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Jeff Gustafson - Livewell

25th KBI in the books

When the Kenora Bass International tournament began back in 1988, I don’t think that Doug Bishop and the rest of his crew who started the event really pictured what the Harbourfront in Kenora would look like on the second weekend in August a quarter-century later.

I do know that they would be proud if they were there this past Saturday because it was quite a sight to see the new White Cap Pavilion Tent absolutely packed for the final weigh-in.

A little about Lake of the Woods

This weekend is going to be a special one for bass anglers across the region as the Shaw Kenora Bass International tournament starts tomorrow (Aug. 9) on Lake of the Woods.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Sunset Country’s original bass tournament. When the KBI started back in 1988, organizers initially wanted to run a walleye tournament on the lake but at the recommendation of Gord Pyzer and other Ministry of Natural Resources employees, a bass tournament was started.

The rest is history.

Long-time FFCBC ‘bridesmaids’ finally come through

Anglers from all over North America converged on Rainy Lake last week for the 18th-annual Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship presented by Sunset Country Ford.

And as is usually the case at this premier fishing tournament, everything went great throughout the entire weekend.

When everything was said and done Saturday afternoon, it was the American duo of Mark Raveling and Mike Luhman who stood atop the leaderboard.

Father-son duo dominate at Bronzeback Classic

The sixth-annual KMTS Bronzeback Classic bass tournament took place this past weekend on Lake of the Woods.

Anglers were faced with some great weather over the weekend—and plenty of nice smallmouth bass were brought to the scales.

Although the bite was off a little bit for most of us who competed in the tournament, the father-and-son team of Jeff and Scott Dingwall weighed in 31.56 pounds to win by about two pounds in a dominating performance.

Long-sought win for my dad

The annual Shoal Lake Big Bass Classic was a special one for me this past weekend because I got to watch my dad, Jim Gustafson, and his partner, Dean Smith, whup everybody to win the tournament after fishing in it together for many years.

In fact, it was my dad who mentioned after the tournament that although he has a number of second- and third-place finishes, it was his first victory since he started fishing in bass tournaments 19 years ago.

It was in 1993 that he took me in the KBI for the first time (I was 10 years old) and we have never looked back.

Another great time at ‘Castin’ for Cash’

The 12th-annual “Castin’ for Cash” bass tournament took place this past weekend and it was another successful event. Put on by Bill and Nell Godin, who own Lake Despair Lodge, this has become a very popular event with area anglers. It’s a fun chain of lakes to fish and the atmosphere at the resort is always great. Some familiar faces ended up on top of the leaderboard come Saturday afternoon as the husband-and-wife team of Wayne and Pat Howard whupped everybody to become two-time winners of this tournament.

Bass tourney season is here

This is always one of my favourite weeks of the year. The first week in July is significant because bass tournament season is here. It’s no secret that I live for fishing these events. Big or small, I love the competition and I really enjoy the camaraderie with all the anglers and volunteers at these events. July is going to be a busy month for me as I’m fishing tournaments four weekends in a row starting this weekend at Lake Despair in the annual Castin’ For Cash event. Put on by Bill and Nell Godin at their resort on the lake.

Big Manitoba cats

The best thing about working on this fishing show that I have teamed up to do with CJBN is that it encourages me to fish more different places.

The reality is there isn’t a lot of reason to leave Sunset Country or even Lake of the Woods or Rainy Lake, my two favourite bodies of water.

I say it all the time; we have the best multi-species fishing opportunities in the World right at our doorstep.

There is one species we don’t have, however—the mighty channel catfish.

Walleye weekend in Dryden

Anglers from across Sunset Country converged on Dryden over the weekend for the Shaw Dryden Walleye Masters tournament on Wabigoon Lake.

It was a Father’s Day to remember Sunday for the Dryden duo of Michael and Stephen Cortens as the father and son captured the 23rd edition of the tournament. They brought in 10 walleye for a two-day total of 27.42 pounds to edge Michael and Alfred Parenteau, also of Dryden, who finished with 26.84 pounds.

Out and about on the water

With all the great weather we’ve had recently, it’s safe to say that summer is here.

Hopefully, everybody has been able to get out on the water and take in some of the great fishing we have across the Sunset Country region.

I spend most of my days in June guiding anglers from all over the place who come to visit our area. It allows me to spend a bunch of time on the water and it keeps the cash flow going before I get busy fishing in tournaments later in the season.