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Fishing tournament making a stop in Sarnia

A bass fishing tournament with ties to Windsor-Essex and aims to expand throughout the Great Lakes is holding one of its qualifiers in Sarnia this year.

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A bass fishing tournament with ties to Windsor-Essex and aims to expand throughout the Great Lakes is holding one of its qualifiers in Sarnia this year.

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The Great Lakes Super Series stop out of the Sarnia Bay Marina is Aug. 6, with a cap of 75 two-person teams.

“We’re hoping to have over 100 anglers from around Ontario and hopefully Michigan if everything goes as planned and things open up,” said Tourism Sarnia-Lambton’s Vicky Praill.

The regional tourism promotion body is an event sponsor, she said, adding the agency is “super excited” to have Sarnia be part of the circuit.

“We’re hoping to get some (more) sponsors and obviously get as many people out to come and watch when they do the weigh-in as well at Centennial Park,” she said.

“As we get closer, we’ll have more information about that.”

It’s the second year for the tournament series, with five volunteer directors based out of Windsor-Essex, said Chris Kilgore, an organizer.

Qualifier winners earn berths to the September championship in Belle River, he said, and others qualify based on points.

Teams can compete in multiple qualifiers, upping the chance to win more points, he said, estimating the tournament’s inaugural run last year drew about 75 teams collectively in events mostly around Lake St. Clair.

“It was a bit of a gamble obviously with COVID and the restrictions always changing, but … we wanted to get out fishing,” he said about the decision to start the tournament that pays 100 per cent of registration costs back to participants.

Sponsorship dollars also go to prizes and covering tournament costs, he said.

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“We love to fish,” he said. “We know lots of guys who want to fish. We know it’s expensive and we wanted to make sure it was well worth everybody’s efforts.”

The name – which coincidentally shares its initials with Sarnia’s Great Lakes secondary school – signifies longer term plans to expand east and north to other Ontario waterways, he said.

“We’re focused right now on Southwestern Ontario because there is no other tournament series for bass down here,” he said.

The location at Sarnia’s marina is “perfect” for Lake Huron and St. Clair River access, he said, calling it a “beautiful” facility.

Students and others interested in volunteering can sign up to help out, he said.

“Especially at our weigh-in.”

Details are available at glss.ca.

The Bluewater Anglers local fishing and conservation group is not formally involved in the tournament stop in Sarnia, but did agree to move a club event to avoid a scheduling conflict, Praill said.

tkula@postmedia.com

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