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Rick

Janousek, Johnson take IFBC

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Janousek, Johnson take IFBC

By Laurel Beager, Editor

International Falls Daily Journal

Monday, August 28, 2006

janousek-smallietourney-ifall-082806.jpg

Janousek, left, and Johnson, right, pose with smallmouth bass and the trophy they won.

Coming off Rainy Lake Friday, Chad Johnson and John Janousek knew they had a shot at the top five spots in the International Falls Bass Championship.

The team brought in 15.55 pounds of smallmouth from the lake.

On Saturday, Rainy River gave up enough nice smallmouth to bring them to first place and the top prize of $10,000 with a two-day weight of 30.75 pounds in the second Internatinal Falls Bass Championship. The weight represented a new tournament record.

"We bagged them up on the lake yesterday and got a good bag for out there, went to the river today and kept at it," said an excited

Janousek after he and Johnson hoisted the the huge carved bass trophy they took among 60 teams.

The top 10 teams were brought into the big tent at Smokey Bear Park for the finale, with Johnson and Janousek the second to last boat to be pulled into the tent.

The tent boat entry was accompanied by blaring music as the anglers threw gifts from their boat.

As Johnson and Janousek's fish were pulled from their live well and raised for the crowd, it became clear they were contenders. The second place team, Dale Labelle and Karl Howells waited on stage until the weight from Johnson and Janousek bag sent them from the stage. Labelle and Howells took second with a total weight of 28.57 pounds.

Janousek credited his partner, Johnson, a veteran tournament smallmouth angler and former International Falls resident.

"There's been six touranments on the Minnesota side and he's won 50 percent of them. He's the guy to have in the boat with you."

Slurpies and stick worms were the bait of the day Saturday.

"The secret was running around, fishing a lot of spots and looking for the big ones," Johnson said.

Johnson spent four days vacationing on the lake, fishing walleye and smallmouth and then concentrated for a few days before the tournament on smallmouth. "We had a great time," he said.

Johnson, a competative angler, said he was happy with his team's peformance. "Whenever I come here, I want to win," Johnson said. "I don't want to get second place. I want to win. I put a lot of pressure on myself here. It worked out this time."

On Friday, Johnson noted that the team's first fish -- one of their biggest -- jumped three feet into the air at the boat and netting made the difference.

"The bait went flying and John caught the fish in the net," Johnson said. "So that was a good way to start the day," he said. "The fish was over 3 pounds."

The team came in eleventh place in the 2005 event.

Fishing the International Falls Bass Championship "was a riot," said Johnson. "It's very well run, a super time and I couldn't ask for anything better."

Chip Leer, himself an accomplished angler, again served as emcee of the event. He said the fishing and the tournament itself were exceptional.

"It's the commitment by these core group of volunteers that are here that is really overhwhelming. These guys are putting in a lot of time and effort and they deeply care about how this tournament comes off. They're looking for ways to improve and this is hard to improve. It's rocking."

"The fish caught got bigger -- so we set new big fish records, the size of the bags got bigger -- so we set new size bag records for the lake and river, and overall record for combined weight," he said. "As these better anglers fish the event for a longer period of time, they understand the water system better, the river better, the lake better, and it's going to force them to be better and we're going to end up raising the bar and see more fish, bigger fish, better fish for years to come."

Leer said he had a blast. "It was the first time I did a drive through finish," he said. "It worked out great. I love this town."

Leer says he probably put more time in watching people fish during the event than anybody else, but promised to wet a line at next year's event.

Meanwhile, last year's top team, Scott Dingwall and Jeff Gustafson thought they had a shot at first place for a while, as they took the stage with a total weight of 26.62 pounds. But Labelle and Howells bumped them from the stage after weighing in. Dingwall and Gustafson ended the tournament in third place.

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Great job guyz! And thx for the beer! I'll be gunnin' fer ya next year! KT

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Congrats guys! Those are some nice smallies!

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Congrats John and Chad! I knew you guys would put one together sometime. You are usually in the running each year. Nice Job!

Jason Erlandson

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Are these 2 FM regulars?

If so what are are there screen names?

Either way good job guys.

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Yes. We'd tell ya but then we'd have to kill ya.

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LOL, funny Rick very funny. grin.gifgrin.gif

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Nice job John and Chad! I hope you rubbed it in a little Norine and the old man, John.

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Thanks a lot guys it was fun to win a big one again.

The town did a great of supporting the event and have really made itinto one of the most fun, best run events i have ever fished.

Any time you get to fish Rainy is fun and winning a tournament at the same time is even better.

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I agree with swapbuck, Chad is the man on the MN side of Rainy Lake, that sucker sure can be fickle for the smallies at times, but he's gotten them good up there a few times. 3 years back he won the MN pro-am out there with a huge back like 8 for 25 lbs and then it dropped into the teens for the rest of the teams. To prove how the MN side can turn on you though there were two seperate tournaments two consecutive days and he had like 3 for 5 lbs the day before!!

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