Gussy’s Top Ten Finish at Hartwell

In Gussy’s previous three years as an FLW Tour Pro, his start to the season has never been stellar, thus putting him in a catch up position for the rest of the season, trying to accumulate enough points to qualify for the Forest Wood Cup.

Before flying home for a few weeks and doing some ice fishing, we caught up with Gussy to recap his recent 4th place finish at Lake Hartwell for the second stop of the 2016 FLW Tour Season.

“I had a great practice, I went into the first day of the tournament having a lot of options,” said Jeff.  “I had located several schools out deep and had a feeling of what was going on up shallow.  With the caliber of anglers competing, it is important to have all your basis covered.”

Day one Big Bass for Gussy
Day one Big Bass for Gussy

After day one, Gussy brought in a 16 lb 9 oz limit, which included a 6 lb 14 oz kicker that garnered the Big Bass award for the day and put him in 15th place overall.  Day two only yielded at 12 lb 14 oz limit for Gussy, but that was enough to get him into the top 20 cut, in 18th place.  “The first two days, it was sunny and flat calm, I caught my fish casting a small swimbait out deep, along with picking off a few sight fish and dock fish on a Northland Dip Stick with a nail weight in it,” said Gussy.

As it happens so frequently during a four day tournament, the weather changes over the course of practice and during the event, which is what, happened on day three, when anglers were greeted with an overcast day.  These weather conditions proved to be beneficial for Gussy who was able to employ a Jackall Dowzvido Jerkbait to sack the third biggest limit of the day (15 lb 12 oz), which again squeaked Gussy into the top ten cut, in 8th place.

A much cooler day was on tap for the fourth and final day for the top ten anglers and Gussy adapted again by casting his small swimbait to target spotted bass, which produced another consistent limit for him (14 lb 11 oz), this helped him climb to 4th place overall with a total weight of 59 lb 14 oz.

“I had an absolute blast on day three and four, I caught around 40 fish each day,” said Gussy.  “I really just fished this event by the seat of my pants and adapted to the conditions I was faced with each day.”

Gussy used a G-Loomis 6’10” Jerkbait rod, with a Shimano Chronarch and Fluorocarbon (15 lb) line for his jerkbait and an G-Looms NRX 853 rod, with a Shimano Stradic Ci4 reel, spooled with 8 lb Power Pro and an 8 lb Fluorocarbon leader when casting his small swimbait.

- Fellow northerners (And Canadians) Chris and Cory Johnston also made the top 20 cut to fish on day three. Chris ended up 12th and Cory was 8th
Fellow northerners (And Canadians) Chris and Cory Johnston also made the top 20 cut to fish on day three. Chris ended up 12th and Cory was 8th

This was Gussy’s second top ten cut on the FLW Tour.  Last year he made the cut on Lake Eufaula and compared to last year, “I was much more relaxed and just went fishing.  Last year I expected to do well, this year I didn’t know what to expect, so I just enjoyed every day,” stated Jeff.

The next event on the schedule for Gussy is Beaver Lake, which Gussy is comfortable with.  He is most excited for the events on the Tennessee River as he has fared well there in the past and then the season wraps up on Lake Champlain which fits well into Gussy’s smallmouth roots!

Following two events, Gussy sits in 6th place in the year end points standings and as Gussy said, “I just want to get back out fishing, fishing is easy for me right now and I want to keep things rolling.  Making the Cup this season was a major goal of mine and I have the right start to accomplishing that, now I just need to keep things rolling!”