Kenora Bass International is a catch and release tournament that takes place every year on the waters of scenic Lake of the Woods. When the tournament began in 1988 there were 43 teams competing and now there are over 125 entries.
This annual bass tournament brings thousands of avid anglers to the local area to compete for tens of thousands of dollars in prize money. Because this is a sporting event only, it is designated as a catch and release event which promotes good sportsmanship while being kind to the catch. During this three-day event, each team weighs their catch at the end of each day.
How winners are selected:
Scoring is based on Teams weighing five 12 inch minimum length bass each day. The Team with the greatest number of pounds and ounces at the end of three days wins. Teams with fish that cannot be released and reasonably expected to survive will receive a weight penalty of 4 oz. per fish.
Fate of the Fish:
Fish are weighed on the Harbourfront and then recorded and tagged (if they have not been tagged already from previous tournaments). After, each fish transported back to the part of the lake where it was caught.
Purpose of Kenora Bass International:
The real purpose underlying this sporting event is to monitor stock levels on the lake and to promote tourism in the area of Lake of the Woods.
Entry Fees and Prize Money:
A maximum field of 150 teams allowed competing in the tournament with each team paying an entry fee. The entry fee is $800 CAD per team. Of that amount, 90% is paid out in prize money to the winners and the prize pool can be more than $25,000.
Each year volunteers are an important component of the Kenora Bass International and without them; this event might not be possible. In 2012, over 100 people voluntarily signed up to help the event. In return, each received an official tournament T-shirt and a Steak Dinner Ticket for the Saturday Steak Feast. In addition, students who actively participated got to collect Volunteer Hours.