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Tournament News Powered By Lake Drive MarineTournament News Powered By Lake Drive Marine

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 St. Joseph River Valley Fly Fishers (SJRVFF) will host a fly tying event on Thursday, September 21st at the Elkhart Conservation Club from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. EDT.

The event is open to the public but reservations are required. The Conservation Club is located at 55515 Riviera Dr., Elkhart, IN 46514.

The instructor will be Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions. Tim is featured regularly in Midcurrent and has two fly tying websites: www.tightlinevideo.com and www.practicalpatterns.com.

He also appears monthly in a tie-off with Tom Rosenbauer on the Orvis Channel and has been a presenter at the Warren Fly Show the past two years.

Class will be limited to 20 tiers and is for intermediate skilled tiers. Cost per participant will be $75 and will include pizza. Bring your tying tools, and lamp plus thread. Here's the list of flies that Tim will be tying at the class and his suggested threads/colors:

  • October Caddis Soft Hackle - burn orange UTC 70 denier
  • Parachute Isonychia - white UTC 70 denier
  • Bugger (Squirrel & Herl or an Adams Bugger) - black UTC 140 denier
  • Uke's Brown Bug (Perdigon jig) - rusty brown UTC 140 denier.

All other material will be supplied.

For planning purposes, please make your reservation by Monday, August 28th so that Tim will have time to assemble the materials. Send RSVP to Don Reber (donreber@gmail.com)

Flambeau Report

Terminal Slim Waterproof Tuff TainerTerminal 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 ShadZFinesse-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.”

St. Croix Report

St. Croix SEVIIN GS Series Spinning ReelSt. Croix SEVIIN GS Series Spinning Reel

In addition to baitcasters, St. Croix’s new SEVIIN reel company has introduced the all-new GS Series spinning reel.

It offers a lightweight, rock-solid, and reliably dependable performance for an attractive and competitive retail price of $140.

“Almost two full years in design, this is a lightweight and extremely durable reel,” says SEVIIN Product Manager, Robert Woods. “Available in five versatile sizes from 750 to 3000, GS Series reels will appeal to a wide range of avid anglers, as well as more-casual anglers who appreciate elevated quality and performance. Our team engineered GS with a carbon body, side plates, and rotor to maximize rigidity and minimize weight, and rounded out the external design with strong and lightweight aluminum handles and spools.”

Woods describes the aesthetics of GS reels: “They’re unique and our own,” he says. “We designed GS to appeal to a wide variety of anglers, and looks are an important part of that. We wanted GS to stand out with a unique look that equals its performance without going to extremes. Overall, the form of GS reels is largely driven by function, but once anglers pick them up, they’ll notice a variety of subtle design details – from logo placement, accent colors and anodizing, to more functional design elements like spool angles, handle bracing, the machined aluminum handle cap, and the geometry of the foot and stem.”