Northland Tackle Report

Northland Smeltinator

The 2023 Bassmaster Classic wasn’t the first time that Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson had stacked big weights and solid limits of smallmouth bass on the Tennessee River out of Knoxville, Tennessee. Back in March of 2021,

Word of the “moping” technique traveled quickly through social wires, sending serious bassers on the hunt for Gussy’s favored jig head—Bass Tactics’ Smeltinator Jig.

Two years later Gussy did it again ‘moping’ suspended smallmouths with the Smeltinator Jighead on forward facing, proving the money method for a Bassmaster Classic title, the $300K payout and honors as the top bass stick on the planet.

Flambeau Report

Terminal Slim Waterproof Tuff Tainer

The Terminal Slim Waterproof Tuff Tainer packs a boatload of terminal tackle into a “slim” profile in comparison to the standard 5000/3700 series while maintaining the same footprint. This terminal tackle storage solution is built to burden the heavy load of weights and neatly organize all terminal necessities by type, size, weight, or class. Individual, removable storage cups offer a "fish of the same fin school together" system that allows anglers to conveniently "pluck and pick" desired tackle components.

An isolated tackle storage locker with a lid keeps micro terminal tackle like split rings, swivels, O-rings, beads, etc. individually contained. This user friendly design paired with a heavy-duty ribbed construction, 3 Drawtite™ cam-over latches, and Zerust® infused dividers makes the Terminal Slim Waterproof Ultimate Tuff Tainer the ideal storage solution for protecting terminal tackle on and off the water.

Z-man Report

Finesse-sized 3.5-inch Scented Jerk ShadZ

A cool half mill’ and a bookcase crowded with shiny bass trophies ain’t a bad haul for a single unassuming softbait.

“Over the last six or seven years, the 4-inch Scented Jerk ShadZ has produced some great tournament wins,” notes Z-Man pro Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson, who boated every one of his 2023 Bassmaster Classic winning bass on the same softbait.

But overshadowed by dock-talk surrounding standard versions of Gussy’s “best bait of all time,” whispers of a little secret have gradually leaked out. “During the 2023 Classic, when the bite got tough, I quietly switched to a slightly shortened bait to show bass a smaller, sub-4-inch profile,” he divulged. “This modified Jerk ShadZ tricked several critical smallmouths and certainly helped secure the win. Actually, whenever conditions get tough, we’ve been downsizing our moping baits for years.”