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Jeff Gustafson - Livewell

Fall fishing in Sunset Country

With the cold snap that hit us last week across Sunset Country, the fall season announced its arrival.

It’s always somewhat depressing when summer is winding down because it always goes by so quick—even moreso this year because we got short-changed a little bit with the late winter and spring.

That being said, fall is great time of year, especially for those who enjoy all the outdoor activities that are available this time of year.

Big turnout for ‘Bassin’ tourney

It’s hard to believe but it’s been 18 years now that the “Bassin’ For Bucks” tournament has been taking place in Sioux Narrows.

The brainchild of Sioux Narrows’ bass fishing legends Chris Bell and Mel Giesbrecht, “Bassin’ For Bucks” has become one of the most supported and well-liked tournaments in Sunset Country because of its unique format, which spreads the prize money out and gives anglers a chance to fish one of the most beautiful parts of Lake of the Woods.

Rainy site of fishing challenge

Over the past several years, I’ve been very fortunate to get the chance to appear on several high-profile TV fishing programs with hosts from across North America.

Bob Izumi, Jim Lindner, Chip Leer, and many other TV show hosts have visited Sunset Country during all seasons of the year to experience the great fishing options we have in this area.

In fact, few places on Earth can match the multi-species fishing options we have right here in our backyard.

Musky action heating up across Sunset Country

Across the Sunset Country region, muskies are the fish species that comes to mind when people think about big fish. It’s for good reason because we have some of the best musky fisheries in the world right here in our backyard.

Lake of the Woods, Rainy Lake, Wabigoon Lake, and Eagle Lake attract anglers from far and wide every year but there are hundreds of other lakes and rivers across the region which have excellent musky populations as well.

Hard lessons learned at KBI

The 27th-annual Kenora Bass International went down as one of the best ever this past weekend on Lake of the Woods.

Some 140 teams participated in this year’s event—the highest number in several years.

The weather also was great throughout the event and by the time things were said and done, a bunch of big bass were brought to the scales.

Another KBI is upon us

As has been the case for the past 15 years, the past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind for me.

The week in Fort Frances for the Canadian Bass Championship was hectic to say the least. Then I spent most of last week guiding clients on Lake of the Woods, chasing walleyes for the most part.

Then this past weekend, I started my pre-fishing for the annual Kenora Bass International, which starts tomorrow.

This has been a pretty standard routine since I started fishing the FFCBC back in 2000.

Our weekend on Rainy Lake

The 20th-annual Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship took place this past weekend on Rainy Lake.

It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since the tournament started thanks to a group of people in Fort Frances who saw the great smallmouth fishery that exists on Rainy Lake and made it into a world-class fishing event.

In my column last week, I talked about my love of the event and the lake. I’ve had a lot of great memories over the years and look forward to the tournament all year long.

It and the KBI both are at the top of the list for me.

Tournament week at Rainy Lake

The last week of July is a week that I look forward to as much as any throughout the entire year since I started fishing the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship back in 2000.

That first year my buddy Pat James and I got into the tournament off the waiting list a few days before the tournament.

At that time, the tournament had an extensive waiting list and it was tough to get in. The top 90 finishing teams were guaranteed a spot the following year, while those that finished between 90 and 135 went into a draw with new anglers that wanted to enter the tournament.

Bass tournament season set to start

It’s that time of year again for bass anglers across Sunset Country—tournament time.

Although the bass season is open year-round, it is a catch-and-release season essentially until July 1, which is the reason there are no tournaments earlier in the year.

But from now through the end of September, there is tournament to fish somewhere in Northwestern Ontario almost every weekend.

Musky season ready to open

Across Northwestern Ontario, we have a lot of anglers who love to fish for the biggest fish in our lakes.

Muskies also attract many anglers to Sunset Country because we have some of the top waters in the world for both numbers of fish and truly big fish.

In fact, there’s a good chance the next world record could come from Lake of the Woods, Rainy Lake, Eagle Lake, or one of many others in our part of the world that have a reputation for kicking out big fish.