(Photo Credit: FLW Outdoors)
Another Pay Day for Gussy, Keeps Him in the AOY Conversation
“I shut my phone off, I thought for sure I was going home empty-handed,” is what Jeff Gustafson’s thoughts were following the second day on the fifth stop on the 2016 FLW Tour event on Kentucky Lake.
But Gussy was fortunate enough to garner the last $10,000 check and finish in 50th place with a two-day weight of 29 lb 4 oz. “Yes, I’m happy that I got a check and kept myself in the AOY conversation going into Champlain, but I missed an opportunity to really make it interesting at Champlain,” stated Jeff.
Gussy had one of his best practices of the 2016 Tour Campaign, he had located several good sized schools of the famed Tennessee River bass, as well as some small isolated schools as well. On day one he was able to assemble a 15 lb 9 oz limit, but on day two things got tough and Gussy had to scrounge up a 13 lb 11 oz limit.
The norm for events on Kentucky Lake is to make the run south down towards Paris and New Johnsonville, many anglers did that, others stayed on the mid to north section of the lake, but Gustafson made the run to Paris each day and upon checking in, his rig was plum on empty, needless to say he was covering some water!
With the advancement of electronics the past few years, anglers are spending more and more time idling and graphing these ledges, compared to actually making casts and fishing them. “I would say I spent half my time graphing and half the time fishing,” said Jeff. “Graphing with my Humminbird Helix units is extremely effective when they are out deep, but when I’m targeting those shallow bars or points; I really like to make casts at them, as I feel I can get a better sense of what they are doing.”
During practice Gussy was catching his bass on all of your traditional ledge lure offerings; crankbait, spoon, big worms and a hair jig. During the event he had a one-two lure combo, a ¾ oz football head jig and a ½ oz custom hair jig. He fished both of them on a G-Loomis 893NRX rod, with a Shimano CI4 casting reel, spooled up with 12 lb Fluorocarbon line. “That 893 is my all-time favorite rod, it is a great all-around rod, I have like eight of them,” laughed Gussy. “It has a nice soft-tip, but still plenty of backbone!”
Gussy will spend two more days down in Kentucky taking out sponsors and then he will point his rig north to New York and begin practicing Sunday for the 2016 FLW Tour Finale event on Lake Champlain. Two-time FLW Angler of the Year Andy Morgan goes into the event with a seven point lead over Jeff Sprague and a 23 point lead over Gussy. “Andy is definitely not the guy you want to be chasing in the AOY race,” laughed Gussy. “But he still has to go out and catch fish in New York, just like the rest of us.”
The 2016 FLW AOY race is a tight one with only 32 points separating Morgan and Chris Johnston, a tour rookie and fellow Canadian pro, who is in 8th place. “With a big body of water like Champlain and how good all these guys are, you can’t count anyone out until after day two on Champlain,” stated Jeff.
Ticonderoga, an area associated on Champlain for grass and big bass is where many of the Tour anglers will make the long run to during the event, but the northern end of the lake is full of great smallmouth and largemouth as well. “I’m going to avoid making that long run to Ti and focus on finding some water I can have to myself up north,” smiled Gussy. “I have never been to Champlain, but am looking forward to fishing for smallmouths at least part of each day.”
All of us at Classic Bass wish you the best of luck Gussy on Champlain and look forward to catching up with you after that event!