Bay BASS Master member Tracy Rich after he placed first among 91 non-boaters in the Hank Gibson Provincial Qualifier on Lake Nipissing over the weekend. Woo, president of the Berkley B1 series, volunteered to MC the weigh-ins at the Kiwanis bandshell.. Rob Beaudry Photo

Two members of the host North Bay BASS Masters earned podium finishes against 180 other competitors in the Hank Gibson Provincial Qualifier on Lake Nipissing this weekend.

Tracy Rich finished first in the non-boater division (counting three bass each day) with his six keepers weighing 17.5 pounds in total. He counted 10.19 lbs Saturday and 7.31 lbs Sunday, which was about 0.7 better than second-place finisher David Iannaci of York.

In the boater category, where the top five bass are counted each day, North Bay’s Rodney DeForest claimed bronze with a total weight of 29.38. DeForest actually had the best haul on Saturday with a total weight of 16.63-lbs.

First place among boaters went to Travis Surette of Petawawa with 32.12 lbs while Joe Doucette, also of Petawawa, finished second with 29.94 lbs.

Both anglers earned spots on Team Ontario with the top 11 boaters and non-boaters moving on to represent the province in the Northern BASS championship in Maine March 15-17. Top anglers from there compete at biggest fishing even in the world, the Bassmaster Classic in Tennessee next fall. First place at the Classic nets $175,000 plus sponsorships that create a purse worth $1 million.

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