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Jeff Gustafson - Livewell

Another Forrest Wood Cup in the books

When everything wrapped up over the weekend at Lake Ouachita and Hot Springs, Ark., it could be called one of the hottest, toughest weeks of fishing I've ever seen.

In the end, Alabama angler Clent Davis rallied from 10th place on the final day with the largest catch of the tournament to claim the $300,000 first-place prize. His three-day total of 36 pounds was seven pounds more than his nearest competitor!

Off again to vie for the Forrest Wood Cup

As the Kenora Bass International tournament goes into its 31st year this weekend on Lake of the Woods, I will be down in Arkansas once again competing in the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita.

While I will miss fishing the KBI and competing against all of my buddies, getting to fish in Arkansas this week is something I worked towards all season on the FLW Tour so it's all good.

Some 56 anglers will be fishing in the Forrest Wood Cup this week and the winner is going to take home a $300,000 payday!

Fishing on the Winnipeg River

Growing up Northwest Ontario is pretty awesome if you like to fish because of all the great waters that we have just outside our doors.

I grew up in Kenora but up until a few years ago I had never really fished on the Winnipeg River, mostly because I was a Lake of the Woods guy. My family had a cabin on the lake and I worked at many of the resorts out there for years while I was in high school and through my university years.

Busy week for bass anglers

It will be another busy weekend for bass anglers across the Sunset Country region with tournaments going on in both Kenora and Fort Frances. The 24th-annual Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship is set to kick off tomorrow morning on Rainy Lake while up in Kenora, the Bronzeback Classic is taking place out on Lake of the Woods.

It is unfortunate that these events happen over the same weekend every year because those of us who love to compete in these tournaments have to choose one or the other. Both are great events and the fishing is equally good at both lakes.

Good weekend on Shoal Lake

Two bass tournaments and a walleye tournament took place across Sunset Country over the past weekend and despite some strong winds on Saturday, it was a pretty nice weekend to be in the boat.

My pal, Karl Engstrom, and I teamed for the Shoal Lake Bass Classic and ended up having a couple of pretty good days en route to winning the tournament.

Our limits of 16.30 and 16.00 gave us a total of 32.30 pounds, which was enough to edge the two teams that tied for second—John Frost/Jamie Bruce and Jayden Symonds/Ian Waterer, who each had 31.70.

Final stop on FLW Tour

The seventh and final stop of the FLW Tour regular season takes place this week at Lake St. Clair, along the Michigan/Ontario border, which is one of the best smallmouth lakes in North America.

When the schedule was announced last summer, this was the lake that excited me the most because it's not very often we get to fish on these northern smallmouth lakes, where I am a lot more comfortable than I am on the southern lakes we frequent.

Early season great for musky fishing

The third Saturday in June marked the opening of musky season across Sunset Country.

Following along on some of my friends' social media feeds over the weekend, it looked like the musky fishing was pretty good as plenty of nice fish were popping up, which is nice to see.

Through my high school and university years, I spent my summers guiding at several different resorts around the region. Because I liked to fish in as many of the tournaments as I could, I used to work at different resorts, filling in whenever they had a busy week and needed the help.

Shore lunch in Sunset Country a real treat

During the years that I was in high school and then university, I spent my summers working at tourist resorts around the region as a fishing guide.

It's been around 20 years since I did my first trip out at Ash Rapids Lodge on Lake of the Woods and since that time, I've cooked hundreds of shore lunches—the highlight of the trip for many visitors to our region.

Spring great for crappie hunting

Outside of a few weeks in the spring when crappies move to shallow water to spawn, they spend the rest of the year in deeper water.

They seem to disappear over the summer months, when they suspend in deeper weeds and simply are hard to find.

In the fall and winter, however, they group up in deeper holes and basins, where huge populations of these panfish are easy to find with our electronics.