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Tuesday
Mar312015

Trapping and a trip to Florida

It's been go-go-go for me for the past few months so I apologize for not updating my site in a while. 

Back in February before the start of the FLW Tour season down in Florida, my wife August and I took our trapping course, along with a couple of our friends.  It was a great weekend spent outside, we learned a lot!  It's something that we would like to do down the road, just another excuse to spend time outdoors and in the woods!

Our buddy Jay Kelly taught us the course, he is a great guy!  This was his trappers cabin in the woods.

Here is August and Nicole Smith with a fisher that we found in one of Jay's traps.  

After the trapping course, we hit the road for Florida to get the FLW Tour season going.  Unfortunately the tournament did not go very well for me and I ended up with a dismal 127th place finish.  I had a tough practice and that turned into a tough tournament.  Still, it was fun!  

My brother Benny came down to Florida to practice with me and we had a blast, so that was cool!  Thanks for coming bud!  

Here is a big fish that I caught prior to getting on the water at Lake Toho.  Caught it flipping on the St. Johns River.  

After the Toho FLW tournament was over I was able to hook up with my buddy Dallas Mosbeck and we fished a small tournament on Lake Istokpoga, a lake in central Florida that I have fished a few times in the past.  We caught 16 pounds and finished 4th.  A good day on the water!

Here is a shot of my new boat for 2015.  Many thanks to all of my sponsors that allow me to follow my dreams and fish for a living!   
 
 

Monday
Feb092015

Wolf hunting and ice fishing 

It's been a busy past month for me around home.  I spent a good part of January guiding wolf hunters and slipping in some ice fishing here and there.  It's a great time to wolf hunt in Ontario's Sunset Country Region - conditions are great right now.  Our deer population took a big hit over the past couple of harsh winters but the wolf population is still strong.  With fewer deer the wolves seem to be hitting baits a lot better than they have in the past.  Hunting was great this year, most of my guest were successful.  

Bret Amundson from Minnesota connected with a beautiful male in early January. We have to tag our wolves in the nose in Ontario. 

Jake Hoffman from Minnesota with his second wolf in two trips.  

Cory Anderson from South Dakota with his first wolf.  

We hunt our wolves over bait which we try to freeze into the ice so they can't drag it away.  I use deer and moose scraps left over from the fall hunting season for bait.  

Pete Hill from Ontario with a nice lake trout he caught on Lake of the Woods. 

Here is a nice limit of walleyes with a few perch mixed in...good eats!  A great afternoon on Lake of the Woods!

This is the biggest perch that I have ever caught...a 13.5" monster that fell for a 1/4 oz Northland Buckshot Rattle Spoon while I was walleye fishing.  

 

 

Monday
Dec292014

Hunting in December

December was a busy month that just seemed to go by like a whirlwind.  I spent the first weekend at the St. Paul Ice Show helping out some of my sponsors - Frabill and Northland Fishing Tackle.  It was a good show as usual, good crowds and some great deals for shoppers.  If you are big into ice fishing, this show takes place every year on the first weekend in December and it's great.  All of the manufacturers are there and quite a few retail outfits set up and sell fishing gear as cheap as they will all year.  
After the St. Paul trip I spent a week moose hunting with some friends near Red Lake, Ontario.  We go every year in December, at the end of our season in Ontario.  We had a pretty good hunt this year and were able to tag two moose, a young bull and a nice cow.  

Here is the young bull...it actually dropped one of its antlers when we got up to it.  

The cow was the first moose for my buddy Darrin Tacknyk.  These animals are awesome!  They are so big, it's crazy...beautiful critters.  They are great eating also!  

We get around in moose country on snowmobiles.  Thanks to the cold start to the winter that we had we were able to even get out on some of the smaller lakes to access some of our hunting spots.  I put on about 100 kilometers per day on this trip, it was fun!  

While I was moose hunting with my buddies, my wife August went on a top-notch pheasant hunting trip to Minnesota and South Dakota with her friend Mandy Uhrich.  They had a great time and got quite a few birds...August had a great time!

I have been on the ice fishing a few times but I haven't been taking any pictures...just catching walleyes to eat!  But we'll have some fishing pictures posted on here pretty soon!   

 

Friday
Nov282014

Quiet November around home...

This past month has certainly been the quietest of the whole year so far for me.  It was nice though, I've been able to hang out around home for the most part, with a few fishing and hunting trips mixed in.  I got out in the boat in early November to film my last open water TV show of the year.  My buddy Mike Reid took me out on Lake of the Woods to fish for muskies.  Though we didn't score a lot of action, we ended up landing the biggest musky I have ever had my hands on just before dark and got a really good show done.  It was a big 30 pound plus fish.  We did not have a measuring device with us that day but we rough measured it at around 50".  BIG FISH!!! 

After that trip the temperatures really started dropping off and that was my last day in the boat.  
We did get a hunting trip in for a weekend up to Red Lake to chase moose.  August and I went with some of her family and though we didn't get to use any tags, we had a great weekend staying at Five Lakes Lodge.  We did see a bull on our last day hunting but it ended up getting away on us without an opportunity for a shot.

Here are August and I huddled around a fire, warming up while we were waiting to meet up with a couple of our hunting partners one afternoon.  I'm headed back to Red Lake for five days in mid-December just before the end of the season.  I have a bull tag that I'd love to use!  

I did manage to use my buck tag last week on this little guy.  Definitely not the biggest buck I've ever harvested but I really wanted some meat for the freezer.  I love eating venison!  

 

Thursday
Oct302014

Fall fun in Ontario's Sunset Country!  

Man, I've had a tough time keeping up with my website over the past few months...just to much stuff on the go!  Over the past couple of months I've been staying busy, doing lot's of fishing and a little bit of hunting.  It's been fun.  This time of year is always fun because there is so much stuff to do if you like to spend time in the outdoors.

Fall is always one of the best times to catch crappies and I have been getting in on some of that action.  In addition to a few fun trips I was also able to film a good segment for my TV show Fishing with Gussy all about fall crappies - how to find them on the Humminbird, then catch them.  

Before the lake trout season closed on September 30, Brian McNanney and I had a great day catching a few of these beauty fish on Lake of the Woods and got an awesome TV show done - look for season four shows to start airing in January.  We were catching these fish vertically jigging under the boat with a Northland Impulse 5" Smelt Minnow on a 3/8 oz Slurp Jig.  

Fall is also prime time to catch big walleyes...they get a little deeper than they are during the summer but they are usually in the mood to bite.  This one ate a Jackall Clone Fry rigged up on a Northland Slurp Jig.

After a busy summer I was busy filming TV shows this fall and got a great show done in late September catching pike with Jackall Squad Minnow 120 jerkbaits.  They get out of the weeds and on the main lakes rocks once the water temperatures start to drop and it's a great time to be on the water chasing these toothy critters.

I finally got on a good umbrella rig bite this fall and man was it fun.  My buddy Jamie Bruce turned me on to it and this was my first "double" on the rig...a couple of nice smallmouths.  These rigs don't work everywhere but if cisco are the main forage they seem to be pretty deadly.  

I fished a few tournaments in late September and early October and they went pretty good.  In this shot, my nephew Dustin Hager and my buddy Karl Engstrom hold up part of our 18 pound, third place catch in the one-day Frank McClymont Memorial tournament at Shoal Lake.  
In the Shoal Lake Last Chance tournament, Dennis Favreau and I took 2nd place, while my good buddies Scott Dingwall and Jay Samsal won.  The next weekend at the Whitefish Bay tournament on Lake of the Woods, Mike Reid and I took 2nd again while Brian McNanney and Matt Rydberg took first.  

After a couple of rough winters our whitetail deer population here in NW Ontario has been hit pretty hard.  There are still a decent number of deer around but we have lost a lot of our mature bucks, which get hit the hardest because they are so run down from the rut process in the fall.  So I have decided to take a break from the deer hunting this year.  Hopefully we'll start to get some better weather over the next couple of winters and these deer recover.  We'll see what happens.
In the meantime I have been doing quite a bit of duck hunting and grouse hunting and it's been great.  I have not really duck hunted since high school so it's been fun to get back into it.  My shooting needs some practice though!  And grouse numbers are surprisingly high after a cold spring which is usually bad for these birds.  I have had some great days grouse hunting this fall and have been eating good!  They are probably my favourite thing on the whole planet to eat!  
It's on to big game hunting now, chasing some moose and deer.  Hopefully I'll have some good pictures to post in the coming weeks!