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Jeff Gustafson - Livewell

Spring is on its way

With the warmer weather that finally showed up this past weekend across Sunset Country, it finally feels like spring is just around the corner.

The snow took a pretty good hit these past few days and it actually was nice to be outside after many months of nasty winter weather.

It’s about time!

This is one of my favourite times of the entire year, likely because we have so much to look forward to in this part of the world. Our summers are some of the nicest on the planet—at least if you like to participate in outdoor activities.

Good way to end trip

The fourth FLW Tour event of the six-event season took place this past weekend at Beaver Lake in Rogers, Ark.

After a tough start to the season for me, with triple-digit finishes at the first two events, I was looking to start some sort of streak of finishing in the money after a decent tournament two weeks ago at the Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Texas.

The Rogers area is corporate home to Walmart, the title sponsor of the FLW Tour, and Beaver Lake has been a stop on the Tour for 15 of the past 16 years.

Redemption down in Texas

Heading into the third FLW Tour stop of the season this past weekend at the Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Texas, I have to admit I was feeling a little bit of pressure to put up a good finish.

My results in the first two events were not good—finishing in the triple digits at both.

With social media and the Internet, it’s easy for everybody to follow along with these events. The support I get from everybody up north is incredible, but I also feel some pressure to do well for everyone back home.

Fishing exhibit a real catch

Growing up in Kenora, one place that I always got really excited to visit when I was a kid was the Lake of the Woods Museum, located at the south end of Main Street.

When I was in school, I always liked history class, especially Canadian history and how people used to live off the land.

I think I would have liked living during the fur trade era, or during the early days of settlement around Lake of the Woods.

Humble pie in South Carolina

It was a large slice of humble pie for me this past weekend down at Lake Hartwell in South Carolina—the second stop on the FLW Tour for 2014.

My 148th-place finish probably was the worst tournament finish I think I’ve ever had, at least that I can remember.

If I did finish worse than that at some point, I can guarantee you I forgot about it already!

Obviously I’m very disappointed. The worst part is that I feel like I let down all of my friends, sponsors, and supporters at home who follow these events.

Prepping to tackle Lake Hartwell

This is officially the worst winter ever! That is the only way I can describe it in a non-offensive way.

Over the past weekend, my parents sent me a photo of the seven-foot tall snow banks in their front yard. It’s depressing.

Down in South Carolina, where I am this week getting ready for the second FLW Tour bass tournament of the year at Lake Hartwell, we are feeling the effects of the cold weather from up north.

Really enjoyed being at ‘Classic’

After a quick week at home, I was back on the road late last week and had an eventful weekend attending my first Bassmaster Classic tournament in Birmingham, Ala.

The Bassmaster Classic is the biggest bass tournament in the world, hands down. It is the year-end championship of the Bassmaster Elite Series that includes a handful of anglers who qualify through other avenues.

It has a lot of history, and has changed the lives of many anglers over the years who have been fortunate to win the event.

Nice to be back on ice

After spending a few weeks in south Florida, it was back to reality (and winter) for me this past week.

Other than the foot of snow that had piled up in my driveway, it was nice to be home. Although this winter has been long, with no end in sight, I do like the opportunity to ride my snowmobile and go ice-fishing.

Season 3 of my TV program “Fishing with Gussy” started airing in January. We shot all of these shows over the past open-water season, but we still were a couple of shows short of a full season of 13 episodes so we’re on the ice this week playing catch up.

Tough lessons on Lake Okeechobee

The 2014 FLW Tour kicked off last weekend down at Lake Okeechobee in Florida.

After spending the past few weeks in Florida, essentially preparing for this event, my results in the tournament ended up being quite disappointing.

My three-day practice for this tournament went okay but not great. I did catch a few nice bass, but they were random and I was not able to put much of a pattern together on where I was catching fish.

All set to start season

Those of you back home reading my column probably have heard enough about all the fishing that I’ve been doing in warm and sunny Florida over the past couple of weeks, but that’s what I’ve been doing.

The first bass tournament of the 2014 FLW Tour season starts this week on massive Lake Okeechobee, so I’ve been spending my time this week trying to figure out how to catch big bass before the tournament starts tomorrow (Feb. 6).