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Jeff Gustafson - Livewell

Luring in family makes for a better fishing trip

My wife and I are fortunate to live about 15 kilometers outside of Kenora and for the most part, we love it.

Throughout the year, our spot keeps us close to nature and the outdoors, we have access to a small lake for kayak fishing in the summer and quick access to Lake of the Woods, where we like to fish most often. The downside to living where we do is having to travel into town during snow storms or to pick up simple supplies when we need them.

Corona virus leaves nothing untouched - even bass tournaments

Following the Bassmaster Classic tournament last week in Alabama, my wife Shelby and I headed east to South Carolina to spend a couple of days at Santee Copper Reservoir where I have a tournament scheduled for later in April. We have three Bassmaster Elite Series events booked over the next five weeks so my plan was to stay down south to fish the tournaments, do some fun fishing and take in a few tourist activities in between before heading home.

Classic experience amazing

My first Bassmaster Classic experience over the past week in Birmingham, Alabama was pretty amazing. Although my results were not great, finishing 31st out of a field of 53 anglers, the whole week will go down as one of the highlights of my fishing career. A lot of great memories were made.

Getting to compete in the Superbowl event in bass fishing was a dream come true for a guy from Kenora. Having followed professional bass fishing since I was a little kid, I didn't really know if I would ever get the opportunity to compete in this tournament.

Chasing Lake Trout

A couple of weeks back I was supposed to be fishing in a bass tournament at Lake Chickamauga in Tennessee, the second stop of the 2020 season on the Bassmaster Elite Series. The tournament was scheduled the week after our first event down in Florida but while I was driving up to Tennessee from Florida I got word that the tournament would be postponed until later in March due to heavy rains and flooding of the lake creating an unsafe environment.

Nice to Be Home

The few weeks that I got to spend down in Florida recently was a nice break from our long Canadian winter. But after being home for a week or so, I can tell you it's nice to be back. I like that we get four seasons here in Northwest Ontario and the winter really makes me appreciate how truly perfect our summers are. You could not pay me to live anywhere else in the summer.

Big Bass saves the tournament

One thing about competitive fishing is you just never know what kind of conditions will be put in front of you in a tournament. The first Bassmaster Elite Series event of the season took place this past weekend on the St. John's River in Florida and we were faced with multiple cancelled days due to weather.

Back at the pro circuit on the St. John's River

After a couple weeks of having fun down here in Florida, it's time to get serious this week as the 2020 Bassmaster Elite Series kicks off on the St. John's River. It feels pretty good to be back in a boat, I can tell you that. Fishing in Florida is fun because of the opportunity to catch giant bass but I don't have the best tournament history down here.

Since I started fishing these pro tournaments in 2012 I think I have done well in three out of eight tournaments that I have fished down in the Sunshine State.


As anglers we all have bucket list places where we would love to go fishing. Heck, I have several. Salmon fishing in Alaska, lake trout on Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories, maybe peacock bass fishing in Brazil. This past weekend my wife Shelby and I had the opportunity to visit Scott and Nancy Bonnema, our friends from Minnesota, who spend the winter down in the Florida Keys. As far as saltwater fishing goes, the Keys are definitely on that list as well.

Back in the boat again

After several weeks of preparations to my fishing gear and a new boat I finally got to hit the road for Florida late last week to get ready for my upcoming bass tournament season. After some great winter weather over the holidays, when the recent cold snap hit, it was time for me to head south.

Fun with Winter Perch

This story has been told before in past columns, but as a kid growing up around Lake of the Woods there was not a chance that my Dad or his buddies would ever get caught dead with a perch on their stringer or in their bucket. The perception was that perch were no good - they had worms, they were small and they were no good to eat.