Monday, March 27, 2023

Gussy Wins the 2023 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Toyota with 42-07lbs!

Gussy becomes first Canadian to win the Classic!
(Photo: James Overstreet/BASS)

By Brain Brasher 

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Canadian pro Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson’s bass refused to play fair on the final day of the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Toyota on the Tennessee River.

But fortunately for him, the bulk of his work was already done.

Despite catching only two smallmouth bass that weighed 6 pounds, 12 ounces on Championship Sunday and falling three fish short of the 15 he’d been counting down toward all week, Gustafson held on to win the most treasured title in professional fishing with a three-day total of 42-7.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

2023 Acedemy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic Day 2: Jeff Gustafson Continues to Lead with 35-11lbs!

Canadians Cory Johnston 7th, Chris Johnston 31st & Cooper Gallant 52th.

Five more to go! Is what Canadian Jeff Gustafson needs to close 
out the 2023 Classic. (Photo: James Overstreet/BASS)

By Brain Brasher 


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Since the opening moments of the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Toyota, Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson has been counting down.

Not to a five-bass daily limit, but to the three-day limit of 15 he needs to be crowned a Classic champion. 

After Saturday, he can say, “Ten down, five to go.” 

Using the same moping technique he used to win a regular-season Bassmaster Elite Series event here on the Tennessee River in 2021 — and to take the lead in this Classic on Friday with 18 pounds, 8 ounces — Gustafson added five more smallmouth Saturday that weighed 17-3 and now holds a commanding lead with a two-day total of 35-11. 

His closest competition going into Championship Sunday will be Florida largemouth specialist John Cox, who sits almost 6 pounds back in second with 29-15. 

“I’ve just got to go out and get it done tomorrow,” said Gustafson, who has now led all six days of the two tournaments he’s fished here on Fort Loudoun and Tellico lakes. “I don’t have any good backup plans. I just need to keep doing what I’ve been doing.” 

2023 Acedemy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic Day 1: Jeff Gustafson Leads with 18-08lbs!

Canadians Cory Johnston 5th, Chris Johnston 7th & Cooper Gallant 48th

By Brain Brasher 

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Jeff Gustafson’s motto during the opening round of the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Toyota seemed to be, “Why make it complicated?” The fifth-year Bassmaster Elite Series angler from Kenora, Ontario, Canada, took the lead Friday in the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing on the Tennessee River — and instead of starting over or trying to reinvent something, he caught his bass the same way he did when he won a regular-season Elite Series event on this same venue back in 2021.

Fishing the same canal that connects Fort Loudoun Reservoir and Tellico Lake where he parked himself during that 2021 event, the 40-year-old pro caught a five-bass limit of smallmouth that weighed 18 pounds, 8 ounces and positioned himself for a run at a spot in pro fishing history.

“There’s just something about this place,” he said. “I’m jiving with it, and it’s worked so far. The technique I’m doing is one of my favorites. It’s a technique that I feel like I’m probably pretty good at compared to the rest of the field.
“You don’t get that opportunity at most of the venues we go to, but here it works.”
During his 2021 victory, Gustafson used a tactic referred to as “moping” that involves identifying smallmouth on forward-facing sonar — he uses Humminbird MEGA Live technology — and dangling a bait just within their strike zone. He did the same thing on Friday and expanded the areas where it will work.

“There’s a lot of fish in those same spots as 2021, but they’ve just been fished so hard that they’re really hard to catch,” he said. “The bites are real nippy and they look at it and they’re lazy.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Yamamoto Announces New Yamatanuki: Heavy Gravity Bait


Staying true to our roots of innovative baits that absolutely catch fish,

we bring you the Yamatanuki. While this is it’s first time being available in

the US, it has been a very popular bait for the Japanese Yamamoto lineup for years.

The Yamatanuki is credited as the bait that started a trend of “heavy” soft

plastic lures that have become popular in the US in recent years with offerings

from Japanese manufacturers.

The original Yamatanuki will be available in a 3.5” size that weighs 5/8 oz.

It is made from a custom “heavy” soft plastic formula that allows it to be fished

weightless yet cast great and fall fast. This makes the Yamatanuki an incredible

option for flipping, casting and dragging, as well as casting to fish on

forward-facing sonar. The 8 colors are handpicked by our pros to give anglers

an awesome array of fish-catching options no matter what conditions they face.

The Yamatanuki is another incredible tool in your fishing catching arsenal

brought to you by the world’s most premium soft plastic brand, Yamamoto Baits.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023


Anglers know that you have to go where the fish are and be prepared to catch them wherever that is. With more pressure on fisheries, bass have become warier and warier and it requires light line, finesse baits and the perfect light wire hooks toget bites.

“Cold fronts, high pressure, clear water…anything that has those fish in a funk, a finesse approach, such as a drop shot or neko rig, excels at catching bass when they don’t want to bite anything else,” said Rapala pro Seth Feider, who counts deepwater smallmouth bass fishing as one of his favorite styles of fishing.

Designed specifically for tournament bass anglers, the VMC® RedLine Series™ is comprised of eight hooks ultra-engineered hooks built for optimum power, strength and hook-up speed. With velvety-smooth P.T.F.E. coating, RedLine hooks penetrate 50% faster than ordinary hooks. Combined with the company’s unique, compressed needle point design that produces an ultra-sharp point, fish practically hook themselves.

Monday, March 13, 2023

Bryan Thrift Wins 2023 Bass Pro Shops REDCREST Presented by Shore Lunch!

Mason Prince


CHARLOTTE, N.C. – He was the favorite to win before the week began. He was the man to beat all week. He was the leader for the past two days. On Sunday, Bryan Thrift made the inevitable a reality. Thrift is the Bass Pro Shops REDCREST Presented by Shore Lunch Champion.

The North Carolina native proved to be too much for the pursuing Alton Jones Jr. and Edwin Evers to overcome. Thrift finished with five bass for 13 pounds, 10 ounces, pushing his three-day total to 46-12 and 4-6 clear of the second-place Jones.

Thrift becomes the first angler in history to win both a REDCREST and Forrest Wood Cup trophy as well as the fourth different pro to win the Bass Pro Tour championship since its inception.

How Thrift got it done on Norman

The weights were indeed lower on Sunday just as Jones Jr. predicted on Saturday — the heaviest limit of the day belonged to Casey Ashley at just 15-11 — but that’s to be expected with the frigid and wet weather that rolled through the Lake Norman area. Thrift wasn’t immune to the struggles that the rest of the Top 10 faced. After two limits over 15 pounds before the final day, Thrift only managed 13-10 on Sunday.