My best memories of 2009

? The old saying, “Time flies when you’re having fun,” was especially true for me in 2009.
I have some great memories from many of my outdoor adventures in a year that went by in a flash. Here are some of the highlights (and in the first case, lowlights) for me in 2009.
On Jan. 3, I was on an ice-fishing mission for crappies with Dave Bennett, Scott Dingwall, and Matt Basaraba in a complete snowstorm. Up to that point, we had already had a lot of snow so conditions on area lakes were not perfect (i.e., lots of slush).
I had a small snowmachine that I was using to pull my shelter loaded with gear. Long story short, I got stuck for hours—good thing for friends to help pull you out when you’re down.
I will not forget this day; it was a long one!
In February, I travelled to Mexico for the wedding of my friends, Chris and Chrysti Savage. The wedding was great, and a bunch of us along for the trip got to take advantage of some awesome saltwater fishing.
We caught a variety of fish of all sizes. It’s amazing how hard all saltwater fish fight compared with freshwater critters!
It was a nice break from the ice season.
I spent a ton of time on the ice in March, but the highlight was getting to fish with Bob Izumi for a few days, shooting TV segments for the upcoming 2010 season.
Fishing was good, and we had a blast catching crappies and whitefish.
Ice-fishing lasted well into April last year and I can remember getting out on the 15th—the last day of walleye season—with my dad, August Collinson, and Dean Howard. We watched Dave Bennett catch a monster 10-pound walleye.
Great way to close out the season.
In May, Bennett and I headed south to Sturgeon Bay, Wis. for a big bass tournament on Lake Michigan. We have the best overall fishing in the world in Sunset Country, but this tournament takes place at the absolute best time of the year on this water so the opportunity is great to catch giant smallmouth bass.
We took eighth in the 200-team field—and both of us caught the largest smallmouths of our lives.
In June, I got to spend a week fishing with another famous TV fishing personality, Dave Mercer. We fished waters all across the region during the worst week of weather we had all summer, but we still had a good time and Dave managed to shoot a few TV shows.
He is a funny dude.
Once July rolls around, I get into tournament mode for a few months and spend just about all of my time practising for and fishing these events.
The highlights of my summer included a win for Chris Savage and me at the Shoal Lake Bass Classic in early July, where we came from 32nd place after Day 1 to claim top honours.
In August at the annual KBI tournament, “Savy” and I settled for second place as we were beaten by our friends, Matt Rydberg and Brian McNanney of Sioux Narrows by two one-hundredths (.02) of a pound.
It was a pretty crazy finish and one I won’t soon forget!
The most memorable part of September for me was the awesome weather we had right up until the end of the month. I remember being in the boat on the 25th of the month in shorts and going swimming a few times.
The nice weather throughout the month made up for the marginal summer we had weather-wise. Fishing was great everywhere in September!
The last bass tournament of the year was held in October on Lake of the Woods. Rydberg and McNanney brought in a giant 25-pound catch for five fish on Day 1 while Darren and Ray Marcine caught a seven-pound, 10-oz. largemouth on Day 2 en route to winning the event.
I would not have believed the size of these fish had I not seen them with my own eyes.
In November, I made the switch over to deer hunting mode and had a great time chasing them around. I never did put any meat in the freezer, but I had a lot of fun monitoring my trail cameras and sorted through more than 25,000 pictures.
December brought me north to moose hunt for a few days, which was fun. But again, I had no luck putting any meat in the freezer.
Travelling to Minneapolis and Calgary to attend ice-fishing promotions limited me to two days on the moose deal, but I’m looking forward to next year already.
All the best to everybody in 2010. I hope you catch a big one!

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