Crazy fall weather makes for great fishing

A couple of weeks back when this latest run of beautiful, unseasonably warm weather started I figured I would take advantage of if by getting on the water and put in some long days fishing. I have continued the trend for a couple of weeks and it looks like we still have a few more days of it at least. In addition to all of the sun and warm weather, the wind has been light for the most part as well, making it extra enjoyable to be on the water or outside in general.

Because of all this nice weather in September, I think I launched my boat every day but two in September. It’s the most I have ever fished in a month for sure. I have more hours on my boat motor this year than I have ever put on in a season. Others can say the same I’m sure. Because the weather has been hanging in there, I have actually booked a few more guide trips on Lake of the Woods over the next couple of weeks so I’m going to keep enjoying it while I can because we all know that it will be over soon and we’ll be faced with five or six months of snow and ice.

In addition to some guide trips and fun fishing over the past month, there have been bass tournaments going on every weekend, so I’ve been getting in on those. This past weekend, the annual Whitefish Bay Fall Bass Classic took place in Sioux Narrows. Forty teams signed up, the most in the 20 plus year history of the tournament so that was great to see. I teamed up with my Dad for this one and while we had a great time, we didn’t exactly light up the scoreboard.

One thing about the fall fishing is that at this point in the season, cold weather is usually better for fishing. It was noticeably tougher for most of the field this weekend as the weights were mostly average after being higher than normal in most tournaments over the summer. The fish just seem to get kind of lazy and harder to catch in this nice weather. We fished deep the first day of the tournament, on traditional humps and points where smallmouths group up in the fall and we could see fish on the electronics on my boat but they were harder than normal to catch. Other anglers said the same. We had a limit weighing 16.50 pounds on day one, which put us in 14th after day one.  

Jeff Gustafson teamed up with his father Jim this past weekend on Lake of the Woods.

On day two, we fished close to Sioux Narrows and wrangled up 17.84 pounds, including the big largemouth on day two with a bass weighing 3.78 pounds. We ended up with a 12th place finish, just out of the money, but that fish was worth $500 so we covered some of our expense from the weekend. We ended up fishing shallow all day and caught a bunch of nice fish. It was a fun weekend fishing with Dad for sure.  

Ian Waterer and Motei Demers won the tournament this weekend, while Dave and Janis Lindsay were second and Ted Stewner and Steve Ellie were third. The Lindsay’s had the big bass of the weekend with a 5.35 pound smallmouth. Dean Smith and Mike Salvador had the big largemouth on day one with a 5.29 pound beauty.  

Bass anglers have one more weekend of tournament fishing left with a couple of events going on. On Saturday the annual Frank McClymont Memorial Tournament is taking place on Saturday in Kenora. Frank was one of the original bass tournament anglers in Northwestern Ontario and is missed by many who knew him. There is also a two day event taking place up at One Man Lake on the English River system Saturday and Sunday. It’s is remote, relatively untouched bass fishery but the fishing is evidently really good. My brother and I are going to give it a try. I enjoy getting to fish some new water so I’m looking forward to the adventure.

Get out there and enjoy this continued run of beautiful weather everybody!