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Jeff Gustafson - Livewell

Falls bass tourney a stiff test

The ninth-annual International Falls Bass Championship took place this past weekend over the border on the U.S. side of Rainy Lake and the Rainy River.

This tournament has a unique format in that it puts anglers on two different bodies of water over two days, so it’s a stiff test for anglers to catch big bass under totally different conditions each day.

Another KBI in the books

The 26th-annual Kenora Bass International tournament took place over the weekend on Lake of the Woods with 130 teams participating in this year’s event.

Though my first tournament was way back in 1993, fishing my Dad, since 2000 I have been partnered up with my good friend, Chris Savage.

We have had some great tournaments over the years, including wins in 2000 and 2008.

This year, things got off to a great start. We caught what turned out to be the largest catch of the tournament on Day 1, 19.78 pounds, to take the early lead.

Mixed bag usually wins KBI

When anglers hit the water this week for the 2013 edition of the Kenora Bass International, there will be several strategies being employed by teams to try and win the three-day event.

Lake of the Woods is a very large, diverse fishery and the options really are endless for teams as they try to find the area of the lake that’s holding the winning fish.

There are areas of clear water, dark water, shallow and deep. There also are two different species of bass—largemouths and smallmouths—which have different attitudes and habitat preferences.

Special weekend on Rainy Lake

The 19th-annual Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship took place this past weekend on Rainy Lake and it turned out to be a very special event for my partner, John Peterson, and I.

Thanks to a really good Day 3 catch of 20.35 pounds, we were able to win the tournament after competing together for the past seven years.

Stewners win Shoal Lake again

The annual Shoal Lake Big Bass Classic took place over the weekend and it was a pair of familiar names which landed atop the leaderboard after two days of fishing.

Winnipeg anglers Ted and Louise Stewner brought 10 bass to scales that weighed in at 33.64 pounds for their second win at Shoal Lake since 2010, which earned them about $6,000.

Just like other tournaments that take place across Sunset Country, teams bring in five bass each day at this event. At the end of two days of fishing, the weights are added together to determine the winner.

A wet weekend at Lake Despair

If there were any anglers that stayed dry during the six hours of heavy rain we got on Day 2 of the Lake Despair “Castin’ For Cash” tournament this past weekend, I want to know what kind of raingear they were wearing.

After a week of beautiful weather leading up to the event, clouds and rain greeted anglers during the tournament and Day 2 was one of the wettest days I have ever fished.

Good finish to the FLW season

The 2013 Walmart FLW Tour season came to an end this past weekend at Lake Chickamauga in Tennessee.

There was a lot on the line for many anglers fishing this event because the top 35 in points accumulated over the six regular-season tournaments qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup—the annual Tour championship where anglers are fishing for a first-place prize of $500,000.

Qualifying for the Cup is the goal of every angler fishing the FLW Tour because you win at least $10,000 just for qualifying and there is no entry fee.

Sunset Country tournament rundown

After a great week at home, I’m back on the road again—fishing the last FLW Tour event of the season at Lake Chickamauga in Tennessee.

So far my practice for this last event has been going pretty good.

This is a really good lake that kicked out as many giant bass as any lake in the United States this winter. In fact, several five-fish limits weighing more than 40 pounds came across the scales in February and March.

Making the most of being home

After being on the road for six weeks, it was very nice to return home to Sunset Country last week.

Spending as much time travelling as I have this year has been a great experience that I have enjoyed, but I love where I live more than anywhere else.

The nice temperatures, friends and family, and, of course, the top-notch outdoor adventures that exist here every day.

Getting set for Grand Lake

It’s back to business for me this week as I’m preparing for the fifth FLW Tour event of the season this coming weekend on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake.

Last week, I took a break from the fishing and put in some tourist time with my fiancé, August, in Nashville, Tenn. and Branson, Mo. Both cities were along the way between Lake Chickamauga, where I spent some time, and Grand Lake, where I was headed, so the travel worked out well.