Gussy Concludes his 2016 FLW Tour Campaign with Event on Wheeler Lake
A 44th-place finish may not seem noteworthy. Still, for Jeff Gustafson of Keewatin, Ontario, it symbolizes the conclusion of his 2016 FLW Tour Campaign, one which saw Gussy have his best year on Tour yet, with him collecting checks in all six events, making two top 20 cuts and one top ten cut with his best finish of 4th place. All of these things resulted in Gussy finishing 5th in the Angler of the Year standings and qualifying him for his first Forrest Wood Cup.
Wheeler Lake in Huntsville, AL was the site of this year’s Forrest Wood Cup where 50 of the World’s best bass anglers converged to compete for this coveted title and the first-place check of $300,000! One may think that since Wheeler is on the Tennessee River that the majority of anglers would be crossing the stage with limits of mega-sized ledge bass, but this was not the case.
With warm summer temperatures and Wheeler having fewer key offshore spots compared to Kentucky Lake or Chickamauga, Wheeler proved stingy for the competitors. On day one, Gussy had four bass for 8 lbs 5 oz, and then on day two, four bass for 3 lbs 2 oz, which included a late penalty. But the great thing about the Cup is that all anglers walk away with a $10,000 check, meaning Gussy’s final trip north back home to Canada was not a hard one.
“My finish at the Cup was disappointing, but I still had a great time and enjoyed the overall experience in AL,” stated Gussy. “It was a fun way to cap off the 2016 season!”
The first two days of practice for Gussy were very tough, but on the third day he went up the Elk River and put together a plan of flipping shallow wood cover, one which he would roll with for both days of the tournament.
“I thought that the bite would get better in the areas I found on the first day of the tournament, but it actually got tougher for me,” expressed Gussy.
Gussy flipped a Northland Tackle Company tube bait, as it seemed they wanted something besides a jig or creature bait.
On day one, Gussy expressed he did lose a good bass that would’ve had him set up pretty good for day two, but still he stayed committed to his plan on day two. On day two he stopped to fish an area close to take off, where he caught a keeper bass and was trying to milk one more keeper off the area, but he cut the clock too close and suffered a late penalty.
This did not sour Gussy’s experience in Huntsville, “it was just an overall cool deal, with the great dinner the night before the tournament, having my dad practice with me, staying in an incredible house with my travel partners (Johnston brothers and Brandon McMillian) and just the overall closeness of the anglers fishing the event,” said Gussy.
Gussy is excited and looking forward to the 2017 FLW Tour, with a schedule going to numerous new venues, but for now, Gussy will turn his attention to guiding, filming TV shows, and competing in local events in Canada, including the famed International Falls Bass Championship.
All of us at Classic Bass congratulate Gussy on the great 2016 season and appreciate you for taking the time to chat with us following each event; we will continue to chat with Gussy in 2017!