Twitter @GussyOutdoors
Twitter @GussyOutdoors

Fall crappie action

Though the open-water fishing season is coming to an end, the awesome weather we have been experiencing lately in Sunset Country has made it tough not to get in a few more days on the water!  We have been doing really well for crappies as well as smallmouths, largemouths and walleyes.  It's tough to beat the fall fishing when the weather is nice! 

I'm also working hard getting ready for the upcoming deer season...look for some new trail cam photos in the next week or so.

We have been getting the crappies on a variety of artificial baits including small jigging spoons like the Northland Buckshot Rattle Spoon, small horizontal jigging baits like the Jigging Rap and Northland Puppet Minnow, as well as a variety of TriggerX and Slurpies plastics tipped on jigs.  Fall time is crappie time! 



Tough showing at the B1

I spent the past week fishing on Lake St. Francis prefishing and taking part in the Berkley B1 Bass Tournament that ran out of Valleyfield, Quebec.  This place is known for GIANT smallmouths which is the reason I travelled across Ontario to fish there.  For those of you that are not famaliar with the water it is basically a chunk of the St. Lawrence River so there is a strong current throughout much of the system.

Our practice started out pretty good, the first fish that my partner Derek Strub caught was a 6.5 pound smallie.  We also had a couple other 4.5 pound fish that first day and figured we had things on the right track.  Over the course of the week the weather was very challenging and that made it difficult for us to get anything really solid figured out.  We were catching some deep fish in the shipping channel and a few shallow fish on the flats.  We were catching nearly all our fish on tubes and a few drop-shotting.  There is a lot of largemouths in the lake as well and we were able to catch good numbers of them but did not catch a lot of big ones and choose to stick to the smallmouths in the tournament. 

We only caught one smallmouth on Saturday during day one of the event for 3.69 pounds and ended up missing the cut to fish on day two.  We stuck with our plan to try to get big fish and just flamed out.  That's tournament fishing, it happens to everybody.  The worst part of the day was that when we were pulling up to the dock to weigh-in, I dropped my phone in the lake.  So that capped off an awesome day for me! 

The tournament itself was very well-run and provided the anglers with a great deal of exposure.  The tournament water was very interesting, it just got the better of us.  I would love to go back and try again! 

On Sunday, since we missed the cut at the tournament, Strubby took me out on Lake Ontario, out of Kingston, where he won the Canadian Open Tournament this summer and $40,000.  It was one of the BEST smallmouth outings I have ever been on.  We caught a number of fish over 5 pounds and really good numbers.  So that made the whole trip for me. 



Shoal Lake Last Chance - 2nd Place Again!!!

The Shoal Lake Last Chance tournament took place this past weekend (Sept.25/26) and Dennis Favreau and I had a good tournament, finishing second with a two day weight of 38.43 pounds. 

First place went to the Kenora team of Trevor Guderyan and Dean Tacknyk who had a total weight of 38.57 pounds.  They had a 20.28 pound catch on day one. 

This was our third 2nd place finish in a row in this tournament and we usually focus on largemouths but this year we could not get the big ones going so we choose to target smalllmouths for the most part and that is what we weighed in.  Our two bags came in at 19.28 and 19.15 pounds so we were consistent.  We did not get any big kicker fish, just 5 really good ones. 

We caught them on a variety of smelt imitation baits.  The two best ones for us were 1/4 and 3/8 ounce Northland Mimic Minnow Jigs tipped with a variety of jerk shad bodies, including 5 inch Trigger-X Minnows and Slurpies Jerk Shads.  Any of the white, shad colors were good.  We also caught a few big ones on #14 Rapala Husky Jerks. 

1: Trevor Guderyan / Dean Tacknyk - 38.57 lbs.

2: Jeff Gustafson / Dennis Favreau - 38.43 lbs.

3: John Guzej / Marc Guzej - 37.90 lbs.

4: Wayne Wagner / Darrell Keszler - 37.57 lbs.

5: Alex Keszler / Darrell Keszler - 37.42 lbs.

6: Matt Rydberg / Brian McNanney - 37.24 lbs.

7: Dean Smith / Pat James -  37.07 lbs.

8: Joe Pritchett / Hiram Archibald - 36.83 lbs.

9: Mark Libitka / Bart Stebnitsky - 36.80 lbs.

10: Troy Norman / Jay Samsal - 36.25 lbs.

Brian McNanney displays part of his and Matt Rydberg's 20.57 pound day-two catch.  (The biggest of the day)

Tournament winners Otis and Tack after they recieved their checks. 

Thanks to the folks at Shoal Lake for putting on two great tournaments this season.  All the anglers love to fish out there!  


Lucas's Big Walleye

This big walleye comes into us from my friend Sean Reimer.  It was caught by his 12 year old son Lucas.  This Lake of the Woods fish was caught a jig/minnow combo. 

Good job Lucas! 


Bassin' For Bucks Report

Anglers from across Sunset Country converged on Lake of the Woods out of Sioux Narrows last week for the 14th annual Bassin' For Bucks tournament.  This tournament is a favourite of area anglers and fills up every year with a full field of 120 teams. 

Mike Reid and I have fished the tournament together every year since the event started and we had a day to remember on day one when we brought in a five fish limit that weighed 24.55 pounds.  This catch included a 6.16 pound monster as well as three other largemouth bass over 5 pounds.  It was a DREAM DAY. 

We caught these fish on finesse presentations using spinning rods and light line.  Typically we like to catch our largemouths on a Jungle Jig and heavy tackle but we needed to downsize for this event.  We caught these fish wacky rigging Slupries Dip-Stick Worms and Trigger-X Flutter Worms on a Gamakatsu Extra Wide Gap Finesse Hook.  10lb. Power Pro line was instrumental in catching these fish.  It is light to allow long casts, yet strong enough to handle these big fish. 

Over the next two days we couldn't get back on the monster fish and brought in two decent limits to land in second place at the end of the tournament.  We caught fish on a variety of baits over the next two days - Rapala X-Raps, Northland Pro-Series Spinnerbaits and Mimic Minnow Jigs tipped with a few different jerk shad tails. 

Taking down first place with the husband and wife team of Ted and Louise Stewner.  They had three large catches of smallmouths - slow and steady wins the race.  They had a three day total of 54.85 pounds. 

We had very challenging conditions over all three days of this event with really strong winds every day.  I can't praise my boat enough for getting us to our spot and back every day quickly and comfortably.  The boat is a Lund 2010 Predator powered by a Mercury 225 Optimax ProXS.  This rig is an awesome fishing machine! 

1. Ted Stewner/Louise Stewner - 54.85 

2. Jeff Gustafson/Mike Reid - 53.60

3. Joe Pritchett/Hiram Archibald - 52.32

4. Roger Harrison/Dorese Harrison - 48.35

5. Alex Keszler/Wayne Wagner - 48.23

For full results check out the tournament website at