The first ever Land O’Lakes Small and Largemouth Bass Fishing Tournament was an undisputed success! Kicking off at 7am on Saturday, August 17, 2013, this fishing derby proved itself to be a truly one-of-a-kind event that showcased fishing in Ontario.

The Land O’Lakes Fishing Tournament attracted an impressive array of over 300 avid anglers. Participants cast off in five different lakes in the Kingston area, including Sharbot Lake, Desert Lake, Kashwakamak Lake, Big Gull Lake, and our very own Loughborough Lake. Needless to say, our Inn and Marina were hopping!

The day itself was absolutely beautiful, which helped buoy the spirits of the enthusiastic participants. From the first cast at dawn, to the chicken dinner BBQ at dusk, everyone enjoyed an eventful, fun, and for many, profitable day. Over $20,000 in prizes were given away, as well as 5 prizes of $500, $250 and $100 dollars for the biggest three fish on each lake. That’s $2,500 in total!

The Land O’Lakes Tourist Association’s general manager, Rachelle Hardesty was as delighted with the outcome as the anglers. Participants came from all over North America, including Toronto, Ottawa, New York and Pennsylvania.

Hardesty says, “It was a fabulous day and it’s been so successful for a first-year event. Our purpose was to promote fishing in the area and with “5000 lakes/5000 adventures” as our motto, we really wanted to showcase the fact that people can paddle here in the Land O’Lakes region on a different lake – every single day of the year – for 13 years… which is something that is really and truly amazing. I truly believe that we here in the Land O’Lakes have some of the best fishing in southern Ontario and we’ve had nothing but positive feedback.”

The top prizes on Loughborough Lake were awarded to John Pantrey, who won $500 for 1st when his fish weighed in at 4.47lbs, Dwayne Brame, who placed second when his catch weighed in at 4.10lbs and Matt Colby, who snagged $100 when his fish weighed in at 3.94lbs. All the fish caught on Loughborough where largemouth bass, which were actually the predominant winner’s in all the lakes.

Event coordinators have already been asked about next year’s event, and are thrilled to announce that they plan to make this an annual tournament. Hardesty hopes  this event will help to, “showcase different lakes every year, so we will be moving to five new locations for next year’s event.”

She also hopes word of mouth will help to promote not only the event, but also promote the fact that people are, ” “Hooking Em’ and Hooking Em’ Big in the Land O’Lakes.”

This really is fishing in Ontario at its best!

To learn more about the Land O’Lakes and to see full tournament results, visit the Land O’ Lakes website.