It’s tournament time in Sunset Country

The final FLW Tour regular-season event wrapped up this past weekend down at Lake Champlain, N.Y. and while I had a good tournament, ending up in 29th place, I fell a little short of winning the coveted Angler-of-the-Year title I have been mentioning over the past few weeks.
In the end, the leader headed into this final event, Tennessee angler Andy Morgan, capped off a great season with a 13th-place finish to win the AOY award (his third time winning it in the past four seasons).
Morgan is one of the best all-time anglers in professional bass fishing because of his consistency. He only has ever won one major event, but he has dozens of top 10 finishes and seldom ever has a bad tournament.
I ended up in fifth place overall, which is pretty awesome, and I’m proud of the great season I had. In doing so, I’ve qualified for my first Forrest Wood Cup—the FLW’s championship event.
The top 35 anglers for the season qualify for this tournament that has no entry fee and a $300,000 prize for first place. As well, every angler who qualifies wins $10,000, so it’s going to be a fun event without any pressure on me.
I’m going to go and enjoy every minute of it and whatever happens, happens. It’s the one tournament that a guy wants to win, though, with the biggest payout in professional fishing.
Over the course of the six-tournament season, all the messages I have gotten from everybody back home wishing me good luck, or telling me way to go, have been greatly appreciated.
Being on the road, it’s nice to hear from everybody and I think I probably have the best support of any angler fishing the FLW from my family, friends, and sponsors. It’s top-notch so thank you all.
Unfortunately, the Forrest Wood Cup falls on the same weekend as the KBI tournament this year, so I’m going to miss that for the first time since 1993!
It will be tough to miss the KBI as it’s always one of the most fun weekends of the year for me. But getting to fish in this tournament is a pretty big deal for my career so I’m looking forward to it.
Around Sunset Country, the tournament scene gets rolling this weekend with Lake Despair Lodge’s annual “Castin’ For Cash” bass tournament and the second-annual Kenora Walleye Classic on Lake of the Woods.
Both events have full fields of anglers signed up, so it should be a fun weekend for everybody involved.
My plan is to head down to Lake Despair to try and catch a few bass. It’s always a fun tournament that’s put on by Bill and Nell Godin.
“Castin’ For Cash” takes place Friday and Saturday (July 1-2), after which there always is a good party on Saturday night.
The Kenora Walleye Classic, meanwhile, quickly has become a premier event because of the great fishing Lake of the Woods has to offer. This event takes place this Saturday and Sunday, with weigh-ins being held at the WSL Marina docks in Norman.
Look for anglers to bring some big walleyes to the scales this weekend.
Since I have been on the road for the past few weeks, I haven’t been fishing around home a whole lot yet. But the reports I have been getting on the walleye fishing is that some fish are starting to show up on the main lake humps where they will spend much of the summer.
So if you’re heading out, that’s probably where you want to start looking.
Have a great Canada Day weekend, everyone!