Twitter @GussyOutdoors
Twitter @GussyOutdoors

Busy on the tournament trail

It's been a while since my last update so I apologize for that! I have been on the road for most of the past six weeks since my last activity on here and for the few days I was home I was putting in long days on the ice.  

August and I returned home this past week from Rogers, Arkansas, where I fished in the FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake.  She had never attended one of these FLW events before so it was nice to have her along for the trip.  We had a great time!  

The first tournament on this trip was at Lake Hartwell.  We got hit with some rough weather during the week we were there and things were changing every day.  This was probably the worst practice and tournament that I've ever had for a tournament and it showed in my brutal finish...somewhere in the triple digits!  

Here is a little video recap from my practice: 

Gussy checks from Lake Hartwell from on Vimeo.


I was able to catch a small limit the first day, then followed it up with one fish on day two.  Not the start to the season that I was looking for!  

The next event was at Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Texas, a lake I fished an FLW Tour Open event at back in 2012.  I had a great practice for this derby and ended up getting kind of hurt by the weather again!  I knew there was some big south wind coming for the start of the event and I knew it was going to blow into the stuff I wanted to fish.  I looked for some other areas that would be protected but I was not able to find anything else really solid.  I ended up catching a 7-7 fish early on day two that saved the derby for me and I ended up with a 69th place finish and cashed a cheque for $4,000.  I caught that big fish on a Jackall TN/70 rattlebait. 

Here is the Rayburn GoPro video blog:

After Rayburn, the next FLW Tour derby was at Beaver Lake in Arkansas.  Last year I had a decent tournament at Beaver so I was excited to get back on that lake.  

I had a pretty good practice and ended up having a decent tournament.  I was very lucky and just squeezed into the top 60, in 59th place, to earn a cheque for $10,000.  I had a good first day, then a tough day two when the wind totally died.  I was catching my fish on a jerkbait so I was getting a lot of follows and "nips".  Anyways, I cashed a cheque so I was happy!, one of my biggest supporters for these events is selling GoPro cameras on their website so these short video clips that I have been doing around each event are all shot quick and easy with a GoPro camera.  Here is the Beaver Lake video:

There are some more in-depth blog reports for each tournament at 


Back on the road...

After getting home for a few days in mid-February, I have been back on the road again for the past week.  I attended my first Bassmaster Classic last week in Birmingham, Alabama.  It was fun!  A big show, for sure!  The day after the Classic my good buddy Blake Nick took Bob Mahoney (from Shimano) and I out fishing on Lake Guntersville.  
After Guntersville, I drove over to Columbia, South Carolina to spend a few days fun fishing on Lake Murray, site of the Forrest Wood Cup later this year.  Tomorrow we get to start prefishing for the second stop on the FLW Tour, at Lake Hartwell, South Carolina.  

Back at home before I left for this last trip I got out ice fishing a few times and in my life I have never seen as much snow on the ice as we have right now across the Sunset Country Region.  Here is a shot of Jay Samsal drilling a hole in the ice, almost to the bottom of the auger!  It's been a long, cold winter at home!

My buddy Matt Peters from Minnesota with a lake trout that he caught jigging a spoon.  Not a giant, but a pretty one!  It's been a few years since we last fished together so it was good to get out.  

Big Dustin Byfuglien of the Winnipeg Jets with an eater sized walleye he caught...while most NHL players went on tropical vacations over the Olympic break, Buff spent his time ice fishing out at Lake of the Woods!  

One of the highlights of the Classic for me was getting to go to the Champion's Toast after the tournament was over on Sunday night.  Here is day one leader and eventual fourth place finisher, Randall Tharp.  

When we finally got out fishing on Monday, Blake took us to a few places where we could catch some fish on unbrella rigs.  It was my first time really catching good fish on it, so it was fun.

Bob Mahoney and I holding up some of our nice fish from Guntersville.  In addition to catching a few fish on an umbrella rig, we also caught some on a Jackall Aska 60 squarebill crankbait.  

Over at Lake Murray, we caught some really nice fish the first day of two that I spent fishing with some of my sponsor folks from International Comfort Products.  ICP represents several brands of heating and cooling products including Comfortmaker, Heil and Tempstar.  

Here are Dave Fuller and Marion Motley representing Heil with a big bass from Lake Murray.  

 Chad Taylor and Bobby Childers with some bass and a nice striper from Lake Murry.  They were representing Tempstar heating and cooling products.  Thanks guys!  


Florida...and sunglasses

I've finally returned home to Sunset Country after being on the road for nearly a month.  I was down in Florida for the first FLW Tour event of the year at Lake Okeechobee.  Though the tournament did not go exactly how I wanted it to (115th place finish), I had a great trip overall.  I kind of missed the hot off-shore grass bit at Okeechobee but had some of the best fishing of my life after the tournament so I feel like a learned a few things before I came home.  

SPY sunglasses, one of my sponsors, has created a new pair of sunglasses in conjunction with called the "Gussy".  They are very comfortable, light sunglasses, great for fishing and wearing for any purpose. 

If you purchase a pair of these sunglasses, available exclusively at, you get a free $35 gift card for your next purchase.  You can find the sunglasses here: 

When I finally got on some big fish after the tournament at Okeechobee, they were all on "out" stuff, scattered hydrilla and eelgrass.  We caught some big ones on chatterbait style baits and Texas-rigged worms once we found areas that had them.  I just missed out on this bite during the practice period before the tournament unfortunately.  

With the cold weather we've had this winter it was nice to get a break down in Florida.  It's a beautiful place this time of year, that's for sure!  I had fun fishing a number of smaller lakes before I went to Okeechobee and caught some big fish at a few of them.  There are a countless lakes down there that have big bass in them.  

One piece of equipment that is very useful at all of the lakes in Florida is the Minn Kota Talon.  Since most of the lakes are shallow, they can be used everywhere.  As well, it's important to sneak around and use your trolling motor as little as possible to avoid spooking fish.  I couldn't tell you how many times I dropped these things over the few weeks that I was fishing down there, they really are a great tool.  

Next up for me is a stop at the Bassmaster Classic this coming weekend in Birmingham, Alabama, then on to the next FLW Tour stop at Lake Hartwell, South Carolina.  I will have a better result there!  


Busy, busy 2014

It's been a busy few weeks so far for me in 2014.  Between battling the cold, fitting in a few guide trips and preparing to head south to Florida to get the FLW Tour season started, it's been crazy around our place.  

The snow and cold weather has been relentless so far, the worst I can remember in terms of cold weather and one of the worst for snow fall in a long time.

It's not looking great for our deer population that has already been hit hard by winter over the past few years.  Our only real hope is that the weather is very nice in March so we get an early melt like we did in 2012, which will help things.  

Before I left I had a friend in to wolf hunt and he was successful on his second day of hunting.  Great job Gary on a big, beautiful wolf!  I set up a few baits and they all got hit pretty good.  Still plenty of wolves around.  

I spent quite a bit of time getting my new boat all rigged up, a new Lund 2010 Predator.  It's all set up with a Minn Kota Fortrex, Humminbird electronics, Minn Kota Talons and all are powered by Optima Batteries.  I have been running these since 2009 and have NEVER had any issues with them.  They are top notch.  The best thing is I use the same battery (A D31 model) to function as my cranking battery and power my electronics as I do for my trolling motor.  

The drive to Florida by myself earlier this week was a bull!  The first half of the way was a battle with snow, then boredom.  All told, it was nearly 3,400 KM (2,040 M) but I made it.  Weather here is not perfect, it's cool but the sun is shining and its going to start warming up.  This picture was taken in Forest Lake, MN, where I stayed at my friends place for the first night.  THANK YOU to the Minke boys for putting me up!  

The first day of fishing in Florida went pretty good.  I got out with my friend from home, Bill Godin on a small lake just south of Kissimmee, where Bill and his wife Nell have a place rented until late February.  It sure feels good to get back in the boat!  

I'm down in Florida for the next week and half before we get to start practicing on Lake Okeechobee.  I came down a little bit early because I needed to break in my new motor and get back into bass fishing mode.  As well, it was pretty easy to justify getting on the road a little early to get a break from the deep freeze!  
Happy ice fishing to my friends at home...I'll post some big bass pictures soon!




Honeymoon in Hawaii

When August and I got married back in September we decided that we wanted to wait until winter to take our honeymoon so we could get a little break from the deep freeze that blankets Northwest Ontario.  So we made plans to head to Hawaii.  Over the course of our week long trip we spent two days fishing and had a great time. 

Here is August with a nice Ono that she caught.  These are a great eating fish, also known as a wahoo.  Ono means "delicious" in Hawaiian.  

This is a pretty fish, called a mahi mahi, also known as a dorado.  They are a popular sportfish in saltwater around North America as well.  Also good to eat!  

We fished in Hawaii with my friend Mike Christopher and he spends much of his time chasing large marlin and tuna - I'm talking big fish in the 200 - 800 pound range.  To catch those big fish he needs the best equipment he can get and he told me these large Shimano reels (this one is a Tiagra 130) are the best for catching these big fish.  He has gone through several different reels but since he started using these they have not failed him.  With all the line on this reel, it's about a 35-40 pound combo, it's unreal!  

We also caught several small yellowfin tuna on this trip (also known as ahi tuna).  These are very good to eat and are the fish that provides top-grade sushi.  

Hawaii was a beautiful place and we had a great trip.  The weather was perfect every day and the people were very friendly.  We spent our time in Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaii.  If you are headed that way and are looking for someone to take you fishing let me know and I can get you in touch with my friend Mike.