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Northland Tackle Report

Northland SmeltinatorNorthland 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.

The Smeltinator is hardly new to the fishing scene. The jig and the moping technique has been dominating the Canadian tournament scene for a decade. Gussy, Northland Fishing Tackle founder John Peterson, Canadian professional angler Jamie Bruce, and Bryan Gustafson of Bass Tactics have won many tournaments and cashed big checks at events like the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship and the Kenora Bass Invitational using the Smeltinator Jig and the moping technique.

Thus, Northland Fishing Tackle is proud to announce that the company has a licensing agreement with Bryan Gustafson and Bass Tactics to produce, distribute and sell the Smeltinator and Smeltinator Underspin Jigs under the Northland Fishing Tackle brand name.

The “Moping” technique involves fishing a fluke or minnow style plastic on the Smeltinator Jig and the Smeltinator Underspin Jig over the top of deep suspending smallmouth bass. The design of the jig allows the bait to hang perfectly horizontal like a real shiner, smelt or minnow. These suspending smallmouths are “feeding up” on these schools of baitfish. Hanging the Smeltinator above actively feeding fish has proven to provide big bites and big tournament weights.