Happy times are here again

Last fall was the first time I got to spend some time in a boat with Jeff Gustafson. I was hoping it wasn’t going to be the last. Why?  Well, just because he is a real fun guy to fish with. Knowledgeable, yes? Well, he sure is, but that’s not the real reason. I have fished with lots of people who really know how to catch fish but had no interest in spending any more time in a boat with them. Gussy, as he is affectionately known, is just an all-around good guy, with a passion for the sport that is shared with those he is around.  
So when he invited me back this fall to do a television show with him, I was pretty pumped up. “Fishing with Gussy”(www.facebook.com/fishingwithgussy) is in its fifth season on CJBN out of Kenora and YouTube worldwide. Jeff brings a down to earth how-to feel to the show and when Jeff told me the night before he had the fish located, I knew it was going to be a spectacular day. I meet up with Jeff and his camera person Shelley Bujold mid-morning for our adventure out on Lake of the Woods. Jeff grew up on this body of water and there aren’t too many places in this lake that fish can hide.
 This is what crappie heaven looks like!
After the first hour upon arrival at our fishing locale, we pretty much had the show done, with one crappie after another caught. Having produced and hosted 156 episodes of “The Complete Angler” television series, I knew what a treat this was. We spent some extra time getting the shots needed to produce a half hour show, then it was time to go largemouth bass fishing.

 On our trip last year with Hooked Publisher Kevin Stobbe, we were unable to find a largemouth.  Gussy was guaranteeing me one on this trip. So about two in the afternoon we changed gear and started working shoreline points in search of the elusive largie. After drawing a blank on the first spot, Gussy looked at me and said: “Don, you are a jinx with these fish, we caught 12 last week off of this spot.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but I am a little sensitive when blamed for a lack of fish catching. Oh, well I thought, I better bear down and see if I can actually catch one of these blasted things!  Gussy had me rigged up with a 3/8 ounce black roller head jig, and a brown crawdad plastic trailer. Slowly rolling it over the boulders, I finally felt a pick up on our second spot. Setting the hook, my rod bent over under the weight of a substantial fish. While the water was fairly murky, I got a brief glimpse of the fish and knew that this was probably our target species. Sure enough this fish started making power surges to the side, a largemouth trait. Jeff saw the fish boatside “ Man I wish I had this fish last week in the tournament!" which kind of indicated to me that it was a “good one”. Jeff expertly hand landed the big largemouth and it was time to celebrate!