You are here

Jeff Gustafson - Livewell

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.

Warmer weather heats up fishing

After the long winter we experienced this year, the nice weather across Northwestern Ontario over the past week sure has been a pleasure.

Hopefully it's a sign of what's to come over the next few months.

As water temperatures have increased rapidly over the past week, so has the fishing action for most species as the warmer water has improved activity levels and brought more fish into shallower water where anglers have easier access to them.

Gearing up for opening weekend

Saturday is a big day for anglers across Sunset Country as it marks the opening weekend of a new walleye season.

It's a busy weekend on area waters as many folks are itching to get back in the boat after a long winter. The appeal of a feed of fresh walleye always runs high this time of year, as well!

Here are a few tips to put a few whitetails in the boat this weekend.

Prime time to hit woods for shed hunting

Around this time every year, there is a lot of anticipation to get the boat in the water and start a new fishing season. More open water is popping up every day if you want to wet a line.

But for those of you who are happy to simply spend time being outside, now is prime time to hit the woods in search of shed deer antlers—one of my favourite springtime activities.

Back in the money at Smith Lake stop

The second of two FLW Tour tournaments over a three-week span took place this past weekend at Lewis Smith Lake in Alabama.

Lewis Smith is a lake that I've visited twice in the past so I had some experience to go off of, and things went pretty well en route to a 29th-place finish.

My goal heading into this tournament was to finish in the top 60 and earn some money, as well as points towards qualifying for the Forrest Wood Cup, especially after my 125th-place bomb in the last event.

Small victory at Lake Cumberland

After a very tough three-day practice last week prior to the Lake Cumberland FLW Tour bass tournament down in Kentucky, my expectations were not that great heading into the event.

However, I was confident I would be able to put something together in the tournament and find a way to have a good finish if I just put my head down and worked hard.

Unfortunately, on the first day of the tournament last Thursday, things went about as bad as they could have gone and I ended up with a small five-fish limit weighing 6.12 pounds, landing me in 156th place in the 180-boat field.

Tough days of practice

My column is coming in late this week because I just finished up the three-day practice for the Lake Cumberland FLW Tour event this week in Kentucky.

It probably has been the toughest practice I've had since I started fishing these tournaments back in 2012, and the dark-to-dark fishing had me physically and mentally exhausted this week.

So I forgot to get my column done when I normally do.

Will winter ever come to an end this year?

As I lifted a walleye out of my hole in the ice over the weekend, I decided that would be it for me for the day.

It was my fourth “keeper” fish of the morning, making my limit, so I had accomplished what I had set out to do—catch a few fish for dinner.

A couple of friends had called earlier in the morning about going out fishing, so I said I would go (although to be honest, the four feet of ice we still have and the freezing temperatures kind of had me feeling like staying in the house might be a better idea).

Fisheries conference a learning experience

Growing up, fishing has always been the activity that I have been most interested in since I was six or seven years old.

I was fortunate that my family had a camp out on Lake of the Woods, in Echo Bay, on the west end of the lake.

The camp was in close proximity to Shoal Lake and the Clytie Bay Landing at the north end of Shoal Lake was only a five minute drive down the road so in addition to getting to fish on Lake of the Woods, I was introduced to Shoal Lake and the excellent fishing out there at a young age.