Staying sharp back in Canada

This year has been a busy one for all of us. Back in March, I returned home after the first couple tournaments of the Bassmaster Elite Series season, but it was apparent that crossing the border, particularly back to Canada at that time, was going to be a big inconvenience.

Fortunately, my wife, Shelby, got out of work for a few months, and we stayed in the U.S. until after the Classic in June. It was a long stretch away from home, but the fact that we were together made things much easier. We had a lot of fun and made the most of our off weeks, staying with friends during some of them and finding other adventures of our own during the downtime. We owe a big thanks to several folks that looked after us and let us stay at their homes during this run.

We returned home for the rest of the year in mid-July, following the finale of the season at the St. Lawrence River. It was a stressful last couple of tournaments for me because I was sitting just outside the cut to make the Bassmaster Classic, so I had to catch them.

Things worked out, and I had a pair of solid events, finishing 14th at Champlain and 18th at the St. Lawrence River, ending up 23rd in points. We made our third Classic, and I’m super proud and excited about it. Lake Hartwell is one of my favorite places to fish, so I’m really looking forward to that one. It could be really cold in South Carolina in March, which I would love.

After I got home I was looking forward to some downtime and catching up on all of the things that got neglected while we were on the road, but it has remained busy. The problem is, we have really good fishing in Northwest Ontario’s Sunset Country Region where I live, and our summer is short. So, I’ve been out on the water most days since I got back.

We have some good, open team tournaments going on most weekends through early October so I’ve been trying to stay sharp fishing as many of those as I can. We have some great anglers in this part of the world, and these tournaments are competitive so it’s been fun.

In addition to the bass tournaments, I do a little bit of guiding on my off days, fishing for other species as well. Mostly walleye and muskie but we have great options for crappie, lake trout and pike as well. Lake of the Woods really is a great place to live if you enjoy fishing and being in the outdoors. You couldn’t pay me to live anywhere else during the summer months.

On a trip last week, we caught a few muskie, which are always fun. They are known as the fish of 10,000 casts, but up here it should never take nearly that long to find one.

Earlier in the season I was able to get the new Humminbird Mega Live unit mounted on my boat and that has been a game changer. I’m fishing offshore a lot more and really trying to learn the ins and outs of this new forward facing sonar technology. It’s been a lot of fun, and I’m catching 10 to 12 more fish per day with it. 

We’ve got a couple of months left in our fishing season before the snow flies so it’ll likely be until then before I truly get to unwind and rest up. I’ll have a couple months of downtime before the 2022 Elite Season gets going again down in Florida.

It’ll be here before we know it, and I can’t wait.