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Jeff Gustafson - Livewell

As one season ends, another begins

While the first official day of fall still is a couple weeks away, September marks the end of summer and the start of fall for most of us.

The daylight starts to look different than it did just weeks earlier, the nights are starting to really cool down, and the birch leaves have began changing colour.

For more than 20 years, at least part of my Labour Day weekend has been spent in Sioux Narrows getting ready for the annual “Bassin’ For Bucks” tournament on Lake of the Woods.

Great weekend on Rainy

The 13th-annual International Falls Bass Championship took place over the weekend on Rainy Lake and the Rainy River.

My good friend, Scott Dingwall, and I have fished the tournament together since its inception in 2005 and have had some great tournaments over the years, including a few first-place finishes.

But this past weekend, we had our most memorable tournament to date.

The state of fishing on Lake of the Woods

It was a quieter week in the neighborhood for me this past week following the week of the KBI, but I still managed to get out in the boat for a few days to do some guide trips I had booked.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've spent a bunch of time on Lake of the Woods, fishing all over on it for several different species of fish, so I wanted to share a few of my observations on the lake and the fishing this summer.

Godin, Wilson crush KBI tourney

The 30th-annual Kenora Bass International (KBI) wrapped up Saturday under the White Cap Pavilion and when all was said and done, Bill Godin of Devlin and his partner, Leroy Wilson from International Falls, emerged as champions for the second time.

Beautiful weather in the days leading up to the tournament, as well as over the course of the three-day event, led to the highest weights the KBI has ever seen.

Enjoyed taking PM for boat ride

After a day or two of relaxing early last week following a week of fishing hard on Rainy Lake during the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship, it seemed like it would be just another stretch of normal summer days.

I was enjoying the quiet time around home when I got a phone call that would turn that week into one I will remember for a long time.

Long-time Kenora Liberal MP Bob Nault contacted me to see if I would willing to take Prime Minister Justin Trudeau out for a quick fishing trip on Lake of the Woods at the end of the week.

Busy weekend for bass anglers

It was a busy weekend for bass anglers across Northwestern Ontario with the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship going on at Rainy Lake and the Bronzeback Classic taking place on Lake of the Woods in Kenora.

I fished the Fort Frances event for the 18th time this year and we were pretty lucky to avoid most of the nasty weather that passed through the rest of region over the weekend (outside of a few brief showers on Saturday).

It's 'Bass Week' on Rainy Lake!

The 23rd-annual Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship is set to kick off tomorrow morning (July 20) on Rainy Lake and almost 100 boats are expected to blast off from the Sorting Gap Marina.

This is always a special week for me and one that I look forward to every year. I started fishing the tournament back in 2000 and have had several partners over the years. But since 2007, I have partnered up with my friend, John Peterson, from Bemidji, Mn.

Busy weekend for fishing tournaments

The bass tournament season in Northwestern Ontario got busy this past weekend with events taking place at Shoal Lake and Lake Despair.

Musky anglers also got to try their luck at the second-annual Lake of the Woods Musky Bowl held at Wiley Point Lodge.

Other than a quick storm or two, and some moderate wind on Saturday, the weather was pretty nice all weekend, making it quite enjoyable to be in the boat. It was for me, at least!

Tough time finding 'slot' fish

The third-annual Kenora Walleye Open took place over the long weekend on Lake of the Woods and a record 135 teams showed up to fish it.

The weather was pretty good and the fish were biting, so it was a fun event for everybody who participated.

JP Kennedy has a long history of organizing this event previously in Minaki before he moved it to Kenora a few years ago because regulations on Lake of the Woods made it a little easier to operate.

Tournament season set to get busy in Sunset Country

Now that summer officially is here, the tournament fishing season across Sunset Country is about to get busy.

While there have been a few walleye tournaments already, like the Dryden Walleye Masters on Wabigoon Lake and the Emo Walleye Classic on the Rainy River, the bass stuff has not started yet.

The bass season is open year-round on most waters, but catch-and-release only regulations until July 1 mean bass cannot be held in a livewell, so there are no tournaments until July.