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Jeff Gustafson - Livewell

Father-son team claim crown

The 11th-annual International Falls Bass Championship took place this past weekend and it was the father-son team of Travis and Jace Peterson who bested the full 60-team field after two days of fishing on the Rainy River and the U.S. side of Rainy Lake.

Since the second year of this event, it always has had a full 60-team field.

The popularity of this event is due to the excellent community support the tournament receives locally from International Falls and the unique format that puts anglers on two different bodies of water over the two days.

Walleye fishing hot across region

After chasing bass for much of the summer, it was nice to change things up over the past week and spend some time fishing for some of the other species we have available to us across Sunset Country.

Without any bass tournaments on the schedule, I was able to fit in a few guide trips and spent some time fishing for walleye and lake trout on Lake of the Woods.

River fishing offers fun challenge

When most folks think of all the great fisheries that we have here in Northwestern Ontario, it’s the big lakes that usually come to mind first.

Lake of the Woods, Rainy Lake, and Lac Seul all are great bodies of water with a variety of great fishing opportunities.

Of course, there are countless others.

But there also are some great rivers across our region that offer excellent fishing options for most of the species that we like to fish for here (except maybe lake trout, which need deep, cool water only found in lakes to survive our warm summers).

Smallmouths smash record at KBI 2015

The 28th-annual Kenora Bass International will go down as one of the more memorable in tournament history thanks to some new records being set over the weekend.

Tournament champions, Jon O’Connor and Byron Sharp, Winnipeg residents who grew up in Northwestern Ontario, absolutely smoked the rest of the field with a three day total of 57.04 pounds, the highest three day total in the history of the event.

They broke the previous record of 53.92 pounds set by Norm Lindsay and Bill Godin, when they won the tournament in 2006.

Tough weekend on Rainy Lake

The 21st-annual Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship took place this past weekend on Rainy Lake and at the end of three days of fishing, Minnesota brothers Scott and Steve Sandberg emerged as the new champs.

After a variety of weather moved through the area in the days leading up to the tournament, conditions ended up being pretty good during the actual event. It seemed as the though the bass we were trying to catch missed the memo on that, though, because the fishing was tough in our boat this year.

Bass tournament season in full swing

The bass tournament season is in full swing across Sunset Country this weekend with the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship taking place on Rainy Lake and the Bronzeback Classic going on at Lake of the Woods.

The FFCBC is one of the highlights of the year for me—an event that I’ve been fishing since 2000.

I love Rainy Lake and always enjoy getting to spend a week in Fort Frances. I’ve made a lot of good friends here over the years because of this tournament.

‘Castin’ For Cash’ at Lake Despair

It was another very fun weekend for my wife, August, and I down in the Fort Frances district at the 15th-annual Lake Despair “Castin’ for Cash” bass tournament.

Lake Despair is located about 25 kilometers north of Devlin and connected to a chain of lakes that also includes Footprint and Jackfish.

The tournament continues to be successful after all these years because it is a fun body of water to run around on with some good bass fishing and because the tournament organizers Bill and Nell Godin continue to show everybody a good time every year.

Good fishing at Kenora tourney

The first-annual Kenora Walleye Open took place on Lake of the Woods this past weekend.

Some 113 teams showed up for the tournament—the first open walleye tournament of its kind on the Canadian side of the lake. The field consisted of local anglers and those visiting from out of the area; some veterans to walleye tournaments and some new to Lake of the Woods.

Walleye week in Kenora

After three weeks on the road in the southern U.S., I returned home this past weekend after wrapping up my third season fishing the FLW Tour.

The final tournament of the season took place last week at La Plata, Md. on the Potomac River.

Heading into this event, I had a shot at qualifying for the Forrest Wood Cup—the year-end championship—if I had a good tournament so there was some added pressure to do well.

As it turned out, the Potomac River was the toughest place I’ve ever fished.

Final leg on FLW Tour

This week, my column comes from a hotel room in La Plata, Md. overlooking the Potomac River, site of the final FLW Tour event of the season.

It’s been a long run for the past few weeks since I left home in early June for Lake Chickamauga.

Since there only was one week between the end of that tournament and the start of practice for the Potomac, I decided to stay down south.