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Kenora-based bass angler making waves in U.S. bass events

One of northwestern Ontario's best known anglers has once again made a splash at a fishing tournament south of the border.

Jeff Gustafson won ten grand, and was one of only three Canadians in 170 boat Florida-based tournament

Jeff Gustafson, of Kenora, Ontario, continues to do well on the American-based FLW bass fishing tour and has garnered quite a following. (photo credit: FLW )
Canadian pro bass anglers are making a big splash in the states. And the ground for them was broken by a man from Kenora. Outdoor columnist Gord Ellis catches up with Jeff Gustafson.

One of northwestern Ontario's best known anglers has once again made a splash at a fishing tournament south of the border.

Kenora's Jeff Gustafson said fishing was tough on Lake Okeechobee, in Florida, last week but he managed to squeak out a cheque among a field of 170 mostly American bass pros.

Gustafson says he made $10,000 (U.S.) for his 34th place showing.

He says in his four years on the Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) fishing tour, Florida is often the toughest event.

"The last three years that I've been doing this I've finished in the triple digits down in Florida," Gustafson said. "I had a much better result this time. So I'm pretty happy heading home with money in my pocket and a good start to my season at this point."

Gustafson said he has five more U.S based FLW events to fish this season.

He hopes to do well enough to be one of 50 anglers to qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup, and compete for the half a million dollar first prize.

Gustafson has been the only Canadian fishing the FLW the past three years, but that changed this year.

Canadian brothers Chris and Cory Johnston, from Peterborough, also cashed cheques at the Okeechobee FLW event.

Chris Johnston was 3rd, and won $25,000 while Cory was 38th and won $10,000.

Gustafson said he has developed a good following in the American bass circles as he is both Canadian, and one of only two anglers to run an aluminum boat.

"I get a lot of attention because of the boat," he said. "I mean everyone has fibreglass bass boats so it's fun to show off my 'Canada style' boat." 

Gustafson said he now has a few weeks off at home before returning to the states to fish the second FLW event on Lake Hartwell in South Carolina.

"I'll be spending some time on the ice in the northwest catching lake trout, walleye and crappies over the next few weeks and I'm looking forward to it," he said.

When not competing in bass tournaments or guiding, Gustafson hosts a fishing show, produced out of Kenora, called "Fishing with Gussy."