That’s a wrap on tourney season

Another season of fishing tournaments wrapped up across Sunset Country this past weekend and anglers were greeted with yet another great weekend of weather!
Bass tournaments took place in Sioux Narrows and Kenora, as did a walleye event on Rainy Lake.
My buddy, Mike Reid, and I fished the Sioux Narrows tournament hoping to get back on some of the big bass we caught in the “Bassin’ For Bucks” tournament three weeks ago.
We had fun but never did get on the right-sized fish and ended up with a seventh-place finish—one spot out of the money.
We mixed it up and fished for both smallmouth and largemouth bass. Our two-day total was 33.01 pounds.
For the second year in a row, the hometown team of Matt Rydberg and Brian McNanney won the tournament with a two-day total of 40 pounds, one oz. The duo used a mixed bag of smallmouths and largemouths to win the annual tournament, which takes place at Whitefish Bay First Nation.
Their Day 1 catch also included the big bass of the day—a 4.15-pound smallmouth.
Thomas White and Murphy Paypompee of Whitefish Bay finished second with 36.08 pounds, which included the big bass of Day 2 (a 5.05-pound smallmouth).
Ted Stewner and his daughter, Scotia, finished third at 35.12.
Kevin Tom and Alex Tom of Whitefish Bay brought in the largest catch of the tournament on Day 2—a bag of largemouths that weighed 21 pounds, five ounces. Unfortunately for them, their Day 1 catch of just 10 pounds hurt their overall total.
It’s been a busy run the past few weeks for me, having fished bass tournaments four weekends in a row. Although it is tiring and demanding, I absolutely live for fishing these tournaments.
The fall events are smaller and less competitive than the larger events that take place during the summer months, but part of the fun for us is the social aspect that goes along with it.
The previous weekend during the Shoal Lake tournament, I had six buddies stay out at my place, which is close to the lake. Then this past weekend, several of us stayed in a cabin at Crawford’s Camp in Sioux Narrows.
Owned by Matt Rydberg and his mom, Millie, Crawford’s is built on a great spot and is very accommodating. We always stay there during the week of “Bassin’ For Bucks,” as well, and have a blast.
This past weekend we stayed with Scott Dingwall and Jay Samsal. One thing we always do when we’re staying in cabins like this is make small bets, like whoever has the lowest catch each day does dishes that night.
So while we all take turns cooking, we’re not shy to dirty up some dishes and hope that our buddies are going to be the ones cleaning them.
At the other tournaments that took place across the region this past weekend, Steve Ellie and Tom Hefford of Winnipeg won the Manitoba Bass Anglers tournament that went on in Kenora with five smallmouths for 15 pounds.
And on Rainy Lake, Dan and Debbie Bird won the Northwest Bay Walleye Tournament with 32 pounds. Their catch included a monster 12-pound plus fish on Day 2.
On behalf of the hundreds of anglers that fish in bass and walleye tournaments across the region each summer, many thanks go out to all the volunteers who make these great events happen every year!
Those of us that participate really do appreciate the time and work you all put in for these community events.
As for me, I’m still fishing for a few more weeks before I make the switch to hunting mode.
I’m thinking crappies and muskies—oh, and maybe a few more bass.

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