Kenora Bass Invitational
By Luigi De Rose
(originally dated for Friday but wireless is spotty)
The Kenora Bass Invitational is my goal for the next week. Celebrating its 26th Anniversary, this tournament is known simply as the KBI. This year the tournament dates are August 8, 9 and 10. Wednesday the 7th is a rest day and the lake is off-limits for half the day. The tournament site is Kenora, on the shores of famed Lake of the Woods, in northwestern Ontario. I along with my tournament partner, Drew Myers, will be fishing out guts out trying to best the bass and the hundred plus teams in this three day event. Having never seen it before, it will be a true test of my personal skill.
Tournament angling is about taking risks and this one is a whopper. KBI brings the best of the best. For many, it seems remote but don’t be fooled. Top tier pros from Canada and America will be there. Plus, the lake is home to hundreds of guides who often enroll hoping to cash in on their years of local knowledge.
Lake of the Woods is gigantic! Spanning hundreds of kilometers and home of roughly 15 000 islands, this place will take time and luck to discover the winning pattern and areas.
This lake is amazing. Scores of record fish are caught from it every month. Smallmouth should be king here but the largemouth tend to run a bit heavier. Over the last decade, green bass have won more often than brown ones. Unfortunately, largemouth are not found everywhere and are limited to small regions throughout the lake. Determining which sections are largemouth haunts will be a daunting. We plan to mix it up and keep and open mind. After spending 3 days at ICAST and chatting with many FLW and Bass Master Elite anglers, I was reminded that I only have to catch 5 bass.
Drew Myers is somewhat an old friend. As Ontario OUT OF DOORS magazine’s Big Game and Musky/Pike Editor, we have known each other for years. His dad Burt ran the magazine for decades. Drew has a strong pedigree and is a fun guy to be with. He has been keen to fish the KBI for years but its no easy feat. Being a two-person team event, finding the correct partner is a must. I hope I don’t let him down. He is a crack shot on northern smallmouth whereas I prefer largemouth fishing. Hopefully, each of us will compliment the other. Even though Drew lives within an hour drive of Lake of the Woods, it is fairly new to him.
One special mention has to go to John Butts and King Fisher boats. He was kind enough to allow us the use of a pro-staff boat for the whole week. Kingfisher will be our ride and it has saved me about 30 hours of driving my rig up here.
Over the coarse of the week, expect photos, editorial and maybe a few videos to document our quest for the KBI Title.