Bass tournament season in full swing

The bass tournament season is in full swing across Sunset Country this weekend with the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship taking place on Rainy Lake and the Bronzeback Classic going on at Lake of the Woods.
The FFCBC is one of the highlights of the year for me—an event that I’ve been fishing since 2000.
I love Rainy Lake and always enjoy getting to spend a week in Fort Frances. I’ve made a lot of good friends here over the years because of this tournament.
Over the past few years, Rainy Lake has been very good to my partner, John Peterson, and me. John is from Bemidji, Mn. and is the founder of Northland Fishing Tackle.
We complement each other pretty well and have a great time fishing together every year. We have been fishing the tournament together since 2007 and have had a pretty good run, including finally winning the tournament the past two years after a few close finishes.
Things are much different on Rainy Lake this time around compared to last year. The water level is at least three feet lower than it was last July so we are forced to find new places to fish.
We caught our fish extremely shallow last year in the flooded grass that’s basically high and dry this year.
Through a couple days of practice, the fishing has been tough for us. Then again, the weather hasn’t exactly been kind to everybody. Strong winds have made fishing difficult for most teams (at least that’s what everybody is saying).
Fortunately, it looks like we are going to have good weather for the tournament, which runs tomorrow through Saturday (July 23-25), so that should improve things.
We have a lot of good memories on Rainy so hopefully some of the spots that have paid off for us in the past will have a few big bass around them again.
While we definitely are going to try our best at defending the win from last year, it’s very hard to win any of the tournaments in our region, particularly this one, which has a strong field of anglers with many years of experience on Rainy.
One thing I can tell you is that there is nowhere else I would rather be for the last weekend in July than Fort Frances and Rainy Lake. The lake is full of big fish, has some beautiful scenery, and the tournament is truly one of the top-notch events in North America.
Daily weigh-ins are taking place under the big tent down at the Sorting Gap Marina each afternoon.
Meanwhile, up in Kenora, 100 teams are signed up for the Lund Bronzeback Classic—a smallmouth-only tournament on Lake of the Woods.
The unique format for this tournament requires each team to include either a female or a youth angler. This tournament has been great for introducing people to bass tournament fishing.
The Bronzeback is taking place this Saturday and Sunday, with weigh-ins taking place at Tall Pines Marina each afternoon.
Good luck to everybody fishing this weekend!

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