Great weekend in Sioux Narrows

The 23rd-annual “Bassin’ For Bucks” tournament took place this past weekend in Sioux Narrows with another full field of 120 teams competing.
Known as one of the most popular bass tournaments in Northwest Ontario because of how well it is run, because there are a bunch of prizes to win and because folks enjoy spending the weekend in Sioux Narrows, the tournament went well again this year.
Since the tournament started back in 1996, I had actually fished the event every year with my good friend Mike Reid.
“Bassin’ For Bucks” became a weekend we always looked forward to because we don’t get to see each other as much as we did when we were kids. Mike has a good job out in Western Manitoba and early last week he called to say that because he was so busy with work he may have to miss the tournament this year.
As we got closer to the tournament, he decided he would not be able to get away so I was left to find a last minute partner.
It worked out that my wife Shelby was able to get away for the weekend to fish so I was excited that we would get to spend a few days together in the boat.
I spent three days prefishing for the tournament, which included checking some old fishing spots that have worked for Mike and I in the past as well as looking for new spots in some of the areas that we liked.
Because the Sioux Narrows area has a mixture of smallmouth and largemouth bass it’s important to fish for both to see if one species is biting than the other.
We typically fish for both species throughout the tournament and go with whatever is working better.
That can change daily, depending on the weather, it really is important to be open-minded.
This year it seemed like the largemouth fishing was much better for me during practice so heading into the tournament I decided that’s what we would spend most of our time doing.
Shelby and I had a great tournament, leading it after days one and two but we only managed to bring in a mediocre catch on the final day and finished up in third place.
We were very pleased with our finish.
We caught a bunch of bass, had fun in the boat together and won a little bit of honeymoon money!
It was another couple who took the first place prize this year as Bryan Gustafson and Breanne Becker brought in the biggest bass of the tournament on the final day, a six-pound largemouth that was a huge help in them winning the tournament.
Brian McNanney and Matt Rydberg, two of the best local Sioux Narrows anglers, took second.
Largemouth bass factored into the catches of most of the top ten teams at Bassin’ For Bucks this year, which was nice to see.
Most of us that compete in these tournaments enjoy fishing for largemouths because even though there are a lot more three pound smallmouths in the lake you have a shot at a five or six pound giant when you fish for largemouths, which you really don’t with the smallmouths.
A huge thank you to the committee and volunteers who make Bassin’ For Bucks happen every year.
It really is one of the most well run tournaments that I have ever fished and it’s always such a fun weekend.
For anyone looking to get into fishing bass tournaments in the region, this is a good one because it has a laid back atmosphere and the prizes are really spread around more than some of the other events.
The Sioux Narrows area is also a truly beautiful part of Lake of the Woods!
For more information about the event you can check out the tournament website.
It’s back to the road for me this weekend as I head to Oklahoma then Michigan for my last two Bassmaster Elite Series events of the year.
I’m excited to get back out there and hopefully finish the year strong so look for the reports on these last couple of tournaments in the next few columns.