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Monday
Sep262011

Crow Lake Classic report

The Crow Lake Classic bass tournament returned to Nestor Falls September 17-18 after a one-year hiatus and 24 teams took part in the new version of this event.  Everything went great and the tournament was fun for all the anglers.  

My good buddy Marty Hanson and I fished together and had a tough weekend.  We caught a bunch of fish but had a tough time getting the right sized fish.  We caught them drop-shotting some 3" Trigger-X Minnows as well as some Northland Impulse Leeches.  We also caught a few fish on #8 Rapala X-Raps.  We ended up one spot out of the money in 11th.  It was a great event and we will be back to do it again next year!  

This is a photo of the winning team of Steve Hanson and Jamie Krukoski - they had the largest catch on day two.  There was actually a tie for first place but these guys won because they had the largest one-day catch, which was the tie-breaker.  

Steve Hanson and Jamie Krukoski 10.58 13.76 24.34
Thomas White Jr. and Gavin Cowley 11.9 12.44 24.34
Dan Kelly and Daniel Joseph 14.86 9.14 24
Thatcher Haggberg and Jim Ducharme 10.72 11.74 22.46
Morgan Cadine and Bryan Gustafson 11.28 8.46 19.74
Paul Jewiss and Mike Graham 13.96 5.68 19.64
Mitch White and Rhonda Nash 11.12 8.3 19.42
Dale Labelle and Randy Hanson 10.2 8.76 18.96
Greg Stahn and Larry Stahn 8.04 10.8 18.84
Candi Kelly and Gerald Arch 8.9 9.56 18.46
Monday
Sep192011

Bassin' For Bucks - 2nd place again!!!

My good friend Mike Reid and I have fished the annual Bassin' For Bucks tournament on Lake of the Woods together every year since it started in 1996.  That first year we were 14 years old and used a 14 foot Lund boat with a 25 horsepower motor and a cooler for a livewell.  The tournament takes place every year in Sioux Narrows, Ontario on the second weekend in September.  We have had good tournaments and tough tournaments over the years but we have been unable to seal the deal and win this tournament despite finishing 2nd three times!  www.bassinforbucks.com 

The weather was incredible all week for not only the practice period but for the tournament itself as well, which is usually not the case this time of year in Sunset Country.  We stayed at Crawford's Camp for the entire week and have a huge thanks to throw out to Matt Rydberg and Violet Longe for all the great hospitality, we really had a great time!  www.crawfordscamp.com  

I was throwing this new Rapala Crankin' Rap for largemouths during prefish and actually hooked a small largemouth that this pike attacked.  Eventually the largemouth got away and the pike got hooked so I had to get a picture, it was pretty interesting.  

Mike with a nice largemouth he caught during practice on a Northland Impulse Dip-Stick Worm

This was a picture I had to take on the way out in the morning on day two- talk about beautiful weather or what!  This was probably the best day of bass fishing I had all summer - our five fish weight was over 21 pounds.  

Here is a quick shot of our 21.15 pound catch on day two at Bassin' For Bucks - 3 smallmouths and 2 largemouths.  We caught a lot of big fish that day, it was a blast.  

Caught fish on a variety of baits over the course of the weekend - #8 Rapala X-Raps, Northland Impulse Dip-Sticks, Trigger-X Flutter Sticks and Minnows and Northland Pro-Series Spinnerbaits.  With the Senko-style baits, we were using YELLOW PowerPro braid and it made a huge difference in seeing bites because the line is very easy to see and it would jump when we got a bite while the bait was falling.  

Thanks to Barb Salvador and Debbie Ducharme for making the event happen for another year, as well as all the excellent volunteers!  This is one of the best bass tournaments in Canada, all the anglers have a great time!  

Monday
Aug292011

International Falls Bass Championship - 1ST PLACE!!!!

Scott Dingwall and I spent this past weekend in International Falls for the 7th annual IFBC and managed to catch some big smallmouth bass on route to winning the event for the third time and for the second year in a row.  We fished the Rainy River the first day and caught a decent limit that went 12.25 pounds.  We had a tough practice on the River so we were pumped up that we were able to salvage a decent limit.  We had high confidence that we could make up ground on the Lake.  We had our best tournament day ever in this event on the Lake and caught a limit that went 19.19 pounds for a two-day total of 31.44 pounds.  We set both the one-day record as well as the two-day total record for the tournament.  We won $10,000 for our efforts as well as a bonus $1,000 from Optima Batteries for running Optima's in my boat.  They are a little bit more expensive, but they are the BEST boat batteries on the market!!!  And to have the opportunity to win extra money in some tournaments just for using them is huge!  I can't kill them in day, we ran the trolling motor extremely hard on the river and it held us wherever we wanted to hold up.  

We caught our fish on the River on 1/2oz. Northland Reed-Runner Pro-Series Spinnerbaits.  We covered as much water as we could, fishing relatively fast. 

On the lake we caught fish on #8 X-Raps in the morning.  These baits have been key for me in several tournaments this year...this is the smaller size, we call it the "baby" X-Rap.  Once things warmed up, we moved shallow and caught fish on some of the new Northland Impulse soft plastic baits.  

Here is a shot of our big limit off the lake - it was sure a fun day!  We had high expectations, but obviously didn't expect to catch'em as well as we did.  My Lund 2010 Predator boat and Mercury Pro XS 225 motor came through huge like it has all year in getting us there and back every day!  It is a beauty to fish out of!  

Big thanks to all the volunteers that put on a GREAT event in International Falls every year!  It's one of the highlights of the year for us every summer.  www.ifallsbass.com 

Thursday
Aug182011

Lund Angler-Young-Angler Championship

Lund Boat Company held it's annual Angler-Young-Angler Championship tournament on Lake of the Woods last Saturday, in what has become an annual event for Kenora.  16 teams took part in the tournament, with the winning team recieving a trip to Disney World.  The second place team earned a fly-in fishing trip in the no-entry fee event.  

Teams qualified by winning a regional event.  Regional events take place across North America, with representation at the Championship from as far away as Yellowknife NWT, Michigan and South Dakota. Each team is matched up with a guide - who were all Lund pro-staff members that have years of experience on Lake of the Woods.  Though the guides can't fish, they can drive the boat, and choose fishing locations and strategies.  

I was matched up with my good buddy Chad Johnson and his two kids Jacob and Jordan Boyd from Rogers, Minnesota.  It was their first time walleye fishing on Lake of the Woods and we had a great week and a solid tournament showing.  

The tournament itself was a catch-photo-release event so fish were measured and released unharmed.  There are a lot of big walleyes in Lake of the Woods right now and we want to keep it that way so not putting them through the stress of going in the livewell is important.  

Chad got things going early with a 26 inch walleye to start the day

Jordan soon followed that up with a 27 incher that was the largest of the day.  She definately had the hot stick in the boat!  

Jacob with his 26.5 incher.  All the fish were caught on a NORTHLAND FIRE-BALL JIG tipped with a leech

We finished 4th in the event with a 6 fish total weight over 42 pounds!!!  Last year the winning weight was 36 pound so we were pretty confident on our way in.  However, the big walleyes were snappin' on Lake of the Woods and three other teams knocked us off.  Here we are holding down the hotseats until the final three boats came in

The winning team of John and Aidan Butts, along with Aidan's buddy Luke Turcotte hold up the first place prize as their guide Jason Vogelsang looks on.  Congratulations guys!!!

Sunday
Aug142011

Shaw Kenora Bass International - 2nd place

The 24th annual SKBI tournament took place last week on Lake of the Woods.  The tournament went awesome as usual - many thanks to all the directors and volunteers that put in all the time that they do, year after year - the anglers appreciate it!  

Chris Savage and I had a great tournament and ended up 2nd with a three day total weight of 50.53 pounds.  We were just edged by our friends Mark Libitka and Dave Bennett, also of Kenora.  Their total of 50.67 pounds took the first place prize of $25,000.  Congratulations to Mark and Dave!  They earned it.  

We weighed in 9 smallmouths and 6 largemouths over the weekend and never weighed one fish that hurt us.  All of our fish were over three pounds, so we were proud of that.  We caught our fish on a variety of baits and had to adapt to the weather conditions each day of the event.  

Smallmouths:  We caught them on #8 X-Raps, X-Rap Poppers, and some small prototype Northland Impulse tubes.  All fished on Shimano Cumara spinning (X-Rap and tube) and baitcast rods (Popper).  Shimano Stradic CI4 reels (3000 size) - 10 pound Power Pro Line for the spinning rods, Shimano Curado 200E7 baitcast reel and 30 lb. Power Pro for the popper.  

Largemouths:  We caught them all on Northland Jungle Jigs tipped with Trigger-X Flappin' Craws on the back.  We fished these jigs on a 7'5" G. Loomis GLX flippin' stick matched with Shimano Curado 200E7 reels - 65 lb. Power Pro line.  

1 88 18.46 14.30 17.91 50.67 DAVE BENNETT SIOUX NARROWS MARK LIBITKA KENORA  
2 4 16.35 16.42 17.76 50.53 JEFF GUSTAFSON KENORA CHRIS SAVAGE KEEWATIN  
3 5 15.05 14.10 18.68 47.83 JESS SWENSON SIOUX NARROWS MICHAEL REID SIOUX NARROWS  
4 2 18.76 13.52 15.11 47.39 BRIAN MCNANNEY SIOUX NARROWS MATTHEW RYDBERG SIOUX NARROWS  
5 32 11.95 15.45 18.92 46.32 JAY SAMSAL KENORA TROY NORMAN FORT FRANCES  
6 10 18.79 12.20 14.18 45.17 ALEX KESZLER WINNPEG WAYNE WAGNER ST. ANDREWS  
7 26 13.86 17.39 13.80 45.05 ADAM BACHYNSKI KEEWATIN ANDREW BEERNAERT GLADSTONE  
8 9 16.07 14.92 14.00 44.99 KURT DAFCIK KENORA STEVE HARGER MATHEWS  
9 16 13.91 18.33 12.31 44.55 JOE PRITCHETT KENORA HIRAM ARCHIBALD SIOUX NARROWS  
10 3 15.94 14.31 14.06 44.31 BEHN CARLSON KENORA JON PEARSON KENORA

We were in 1st place after two days - this was moments before blast-off on day three.  

Savy with a big smallmouth he caught in practice on a #8 X-Rap - 4 pound smallmouth

Team Canada won the Can/Am Challange and the Frank Townsend Memorial Trophy.  Left to right - Mike Reid, Behn Carlson, Jon Pearson, Brian McNanney, Chris Savage, Jeff Gustafson, Jess Swenson, Matt Rydberg

You can find full results at the tournament website www.kbifishing.com