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Jeff Gustafson - Livewell

Early season great for musky fishing

The third Saturday in June marked the opening of musky season across Sunset Country.

Following along on some of my friends' social media feeds over the weekend, it looked like the musky fishing was pretty good as plenty of nice fish were popping up, which is nice to see.

Through my high school and university years, I spent my summers guiding at several different resorts around the region. Because I liked to fish in as many of the tournaments as I could, I used to work at different resorts, filling in whenever they had a busy week and needed the help.

Shore lunch in Sunset Country a real treat

During the years that I was in high school and then university, I spent my summers working at tourist resorts around the region as a fishing guide.

It's been around 20 years since I did my first trip out at Ash Rapids Lodge on Lake of the Woods and since that time, I've cooked hundreds of shore lunches—the highlight of the trip for many visitors to our region.

Spring great for crappie hunting

Outside of a few weeks in the spring when crappies move to shallow water to spawn, they spend the rest of the year in deeper water.

They seem to disappear over the summer months, when they suspend in deeper weeds and simply are hard to find.

In the fall and winter, however, they group up in deeper holes and basins, where huge populations of these panfish are easy to find with our electronics.

Warmer weather heats up fishing

After the long winter we experienced this year, the nice weather across Northwestern Ontario over the past week sure has been a pleasure.

Hopefully it's a sign of what's to come over the next few months.

As water temperatures have increased rapidly over the past week, so has the fishing action for most species as the warmer water has improved activity levels and brought more fish into shallower water where anglers have easier access to them.

Gearing up for opening weekend

Saturday is a big day for anglers across Sunset Country as it marks the opening weekend of a new walleye season.

It's a busy weekend on area waters as many folks are itching to get back in the boat after a long winter. The appeal of a feed of fresh walleye always runs high this time of year, as well!

Here are a few tips to put a few whitetails in the boat this weekend.

Prime time to hit woods for shed hunting

Around this time every year, there is a lot of anticipation to get the boat in the water and start a new fishing season. More open water is popping up every day if you want to wet a line.

But for those of you who are happy to simply spend time being outside, now is prime time to hit the woods in search of shed deer antlers—one of my favourite springtime activities.

Back in the money at Smith Lake stop

The second of two FLW Tour tournaments over a three-week span took place this past weekend at Lewis Smith Lake in Alabama.

Lewis Smith is a lake that I've visited twice in the past so I had some experience to go off of, and things went pretty well en route to a 29th-place finish.

My goal heading into this tournament was to finish in the top 60 and earn some money, as well as points towards qualifying for the Forrest Wood Cup, especially after my 125th-place bomb in the last event.

Small victory at Lake Cumberland

After a very tough three-day practice last week prior to the Lake Cumberland FLW Tour bass tournament down in Kentucky, my expectations were not that great heading into the event.

However, I was confident I would be able to put something together in the tournament and find a way to have a good finish if I just put my head down and worked hard.

Unfortunately, on the first day of the tournament last Thursday, things went about as bad as they could have gone and I ended up with a small five-fish limit weighing 6.12 pounds, landing me in 156th place in the 180-boat field.

Tough days of practice

My column is coming in late this week because I just finished up the three-day practice for the Lake Cumberland FLW Tour event this week in Kentucky.

It probably has been the toughest practice I've had since I started fishing these tournaments back in 2012, and the dark-to-dark fishing had me physically and mentally exhausted this week.

So I forgot to get my column done when I normally do.