ALPENA, MI- The 2023 Brown Trout Festival got started with the first day of fishing and its first tournament. The 9th Annual Thunder Bay Bass Classic took place on Day 1 and a familiar pair was victorious.
Paul Gohlke and Billy McQuarrie won the competition for the sixth time in nine years and they brought back over 20 pounds of bass. The haul included the largest individual fish of the tournament, a 5.05 pound bass reeled in by Gohlke.
While the fishing conditions were not ideal, the brief sunlight offered on a cloudy Saturday morning was the turning point. ” The sun came out for about two hours and that was the time the fish bit, so we were fortunate, said Gohlke”. McQuarrie also noticed the importance of the sun. ” The sun is key for small mouth bass, the sun comes out and the dinner bell goes off.”
When asked if winning the event ever gets old there was a quick laugh followed by a simple response, “Never”.
The pair took home the first place prize of $1,600 which they said will go towards paying entry fees into future tournaments. The pair also confirmed their intentions to return for next years 10th annual Bass Classic.
While other competitors put up good efforts the champions reigned supreme once again and Gohlke and McQuarrie took home title number six.