‘Bassin’ For Bucks’ 2011

The 15th-annual “Bassin’ For Bucks” tournament took place this past weekend out of Sioux Narrows on the southeast corner of Lake of the Woods.
This tournament is the favourite for many local anglers of all the great events that take place each season across Sunset Country.
There is a great payout where the money really gets spread around to a lot of teams and the community of Sioux Narrows is very accommodating to the event.
The fishing this time of year is excellent as well.
My partner, Mike Reid, and I have fished the tournament together every year since the tournament started in 1996. We were 14 years old that first year so we have a lot of good memories over the years.
Mike is one of the best anglers that I have ever fished with and he probably knows the water in the Sioux Narrows area as good as anybody.
I have been pretty fortunate this summer to have had a great tournament season and it continued this weekend. Mike and I had our best “Bassin’ For Bucks” tournament to date and ended up with a solid second-place finish. We finished second last year as well so we have a pretty good run going at this event.
The only downside is that both years we have been leading the tournament after two days and both years we were not able to get it done on the third day.
Last year, Ted and Louise Stewner whooped our butts on Day 3 to take the title. This year, Bryan Gustafson from Fort Frances and Darrin Bohonis from Winnipeg won the tournament with a three-day total of 55.91 pounds.
They brought in a monster 21.27 pound catch on day one, which was the biggest catch of the weekend.
They followed that up with 17 pound catches on Day 2 and 3—solid!
We brought in a 17.89 pound catch on Day 1, then followed it up with 21.14 pounds on Day 2 to take the tournament lead going into Day 3.
We were not able to get the four pound fish we caught on Day 1 and two to bite on Day 3 and we ended up with a 15.12 pound catch.
Overall, it was an awesome week in Sioux Narrows. The weather was phenomenal all week and the fishing was pretty good.
Funny thing, we actually caught more fish on Day 3 than we did the first two days of the tournament but we just didn’t get the big fish to bite.
We had a really good game plan going when the tournament started that we put together while we were pre-fishing last week.
We focused our efforts on largemouth bass during the morning and switched to fishing for smallmouths during the afternoon.
The largemouth fishing was not great last week mainly because of the nice weather, I think.
It’s at the point in the season where the cold weather will actually make the fishing better.
The thing with the largemouths on Lake of the Woods though is that there is always that chance at a big fish.
We were fortunate each of the first two days to catch a big largemouth that really boosted our catch.
The warm weather was conducive to smallmouth fishing and we were finding big fish in shallow water in the afternoons.
Other notable catches over the weekend include that of last year’s champions Ted and Louise Stewner. They won the top couple’s award with a fourth place showing. Ross and Matt Crowe from International Falls won the top adult-youth team award for their 35th place finish and Bart Stebnitsky and Jon Olson from Kenora has the big bass of the tournament, a 5.10 pound largemouth that netted them $1,200.
On Day 3 of the tournament Mike and I had a camera person in the boat with us to film the entire day for my fishing show that will start airing in January.
Anglers across Canada will be able to get an inside look at all the things that go on during a typical tournament day from launching the boat early in the morning to the final weigh-in at the end of the day. It will be an entertaining episode for people to watch.
Tournament anglers can stay busy this weekend with the Crow Lake Bass Tournament taking place Friday and Saturday in Nestor Falls. Registrations will be taken up until the rules meeting on Thursday night.

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