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Jeff Gustafson - Livewell

Hot largemouth bite on Shoal Lake

The second-last Sunset Country bass tournament of the year took place last weekend at Shoal Lake as 37 teams participated in the annual Last Chance Bass Classic.

Shoal Lake is one of the best bass fisheries we have in Northwestern Ontario because of its clear water and relative remoteness.

My friend, Dennis Favreau, and I have fished the “Last Chance” tournament together since 2001—and have had a lot of fun over the years.

Musky fishing pays off

This past week, I got a nice break from bass fishing before the last two tournaments of the year that are going to take place over the next couple of weekends.

It’s nice for me because I’m kind of rejuvenated to get back at it.

Last week, I spent a few days musky fishing on Lake of the Woods, which was something I’ve not done a lot of over the past few years.

Finally victorious at ‘Bassin’ tourney

Back in 1996, two of Sioux Narrows’ most passionate and successful bass anglers came up with the idea to have a tournament on the second weekend in September.

Former Kenora Bass International champions Chris Bell and Mel Giesbrecht figured it was a way to give businesses in the town an extra weekend of action late in the season, as well as showcase the excellent fishing opportunities around the Sioux Narrows area of Lake of the Woods.

More to tourneys than just fishing

The Sunset Country bass tournament circuit is back in action this weekend as 120 teams are signed up to participate in the 17th-annual “Bassin’ For Bucks” tournament on Lake of the Woods at Sioux Narrows.

I’m writing my column this week from a sweet cabin overlooking the lake at Crawford’s Camp in Sioux Narrows.

August and I, along with several of our friends, have stayed at Crawford’s for the past few years. Owned by our good friends, Matt Rydberg and his mom, Millie, it is centrally-located on the water in the heart of Sioux Narrows.

Falls bass tourney a stiff test

The ninth-annual International Falls Bass Championship took place this past weekend over the border on the U.S. side of Rainy Lake and the Rainy River.

This tournament has a unique format in that it puts anglers on two different bodies of water over two days, so it’s a stiff test for anglers to catch big bass under totally different conditions each day.

Another KBI in the books

The 26th-annual Kenora Bass International tournament took place over the weekend on Lake of the Woods with 130 teams participating in this year’s event.

Though my first tournament was way back in 1993, fishing my Dad, since 2000 I have been partnered up with my good friend, Chris Savage.

We have had some great tournaments over the years, including wins in 2000 and 2008.

This year, things got off to a great start. We caught what turned out to be the largest catch of the tournament on Day 1, 19.78 pounds, to take the early lead.

Mixed bag usually wins KBI

When anglers hit the water this week for the 2013 edition of the Kenora Bass International, there will be several strategies being employed by teams to try and win the three-day event.

Lake of the Woods is a very large, diverse fishery and the options really are endless for teams as they try to find the area of the lake that’s holding the winning fish.

There are areas of clear water, dark water, shallow and deep. There also are two different species of bass—largemouths and smallmouths—which have different attitudes and habitat preferences.

Special weekend on Rainy Lake

The 19th-annual Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship took place this past weekend on Rainy Lake and it turned out to be a very special event for my partner, John Peterson, and I.

Thanks to a really good Day 3 catch of 20.35 pounds, we were able to win the tournament after competing together for the past seven years.

Stewners win Shoal Lake again

The annual Shoal Lake Big Bass Classic took place over the weekend and it was a pair of familiar names which landed atop the leaderboard after two days of fishing.

Winnipeg anglers Ted and Louise Stewner brought 10 bass to scales that weighed in at 33.64 pounds for their second win at Shoal Lake since 2010, which earned them about $6,000.

Just like other tournaments that take place across Sunset Country, teams bring in five bass each day at this event. At the end of two days of fishing, the weights are added together to determine the winner.

A wet weekend at Lake Despair

If there were any anglers that stayed dry during the six hours of heavy rain we got on Day 2 of the Lake Despair “Castin’ For Cash” tournament this past weekend, I want to know what kind of raingear they were wearing.

After a week of beautiful weather leading up to the event, clouds and rain greeted anglers during the tournament and Day 2 was one of the wettest days I have ever fished.