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Andersons do well in prestigious tourney

Brothers Jordan (holding fish) and Jeremy Anderson pull their smallmouth from the livewell one at a time in front of a crowd of thousands during the final weigh-in at the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship held on Rainy Lake last weekend. (Photo courtesy Heather Latter / For Francer Times)

Several anglers from the Park Rapids area recently competed in the 14th annual Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship on beautiful Rainy Lake.

The three-day event held last weekend is a highly prestigious event to win since the competition consists of some of the best anglers from U.S. and Canadian soil.

The highest placing team from the Park Rapids area were brothers Jeremy and Jordan Anderson.

After the first day of competition, the Anderson brothers brought their limit of five smallmouth to the scale for a total of 16.57 pounds, putting them in 13th place out of the 124-team field.

The second tournament day didn't start out as well for the duo and at noon they still hadn't gotten a bite. Fighting high winds and a cold front, the Andersons decided to head to an area they had found during the pre-tournament practice that had slightly warmer water. The move paid off and the two brought another limit to the scale, which they initially thought would weigh about 15-pounds. However, the scale jumped to 17.79-pounds. After every team had weighed, Jeremy and Jordan Anderson had moved up ten places and were now sitting in 3rd place!

One of the unique attributes of the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship is called the "Silverado" in which the top ten teams from day two wait to weigh their fish until every other team has weighed in.

In addition, the top ten teams have their boats "trailered" into the weigh tent with a crowd of a few thousand people watching as each team pulls their day's catch from the livewell, one fish at a time, for the roaring spectators to see.

The Andersons were both eager and nervous going into day three since now the pressure was on to not only try to win the tournament, but to produce a five fish limit for their entrance into the weigh tent.

The third day started slow and the duo finally put a "weigh" fish in the livewell after a few hours of fishing, not big but above the minimum size.

Then Jordan spotted two large boulders and made a perfect cast between them, setting the hook hard once his bait hit bottom.

The fish was an absolute monster, but unfortunately was the wrong species - a 32-inch walleye!

"It was bittersweet because it was the biggest walleye I've ever caught, yet at the same time I was extremely disappointed that it wasn't a smallmouth," said Jordan.

Shortly after, the two caught a pair of smallmouth nearing four-pounds each. But those were the only smallmouth that found their way into the Andersons' livewell that day.

Despite only weighing three fish, the Andersons finished in 16th place overall (43.82 lbs.).

Other local teams fishing the event included Kelley Cirks and Doug Hanson (56th place), Bemidji anglers Travis and Duane Peterson (10th place), former Park Rapids residents Ryan and Mike Tiegen (108th place), and angling legends Al and Troy Lindner (35th place). Jim Moynagh of Carver and Joe Thrun of Annandale won the event with 57.76-pounds.