2009 Tournament of Champions
Tournament Director: Peter Perovich
Grand Rapids, MN
September 14, 2009
On Saturday, September 5th 2009, approximately 150 anglers arrived in the Grand Rapids, MN area to practice and prepare for the Minnesota Bass Federation Nation Tournament of Champions (TOC) on Pokegama Lake and the upper most stretches of the Mississippi River. These 150 anglers have qualified from their local clubs from all over the state. 41 clubs sent teams and individual representatives to the Tournament of Champions (TOC). In addition to the TOC, an alternates’ tournament was held on Big Bass Lake on September 9th. The weigh-in was held out of Hidden Haven Resort on Big Bass Lake and the top 4 finishers advanced to the TOC.
Anglers come from all over the state for many reasons; foremost is the camaraderie of fellow anglers and secondly to qualify for the 2010 Bass Federation Northern Divisional. The top 12 anglers from the TOC will advance next year to fish against 7 other State Teams from Wisconsin, Indiana, South Dakota, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, and Ohio on Lake Michigan in late summer 2010. At stake there is a chance to fish in the Bass Federation Nation National Championship and become one step closer to a Bassmasters’ Classic berth.
The Wednesday's night banquet was held at the Sawmill Inn and raised approximately $3000 for local charities: Second Harvest Food Bank and the Grand Rapids 4-H club.
”The great thing about the Minnesota Federation Nation State Championship is that we get a chance to give back to the community. Our sponsors have really stepped up big for our raffle and the local charities.” says Tournament Director Peter Perovich. “We really appreciate the support we get from Skeeter Boats, MinnKota, Gemini Sports Marketing, and Lowrance.”
Events culminated with a two-day tournament on September 10th and 11th with weigh-ins hosted by Zorbaz on the Lake. Day one began with a 3-hour fog delay, but that didn't prevent Rick Pelletier from weighing in a 17-pound bag of smallmouth bass to lead the field. On day 2 Bob Perkins reeled in the big bag of the day, 19.55 pounds, to leap to 6th place overall. Rick Pelletier also held off Brent Haimes to claim first place with a culmulative weight of 34.62 pounds.