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Jeff Gustafson - Livewell

Getting tuned up at Lake Travis

After a week of fun fishing in Texas between the first two stops on the 2017 FLW Tour, it was back to the grind for me at Lake Travis in south-central Texas before the second tournament of the season starts later this week.

The FLW Tour has strict rules regarding who we are allowed to pre-fish with during the three-day official practice before the tournament starts. We only are allowed to be in the boat with co-anglers who are registered in the event or immediate family members.

Good start to FLW season in Alabama

The 2017 FLW Tour bass tournament season got underway this past weekend down at Lake Guntersville, Alabama.

Although it was some of the toughest fishing that I've encountered in my travels south over the past five years competing in these events, I was very fortunate to leave Guntersville with a solid 22nd-place finish.

In these tournaments, anglers bring in five-fish limits each day and over the two days of the tournament that I fished, I only caught five keeper-sized fish each day, which had to be at least 15 inches in length. So I was pretty fortunate.

A new season starts in Alabama

After months of planning and preparation, the 2017 FLW Tour bass tournament season starts this week at Lake Guntersville, Ala.

Some 165 anglers are fishing the circuit this year and everybody is looking to get off to a good start, with the end goal for most anglers being to qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup in August.

There are seven regular-season events this year—up from the six events that we have fished the past few years.

Southward bound

For the past five years around this time in late January, it's become a tradition for me to hook up my truck and boat and head south.

I'm very fortunate to be able to chase a dream that I've had since I was a youngster of making a living as a professional bass tournament angler on the FLW Tour.

Lake trout tips, tricks

When people think ice-fishing in January, lake trout come to mind first for many of the serious anglers out there.

Sure, we all get out and catch walleye, crappie, and whitefish in January, but the lake trout season opens annually on Jan. 1 and we have more great lake trout water across Sunset Country than anywhere in Canada.

Further adding to the appeal is lake trout prefer cold water and are eager to bite throughout the ice season.

Snow affecting ice conditions

Last week, it was mentioned on the radio that we had a record amount of snowfall for the month of December in the Kenora area.

That was before the big dump we got just after New Year’s, so we certainly are experiencing a real Canadian winter thus far because we’re getting plenty of cold weather mixed in, as well.

For those of us who enjoy the outdoors, it influences our activities and certainly has effects on wildlife across the region.

Year of fishing thrills

Every day that I wake up, I always give a quick thought to how lucky I am to be able to be my own boss and make my living through all of the different fishing and outdoor activities I participate in.

Over the last few years, I’ve been able to travel all over North America to go fishing, whether it is competing in a tournament, filming a TV show, or documenting a trip through a writing project.

Finally ice-fishing

After our first good cold snap of the winter a couple weeks ago, lakes across Northwestern Ontario finally are frozen after an unseasonably warm fall.

For those of us who enjoy ice-fishing, a new season is now upon us.

Ice conditions early in the season can be tougher to predict because the ice simply hasn’t had a lot of time to form. But it is typically good, strong ice since it has not been through any melting stages yet.

It is recommended there should be at least four inches of ice for walking, eight inches for a snowmobile, and 14 inches for a truck.

Love late-season moose hunting

In what has become a tradition over the past decade for me and my friends, we took our annual late-season moose hunting trip up north last week for the last few days of the 2016 Ontario rifle season.

We like the late-season hunting because we can use snowmobiles to get around and access remote areas while the cold weather gets the moose up on their feet and moving around a little more than earlier in the fall.

What’s new in ice-fishing gear

Ice-fishing really has evolved over the past couple of decades when you consider that we’ve gone from sitting on a bucket using tree branches for strike indicators to having insulated portable shelters, power augers, and high-end graphite rods.

The annual St. Paul Ice Show took place this past weekend and it is the place to see all of the new stuff that becomes available to anglers each season.

It’s a show I’ve attended nearly every year since 2005 and one I always look forward to checking out.