More to tourneys than just fishing

The Sunset Country bass tournament circuit is back in action this weekend as 120 teams are signed up to participate in the 17th-annual “Bassin’ For Bucks” tournament on Lake of the Woods at Sioux Narrows.
I’m writing my column this week from a sweet cabin overlooking the lake at Crawford’s Camp in Sioux Narrows.
August and I, along with several of our friends, have stayed at Crawford’s for the past few years. Owned by our good friends, Matt Rydberg and his mom, Millie, it is centrally-located on the water in the heart of Sioux Narrows.
August and I usually spend the whole week of the tournament in Sioux Narrows—and it has become one of our favourites of the entire year. I guess part of it is that it’s one of the last big events of the summer, so we enjoy the weather (which has been excellent this week), we eat well, and we have fun.
My partner, Mike Reid, and I have fished the tournament together since the very first year, which is something we’re proud of.
We’ve had a lot of fun over the years and have many memories from this event.
We have never won the tournament despite four second-place finishes over the years.
Staying at a resort all week also is fun because there is plenty of entertainment going on every night.
Although we’re all here to fish and spend most of the daylight hours doing that, we like to have a little social time in the evenings visiting with our friends who also are fishing in the tournament and staying at the camp.
We have some pretty intense card games, playing cribbage (which August thinks she is the best at), Texas hold’em, and Euchre (if we can find a few other people who actually know how to play).
Euchre is probably our favourite. It is a great game that is pretty easy to play once you learn the rules.
We always have people stopping in to visit, which we love. Mostly the talk is about fishing, with plenty of lies mixed in because most of us are all fishing the tournament.
Though we’ll share some tidbits of information with each other, usually all the good info is kept pretty tight.
One of our guests over the past few days was Big Joe Pritchett, our gentle giant of a friend. Joe is a very successful angler from our region who actually has won the “Bassin’ For Bucks” tournament three times with his partner, Hiram Archibald.
There was not a lot of truthful fishing information shared with Joe—from either side. He is a funny guy, though, and had us all laughing hysterically.
Probably the most small talk happens when Matt Rydberg and his partner, Brian McNanney, stop in for a visit.
Mike and I are great friends with Matt and Brian, but we expect to be battling with them at the end of the tournament, so it’s pretty funny how we all just make small talk during the week.
We generally know the areas that each other like to fish, so there’s not a lot of information sharing or fishing talk going one. If one of us tells something to somebody on the other team, it’s likely totally opposite of what we actually learned.
“Bassin’ For Bucks” is a fun tournament—one that I would say most local anglers really enjoy.
There is a great pay-out format, which rewards anglers each day of the three-day tournament as well as in an aggregate format.
Mike and I have had decent pre-fishing this week heading into the tournament.
We’ve been alternating our time fishing for largemouth bass as well as smallmouths.
With the nice weather, the fish seem to be biting pretty good, so look for there to be some great catches brought in over the weekend.
You can follow the tournament online at or come for a visit to Sioux Narrows.