Fun weekend on Crow Lake

It had been several years since I last fished at Crow Lake. So when my girlfriend and I made plans to fish in the annual Crow Lake Classic bass tournament this past weekend, we didn’t have really high expectations.
It also would be Shelby’s first bass tournament so the first goal was to have fun.
We headed down to Nestor Falls to spend one day pre-fishing the day before the tournament. My plan was to explore a different part of the lake than I had fished before, mainly because my results in the couple of tournaments that I have fished there in the past were not that good.
I probably have seven or eight days fishing on the lake, so I had some familiarity with it. But as I said, it had been a while.
Heading into the weekend, we knew the weather was not supposed to be very good. And when we launched the boat to pre-fish on Friday morning, the wind started to blow and the clouds moved in.
As it turned out, the wind did not some stop blowing for the whole time we were there, the temperatures got colder every day, and it rained on and off for the entire weekend.
I will be honest, I thought maybe it would Shelby’s first bass tournament as well as her last! But she bundled up and did great. She caught several of the bass that we weighed in, as well as her first musky on Day 1 of the tournament.
We discovered fairly quickly that there is no shortage of bass in Crow Lake. The first place we started fishing at, a small hump that topped out at around 18 feet, we caught several. But it quickly became apparent that catching bigger fish would be a challenge.
By the end of our practice day on Friday, we probably caught about 60 bass and had found about a dozen spots that were holding numbers of fish. Most were main lake humps but we did find a few weedlines that were holding fish, as well.
Crow is a deep lake with the clearest water I have ever seen in Northwestern Ontario so while there are not a lot of weeds, where you find them, they grow all the way out to 14 feet of water.
We found a couple of weed edges and these were holding the biggest fish it seemed like.
The first day of the tournament went pretty good. We ended up catching the big fish of the day (a 3.88-pound smallmouth) and our total weight of 10.52 pounds had us sitting in fourth place.
The leaders after Day 1, Dan Kelly and Dan Joseph of Whitefish Bay, had 11.80 pounds so we were in the hunt.
On Day 2, we caught a better average of fish and brought 10.80 pounds to the scales, but we missed getting a kicker like we had the first day. As it turned out, we moved up one spot to finish third in the tournament.
The two teams that beat us caught much bigger catches on Day 2 so we were happy with where we ended up.
Dallas Mosbeck and Wayne Howard ended up winning the tournament after bringing in the biggest limit of the event–15.80 pounds. It was their fourth time winning the tournament; they certainly are the team to beat out there.
Second place went to the Nestor Falls team of Steve Hanson and Jamie Krukoski, who also had a 15-pound limit on Day 2.
They brought in the biggest fish of the tournament–a 5.65-pound monster smallmouth! It was the biggest smallmouth I have seen in a long time!
While the weights were not as high as some of the lakes in our region, the fishing was very good and it was a lot of fun!
In a tournament, the size of the fish is relative so it didn’t matter. When we hooked a two-pounder, we got the net and made sure we got them in the boat.
Crow Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes I have ever been on, as well. Pine-covered, rocky shorelines and gin clear water make it a special place.
If anyone is looking to fish in a fun tournament next year on a lake with lots of bass, this is the one to try.
Big thanks to the Hanson family in Nestor Falls for hosting this tournament out of their lodge on the lake. We stayed in one of their cabins on the weekend and had fun; we’ll definitely be going back next year!
The tournament action continues this weekend with a bass tournament on Shoal Lake taking place Saturday and Sunday while the Nestor Falls Musky Cup also is going on out on Lake of the Woods.
As well, the 19th-annual Rainy River Walleye Tournament hits the water this Friday and Saturday in Rainy River.