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Jeff Gustafson - Livewell

Bass tournament season set to start

It’s that time of year again for bass anglers across Sunset Country—tournament time.

Although the bass season is open year-round, it is a catch-and-release season essentially until July 1, which is the reason there are no tournaments earlier in the year.

But from now through the end of September, there is tournament to fish somewhere in Northwestern Ontario almost every weekend.

Musky season ready to open

Across Northwestern Ontario, we have a lot of anglers who love to fish for the biggest fish in our lakes.

Muskies also attract many anglers to Sunset Country because we have some of the top waters in the world for both numbers of fish and truly big fish.

In fact, there’s a good chance the next world record could come from Lake of the Woods, Rainy Lake, Eagle Lake, or one of many others in our part of the world that have a reputation for kicking out big fish.

Walleye fishing now heating up

Since we’re finally ice-free across Sunset Country, anglers are able to get out in the boat to catch some fish.

After a long winter, it’s a welcome activity for many of us.

Since I’ve been on the road for most of the past month, I’ve not been fishing much around home. But I’ve been getting some good reports from some of my friends.

I’m down in Alabama this week getting ready for an FLW Tour bass tournament on Pickwick Lake, but I’m looking forward to getting out on Lake of the Woods next week when I return home!

Road trippin’ in B.C.

There certainly are some benefits to being self-employed and working within the fishing industry.

Along with my wife, August, we get to go on some awesome trips—mostly fishing-related in some way or another.

Over the winter, Shelley Bujold and Jack Dawson from CJBN in Kenora reached out to B.C. Tourism to see if they had any interest in us heading out there to film a couple of episodes of “Fishing with Gussy.”

Second-place finish at Sturgeon Bay

The 24th-annual Sturgeon Bay Open bass tournament took place this past weekend in eastern Wisconsin on Lake Michigan and it was well-attended by Sunset Country anglers.

A big event much like the KBI and FFCBC, the Sturgeon Bay Open attracts teams from across the U.S. Midwest and Canada because of the monster smallmouth bass that are caught there each May.

With the exception of last year, when I missed it because of an FLW event scheduled on the same weekend, Kenora angler Dave Bennett and I have fished the Open together since 2006.

Keep an eye out for tagged fish

Although it certainly doesn’t happen every day, if you fish enough, chances are you’ll eventually catch a tagged fish.

The tags—typically small yellow plastic pieces that are attached to the dorsal fin area of the fish—are used by natural resource agencies to measure the health and age structure of a fishery, among other things.

Around home, I’ve caught tagged bass on Lake of the Woods and Rainy Lake. I also have caught a couple of tagged lake trout on Lake of the Woods.

Some ideas for summer jobs

Now that things are starting to finally thaw out and the end of the school year is in sight, it’s prime time for students who like to be outdoors to find a good summer job.

When I was in high school and university, I worked at a number of resorts and fishing camps around Lake of the Woods, Rainy Lake, and even at a couple of fly-in outfits.

I wanted to be a fishing guide and would work as many days as I could over the season at these places.

Throughout my time in school, I did not work anywhere else but at these various resorts.

Lots to keep busy during downtime

For all the anglers out there, this time of year always offers up a bit of a breather.

Sure, you can find a place to walk out on the ice to fish for lake trout, or search for those first bits of open water and get a boat wet. But for the most part, we are in a two-week span where fishing takes a break.

Since fishing is my focus for so much of the year, I enjoy the downtime.

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.