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Sunday
Mar102019

New Tournament Season Underway

The 2019 Bassmaster Elite Series season got started back in early February at the St. John's River in Florida.  Shelby and I went down to Florida a couple weeks before the tournament to get the new Lund 2075 Pro-V Bass in the water and escape some of our Canadian winter. 

Shimano is a huge sponsor for me again this year and they have helped me out with wrapping my boat and truck.  The rig looks pretty good!  

The new boat is a fishing machine, loaded up with all of the best equipment from Humminbird, Minn Kota, T-H Marine and an Atlas Jack Plate.  

 

The first tournament at the St. John's River was not how I wanted to start out my Elite Series career.  I only managed to bring in two fish on the first day then rounded up a limit on day two for a 61st place finish. 

The next event at Lake Lanier was one that I was looking forward to for months.  After fishing an FLW Tour event at Lanier last year, I have called my favourite lake in the southern U.S.  It is the best spotted bass fishery that I have ever visited, a really nice place.  
I had a great first day of the Lanier event, leading the tournament after day one, bringing in a limit weighing 19-2.  Unfortunately on day two I was only able to muster up two fish and dropped to 48th place.  Not sure how I managed to do that but it happened.  One of those days!  
The Bassmaster crew did cover my first day here: Day One Lake Lanier

The new Minn Kota Ultrex with the Down Imaging transducer built into it REALLY, REALLY impressed me at Lake Lanier.  It's nice having a split screen with a look at traditional sonar on one side and D.I. on the other side to really distinguish what is under the boat.  That is a school of spotted bass next to a brush pile, pretty cool stuff. 

I have some of the best sponsors in the industry that allow me to get out there and fish...there are still seven tournaments left this season so I'm sure I'll have plenty of good days!  The next event is the first week of April at Lake Hartwell, South Carolina...I'm looking forward to getting back at it! 

I just did an interview with my friend Lawrence Gunther and his radio show Blue Fish Radio - you can check it out here: Interview with Lawrence & Gussy

Sunday
Feb172019

Ice Fishing Lake of the Woods

Earlier in January before I hit to the road to start the 2019 bass tournament season I did quite a bit of ice fishing and had some fun catching a little bit of everything.  We have some of the best ice fishing options in the World around Lake of the Woods...it's always a good time! 

The new Simms Inusulated Challenger Suit is the best ice fishing suit I have ever put on!  It's light weight but it's warm, fits well and has some great little features for ice anglers - lots of pockets, hand-warming pockets, waterproof, etc.  Highly recommended!  

My pal Nick Lindner along with his wife Jordyn, his uncle Jason and father James joined Shelby and I in early January for a few days of ice fishing...we caught lake trout, walleyes, crappies and some big perch.  Check out the video below that Nick put together.

 

We never used to catch these big perch in the west end of the lake but we get quite a few of them now while we're chasing walleyes...they are always a nice surprise!  Great eating!  Shelby had a hot hole one afternoon! 

Who doesn't love catching big crappies?!?!  A Northland Tackle Doodle Bug Spoon tricked this one!  

Friday
Dec072018

Big News and a hunting report

After six years fishing the FLW Tour I am making the switch to the Bassmaster Elite Series in 2019.  It wasn't an easy decision because I love everybody at FLW and am leaving a lot of my good friends but I'm looking forward to fishing the Elite Series and trying to qualify for the Bassmaster Classic!  
The new season starts in early Februrary at the St. John's River in Florida.   For everybody who enjoys following these events...don't worry.  Bassmaster has a great website and does an excellent job with their live coverage during the events! 

It was a quiet fall around here.  I chased deer around some but not as much as I normally do.  The hunting is still tough compared to what it was like prior to 2012 but the good news is there are good numbers of smaller bucks so hopefully we'll get a nice winter and things will continue in the right direction.  This was a nice one that I had some nocturnal photos of back in October.  A nice buck, hopefully he dodges the wolves this winter and he'll be a really beauty in 2019!

A lot of my hunting is done by water, mostly out on Lake of the Woods and I have a lot of fun running around out there in the fall.  

My boat for running around in the fall is a 20 foot Lund Alaskan.  I've had this boat since 2012 and it's been a serious workhorse for me.  I've had five adults and two big bucks in the boat at one time and it had no problem.  A great utility boat that I use quite a bit in the summer for walleye fishing/guiding. 

The grouse hunting this season was good as it has been for the past several years but we missed out on a couple weeks of prime hunting in mid-October when we were hit with a bunch of snow...grouse hunting is not good in the snow but we still had quite a few grouse dinners.  They are one of my favourite things on this planet to eat! 

Back in October I was invited down to Brainerd, Minnesota by my friend Troy Lindner to speak at the Fishing Careers Workshop that was going on there.  It was a great all-day event that I was proud to be a part of.  I got to see my old pals Al and Ron Lindner - some of my most favourite people that I have ever met in the fishing industry!  These guys are legends! 

As we approach the New Year I can't wait to get out on the ice and catch some fish...it's been a while! The ice fishing is so good around the Kenora area, we're lucky!  And I'm pumped to get the new tournament season started!  I'm planning to get on the road for Florida in mid-January, I can't wait!  

Thursday
Oct182018

Fun Wrap to the Fishing Season

Those of us who enjoy competitive fishing were fortunate to get to fish a numbers of tournaments through September and into October to wrap up the fishing season here in NW Ontario.  I fished bass tournaments five weekends in a row and had a great time!  

After the win at Bassin' For Bucks, Shelby and I teamed up for the Crow Lake Classic which took place out of Hanson's Hideaway Lodge, in Nestor Falls.  We had a great weekend and ended squeaking out second!  We had a fun weekend staying at Hanson's place with a few of our friends.  

Crow Lake is full of fish and it's a beautiful lake, one of the nicest in Sunset Country.  We caught most of our fish out deep with umbrella rigs, tubes and drop-shots.  A fun weekend and great tournament I would recommend for anybody!  Crow Lake Classic

In between tournaments in September I did a little bit of guiding during the week which give me the chance to fish for other species.  Lake trout fishing on Lake of the Woods is excellent in September, they fight hard and are as pretty as any freshwater fish.  

The walleye fishing is always great in the fall with a good shot at both big fish and numbers.  In the fall most of the bigger fish in the lake focus on eating minnows like shiners, smelt and cisco so I almost exclusively use minnow-imitating baits like the 4" Northland Impulse Smelt Minnow that tricked this walleyes.  

My pal Dennis Favreau and I fished the Shoal Lake Last Chance tournament later in September and finished 6th.  We had a good weekend in some tough conditions...thankful for the top-notch Simms gear that kept us warm all weekend! 

My friend Ryan Sproule and his son Brock were out in September and we had a pretty good multi-species day catching pike, lake trout, bass, walleye and a few crappies...Brock landed the big fish of the day!  

At the end of September I got to team up with Mike Reid again for the Crawford's Camp Mega-Bowl.  We had over 18 pounds of smallmouths each day and finished 3rd so it was a good weekend!  We caught a bunch of big smallmouths over the two days on Lake of the Woods.  

The first weekend in October we had the annual Frank McClymont Memorial tournament on Lake of the Woods.  Shelby and I teamed up again and we captured an 18 pound bag of smallmouths but we landed in 7th, one spot out of the money!  Still it was a fun day of fishing, Shelbs is a trooper for grinding in out in the cold weather all day! 

Shelbs also caught her first lake trout during the tournament so we had to stop to get a photo of it!  Not a giant but still a beautiful fish!  

 

Wednesday
Sep122018

Tournament season in Full Swing

Its been a good couple of months of fishing on the tournament trail, fun fishing and guiding around home on Lake of the Woods!  In early August I fished in my second Forrest Wood Cup at Lake Ouachita in Arkansas and came away with a 21st place finish.  Not exactly what I was hoping for but it was a fun week!  

It is an honour to get to fish in this tournamnent and I was really happy that my parents and my girlfriend Shelby were able to come along and share the great week with me! 

After the Cup it was nice to get back home for a while to enjoy all of the awesome fishing we have here in Sunset Country

This was a fun evening of walleye fishing in mid-August.  The walleye fishing is ALWAYS good on Lake of the Woods!

Later in August my pal Scott Dingwall and I won the annual International Falls Bass Championship on Rainy Lake...it was a great weekend with some big catches of smallmouth bass!

The walleye fishing was still good later in August!  Here is my friend Brad Stout along with his son Blake who came to enjoy a couple days of walleye fishing on Woods.

In early September, Shelby and I took her parents out fishing and Shelbs showed everybody how to catch big walleyes!  

This past weekend my buddy Mike Reid and I won the annual Bassin' For Bucks tournament on Lake of the Woods and while we weighed mostly smallmouths in this three day event, we did manage to wrangle a few big largemouths on day two, including the big fish of the tournament at 5.84 pounds!   

We were fortunate and grinded out another win at Bassin' For Bucks so it was a pretty good week!  Mike and I grew up together but we don't get to see each other a lot anymore so this tournament is a fun week for us to get to fish together and hang out!