Thunder Bay

$5000 bass released into Rainy Lake

The Town of Fort Frances is welcoming anglers from across the North and Manitoba to try their hand at landing the big one. That big one is a smallmouth bass that is also wearing a tag that is worth $5,000

Town of Fort Frances seeks to attract Canadian anglers to the community

Organizers of a new campaign want to attract tourists to the community of Fort Frances, after losing much of their tourism businsess to the pandemic. (photo: Gord Ellis/CBC)

The Town of Fort Frances is welcoming anglers from across northwestern Ontario and Manitoba to try their hand at landing the big one.

That big one is a smallmouth bass that is also wearing a tag that is worth $5,000

The fish has a green tag with the word "WIN" written on it, and the lucky angler who catches it will take home the cash prize.

Emma Dykstra is the tourism and events coordinator with the town. She said half a million people usually cross the border into Fort Frances every year and a lot of them come to fish. That has changed with border being closed due to the pandemic.

"We wanted to figure out a way to keep our bustling little border town nice and busy," said Dysktra. "Rainy Lake has earned an international reputation as one of the best bass fisheries in North America, so we are really excited that this year it will be home to a special prize bass available for visitors to catch."

Dysktra said the organizers wanted to attract tourists to the community safely, and decided there was no better social distancing activity than fishing.

She said the contest is a win-win for Canadian anglers and the community of Fort Frances.

(photo: Gord Ellis)

The contest is sponsored by the Rainy River Future Development Corporation (RRFDC) and organized by the Municipal Advisory Tax Group. It is attached to a tourism marketing campaign encouraging anglers from all over the north reach of Ontario and Manitoba to pick Fort Frances as their destination this summer.

"This is a unique opportunity to enjoy a day of fishing and go home with a heavier wallet than you started out with" said Geoff Gillon, Executive Director of the RRFDC. "Rainy Lake is notorious for holding trophy sized bass that love to fight. This year one of those trophy bass comes with a reward".

The deadline to catch the big one is October 1, 2020. The winning green tag contains the words 'WIN' and a secret code.

To be eligible to win, you must be a resident outside of the Rainy River district and provide proof of a stay at a Fort Frances hotel or camp.

Full rules and details are available here.

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