Busy weekend for tournament anglers

The final stop of the 2018 FLW Tour took place this past weekend at Lake St. Clair on the Michigan/Ontario border.
After a great few days of pre-fishing with my brother, Ben, I was excited to get the tournament started. I was confident I was going to catch a bunch of fish and hopefully cash a cheque with a top-60 finish.
Things went according to plan on the water but the weights were off the charts and my 35 pounds for 10 fish landed me an 80th place finish! It was disappointing because I expected to have a much better result at this northern smallmouth lake, but I missed the boat on some of the better areas of the lake that were holding bigger fish.
If I get to fish there again in the future, I’ll know better!
The good news is I still ended up finishing in 11th place in the Angler of the Year points race, which qualified me for the Forrest Wood Cup in August down in Arkansas. The top 40 anglers from the FLW Tour qualify for this event, where we are fishing for a $300,000 top prize!
Obviously, I’m very excited for this event next month.
Locally, the tournament season ramps up across Sunset Country this weekend with a couple of bass tournaments and a walleye one. The annual Shoal Lake Big Bass Classic is approaching its 30th anniversary this year and is always one of my favourite local tournaments.
I really enjoy fishing on Shoal Lake and the fishing has been good out there the few times that I’ve been so it should be a good event.
The tournament takes place this Saturday and Sunday, and anglers can sign up prior to the 8 a.m. blast-off on Saturday.
I have fished this tournament on Shoal Lake since before I was a teenager and have so many good memories from out there over the years. I’m looking forward to spending a couple days pre-fishing this week before the tournament.
Down in Rainy River District, the annual “Castin’ for Cash” tournament is taking place this Friday and Saturday on the Lake Despair chain. This is a fun event, as well, and if Shoal Lake weren’t so close to home for me, I would be there.
I have many good memories at this event over the years, as well. If anglers still are interested in signing up, they can contact Bill or Nell Godin at Lake Despair Lodge.
On Lake of the Woods, meanwhile, the fourth-annual Kenora Walleye Open is taking off out of Tall Pines Marina in Norman this Saturday and Sunday. This event attracts a large field of anglers vying for the $20,000 top prize and there will be plenty of large Lake of the Woods walleyes dropped on the scale this weekend.
There may be a couple of spots left open and any anglers interested can check out the tournament website for more details.
Look for the recap of each of these events in next week’s column.