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Jeff Gustafson - Livewell

Newest outdoors store opens up

In all of the travelling that I do, I get to visit a bunch of fishing tackle shops.

If I see a sign for fishing gear, I’ll usually stop in. Some are great with jigs and lures that might be unique to a specific region, to go along with all the regular stuff that a good tackle store should have.

Others have a less than average selection and are quick in-and-out stops.

Lund tournament trail hitting region

Before we talk about some new fishing tournament information hitting Northwestern Ontario and Manitoba this summer, we’re going to talk crappie fishing.

Spring is one of the best times of the year to locate and catch crappies because for a few weeks they invade the shallows to find warmer water and spawn.

Over the past weekend, my friends reported crappies were starting to show up in shallow water. By this weekend, the crappie fishing should be really good.

First-ever FLW top 10 finish

After a disappointing start to the FLW Tour season, things finally clicked for me last week at Lake Eufaula in Alabama, where I collected my first-ever top 10 finish in an FLW Tour event.

After holding down fourth spot following days two and three, I slipped to fifth place on the final day.

It was a very fun week—from pre-fishing to getting the chance to fish all four days of the tournament.

Walleye weekend in region

For many anglers across Sunset Country, walleyes are the species of choice throughout the open-water season—and for good reason.

In my opinion, we have the best walleye fishing in the world, with countless lakes and rivers that offer world-class fishing for both numbers and big fish.

The third Saturday in May marks the annual walleye season-opener and it’s tradition for many folks to get out in the boat this weekend to catch some fish and cook up a fresh batch.

Hectic tournament season ahead

As the reality of fishing in open water arrived last week, I think it’s safe to say those of us who like to fish were really excited.

For anglers who like to compete in tournaments around the region, there is extra motivation at the thought of a new season.

We have some of the best bass and walleye tournaments in North America right here in Sunset Country in terms of participation, payouts, and quality fishing, but it is a short season so it’s no wonder folks get excited.

Tough weekend at Beaver Lake this time around

The third stop on the FLW Tour took place last week at Beaver Lake in Rogers, Ark. (Rogers is the home base for the Tour’s title sponsor, Walmart, and the FLW makes Beaver an annual stop on its schedule).

My past two trips to this lake went pretty good and I was able to leave with some money. But my luck ran out last week, when I took an 80th-place finish and left with my tail between my legs.

A great day on the Rainy

My column this week is coming from Rogers, Ark., where I’m getting ready for the third FLW Tour stop of the year at Beaver Lake.

Through two days of practice, I haven’t quite figured out how to win this tournament yet. I had one more day to go, then a day off today before the tournament starts tomorrow (April 23).

Last week, I was fortunate to sneak down to the Rainy River on the last day of walleye season with my buddy, Jay Samsal, where we filmed an episode for my TV program, “Fishing with Gussy”

Searching for shed antlers

With the quick warm-up in temperatures over the weekend, the ice on waters across Sunset Country deteriorated very quickly.

By early this week, many of the small lakes were totally open and the ice had pulled away from shore on the bigger ones. So the ice-fishing season quickly came to a halt.

As much as I like to ice-fish, it’s always a good day when the ice no longer is safe because we have so much to look forward to in the coming months in this part of the world.

Catching burbot is plenty of fun

As the ice lingers on lakes across Sunset Country after a cold snap over the past couple of weeks, there is not much else an angler can do except just keep ice-fishing.

Earlier this week, my friend, Sean McAughey, and I got out to chase burbot—a fish species that’s widely available across Northwestern Ontario.

Perhaps better known by other local names such as eel pout, lawyer, or ling cod, these fish are great fighters and pretty good to eat.

Back on track at Lewis Smith Lake

After a tough start to the FLW Tour season down in Florida earlier in March, I had a much better result this past week at Lewis Smith Lake in Alabama.

My 56th place finish narrowly landed me in the money (the top 60) so that made for a good trip!

Lewis Smith Lake is one of the best spotted bass lakes in the southeast United States so I was excited to get fishing out there last week.