With 70,000 lakes and rivers in Ontario's Sunset Country, it's not surprising we have several catch & release fishing tournaments throughout the region. Most are walleye or bass tournaments although there are some derbies and a few carefully monitored muskie tournaments.
Here's a list of the some of the major fishing tournaments in Northwest Ontario:
May Fishing tournaments
Emo Walleye Classic – May 26-28, 2016
The fishing tournament circuit begins with the Emo Walleye Classic on the Rainy River. Watch the weigh-ins at the Emo/LaValle arena or take part in one of the many other events like the angler boat parade, fish fry, kids activities or the Norlund Oil's Show & Shine.
UPDATE: 2016 champions of the Emo Walleye Classic are Ted Heyens and Kelvin Caul
June Fishing tournaments
Sioux Lookout Walleye Weekend – June 11-12
The Sioux Lookout Walleye Weekend takes place the second weekend of June. Town Beach is where all the action takes place – the weigh-ins take place at the docks, refreshmetns are served from noon to 6 pm and on Sunday there's a free community fish fry from noon to 2 pm.
UPDATE: Todd MacDonald and Jason MacDonald win the 2016 Sioux Lookout Walleye Weekend with a two day weight of 19.54.
Follow on Facebook: facebook.com/SiouxLookoutWalleyeWeekend
UPDATE: Scott Dingwall and Jay Samsal win the 2016 tbaytel Dryden Walleye Masters with a two-day total weight of 19.07lbs.
Follow on Facebook: facebook.com/DrydenWalleyeMasters
July Fishing Tournaments
Kenora Walleye Open - July 2-3, 2016
The 2nd annual Kenora Walleye Open is held in Kenora on Lake of the Woods. The event is hosted at Tall Pines Marina.
Join their Facebook group: facebook.com/groups/16460886619/
Shoal Lake Bass Classic July 9-10, 2016
The Shoal Lake Bass Classic is run by the Shoal 39 First Nation. Shoal Lake is known for its quantity of smallmouth bass and lunker largemouth.
Follow on Facebook: facebook.com/Shoal-Lake-Bass-Classic
Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship - July 21-23, 2016
The Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship is a major bass tournament held on Rainy Lake, Canada. Boats take off from the Sorting Gap Marina and weigh-ins are under the tent. Assuming all 100 entires are filled, top prize is $20,000. There are many other prizes for the top 20 as well as for biggest bag each day, fish larger than 5lbs, and more.
Follow on Facebook: facebook.com/CanadianBass
Bronzeback Classic - July 23-24, 2016
The annual Friends and Family Bronzeback Classic is held on Lake of the Woods in Kenora. The focus of the tournament is to get families, friends, local anglers, long time summer residents, and especially youth involved in this fishing event.
AUGUST FISHING TOURNAMENTS
Kenora Bass International - August 4-6, 2016
The Kenora Bass International, or KBI as it is known, is held on Lake of the Woods with the weigh-ins happening under the Whitecap on the Harbourfront in Kenora. This is one of the largest bass tournaments in Northwest Ontario. There is also a kids fishing tournament.
Follow on Facebook: facebook.com/Kenora-Bass-International-KBI
Atikokan Bass Classic - August 12-13, 2016
The Atikokan Bass Classic which known as “the funnest bass tournament” and is held on Marmion Lake in Atikokan. There are cash prizes for the top 20 as well as for the top “Funnest Team prizes” such as the Grandparent & Child, All Women Team, Big Fish etc.
Morson Bass International - August 19-21, 2016
The Morson Bass International Tournament is a two person team, two day, total combined weight, live release tournament in Morson on Lake the Woods.
Follow on Facebook: facebook.com/MorsonBassInternational
September Fishing Tournaments
The Red Lake Fall Classic - September 3-4, 2016
The Red Lake Fall Classic Catch & Release Walleye Tournament is held in the beginning of September on the Red Lake Chain of Lakes. There's a limit of 135 teams and there is also a junior tournement for the kids.
Follow on Facebook: facebook.com/redlakefallclassic
Watch the 2015 Red Lake Fall Classic from above:
Bassin' for Bucks - September 9-11, 2016
Bassin' for Bucks is a bass tournament in beautiful Sioux Narrows held on Lake of the Woods. Daily prizes are awarded as well as overall tournament prizes.
Wonder what happens during a fishing tournament? Watch this episode of Fishing With Gussy filmed while fishing the Bassin’ for Bucks.
Crow Lake Classic - September 17-18, 2016
The Crow Lake Classic is held in Nestor Falls on Crow (Kakagi) Lake. This smaller bass tournament is a two-person team, two day fishing, live-release competition with daily and total combined weight prizes.
Follow on Facebook: facebook.com/crowlakeclassic
Nestor Falls Musky Cup - September 23-24, 2016
The Nestor Falls Musky Cup format is a two person team, two day, daily and total combined length, live release tournament held on Lake of the Woods. Anglers must video the length and live release.
Follow on Facebook: facebook.com/Nestor-Falls-Musky-Cup
Rainy River Walleye Tournament - Sept. 22-24
The Rainy River Walleye Tournament is held on the Rainy River. The tournament boundaries will be from markers at Wheelers Point at the mouth of the Rainy River to markers at Long Sault Rapids east of Stratton on Canadian Side of Border.
Follow on Facebook: facebook.com/RainyRiverWalleyeTournament
Want to be the one holding the trophy? Make sure you register for one of these tournaments before they fill up. If you're not into competing, make sure you drop down to see some of the exciting weigh-ins, watch the boat parades or enroll your child in one of the kids fishing derbies.