UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Grand Lake

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Thanks, Gussy

Thanks, Gussy
Jeff Gustafson

The other night, after we got done fishing at the Lake St. Clair FLW Tour event, Bradley Hallman and I shared a conversation over a couple of beers. We talked about how some pros share information, and the discussion kind of stuck with me. So, I thought I’d share more about it for my first blog.

There are a ton of people that share information on the FLW Tour, but a lot of guys don’t know how Gussy (Jeff Gustafson), me and my brother, Jared, make it work.

Hallman was really intrigued about it because he knows how I fish, and he knows we fish so much alike, yet every time he passes me I’ve got a spinning rod in my hands – and that’s definitely not our shared style. I guess I can see how that’d be confusing. The way I look at it, I’d rather get 10 grand than nothing. If I can get $125,000 for winning, I want it, but I’ve got to go home with $10,000 every time if I’m going to fish full time.

In my opinion, an angler can be a home-run hitter or a points guy. I’m not sure which is better, but I think in the long run it benefits Gussy and me to share our strengths so we can be more consistent.

For me, that’s all to do with Gussy. I can spend two and a half days doing my own thing, and when push comes to shove I know I have Gussy to fall back on to catch a limit. Lanier is a prime example. Hallman won, and he basically went for the home run. He found what he found, and it was awesome, and he was able to make it work for the win. I look for stuff like that every time. In the first day and a half of practice that was my whole game plan. I fished for largemouths for a day and a half at Lanier, and I did the same thing at Smith Lake, trying to win with them. Then when I sucked it up and couldn’t make it work I got a waypoint from Gussy and spent half a day looking for other stuff. I got a check at both of them.

Gussy always catches five bass, pretty much. He’s not Thrift, who’s done it like 88 times in a row (61 times, actually), but he’s pretty consistent about finding places where he can catch five in an hour. And my goal is to find places where I can catch a 4-pounder. It works well for both of us.

Finding someone to share info with isn’t easy. Our story goes back a few years, to when I met a guy from Gussy’s hometown by the name of Bryan Gustafson – same hometown, no relation. I met Gussy through him, and then in our rookie year we said “hi” and stuff in passing. When I started back on the Tour in ’16 I told Gussy he could come stay at the house for Okeechobee. He was really struggling on Okeechobee that year, and I gave him two or three spots, and he realized I wasn’t going to cheat him. Ever since then, we’ve been 100 percent.

It’s definitely a neat deal. I know a lot of people work together, but I think our relationship is different than others. It’s unique, because in three years I’ve never caught him lying to me. And I don’t know if anyone else who shares information can ever say that. In 20-plus tournaments we’ve fished with each other, he’s never led me astray.

It honestly really hasn’t benefited Gussy a lot yet. I can think of a few times it’s benefited him, but it’s a little more one-sided, in my opinion, because my style is more of a gamble and doesn’t pay off as much. But it will eventually. A lot of my making the Cup was due to Gussy, but a lot of not winning Angler of the Year is because I didn’t figure out enough stuff on my own. At Smith and Lanier, I had only two spots found. If I’d listened to Gussy right at the get-go and spent two days instead of half a day looking, I probably would have made a top 10 in one of those tournaments instead of just barely getting a check.  

It’s almost clicked for both of us a few times, but something has just happened every time. At the Potomac last year I told him we had an area we could go and catch them; I just didn’t know it was going to be as good as it was. At Smith this year, after day two of practice, I was pretty convinced that I was going to win in this one spot. Then I ran it for, like, six or seven hours on Tuesday in practice and never had a bite. I had gotten on a little deal that was going away, and it was as good as anything else I’ve found in my career.

I don’t know Hallman’s situation, as far as who he talks to, but he’s a straight shooter. He’s a really good fisherman, and he’ll tell you he’s just as good at finishing 180th as he is at winning the tournament. But his mindset is the same as mine: Swing for the fences. The difference is, if I didn’t have Gussy, I might be right there with him in the hundreds sometimes.

Tags: brandon-mcmillan  blog  2018-06-28-lake-st-clair-metropark 

4 Easy Ways to Store Soft Plastics

4 Easy Ways to Store Soft Plastics

One of the easiest and most controllable ways to save time and be efficient on the water is to keep tackle organized and accessible. Hard baits are easy to organize in Plano boxes, but soft plastics can sometimes cause a bit of a headache. Here are some tips for doing it based on how I go about tackling the issue.  READ MORE »

How to Land More Bass

How to Land More Bass

My technique for fighting a bass depends significantly on the equipment – my Dobyns rod, Ardent reel, Seaguar line and Cornerstone Baits – that I’m using at the time. READ MORE »

God, Grace, Grit

God, Grace, Grit

Life isn’t always easy, and we all find ourselves in situations that seem impossible to overcome. But with God, grace and grit we have not only persevered, we have risen. And we are continuing to rise together, and can commit to uplifting one another along the way. No matter what you are going through on or off the water, know that with God, grace and grit, but most of all God, anything is possible. READ MORE »

How to Prepare for Big Water 

How to Prepare for Big Water 

As many of you know, fishing big water for giant smallmouths is my favorite type of fishing. Competing on the Great Lakes, 1000 Islands, St. Clair, Champlain and other big Northern fisheries is not for the faint of heart. Sometimes it gets rough, which is why it’s critical that you have the correct equipment and understand how to use it. READ MORE »

How to be a Pro Angler 

How to be a Pro Angler 

I get a lot of questions from young and old anglers alike about the steps to becoming a pro. I guess maybe sometimes I take it for granted. The process seems somewhat obvious to me. How to execute on it might not be simple, but the steps you need to take really are. There are only a couple of ways to get into this sport, and they all start at the grassroots level, in $200 and $300 tournaments.  READ MORE »

Introducing Myself

Introducing Myself

I want to start off by telling you a little bit about myself. I grew up in Pennsylvania about 45 minutes north of Philadelphia. I grew up fishing for whatever would bite with my grandfather and in middle school I had a friend who started taking me with his dad down to the Chesapeake Bay. That was my first time ever on a bass boat, and I was immediately hooked! READ MORE »

Riding the Roller Coaster

Riding the Roller Coaster

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog, although it seems like the last one was just yesterday. This season has flown by, and I finally have some down time before the last stop on the FLW Tour at Lake Champlain. This Tour season has been full of ups and downs, and I’ve learned a lot. READ MORE »

The History of the Drop-Shot

The History of the Drop-Shot

FLW Tour pro James Niggemeyer recalls his first introduction to the drop-shot, as well as what came before it and how he developed his tackle to have better success with this capable finesse bass bait. READ MORE »

From Dead Last to Making Money

From Dead Last to Making Money

If you were hanging out with me at the FLW Tour event on Seminole recently, you would have thought I won the tournament. I was congratulated by every pro I saw, and they were being genuine. READ MORE »

Fishing the Worst Conditions

Fishing the Worst Conditions

Watching giant bags of bass caught down in Texas and Florida on FLW Live during FLW Tour events has many anglers dying to get on the water. The only problem is that a lot of people are still facing some of the toughest conditions for catching a bass – cold, muddy, moving water.   READ MORE »

How to Deal with Dock Talk

How to Deal with Dock Talk

If you fish tournaments or follow tournament fishing, you know about dock talk. It’s the chatter that goes on among bass fishermen during and around tournaments on subjects such as how the fish are biting, what patterns are in play, the weather and just how much of a grind it’s been. Dock talk can be dangerous. It can lead you astray if you listen to the wrong person. It can hurt your confidence if you hear about someone else really catching ’em doing something different. It can distract you from your game plan and your goals. Dock talk rarely gives you the complete story. READ MORE »

Moving into My New Office

Moving into My New Office

The new year to many professional fishermen also means a new boat. Some people like the smell of a new car — who doesn’t, really? But the smell of new fiberglass is better than that. It’s better than the smell of warm apple pie to me. READ MORE »

How to Work in Fishing

How to Work in Fishing

There was a time when the only way to make money at fishing and to express your love for our sport was by fishing tournaments, but that’s just not true anymore. With the growth curve we’ve had, the economic muscle of the fishing industry has spawned some interesting opportunities that didn’t really exist years ago.  Now, there are many jobs in the fishing industry that allow someone with a creative mind to indulge in what they love to do. I get to be around a lot of pros, but my job has also brought me into contact with a lot of folks with other jobs in fishing. So, here are four people I think you should follow and study if you know you belong in the fishing industry, but you don’t know exactly where yet. READ MORE »

Why We Need More Winter Bass Tournaments

Why We Need More Winter Bass Tournaments

FLW Tour pro Brian Latimer explains why he loves winter bass fishing and tournaments. READ MORE »

Get More out of Guide Trips

Get More out of Guide Trips

Guide trips are great opportunities to learn about bass fishing and to have an enjoyable day on the water without the pressure of having to find fish and figure out patterns on your own. I highly recommend them, especially if you’re sitting around during the offseason with nothing much to do. READ MORE »

Martin’s Final Prep for the 2019 Tour

Martin’s Final Prep for the 2019 Tour

Getting mentally prepared is the biggest thing for me. There’s a process, and it has to be done. Everything has to be ready so when I roll into Texas to start practice for Sam Rayburn on Jan. 6 I know exactly where every piece of tackle is stowed and exactly how every piece of equipment works and exactly what I need to accomplish to support my sponsors and keep my own media  projects on schedule. Sometimes the preparation goes into panic mode, like I’m in hyperventilate mode or something, but that’s just part of it. READ MORE »

Life Between Seasons for a Pro Angler

Life Between Seasons for a Pro Angler

As busy as a Tour pro stays from August until December, getting things lined up for the following year, I still find time to relax a bit. Like most fishermen, I also enjoy passing time in the fall and winter by going hunting.   READ MORE »

Meet the Latimers

Meet the Latimers

I know everyone isn’t in the same situation, but personally, I wouldn’t want to try to be a pro angler and not have kids or a family. I got married in 2008, and I fished the EverStart FLW Series the first year I got married. READ MORE »

Create a Base List of Go-To Baits

Create a Base List of Go-To Baits

Every season, my garage goes from organized to absolute chaos as I come and go from one tournament to the next. By the time I empty out my boat in the fall to sell it, I wind up with a mountain of tackle that needs to be dealt with. It needs to be culled, cleaned up, organized, re-stocked or replaced so it can be packed into my new boat, organized in the garage or stowed in my truck bed camper, keeping in mind all the lakes and reservoirs the FLW Tour will be visiting from January through August. READ MORE »

A New Plan for 2019

A New Plan for 2019

If you haven’t been living under a rock this offseason then you know there are going to be some well-known faces missing from the FLW Tour next year. Over the years, my brother Jared and I have run a lot with the Johnston brothers, Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson and Jeff Sprague, and now they’ve all switched to fishing other circuits. It’s like high school again. At least, that’s the best analogy I can find: You grew up with the same buddies, but after you graduate you go your separate ways. I’m really sad about it. READ MORE »