2007 Tournament of Champions
September 6-7

Tournament Director: Peter Perovich

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Chad Kastenbauer Wins 2007 Minnesota B.A.S.S. Nation Championship

September 7, 2007
Walker, MN

Minnesota's best amateur bass anglers tackled the huge waters of Leech Lake for the Minnesota B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Tournament of Champions (TOC) two-day event. 144 anglers from 30 different clubs competed for the top 12 spots to advance to next year's divisional tournament, which will comprise the best anglers from seven other states: Wisconsin, Indiana, South Dakota, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, and Ohio. Not only were individual honors at stake but the 30 clubs were completing for a top 6 finish so their club could advance to next year's Bass Club World Championships.

Day one went like clockwork as all anglers were on the lake by 7:30 a.m. The perfect weather proved to be an advantage as large bags were brought to the weigh-in stage. One bag weight broke the Federation record for a day's catch; as day one leader Nicholas Gross from Granite City Bassmasters brought in five bass weighing a whopping 21.04 lbs. He was followed by Grant Lohre of Classic Seven Bassmasters at 20.30 lbs, Brian Blaeser of 10,000 Lakes at 19.40 lbs, Jim Severson of 10,000 Lakes at 18.16 lbs, and Chad Kastenbauer of Loon State at 18.10 lbs. Overall day 1 yielded 699 bass weighing 1989.38 pounds, which equates to a 2.85 per bass average. While Leech is renowned as a muskie fishery, those numbers obviously show that Leech Lake is also one of the Minnesota's premiere bass fisheries.

Heading into day two, the weather had changed overnight. Everyone got a late start due to the winds and it made fishing very tough. Chad Kastenbauer and Brian Bleaser held off the other anglers, including Chris Jung, who made an aggressive charge for first place with his 19.30 lb bag. While Chris didn't take the overall lead, he did take the day 2 and overall TOC big bass at 6.08 lbs. The remaining divisional team qualifiers are (in order of finish): Rich Lindgren - Gopher Bassmasters, Dean Capra - 10,000 Lakes, Rick Billings - Zumbro Valley Bassmasters, Bob Sandquist - Central MN Bassmaster, Jeremy Crawford - Wright County Bassmasters, Bill Ludenia - DH Bassmasters, Rick Hemeseth - Upper Iowa Bassmasters, Chuck Steinbauer - Baxter Bass Snatchers, Nick Gross - Granite City Bassmasters, Ryan Brant - Gopher Bassmasters.

Classic Seven Bassmasters was the sponsoring club and raised money for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Walker & Longville, and also collected financial donations to help Ed Bogen's' family. Tournament director, Peter Perovich said "the guys really stepped up and help make things work at Leech Lake so give Classic Seven club a big pat on the back - good job guys!" Steve Soukup of Skeeter Boats performed as Master of Ceremonies at Horsehoe Bay Resort, tournament headquarters. "The staff was first class and always there when anyone needed them" said Peter Perovich. He also wanted to express "a great big thank you goes to Ron & Sandy, Julie, and Rachel, and the rest of their wonderful staff for hosting the event".

Peter Perovich stated "a really fun thing about the Minnesota B.A.S.S. Federation Nation State Championship is that we get to give back to the community. Our sponsors really pitched in for our raffle with all the proceeds going to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Walker & Longville." Peter thanks the "women behind the scenes" Kathy Ludenia, Lois Steinbaur, Joan Lindgren, Linda Richardson, Kim Berg, and Felicita Montalvo who kept our scoreboard and paperwork in order which led to a smoothly run tournament. Accolades also go out to Mark Gomez for his assistance with the Alternates tournament, Paul Perovich who spent all week and helped out anyway he could, the Alternate workers, and last but not least Sally Perovich. A tremendous amount of planning and work went into this event. Former tournament director, Dale Richardson, said "it was one of the best TOCs ever".

Sponsors were Bass Boat Saver, Capra’s Sporting Goods, Checker Auto Parts, Denny’s Restaurants, Fig Rig Rods, Gopher Tackle Company, Horseshoe Bay Resort, John Roberts Printing, Minn Kota, MG Lures, Mojo Rods, Nelson Numeric, Northland Tackle Company, Reeds Sporting Goods, Sure-Life Laboratories fish release formulas, and Turn In Poachers.

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