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Jeff Gustafson - Livewell

Plenty of planning to prep for FLW Tour

With all of the cold weather that we've had over the past few weeks, I don't think I could have picked a better week to get out of Northwestern Ontario and head south to Florida to get the 2018 FLW Tour started.

My good friend from Kenora, Jamie Bruce, jumped in with me this weekend to help with the big drive.

He is going to spend a few days fishing with me and then fly home at the end of the week while my tournament seasons starts next week at Lake Okeechobee in south Florida.

Using tip-ups for ice-fishing trips

Recently, I wrote a story about using tip-ups for ice fishing for one of the Sunset Country Travel Association's websites.

It was a story aimed at anglers visiting to our region and how they should consider bringing along a few tip-ups on their ice-fishing trips.

Tip-ups basically are an evolution of the popular “willow stick” that has been used as a way for ice anglers to hang a jig near the bottom. When a fish bit the jig, the stick would fold over, indicating a bite.

Plan a dream fishing trip

When most of us think about going on a fishing trip, it usually means stepping out the door, driving to the boat ramp down the road, and heading out for the day.

Right across Northwestern Ontario, we are blessed with some many great bodies of water that offer some of the best fishing in the world.

It is for this reason that people travel from all over Canada and the U.S. to visit our area for their dream fishing trips. Across the region, we have hundreds of outfits that offer accommodations on a variety of waters.

Spoon-feeding walleye works great

When I was a youngster, I had quite an appetite for absorbing as much fishing information as I could.

My Grandpa used to have subscriptions to a few different fishing magazines, so I always was excited about trips over to his place in case he might have a new issue or two.

One of the techniques I read about from the U.S. magazines was using jigging spoons for walleyes when ice-fishing.

Growing up in Northwestern Ontario, the only technique I had ever seen anybody use for ice-fishing for walleye was putting a minnow on a jig and letting it down to the bottom.

An update on ice conditions

Over the past few days when I looked at my social media pages, I couldn't help but notice all the fish pictures that my friends have been taking on the ice-all across Sunset Country and in neighbouring areas.

While I haven't been fishing on the ice yet, I'm going to start getting out over the holidays.

Even though I haven't been fishing, I spent a few days last week moose hunting up around Red Lake, and my friends and I travelled across several lakes to get to some of the areas that we hunted.

High school fishing coming to our area

Some good news broke last week in Fort Frances when high school teacher Jason Cain announced he is moving forward with starting a high school fishing team.

South of the border, high school and college competitive bass fishing has emerged as an extremely popular extra-curricular activity, so it makes sense to bring it north of the border, as well.

Gift ideas for the hunter

Last week, I threw around some Christmas shopping ideas for anglers. So in this week's column, I'm going to do the same thing for hunters.

While hunting is not for everybody, it is part of the culture in Northwestern Ontario—and for good reason. We have more public land that anybody can hunt than most places.

Across southern Ontario and much of the U.S., by comparison, hunters that do not have private property to hunt may never be able to find a place to go.

Gift ideas for the angler

At this time of year, it is quite common for me to get messages from friends and their significant others as they begin their Christmas shopping campaign.

Usually I wait until a week or two before Christmas to write this column, but since I started getting a few of these messages last week, I figure I can throw some ideas around for everybody now since most people should be starting to think about finding gifts.

Fun with underwater cameras

As somebody who makes their living in the fishing business, I try to stay on top of all of the tools and gear that can help me put an extra fish or two in the boat.

In a tournament situation or on a guiding trip, one or two extra bites can make or break the day, so it pays for me to have the latest and greatest gear if it might help.

Time to adjust non-resident deer hunting regulations

Back in the early 2000s, Northwestern Ontario emerged as one of the top deer-hunting destinations in North America.

At the north end of the whitetail deer range, several favourable factors contributed to an explosion in the deer population. Multiple winters without major snow, low hunting pressure, and a surplus of quality forage created the perfect storm for whitetails.