Get ready for the SKBI

With the 25th version of the Shaw Kenora Bass International set to take off early tomorrow morning, it’s right back at it for Sunset Country bass anglers this weekend.
With the two biggest events in the region—the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship and the SKBI—taking place back to back, there isn’t a lot of downtime for anglers.
I spent a few days guiding last week as well as filming a TV segment for a new show that I am doing called Fishing With Gussy, which will start airing in January 2012.
My friend Jamie Bruce and I caught a few lake trout that should make for some interesting TV.
We actually catch some nice lake trout in deep water using the same techniques that we use to catch smallmouth bass.
One of my guide trips last week was with a couple from Winnipeg that really wanted to see a musky.
They purchased the trip to go fishing with me through the Kenora Rotary Auction last year.
Being that I am in bass mode right now I figured that I might be able to swing a little bit of bass flavour into this trip.
We decided to run about 35 miles south on Lake of the Woods to a bay that I know has a population of both largemouth and smallmouth bass, as well as plenty of muskies.
The bass fishing on this particular day was okay, I caught have a dozen nice fish but the highlight of the day came when a 47-inch musky hammered a Northland Boobie Trap spinnerbait on a figure-8 at boat side. We got a quick picture and released the fish unharmed.
Though that was the only musky we boated, we did see another half dozen fish that followed up our lures so it was a good day.
Once the long weekend arrived it was total bass mode for me.
Though the weather has been pretty good the past few days, my pre-fishing has been tough, probably the worst that I can recall in the past several years.
We typically don’t spend a lot of time fishing our best spots during practice because we don’t want to burn any of the fish before the tournament starts but overall, things have just been tough.
?We put in some long days before the tournament starts to not only find as many spots as we can that are holding bass but more importantly to try and figure out some sort of pattern that we can rely on during the actual tournament.
We fish for both largemouth and smallmouth bass so we try to get a feel for what species is biting better, as well as where they are located.
Are they in the weeds, on the rocks, suspending in open water—and then we try to narrow down the lure selection to what the fish seem to be biting the best.
We try to put as many pieces of the puzzle together as we can so that on day one of the tournament we have a good game plan that will hopefully yield five big bass for us.
As of Monday night, there were 132 teams registered for the tournament so we are going to have a great turnout of anglers.
Registrations will be taken right up until the rules meeting this evening.
Throughout the weekend, there will plenty of good stuff happening down at the Harbourfront in Kenora.
The Kids KBI will be taking place on the docks all three days so there will be lots happening during the day.
The weigh-ins will start at 4 p.m. tomorrow and Friday and 3 p.m. on Saturday with the top ten boat parade set to kick off at 5 p.m.
There will also be plenty of good entertainment happening under the tent during each night of the tournament.
The tournament is still looking for volunteers so if anybody is interested, check out the SKBI website for more information on how to get you in touch with Laurie Edmonds, the volunteer director.
This is a great opportunity for students to earn their volunteer hours.

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