Busy weekend for fishing tournaments in region

Three fishing tournaments took place over the weekend here in Sunset Country and three different species were the targets.
In Nestor Falls, the third-annual Musky Cup took place on Lake of the Woods while the Shoal Lake Last Chance bass tournament happened on Shoal Lake and a bass/walleye combination tournament took place at Northwest Bay (Rainy Lake).
At the Musky Cup, teams were allowed to measure two fish per day. The team with the most accumulated inches for their four possible fish is declared the winner.
My good friend Mike Reid, from Sioux Narrows, partnered up with Shaun Puddester, also of Sioux Narrows, and boated four muskies for a total of 165.50 inches to win the $4,000 top prize.
Reid told me they caught their fish casting lures around current areas.
He noted they had planned on trolling large crankbaits during the tournament. But they started off casting on their first spot and quickly boated a nice musky, so they just kept doing what they were doing and had both of their muskies before lunch time each day.
Their biggest fish was 45.5 inches.
Four teams caught two muskies each day, with the biggest fish of the event being caught by Jamie Krukowski and Steve Hanson—a 48.5-incher on the first day.
The Shoal Lake Last Chance tournament, meanwhile, has been going on for many years and always draws a good turnout of anglers looking to get one more weekend of bass fishing in before the end of another season.
Some 35 teams fished the tournament this year, with the Kenora duo of Scott Dingwall and Jay Samsal ending up with the title thanks to a monstrous Day 1 catch of largemouth bass weighing 20.68 pounds that gave them a four-pound lead heading into Day 2.
They caught a solid 16.10 pounds on Day 2 and won by about two pounds.
Dennis Favreau and I have fished this tournament together since 2001. We had a good weekend and ended up finishing second.
We caught a mixed bag of largemouths and smallmouths, but found the fishing to be a little tougher than normal.
Darren and Jack Neniska finished third while Samsal and Dingwall had the big fish of the tournament—a 4.76-pound largemouth.
And down on Rainy Lake, Bill Godin and Larry Foss won the walleye/bass combo tournament. Teams brought in walleyes one day and then bass on the other, which makes for a unique format.
A big thank you to all of the organizers and volunteers who make these and all of the events in our region happen every year. The anglers who participate appreciate all the work!
We’re finally getting blessed with some great weather this week, so I hope everybody is taking the opportunity to get outside and enjoy it because we’re soon going to run out of these beautiful days.