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July Fishing in Sunset Country

A big misconception that many folks have about fishing in our part of the World is they think that the fishing in July is not very good.  WRONG!  It's awesome!  Another is that bass go deep and can't be caught on topwaters...wrong again!!!  The hotter it gets, the shallower and more active they get!  

Shelby and I had a great weekend up in Minaki, exploring the Winnipeg River for bass.  We stayed at Birch Island Resort and had the BEST TIME!  I highly recommend this place for dinner and a great place to stay.

Birch Island Resort 

We've got a new bass club in Kenora - Sunset Country Bass Anglers - and my Dad and my sisters boyfriend Mike Consentino won the first tournament they put on, a Tuesday night tournament on July 24...They won $600 and a new chainsaw!  Congrats guys!

The walleye fishing on Lake of the Woods has been top-notch over the past few weeks...both for numbers and big fish!  Lot's of fun!  

Since we've been catching so many walleyes, we've been having some good shore lunches as well!  I've never left a shore lunch without eating way to much!  It's so delicious!  These fresh fish lunches are the highlight of the trip for many people that visit us in Sunset Country each season!  

The classic jig and minnow catches plenty of walleyes but if you get into fish, run out of bait or go on a remote trip, soft plastics like this Northland Impulse 3" Smelt Minnow rigged on a 1/4 oz jig catches plenty of walleyes! 

Congratulations to my buddies Bryan Gustafson and Brian McNanney on winning the 24th annual Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship on Rainy Lake!  This is one of the best open, team bass tournaments in North America, always one of the highlights of the summer for me!  Best trophy in bass fishing!!!  



Fishing, fishing and more fishing

The past couple of months have been busy since we've had open water around home with a little bit of travel mixed in.  It's been a great season thus far, we're having fun and catching plenty of nice fish! 

My buddy Karl Engstrom and I won the annual Shoal Lake Big Bass Classic the first weekend of July...always fun when things come together!  

The last week of June I was down at Lake St. Clair for the final FLW Tour stop of the season.  After a great year I finished with a tough finish at St. Clair - 80th place but ended up 11th overall in the standings.  The fishing at St. Clair was excellent and while I caught a bunch of fish, I was not fishing in the right area because I just wasn't catching the big ones that guys were in other parts of the lake.  It was fun having my brother Ben join me for the three day practice, we had a great time! 

Back in June, Shelby and I spent a couple of days at a Simms photoshoot and she showed everybody how to catch a walleye...a few walleyes actually!  

In between tournaments I have been doing quite a bit of guiding and the fishing has been good, with plenty of good crappie, walleye and bass action!  

Here is the biggest walleye of the season so far, caught by Jenna - 30.5"!!!  GIANT, straight out of Lake of the Woods! 

The crappie fishing has been phenominal this season so far, great numbers and some big ones as well!  


Fishing with the gals from Ontario's Sunset Country

In late May I took out the gals from the Sunset Country office out fishing on Lake of the Woods and we had a great day, loaded with action!  Check out the video below...come and visit us if you want to have some fun in the boat!!!



Busy Spring on the Road

Since mid-April we have had three FLW Tour events so I have been on the road quite a bit with that.  I'm at home for a few weeks right now, which is nice, taking advantage of the AWESOME fishing that we have here in Sunset Country.  I'll post all about that in the next day or two.  

The first event took place at Lake Cumberland, Kentucky and it did not go as planned.  A horrible first day lead me to a 125th place finish, one of my worst ever but things went good for the next couple of events so I have no complaints.  

To top things off in Kentucky, after the tournament I ended up getting a bunch of gear - rods, reels, tackle and line - stolen out of the back of my truck through the window on the right side of my cap.  Fortunately, thanks to the help of Game Warden Jason Estes and the police in Burnside, Kentucky, most of my things were recovered so I'm very lucky!

After Cumberland we headed to Lewis Smith Lake in Northern Alabama and things went well there.  I had two pretty good days and was in 15th place heading into the weekend.  A tougher day three landed me in 29th place but it was good week.  I really, really enjoy fishing these lakes that have big spotted bass.  They are fun to fish for.  

I caught most my fish at Smith Lake on a wacky rigged Northland Impulse Dipstick (Green Pumpkin) with a nail weight in one end of it.  I also caught a few on a Jackall Rhythm Wave swimbait and a ned rig.  

After Smith we visited Kentucky Lake in mid-May, my third time fishing there.  I've always had fun there in the past so I was looking forward to it.  It is one of the most famous bass lakes in the U.S. with a lot of tournament history so it's always fun to fish there.  It has undergone a major invasion of Asian carp in the past few years so we'll see what happens with that.  The fishing was tougher this the than it's been in the past but I ended up grinding out my limit every day en route to a solid 7th place finish! 

My Dad has come to Kentucky Lake with me each time that I've been there because of the shot at catching several fish like this each day.  It was tougher fishing this time but the quality was still really good.  We didn't catch a lot of fish during the three practice days but most of them were good ones.  

I was really lucky at Kentucky Lake that I had one spot that kicked out most of my fish on days two and three when I had big catches.  Sometimes, that's the way it goes, I'm not going to complain!  I caught most of my fish at KY on a 3/4 oz football jig and a homemade bucktail jig.  

Heading into the last event of the season at Lake St. Clair in a couple of weeks, I am in ninth place in points, looking pretty good for qualifying for the Forrest Wood Cup in August.  The top 40 anglers qualify for the Cup.  I'm very excited about St. Clair, it is one of the best smallmouth lakes in the World so we can expect to see a bunch of big fish.  It's going to be fun!  



March Madness on the Ice

In between FLW Tour events I got to come home for a few weeks and I spent quite a bit of time on the ice across Sunset Country, chasing some of the fantastic ice fshing that we have here! 

Late ice is prime time for big pike and thanks to the lingering cold snap we've had here in NW Ontario over the past couple weeks, there is still plenty of time to catch a bunch of big pike!  All you need are a few Frabill tip-ups, Northland Predator Rigs and some dead ciscos and you're all set!  

I got to use one of the new Humminbird Helix 5 machines over the past couple weeks and I really liked it!  It's fast, bright and having the GPS and regular sonar options are nice to have.  

There are many years when the ice is on it's last leg by early April but not this year.  There is still plenty of ice out there and a bunch of snow to melt on top of it so you can still expect a few weeks of good fishing! Remember, the walleye season closes on April 16.  

The Northland Buck-Shot Rattle Spoon is the greatest ice fishing lure of all time in my opinion...I have literally caught thousands of walleyes on them.  This one was tied on one of my rods since last year...and it shows!  It put a bunch of dinner on the table for me!  

This in an over-looked bait for crappies but it's one of my favourites - the Northland Eye-Dropper Spoon.  Tip it with a couple of scented plastic waxies or maggots and you have a bait you can get down to fish quickly and call them in from a distance...I always use red, these Sunset Country crappies love it!  

Check out the Ice Fishing Gallery for more photos from the past couple weeks on the ice. -Gussy