On Day 2 of Kenora Bass International, Jamie Bruce and Bryan Gustafson had the big bag of fish at just over 20 pounds.
"We're tickled pink!" said Bruce, after the weigh-in. "A big Day 2 comeback is kind of what you dream about, when you have a slouch Day 1. It went about as good as it possibly could."
Their two-day total is a very respectable 35.62 pounds. Still, it isn't quite enough to take the lead. Consistency has been the key for Brian McNanney and Matthew Rydberg, who are both from Sioux Narrows.
They've come to the top of the leaderboard, after bringing in bags of fish just short of 18 pounds two days in a row. Their two-day total is 35.72, one-10th of a pound ahead of Bruce and Gustafson.
Mike Reid and Paul Skoczylas had big fish at 6.49 pounds.It's just ahead of the monster landed by Aaron Wiebe and Peter Tully, who led after Day 1 with a big fish of 6.37 pounds.
However, Day 2 wasn't as kind to Wiebe and Tully. Their bag of 12.95 pounds was lighter than they'd like, but still good enough for 10th place and a spot in the boat parade.
"We're super-pumped to be in the boat parade," said Tully, after the weigh-ins. "It's an awesome experience everytime. That's just something that's a mountaintop experience every time we get there. We're happy we made it in there."
Two-time winner Jeff Gustafson and his dad, Jim, -- who came second in 2012 -- aren't out of the mix yet. They pulled in with a steady 17.50 pounds on Day 2. This means their two-day total weight of 34.73 is less than a pound out of first place.
"We had a really good day," said Jim Gustafson. "We're in the mix, so we're really happy."
He added the father-son dynamic has also been good, even though it's changed over the years.
"It's been pretty good," he said with a grin. "We haven't had any issues. I've learned just to learn where the boss tells me to go. It used to be the other way around, but not anymore. We could've caught 10 pounds today, and it still would've been a great day, but this is the icing on the cake."
Jeff Gustafson, who qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup in the U.S. last year, says he's looking forward to more great weather, along with the boat parade.
"It looks like the weather's going to be nice again. That's what we need for good fishing out here," he said. "Lots of guys are catching big fish, so it's going to be exciting."
Gussy added he hoped to fish again in the U.S., with help and support from his dad.
Last year's winners Adam Bachynski and Andrew Beernaert are still very much in the money. Their two-day total of 33.79 has them in eighth place.
"We're slowly moving up. Hopefully, we'll get a better bag tomorrow," he said."We probably lost five fish today. That didn't help, but at least we got five in."
As a sign of how competitive the field is at KBI, Jay Samsal of Kenora is coming off his second straight Canadian Bass Championship. However, after Day 2 he's in the weeds in 54th place. Future NHL hall-of-famer Mike Richards is about five pounds off the pace in 29th position.
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