Sunset Country bass tournament season has wrapped up

The final Sunset Country bass tournament of the season took place Saturday on Lake of the Woods with the tenth annual Frank McClymont Memorial tournament. This is a one day tournament that has become very popular in recent years. Part of the reason for the popularity is because tournament organizer Rick Savage has always allowed teams to bring a kid 14 or under along and it’s just a great time of year to go bass fishing.

It has been ten years since Frank lost his battle with cancer. He was very active in the bass fishing community in Northwest Ontario, competing in nearly every event he could. At the time of his passing he was the only angler who had competed in every single Kenora Bass International and Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship. He was also a generous guy, always willing to help new anglers, take kids fishing and have a good time. He is missed by many.

These fall tournaments almost always feature higher weights than the summer events. Bass are feeding actively in preparation for the long winter ahead so they are heavier, they are often grouped up and they are generally easier to catch. It’s a great time to introduce new anglers to competitive fishing because they are probably going to catch some fish and have fun.

Ian Waterer and Motei Demers won the tournament on Saturday with a 21.30 pound limit, dominating the sixty team field. They have been hard to beat in most of the tournaments around the region the past couple of years, it’s been an impressive run.  

Second place went to Logan Zimmerman and Amanda Keszler who brought in almost 20 pounds, while Rick Savage and Bryan Gustafson were third with 19.5 pounds. The big bass was a 5.2 pound largemouth brought in by Savage and Gustafson.  

My Dad and I teamed up for this tournament. We don’t get to fish together as much as we would like so it was a good opportunity to get in the boat together for a day. We put in a good effort fishing for largemouth but didn’t catch any big ones. We managed to put together a mediocre 16 pound limit of smallmouths so we missed getting in on any of the winnings but we had a great day in the boat together.  

It was great to see all of the kids out there fishing on Saturday. It looked like everybody had a good time. Lake of the Woods Sports Headquarters helped to make sure that all of the kids fishing got a free fishing rod and they contributed a bunch of other great prizes for the kids, which was awesome. Thank you to everybody over there.  

That wraps up another season of bass fishing across the Sunset Country Region. For all of us who enjoy competitive fishing and bass fishing, we are very lucky to have all of the great events that we do over the short season. These tournaments all take significant time and effort to make happen so on behalf of all the anglers who compete, we thank all of the tournament organizers and volunteers who show up year after year. I already can’t wait to get back at it again in 2023!

Jeff and Jim Gustafson hold up part of their catch at the Frank McClymont Memorial tournament on Saturday in Kenora.