Plenty of options on area lakes

One of the perks to participating in all of the fishing-related events that I do (i.e., the tournaments, sport shows, and guide trips) is that I get to meet a lot of very interesting people.
Over the past couple of years, through some mutual fishing friends, I met Winnipeg Jets’ hockey player Dustin Byfuglien. If you follow the Jets, you know who he is because he’s a big dude who is very noticeable on the ice with his end-to-end rushes, heavy shot, and hard hits he lays out on other players.
Byfuglien grew up across Lake of the Woods from us in Roseau, Mn., so fishing and hunting were right there and became part of his lifestyle at a young age. He regularly participates in a few bass tournaments each summer, so that’s where our paths have crossed.
Last week while I was on my way home from my trip to Texas, I was killing time in the Minneapolis airport when I noticed that the L.A. Kings were playing that night in Winnipeg. As a long shot, I sent Buff a text message to see if he may be able to help me out with getting a couple of tickets for the game, which would be awesome because I would get to see my other buddy, Mike Richards, play.
Things worked out and my wife and I were able to go to the game. The trade-off was I had to take Buff fishing the following week on Lake of the Woods.
The Jets’ players get four days off per month and they had one of them last week, so we made plans to hook up. Buff ended up bringing out a friend from the team, Anthony Peluso, and he said he wanted to catch a musky.
Byfuglien’s family actually has a cabin on Lake of the Woods, in the Northwest Angle area, and he does quite a bit of musky fishing so he had all the gear for it.
We started off the morning on a popular spot just south of Kenora, and had a big fish follow up on about our third or fourth cast. After a few hours without any action, we caught a pike and finally had another nice musky follow.
At around noon, without a lot of action, we decided to change things up and spend some time walleye fishing. We quickly got on the walleyes and had some good action, so that perked us all up a little bit.
We caught the walleyes on quarter-ounce jigs tipped with four-inch Impulse Smelt Minnows, which are a soft plastic minnow imitator (no live bait required).
After a while, we decided to give bass fishing a try. After striking out on a few smallmouth spots, we hit a largemouths spot and caught some nice fish. Peluso, in particular, caught two four-and-a-half pound largemouths while Buff and I caught a number of two-and-a-half pounders, so he let us know about it.
That’s the beauty of fishing in Sunset Country—there are so many options. If one species isn’t biting very well, you can always find another that is.
Overall it was a fun day, especially because the weather was so beautiful last week.
Alas, the fishing season is almost over for me. I have one more episode of “Fishing with Gussy” to try to film to finish Season 3, so hopefully the nice weather hangs around a little bit longer!

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