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Jeff Gustafson - Livewell

What about this snow?

Before I went up to Winnipeg last week for the Mid-Canada Boat Show, I got out fishing for an afternoon with some friends from Michigan that were passing through town.

Because of the cold weather and snow conditions I was not that excited about going fishing but I promised them a few weeks earlier that I would take them out.

We left from my house on snowmobiles and had a four or five kilometre ride out to where I wanted to fish at a main lake hump on Lake of the Woods.

Mid-Canada Boat Show set to go

After several weeks of being on the road, it was nice to return home last week to get back to some sort of routine and see my friends and family.

The weather has not greeted me all that well, with a bunch of snow to plow and frigid temperatures again this week, but hopefully the end is near with the harsh winter weather.

Conditions on lakes across Northwestern Ontario are not all that great right now if you like to ice-fish. Deep snow has created slush all over the place, causing havoc for snowmobiles and trucks alike.

The roller-coaster of fishing

The highs of competing in sports are a big part of the appeal to why we participate in them. It feels good to win, whether as part of a team or individually.

Of course, for every winner, there is always a loser—often many of them. Sometimes pride can be taken from a hard-fought loss but sometimes the feeling after a loss is helplessness.

Tough start in season opener

It was not the start to the Bassmaster Elite Series season that I was hoping for this past weekend at the St. John's River in Florida. After two days of fishing, I landed myself a 61st-place finish in the 75-angler field.

It was a really rough first day, when I only managed to put two bass in the boat and found myself sitting in 69th place. Day 2 went better as I wrangled up a five-fish limit weighing 14 pounds, nine oz. to save a few points at least.

Eager to make my Bassmaster debut

It's the start of a new chapter in my fishing career down in Florida this week with the first Bassmaster Elite Series event of 2019 taking place at the St. John's River.

After six seasons fishing the FLW Tour, I have changed things up this year and will fish the Bassmaster Elite Series.

While the format is similar between to two circuits, there are some differences that I'm excited about. For instance, there only are 75 anglers competing on the Elite Series, which will be a pleasure compared to the 185 anglers that I fished against last year on the FLW Tour.

Goal is to survive first event in Florida

In preparation for the upcoming start of the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament season next week at the St. Johns River in Florida, my fiancée, Shelby, and I decided we had experienced enough of the cold weather in Northwestern Ontario and so we hit the road last week and got down to Florida a little bit early.

While I know I'm not going to get any sympathy from anybody at home about the weather in Florida, I can tell you it's cold down here, as well! That just means tough fishing in my world.

Taking on frigid weather

The Arctic deep freeze that has camped out over much of Canada over the past week is pretty standard for January, especially here in Northwestern Ontario.

Enjoying outdoor activities when it's blistering cold like it has been recently is tough. But if you dress properly, you still can have some fun outside.

Big lakes versus the small ones

Across Sunset Country, we are blessed with more water than most places in North America.

Minnesota boasts about having 10,000 lakes. Well, Sunset Country has more than 75,000 bodies of water! And all of that water means we have many options for places to fish on lakes both small and large.

What about perch?

When I was a kid, I was taught that you were to never get caught dead with a perch in your bucket or on your stringer. I learned this from my Dad and his fishing buddies.

Perch were for the seagulls and eagles in the open water, and for the foxes that would come around out on the ice in the winter.

It was different back then because people simply didn't know any better. Catch-and-release still was a foreign concept to most anglers. If they caught a big fish of any species, they were bringing it home to show their friends and family—that's the way it was.

Angler resolutions for 2019

Around this time every year, it's safe to say most people at least consider some sort of New Year's resolution, which could be to make themselves more fit, to eat healthier foods, or simply to better their life.

As someone who constantly is thinking about fishing, and how to have better results on each outing, I know there are plenty of small things I can do to improve my results. So my resolutions each year usually are related to being a better angler.