Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Billy Gilbert and Brad Brodnicki Crowned 2023 CHAMPIONS with 22.50lbs!


Originally posted Facebook

On Saturday October 7th 100 Teams comprised of 200 anglers blasted off from Chippawa, ON in search of the biggest 5 fish limit of bass they could find. This was our 10th year doing this event since its inception in 2014 and like many times in the past, anglers were met with less than ideal conditions as a cold front was moving in, and brought strong wind and some scattered showers to start the day.
The skies cleared in the morning, but strong winds forecasted prevailed, and the tournament was restricted to the Upper Niagara River Only.
No matter the conditions, there are always teams that can locate and catch a big bag of bass! This year was no different as we saw a total of 388 fish brough to the scales for a total weight of 1440lbs. This means the average bass weighed in was just shy of 3.5lbs, a very healthy average considering not one fish was weighed in over 5lbs! As the weigh in progressed it was apparent that the 4.5lbs and above fish were not easy to find as there were only 6 teams with over 20lbs. Again, the anglers took good care of their fish and we had only 3 dead fish (99% live release) and all others went back into the river healthy and ready to be caught again. Shimano supported in this effort with use of their weigh in bags, and water weigh in technology that we adopted many years ago!
In the end the team of Billy Gilbert and Brad Brodnicki have been crowned the 2023 CHAMPIONS with a total weight of 22.50lbs!! This came with a total of $16,200 in cash and prizes – which consisted of $6500 cash for first, $6900 cash for pay to play (side pot), $1000 Canadian Tire Gift Card, and the Shimano Big Bag award!! Congratulations for huge win in a talented field of anglers! In second place the team of Franklin and Erny Janzen brought 21.00 lbs to the scale and were rewarded with $4000 cash prize! Rounding out the top 3 – Mark Piche and Erick Hodgins had 20.71lbs for $3000 cash prize. Full results are pictured in the attached!

Standings below
Big Fish were hard to come by, but local team of Landon Klassen and Rick Besteman hit a 4.95lbs bass to take home the Abu Garcia Big Bass #1 award. This was $1000 cash plus (2) Abu Garcia combos and a Frabill conservation net!! Right behind them for Abu Garcia Big Fish#2 award was Matt Kelly and Felicia Pavelich with a 4.87lbs bass for $500 cash plus the Abu combos and Frabill net. The duo also finished 11th overall which boosted their total purse to $2400 in cash and prizes!!
During the weigh in we had a kids prize draw, which put rods, reels, and lots of swag into the hands of the many kids / families attending the weigh in. This was supported by AJT Roofing & Contracting along with ABU Garcia! Its always great to see a big crowd attending, so thank you to all how made it out to support!
We would like to also thank the great sponsors of this event who contribute so much to fill out the prize and payout structure! Again, we can show our support by supporting the brands that contribute to this and many other local events! So thank you too Canadian Tire - Abu Garcia - Berkley Fishing - @Plano - Frabill - G. Loomis
Last but certainly not least we all need to thank the volunteers who truly make this event what it has become. This has become and tournament run by friends and family and we can’t thank them all enough. The St. Catharines Bassmasters Jr’s were also their supporting the live release efforts! We are lucky to have such great support overall and this would never be possible without the volunteers, so thank you!
We are already looking forward to 2024 – watch our facebook page for the release dates in the first quarter of 2024!

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