The Berkley B1 Canadian Bass Open falls during a busy time of the year for me here at the office, so I’m sorry to say I missed last week’s third annual running of the prestigious catch-and-release bass tournament.

Held on Quebec’s Lac St-François, this year’s two-day B1 saw 143 teams from as far away as Alberta and Nova Scotia compete for top honours. By all accounts, the tournament is emerging as the premier bass event in Canada, drawing the who’s who of competitive anglers, including TV personalities Bob Izumi, Wayne Izumi, Angelo Viola and Pete Bowman.

“This year, Andrew Marks, marketing director for Pure Fishing USA, joined us and quickly stated his opinion that this event was second only to the Bass Masters Classic in North America!” says Chris Hockley, Pure Fishing’s Canadian field marketing manager.

Winning the tournament with a two-day total of 48.02 pounds of smallmouth was a team of two 26-year-olds, Jason Gramada and Nicolas Gendron (left and right in the above photo), who’ve been making their mark of late in eastern Ontario’s Renegade Bass Tour series.

The duo led this year’s B1 from day one, weighing in the tournament bag record of five smallies totalling 25.75 pounds—including a 6.53-pound behemoth that ultimately earned them the Salaberry-de-Valleyfield Big Bass Award. Presented by Yokohama Tires, the award included a cheque for more than $2,500 and two brand new sets of tires for their trucks.

The pair’s second-day bag of 22.27 pounds put them over the top for the win with a two-day total of 48.02 pounds of smallmouth. Top honours earned them two 2011 Evinrude 250HO ETec outboards (valued at $60,000), custom-made B1 Championship rings (see photo above), the Berkley B1 Cup and individual trophies. Not bad for two days of fishing.

Taking second place, meanwhile, were Norman King and Peter Burns with a two-day total of 44.59 pounds, followed by Mike Desforges and Jay McCormack in third with 41.38 pounds.

Back to Gramada and Gendron. So, what was their winning go-to bait? Wacky-rigged Sinkworms.

Congratulations to B1 founder and organizer Ben Woo on yet another successful event.