The 26th annual Bassin’ For Bucks tournament took place over the weekend in Sioux Narrows and for the anglers fishing this year, it was a week of beautiful weather, making for a fun weekend. A full field of 120 teams fished this year, as has been the case for many years, as Bassin’ For Bucks is one of the favourite tournaments for both area anglers as well as visitors to the Lake of the Woods region.
Bassin’ For Bucks is unique in that anglers are confined to the Sioux Narrows area of Lake of the Woods for this tournament and there are both largemouth and smallmouth bass to catch. Part of the reason it is such a popular event is that it’s a great part of the lake to fish, it’s nearing the end of another season so anglers want to get in one last tournament and they spread the prize money around pretty good. Sioux Narrows is simply a fun little town and it’s always a great weekend.
The tournament started off in the mid-90’s as a way to extend the summer season by another weekend for the community, local businesses and resorts. To say the event has been a success would be a huge understatement. It’s always a busy week in town. A great group of volunteers keeps the tournament going year after year and the anglers are thankful.
As is always the case, the bass fishing is good in this part of Lake of the Woods and it took some weight for Fort Frances anglers Troy Norman and Andrew Carlson to win the tournament. They brought in over 18 pounds every day for a three day total of 56.56 pounds, a couple of pounds clear of the second place finishers Coel and Paul Forsyth. Jamie Bruce and Rob Perrier finished third.
My parents moved to Sioux Narrows several years ago after they retired so my brother and I had a good place to stay. My Dad and brother fish together in this tournament, while Mike Reid and I have fished the tournament together since it started back in 1996. My Dad and brother took the lead on day one, then dropped to second on day two, while we were in third. They held a .02 lead over us heading into the final day, setting a up good family rivalry for the final day. We barely squeaked them on day three, finishing fourth, .02 pounds ahead of Jim and Ben Gustafson, who landed fifth.
The big largemouth of the tournament was a 5.56 pound lunker reeled in by Rick Savage and Dustin Mcleod. The big smallmouth of the tournament was a 4.74 pounder caught by Rennie Balciunus and John Guzej. Finally, the big catch of the tournament came from Jim and Ben Gustafson on Day one when they brought 20.46 pounds of largemouth bass to the scales.
The tournament schedule remains busy through September across the region with the Crow Lake Classic set to take place on Saturday and Sunday in Nestor Falls. My wife Shelby and I have made this an annual event that we really enjoy. It’s a beautiful, scenic lake with excellent numbers of smallmouth bass. The tournament is put on at Hanson’s Hideaway Lodge. There are still spots available for anybody interested in fishing on Crow Lake this weekend.