Anglers from around the region met up at Crow Lake in Nestor Falls this weekend for the annual Crow Lake Classic bass tournament. A total of 32 teams fished the tournament this year, up a few teams from last year and everybody enjoyed a great weekend of weather at one of the most scenic, beautiful lakes we have in Sunset Country.
My wife Shelby and I have had some good fortune at Crow Lake over the past few years, earning a couple of wins so we were looking forward to going back last week. The one thing about when you have good luck in these tournaments is it is hard to do different things when you go back. You want to fish the same spots and baits that worked in the past, but every year things change so you don’t make as many good decisions as you should based on the conditions.
We spent a couple of days prefishing and found a few new spots but in the tournament we relied heavily on spots that have been good to us in the past. The fishing was good as it always is at Crow Lake, but we were not able to find as many big ones as we needed to make a run at winning. We had 13 pound each day and landed in 4th place. It was a fun weekend. We caught our fish on topwater baits and a few on Ned rigs each day.
It was a good weekend for the Gustafson family as my brother Ben and his girlfriend Ali Crandall took the win with a two-day total of 31.72 pounds. Ali also caught the biggest fish of the tournament, a 4.95 smallmouth, which she said fell for a topwater bait as well. That must have been a fun hit to watch! They finished second last year so it was nice to see them get the win this year.
My Dad Jim and brother-in-law Michael Cosentino finished second with 30.79 pounds. They had the big bass
on day one, a 4.28 pound smallmouth. Third place went to Jason Cain and Carson Loughrey who totaled 28.20 for the weekend. Fifth place went to Dan and Graham Meckling with 26.09.
Crow Lake is a deep, clear trout lake so it’s a little bit different that most lakes around the region where we have bass tournaments. The number of fish in the lake is incredible, there are a lot of bass but it is tougher to find the big ones. A lot of the deeper humps and points have huge schools of fish on them, where you can literally catch smallmouths as fast as you can drop your bait to the bottom but many of them are one to two pounds. You have to find some three pound plus fish to do well in the tournament.
There are also some largemouth bass in Crow Lake. A few are weighed in every year and we often catch five to ten smaller ones each day but there doesn’t seem to be many big ones. We’ll see what happens in the coming years if some bigger largemouths start showing up or not. Maybe it is just too deep and cold for them to grow large? There are a bunch of them out there so we’ll see.
If anyone is looking for a fun tournament to fish, the Crow Lake Classic is a good one, with a laid back atmosphere and a great group of people. The Hanson family who make the tournament happen every year are some of my favourite people. A huge thank you to all of the other volunteers who help out year after year as well. It’s always a fun weekend and we’ll be back next year.