Twitter @GussyOutdoors
Twitter @GussyOutdoors

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  


International Falls Bass Championship

Scott Dingwall and I fished the International Falls Bass Championship together this past weekend and had things go our way en route to winning the tournament.  This tournament has a unique format in that it takes place on two different bodies of water; the American side of Rainy Lake and the Rainy River. 

We fished the lake on day one and brought in the third best catch at 14.23 pounds.  We caught our fish on the lake mostly on Rapala SKITTER POPS and #8 X-RAPS. 

On the river on day two we had the largest catch of the tournament at 15.82 pounds.  We caught our fish out there on 1/4 oz Northland WEED WEASEL JIGS tipped with a 4 inch SLURPIES SWIMMING GRUB and a Rapala DT4 Crankbait. 

Photos courtesy of Val Ras Photography

Thanks to OPTIMA Batteries for the $1000 contingency prize!  It pays to use the BEST batteries on the market!

1 4 14.23  15.82  30.05  GUSTAFSON, JEFF DINGWALL, SCOTT
2 7 13.47  14.12  27.59  PETERSON, TRAVIS MATTSON, STEVE
3 24 12.55  13.87  26.42  BURRI, TOM ALTENA, ERIC
4 9 12.22  13.96  26.18  PETERSON, DUANE PETERSON, JOHN
5 25 14.00  12.03  26.03  THORSTAD, DAN ANSELL, AL
6 13 13.24  12.58  25.82  GODIN, BILL GALUSHA, RALPH
7 16 15.19  10.06  25.25  LABELLE, DALE HOWELLS, KARL
8 30 10.56  14.08  24.64  MCKAY, CALVIN JONSON, CHAD
9 52 14.84  9.58  24.42  BENNETT, DAVE SALVADOR, MIKE
10 5 10.68  12.83  23.51  SAVINO, FRANK LAPOINTE, BRIAN




Good fishing in sunset country

Today I got to share the boat with a couple of my hockey buddies, Ian White and Mike Richards.  We had a good day and caught and caught a bunch of fish.  We had a little friendly competition with the smallmouths and Whitey was the champ. 

We took this picture with the timer on my camera and I guess I was just holding mine out the farthest.  Whitey had the big ones!   

We were literally catching them as fast as we could get out baits in the water at one point...the result. 

We caught them on Rapala X-Raps and Northland Mimic Minnow Jigs tipped with a variety of soft plastic jerkshads.  We used light 1/8 oz. jigs for casting and heavier 1/4 oz. jigs for catching fish below the boat that we marked on the Humminbird.  Those jigs are so lifelike, they are deadly on smallmouths!