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Monday
Jun112018

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!  

 

Wednesday
Apr042018

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

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!