Sunday, July 5, 2015

Lunker vaults ‘Gussy’ into lead

Pro angler Jeff Gustafson of Kenora caught the biggest bass of his life yesterday–a huge 10-pound, 12-oz. monster–to anchor his five-fish limit and grab the lead after Day 1 of the Walmart FLW Tour at Pickwick Lake in Alabama.
Gustafson held a slim 15-oz. lead over ledge-fishing guru Randy Haynes of Counce, Tenn. heading into Day 2 of the four-day event that features 165 of the best bass-fishing anglers in the world competing for a top cash award of up to $125,000.

“I’ve never been in this position before but it feels pretty awesome,” enthused Gustafson, who is fishing his second season as a professional at the sport’s highest level.
“This place is a lot of fun,” he added. “I’ve been fishing in Mexico five or six times and fished all over Florida, but I’ve never caught a bass over 10 pounds.
“It was a pretty special experience.”
Gustafson also won the $500 Bridgford Big Bass Award on the pro side yesterday with his monster catch.
Gustafson said he fished around the ledges in the mid-lake area, but tried to target areas that were more subtle and didn’t have as much pressure.
“I was one of the last boats out today [Thursday] so the couple of spots that I wanted to start on were loaded up,” he noted.
“I just don’t have the nerve to pull up on everybody.
“On the last day of practice, I found a spot that was pretty inconspicuous, or so I thought,” Gustafson added.
“I left and every 10 minutes another boat was pulling in there.
“That kind of turned me on to looking for the more subtle spots,” he explained.
Gustafson said his main baits were a crankbait and a jig.
He said he would use his crankbait to find the fish. Then once he located them, he would go after them with the jig.
He also weighed in one fish on a swimbait.
“I caught probably 40 fish throughout the day, but by 10 a.m. I only had two,” Gustafson recalled.
“I’m not sure if they started moving water but it picked up around lunchtime and was good for a few hours,” he added.
“I got on a spot where my co-angler and I both were literally catching them every cast.
“I caught the big one, then I caught two three-pounders on a crankbait on the same cast.”
Gustafson had an early boat draw for today.
“I’ve got a spot in mind that I want to start on, then after that it’s just go with the flow,” he remarked.
“I have five or six spots that I never made it to today [Thursday] just because I was pretty happy with my weight and I didn’t want to burn anything up,” he stressed.
“Hopefully I can put another solid limit together.”
Overall, there were 703 bass weighing 2,333 pounds, 14 oz. caught by 165 pros yesterday.
The catch included 121 five-bass limits.
For a full list of results, visit

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