For those of us across Sunset Country who enjoy tournament fishing, the fall is prime time with events happening somewhere across the region every weekend into early October. This past weekend we had the Crow Lake Classic in Nestor Falls thanks to the Hanson family who hosted the event out of their resort on the lake.
You are here
Jeff Gustafson - Livewell
Back in 1996, my good friend Mike Reid and I were 13 years old when we decided we would team up for the first annual Bassin’ For Bucks in Sioux Narrows. Sioux Narrows anglers Mel Giesbrecht and Chris Bell were some of the top tournament anglers in NW Ontario at the time and they decided that the fishing was good enough around Sioux Narrows that they could have a successful tournament. We fished out of a 14 foot Lund with a 25 horsepower motor that first year and had a cooler for a livewell.
What a difference a week makes in this part of the World with regards to the weather. We went from beautiful summer temperatures to wrap up the month of August and a week later we are getting frost warnings, the winds have been blowing hard every day and you can feel the change in the seasons happening right before our eyes.
As a professional angler, part of my gig is to promote the products that my sponsors create. I try to share my fishing knowledge and experience as to how it is related to these different products, for everything from lures to rods and reels to clothing and electronics. I try not to be to advertorial when I’m talking about specific products and just share information that I believe will help people to catch more fish or have a better experience when they are on the water.
One thing about fishing is you don’t catch fish every time you go out. They have the ability to move wherever they want and simply not bite if they aren’t in the mood. Even the best anglers will have days where they struggle to catch fish. That part of the sport is what drives us to continue learning and figure out the puzzle every time we hit the water.
The economy across Northwest Ontario is taking a big hit this year thanks to COVID-19 and the closure of the border to our U.S. neighbours. My friends in the tourism sector who are resort owners as well as guides and retail store owners are all suffering the effects of our situation right now.
Since 1988, the Harbourfront in Kenora has been reserved on the second weekend in August for the Kenora Bass International. The KBI as it’s come to be known is among the biggest open, team bass tournaments in Canada, as well as one of the longest running tournaments in North America. Earlier in the year when everything was essentially shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision was made to postpone the KBI for 2020.
This second of back to back Bassmaster Elite Series events took place this past weekend at Lake Champlain. This massive lake in northern New York also stretches into Vermont and Quebec to give you a better idea of its geographic location. It is known as one of the top bass fishing destinations in North America for the numbers of bass in the lake and the scenery of the area. In all of my travels across the U.S. to fish these tournaments, this lake is more like Lake of the Woods and Rainy Lake than any other lake that I have visited.
The Bassmaster Elite Series resumed last week at the St. Lawrence River on the New York/Ontario border. Known as one of the best smallmouth fisheries in the World, the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario have been a regular stop on the tournament trail for the past several years because of the giant smallmouths that live in these waters.
In the July 8 Fort Frances Times, Kelli Saunders shared some great information about rusty crayfish in the Lake of the Woods watershed. She explained that rusty crayfish are an invasive species that have been present in Lake of the Woods for upwards of 20 years. They are an aggressive species of crayfish that is omnivorous, eating almost anything they can find, including vegetation.