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Sunday
Mar182018

Good Times @ Lake Lanier!!!

The third stop of the 2018 FLW Tour season went down at Lake Lanier, GA in early March.  When the schedule was released last summer this event excited me because I love to fish for spotted bass and I knew I would be able to use some spinning gear and fish deep.  

It ended up being a great tournament and I was fortunate to score my second top ten finish in a row, ending up in 7th place.  I had a great practice at this event and a really fun week in general.  I would rank Lanier at the top of my list of favourite bodies of water that I have fished since I started fishing the FLW Tour in 2012.  

The third day of the event went really well and got me into the final day, here are some of my catches from that day!  I was catching my fish with a Ned Rig, using a new Jackall bait called the Yammy Fish, as well as some different Z-Man worms once I ran out of the Yammy Fish baits...I also caught some neko rigging a Northland Impulse Dip-Stick and a Jackall Flick-Shake Worm.  

The new Simms Pro-Dry suit was a life-saver this week, we had plenty of rain and cold weather.  These suits are high-end but they are amazing!  I LOVE catching these spotted bass as well!  

I didn't really get to use the Aqua-Vu Underwater Camera a lot when I was in Florida but I sure did at Lanier, to confirm that I was seeing bass on my electronics and to check out what was living in many of the brush piles found on the lake.  

Prior to getting out on Lanier I spent a couple days fishing a small lake about an hour away and it was a fun couple days with some friends from one of my sponsors - International Comfort Products.  My buddy Darrell Shull connected with a Georgia GIANT, an 8-12 monster largemouth!  

It was a good warm up for me as well because it was a super good spotted bass lake!  Those are two five pounders, including my personal best - a 5-8 monster!  

This was the biggest one I caught on Lanier, on the last afternoon of practice - it was over five pounds as well.  All I can say is it is a pretty special lake, one that I hope we visit again someday!  

Sunday
Mar182018

Harris Chain FLW Tour!!!

I had the best tournament of my career in late February at the Harris Chain, FL FLW Tour event.  After a great practice, where my Dad came down to join me, I had an awesome tournament and almost won, eventually finishing 2nd.  

Fellow Canadian and good friend Chris Johnston ended up squeaking me out in the end.  Still, it was an awesome week!  

Over the course of the four day event I caught just about every fish I weighed in on a white 1/2 oz Z-Man Jackhammer Chatterbait...it was simply a bait that I caught a few on in practice and I gained a lot of confidence in it over the course of the event.  

Here is some fish catching from Day Four of the event!  Enjoy!  

Here was a big one from practice..we caught quite a few of these over the three days of scouting on Harris...we took a photo of this one because it was foggy and nobody was around!  It was great having my Dad down for this event.  

Prior to fishing at Harris I spent a couple of days fsihing with my good friend from home, Bill Godin.  He and his wife Nell are awesome people.  They spend much of the winter in Florida every year and always take me in and look after me for a few days!  This was on one of the smaller, fun lakes in Florida that always try to get to at least a couple of times each year. 

I would not get to fish for a living without the help of all of my amazing sponsors and supporters...it's huge for me!  

Simms is a new sponsor this year and they make the most amazing fishing and outer wear.  In addition to the best rain suits on the market, these sun shirts (Solarflex Hoodie) are so comfortable and protect you from the sun - great for fishing in Florida!  Check out their stuff!  


 

Saturday
Mar172018

Fun in Florida

Since I started fishing FLW Tour events back in 2012 I have spent a lot of time fishing down in Florida.  Most years, our first event of the season takes place in the Sunshine State so I usually head down a little bit early to get a little warm up and break in my new equipment.  I am finally learning how to consistently catch bass in Florida and am already looking forward to getting back next year!  Here is some action from the first trip of the year for FLW Tour stop #1 at Lake Okeechobee.

 

My pal Jamie Bruce made the trip down with me - which was a huge help and we had a blast fishing for a few days!  Here is a video documenting our trip south! 

We spent the first day fishing the Harris Chain and took a little ride around.  We caught a few, including this giant, which would be a sign of things to come at this place about six weeks later!

After a day on Harris we started hitting a few of the smaller lakes that I have fished over the years and had a blast...as you can see by all of the warm clothes, we timed our trip perfectly with a cold front so that kind of made things tougher but we caught some good ones every day!

Jamie's big fish of the trip, a 7 pounder he caught flipping a heavy mat...he boat flipped it like a boss!

My pal Mike Richards and his girlfriend spent a few weeks in Florida while we were there so they put us up for a few days and Richie caught the big bass one of the days that we went!

My practice at Okeechobee was not great until the last day when I found an area that I was getting bit every other cast, it was pretty awesome.  This was one big one that I set the hook on...I had several others that I shook off as well.  I was excited for the tournament to start. 
Unfortunately, I did not execute very well in the event and ended up with an 87th place finish.  It was disappointing because I was fishing beside Tim Fredericks, who eventually ended up winning the tournament.  I was in the right area, doing to right thing but I made some mistakes.  I usually learn everything the hard way, so on to the next one!

After the tournament I stuck around for a few days to fish with some sponsor folks from International Comfort Products and we crushed them...that is a pair of 7 pounders!  We fished much slower and the weather improved a little bit but I learned a lot...won't make the same mistakes the next time I'm fishing at the Big O! 

 

Thursday
Dec212017

Fall Fishing and Hunting

The fall came and went quickly for me and as usual it was a fun few months around home here in Northwest Ontario's Sunset Country Region.  There is no place in North America that offers the variety of outdoor activites that this region does!  To plan your dream fishing or hunting trip, start your search here: https://visitsunsetcountry.com

The fishing this fall was excellent.  It did end a little earlier than normal after the massive winter storm we go in late October but prior to that I got out in the boat quite a few times, catching crappies, walleye and bass.  I missed getting a musky trip...next year!

This was the last day I got out bass fishing in late October and it was a phenomenal day.  I got my good friend Dale Saunders in the boat for some bass fishing and we had a blast!  Dale is an excellent walleye angler but he is just getting into the bass game so it was fun to get him on a good bite!  

Aqua-Vu wass a new sponsor for me in 2017 and while I have used underwater cameras plenty over the years it was amazing to use some of these new cameras this year and see how far they have come.  They are full color, easily viewable machines now, they really increase the knowledge you have of the water that you fish and they are awesome for keeping kids interested and occupied in the boat!  http://www.aquavu.com

In between fishing I do quite a bit of hunting and it was another good year for grouse!  These birds are so beautiful and are arguably my favourite thing to eat on this whole planet!  We have a bunch of them and it's usually not very difficult to get a limit when we head out.  

The deer continue to recover after some tough winters several years ago nearly wiped out our population.  While it is still not at the level it was ten years ago, the numbers are getting better in pockets for sure.  There were several monster bucks taken in the Lake of the Woods area this past season so the future looks good!

This was the best deer I had on my trail cams this past season and my friend John Peterson sat for several days from dark to dark before he finally connected with it!  Pretty much the dream Canada deer right!  

Have a great Holiday everybody!  Look for some ice fishing action soon!  

 

Friday
Nov172017

2017 Summer Bass Tournaments 

After a tough season south of the border, things got back on track around home this summer with some good events.  We have some of the best open, team bass tournaments in North America here in the Lake of the Woods/Rainy Lake areas.  They are well attended community run events with great payouts and awesome fishing.  

In early July my buddy Karl Engstrom and I took second at the Shoal Lake Bass Classic, a long running event on Shoal Lake that has been going on since the early 90's.  I love fishing on this lake and while I usually like to fish for largemouths on this lake, most of the fish we weighed in were smallmouths caught on topwater baits like the Jackall SK Pop Grande.   

Later in July I fished the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship with my good frind John Peterson.  We had a good tournament and ended up finishing 5th.  We caught our fish on a variety of baits in this one - Impulse Tubes, topwaters and spinnerbaits.  This is one of the premier bass tournaments in Canada and takes place every year on Rainy Lake.  

In August I fished the Kenora Bass International on Lake of the Woods with my Dad.  This was my first tournament back in 1993 when I was 10 years old.  I fished with my Dad for the first few years then didn't fish with him for nearly 20 years so it was fun to get back in the boat with him - we had a great tournament and finished fourth.  

Later in August Scott Dingwall won the International Falls Bass Championship on Rainy Lake.  We had two amazing days of fishing - a couple of my best ever on Rainy!  We caught our fish in open water on topwaters, suspending jerkbaits and tubes.  

After a third place finish at Bassin' For Bucks with my long time partner, Mike Reid, my girlfriend Shelby Larson and I took third at the Crow Lake Classic on Crow Lake.  It was her first tournament and we had a great time despite some challenging weather!  We're going back next year for sure!  

Third place in Shelbs first tournament!  

Later in September my pal Denny Favreau and I won the Shoal Lake Last Tournament - our fourth time winning this one since we started fishing way back in 2001!  We had a mixed bag of largemouths and smallmouths, weighing over 18 pounds each day.  It was a fun weekend.  We caught fish on a bunch of different baits in this derby...spending our time fishing both shallow and deep.  

Ended the season fishing the Whitefish Bay Fall Classic with Mike Richards.  We had an awesome first day but a rough day two and finished just out of the money.  Still a fun weekend on Lake of the Woods, as always!  

I encourage anybody who is looking to fish a fun bass tournament to visit Northwest Ontario and fish in one of the great events that we have.  Feel free to fire away if you have any questions about any of our tournaments!