Great time in Sioux Narrows

It’s been 22 years since Sioux Narrows’ anglers Chris Bell and Mel Giesbrecht started the first “Bassin’ For Bucks” tournament on Lake of the Woods there.
They wanted a three-day tournament that offered rewards for daily catches and aggregate catches, which is a great way to spread the prize money around.
That first year, the tournament started out with 38 teams competing. But it only took a couple of years to reach a full field of 120 boats, which it consistently gets year after year to this day.
The tournament consists of many local teams but they come from several U.S. states, as well. It is a great event for the town of Sioux Narrows because it fills up a bunch of rooms and keeps the businesses there going strong for an extra week after the summer starts to wind down.
Mike Reid and I have fished this tournament together every year since it started back in 1996. Mike grew up in Sioux Narrows but we played hockey together and went to school together so we were pals from a young age.
That first year, we actually fished out of Mike’s 14-foot Lund with a 25 h.p. motor and we had a cooler for livewell. We’ve come a long way since then!
Over the years, we have had some great tournaments and we have a lot of great memories from the event. Within several years of its inception, Sioux Narrows residents Barb Salvador and Debbie Ducharme took the reins on running the event and Barb is still the boss to this day.
For a small town, it is amazing how many local and seasonal residents come out to volunteer every year and make the tournament the top-notch event that it is. Thank you to all of them!
Nowadays, Mike lives with his wife and daughter out in western Manitoba but they get back to Lake of the Woods several times each summer to enjoy the lake and do some fishing. For us, this tournament gives us a chance to spend much of the week together as we always practice for a few days.
Outside of this event, we don’t get to spend much time together so it’s always fun to spend a few days in the boat. We enjoy the challenge of trying to figure out these bass every year because it always changes based on the weather, water levels, and fishing pressure.
While the fishing was fairly tough this past weekend on Lake of the Woods, and the weather did not fully co-operate, things went pretty well for Mike and I. We won the tournament for our second time, mostly thanks to a huge Day 2 catch of 21.04 pounds that included the big bass of the tournament at 5.84 pounds.
Missouri anglers Drew Reese and George Robison took second place while Kenora anglers Jamie Bruce and Rob Perrier finished third. Drew is a Sioux Narrows resident in the summer and is a great guy, so it was nice to see them do so well.
For anybody looking to fish in a fun bass tournament, “Bassin’ For Bucks” is the favourite of many local anglers and because of the prize structure, a bunch of teams go home with some money. It always takes place the second weekend in September.
This weekend, the bass tournament action heads just south of Sioux Narrows to Nestor Falls, where the Crow Lake Classic is taking place Saturday and Sunday. My girlfriend, Shelby, and I are teaming up for the second year in a row and a few of our friends are coming to fish this year, as well.
We have a cabin rented for the weekend on the lake so we’re excited to get down there and have some fun.
It looks like there is going to be a great turnout for the tournament this year, which runs out of Hanson’s Wilderness Lodge and teams are welcome to sign up right up until blast-off on Saturday morning.