Weights tight at ‘Classic’

For the past several years, the Crow Lake Classic bass tournament has been a fun, smaller event that attracted 20-something teams each year and consisted of mostly local anglers as well as a few out-of-town duos.
While the event has been going on for about 15 years, the Hanson family who operate Hideaway Lodge on Crow Lake took over running the tournament around 2010.
They are a great host for the tournament because they have a boat launch on-site and the out-of-town anglers have a place to stay in their cabins.
My girlfriend, Shelby, and I fished the tournament last year and we had such a good time that we had to go back and do it again. For those of you who have never been on the lake before, it’s one of the most beautiful in the region with pine-studded shorelines and big hills surrounding it.
There are few cabins on the lake so it’s always quiet and the water is some of the clearest I’ve ever seen. Bryan Gustafson mentioned over the weekend that “it’s like fishing in the Caribbean.”
The weights of the limits of bass that cross the scale at Crow Lake are not as high as most of the other lakes in the region, but I’m not sure I’ve ever fished a lake that has as many bass in it as this one does. We pre-fished for one day and then fished the two-day tournament on the weekend and we caught fish at just about every place we stopped the boat.
Crow Lake is a deep, clear trout lake so the good news for bass anglers is that when you get a bite at this time of year, you can just about guarantee it’s a smallmouth or else one of the plentiful musky in the lake. I have not heard about anyone catching a walleye in the lake and pike are not that common.
Shelby had a couple of muskies follow up her baits during our pre-fishing day but we did not catch a pike all weekend.
For the second year in a row, Dallas Mosbeck and Wayne Howard won the tournament with a two-day total of 26.10 pounds. They brought in the big catch of the tournament on Day 1 with a 15.85-pound limit.
The big fish on Day 1 was a monster 5.65-pound smallmouth caught by Greg Stahn and Theo Degroot.
Shelby and I had the best catch on Day 2 with 13.11 pounds and ended up in second place overall with a two-day total of 25.77, just barely squeaking out Thomas White and Gavin Cowley (25.76).
In fact, the weights were very tight as Bryan Gustafson and Bree Becker were right behind in fourth (25.73).
The big bass on Day 2 was a 3.98-pound smallmouth caught by Kevin Tom and Arvel White.
This annual event takes place every year in mid-September and it’s a fun one. For folks new to tournament fishing and looking for a fun event, this is a good one because there are plenty of fish in the lake and it’s a laid-back atmosphere.
The Hansons put on a dinner for the anglers on Saturday night after the first day of fishing and everybody has a good time. We had a group from Kenora down and we all stayed in one of the cabins for the weekend–it was a blast!
With only a few weekends of bass tournament action left here in Northwestern Ontario, anglers looking to get in some competitive fishing before another long winter still have a few options.
The Shoal Lake Last Chance tournament takes place this Saturday and Sunday, with anglers able to register before take-off Saturday morning.