Creating Fishing Traditions

Fishing and Memories Go Together

Some of my best childhood memories took place on a boat. I was fortunate that I had a dad and grandfather who frequently took me fishing starting at a young age, and that planted the seed for me to pursue making a living in the fishing industry.

We fished a lot and as I grew older, it was an activity that I spent a lot of time doing with my friends and family. Through my high school and college years, I worked as a guide at resorts around the Sunset Country region (Lake of the Woods, Shoal Lake, Rainy Lake, English River System) and have continued down that path today. 

Gussy, the author, spends the day fishing with Pete Maina.

Over the past 20 years, I have had hundreds of guide trips, many with customers who return year after year with friends or family. For many folks who visit the Sunset Country Region, these trips have become valuable traditions where parents can share quality time with their kids, family members can share time in a boat, and friends who grew up with one another can set aside a few days to get together and get away from their normally busy lives. Many businesses arrange fishing trips to improve relationships among employees. Fishing with people is a great way to strengthen any relationship. 

The whole family will be all smiles!

It puts a smile on my face when I see a parent bring kids along on a fishing trip. For kids who grow up in the city, spending a few days in the wilderness, in a boat, and away from the technology that often directs their lives, can be a life-changing experience. If nobody takes them fishing, then they will probably never go. I can tell you that I have yet to see a kid who doesn’t get a big smile on their face when they hook a fish. 

Start them fishing at any age!

The great thing about planning a trip to one of the fishing resorts in Northwest Ontario is that we offer a great overall package. Sunset Country is relatively easy to get to—a day’s drive for most folks in the Midwest, or a couple hours’ drive from the nearest airport in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The fishing is really good on most days for several species of fish, so if you’re bringing along someone new to the sport, they can expect to catch fish, especially if you hire a guide to take you. Finally, we have all kinds of places to stay, from five-star resorts to remote fly-in camps, to do-it-yourself camping, and everything in between. 

Ladies love to go on girls’ trips as well!
Creating these trips that become traditions is important 

If we don’t plan them, it’s easy for them to go away and we miss getting to spend quality time with people that we love and want to be around. While fishing is important to me and often what many of my trips revolve around, there is so much more to a “fishing trip” than the actual fishing that makes it memorable. 

The shore lunch, which is offered by most camps and resorts, allows groups of anglers to meet together midway through the fishing day, have a feast of fresh fish, and mingle in a relaxing setting. Getting to see all the wildlife that we have around our remote waters is always exciting, from bald eagles to bears or moose. We see deer swimming from island to island all the time and a whole variety of different birds. There are so many eagles in Sunset Country that I’m sure every resort in the region would probably offer you a free trip if you didn’t see at least one! 

Enjoying a traditional Canadian shore lunch!

Spending a week living in a cabin by the lake is so relieving to those who work hard most weeks during the year. You can play cards, have a few drinks, and tell stories instead of answering emails, returning calls, or watching a screen.

There is still plenty of time to plan your trip to visit us in Sunset Country in 2023—make it happen! 

Gussy and Shelby create their own traditions
About Jeff Gustafson

Jeff Gustafson is a professional angler living in Kenora, Ontario on the shores of Lake of the Woods. His outgoing, genuine, friendly attitude makes him a natural outdoor writer, fishing and hunting guide." You'll see him fishing the Bass Master Tournament Circuit where he's has had a lot of success against the best bass anglers on the planet. Jeff also fishes many bass tournaments in Ontario's Sunset Country, his home base. 

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