Monthly Archives: July 2021

Outright Lies About Guns and Gun Owners

I came home Wednesday from a nice three-day trip to Lay Lake, where I saw no news at all, to turn on the TV to see a program showing a campaign to end civil rights of millions of United States citizens. I totally oppose the agenda this presentation pushed, full of false information and outright lies about guns and gun owners.

Rational folks know they should never believe anything any politician says. Their number one job description is to get re-elected no matter how many lies they have to tell. But when a president of the United States lies about the effect of gun bans, claims the 2nd Amendment is about deer hunting and thinks armed opposition does not work unless you have “F-16s and nuclear bombs,” I get disgusted.

You might want to check with the Russia and the Afghanistan Mujahideen or the US government and the Taliban and Viet Cong on that last idiotic claim.

Everyone has their own beliefs about guns but beliefs and feelings do not change facts. When you blame an inanimate object for the actions of people, there is no logic involved, especially when you blame the gun in most instances but blame the shooter when it is a cop doing the shooting.

When a politician says giving folks jobs will stop them from committing crime while, at the same time, also paying people to stay home and not work is about as senseless as anything said at the presentation.

Read any of the crime and arrest stories in the Griffin Daily News and you are likely to see, under charges filed, “possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.” That has been a law for years, criminals ignore it and prosecutors, for some strange reason, usually plea bargain it away. Maybe felons would pay attention to that law if it included mandatory capital punishment for violation.

When political district attorneys release criminals without bond, do not prosecute rioters and looters and ignore the law, more laws that affect only the law-abiding are stupid.

As long as politicians take actions based on false information and their feelings rather than facts, the problem will only get worse.

Boat Fuel Economy

Optimize Your Boat’s Fuel Economy and Range
Advice from the fuel experts at Chevron
from The Fishing Wire

If you’re an avid power boater or fisherman, what truly fuels your passion for time on the water is, well, fuel.

While they are unquestionably the most fun way of getting from Point A to Point B, boats are inherently un-economical conveyances when it comes to fuel consumption. Not only do boats consume a lot of fuel (measured in Gallons Per Hour rather than Miles Per Gallon), they operate in a dynamic environment where wind, waves and currents can cut “normal” fuel economy in half on any given day.

On land, the maximum fuel range of your car is rarely of critical concern — cars are generally fuel efficient and there are gas stations everywhere. Boats are different. Once you leave the harbor or launch ramp, you are generally limited to the fuel your boat carries onboard. On the water, fuel range is the limiting factor that dictates everything — from how far you can run to find fish to how long you can stay out looking for and/or catching them.

There are some simple steps all power boaters can take to squeeze every drop of fun out of their boat’s fuel tank, whether it’s an aluminum walleye rig, high-performance bass boat or multi-engine offshore fishing machine that holds 400 gallons.

1. Always start full. Well, duh…but you’d be surprised how many fishermen try to save a little time or money by not fueling up before each trip. You never know what a fishing day will bring, and you don’t want to have to stop short if the fish are farther away or the weather comes up. Also remember the rule of thirds when it comes to estimating your boat’s range – a third of a tank for the day’s fishing, a third of your fuel to get back, and a third to keep in reserve. Smart boaters who’ve learned from past mistakes know that “empty” can sneak up pretty fast when conditions change, so they keep a good amount in reserve just in case.

2. Lose some weight. Carrying unnecessary weight or having an unbalanced weight load can change the way a boat rides and drastically reduce fuel economy and range. Go through your boat and consider removing things you don’t really need, like extra fishing gear you never use, boxes of lead sinkers, extra anchors and chain, old expired fire extinguishers, and the like. Water weighs about 8 pounds per gallon, so it’s easy to see how filling live bait tanks and livewells when they’re not needed can really weigh you down and cut fuel economy.

3. Know your boat’s “sweet spot.” Every boat/motor combination has its own “sweet spot” where it’s operating most efficiently. In magazine boat tests, this is often referred to as Most Economical Cruising Speed. Depending on vessel style and hull type, it may be quite a bit faster than you imagine. Most modern boats/outboard engines come equipped with fuel computer systems, which allow you to track fuel consumption at various engine RPMs and boat speeds. You can compute your Most Economical Cruising Speed by looking at the Gallons Per Hour being burned and cross referencing it with the boat’s GPS speed. For example, if you’re burning 10 gallons per hour and traveling at 20 miles per hour, you’re netting 2 miles per gallon. You might find, however, that your boat burns 13 gallons per hour at 32 miles per hour, which works out to almost 2.5 miles per gallon. At this cruising speed, you’ll get where you’re going faster while ultimately burning less fuel. It’s important to figure this out with your boat loaded the way you normally use it, which might be loaded with a full tank, gear and fishing buddies.

4. Propellers matter. Your boat’s propeller(s) is responsible for efficiently translating the RPMs of the boat’s engine into forward movement of the vessel. There are a wide variety of propeller types and sizes, and finding the right one for your boat may require some trial and testing. One of the key propeller measurements is pitch, which refers to how much forward movement it provides. For example, a propeller with a pitch size of 21 will move forward 21 inches for each turn, while a “less aggressive” 18-pitch propeller will move three inches less. When you consider that high performance outboard engines can run at 5,000+ RPMs for sustained periods, this can make a huge difference. A propeller with too much pitch will make it hard for a boat to get “out of the hole” and accelerate from a standstill. A propeller with too little pitch might over-rev the engine and reduce top-end performance. Either one can negatively impact fuel range and economy. A well-matched propeller will allow the engine to fall within the manufacturer’s recommended maximum RPM range (say 5,000-5,500 RPM) when the boat is well trimmed and running at Wide Open Throttle (WOT).

5. Keep the engine and fuel system clean. Techron Marine Fuel Treatment provides boaters with the cleaning power they’ve long counted on in their automobiles and tow vehicles. The fuel experts at Chevron developed this specialized formula to clean gasoline engines used in the harshest marine environments. When used with every fill up, Techron Marine restores power and maximizes fuel efficiency by cleaning fuel injectors, throttle bodies, carburetors, intake valves and combustion chambers, preventing corrosion and removing gum, varnish and carbon deposits. It also keeps the entire fuel system clean, preventing gunk, corrosion and deposits in the tanks, fuel lines, filters and fuel pumps from interrupting fuel flow and compromising performance. A fuel system kept clean with Techron Marine will also deliver quick and easy starting in any weather, smoother idling and faster response when it’s time to hit the throttle. With a range of economical bottle sizes and a treat rate of just one ounce per 10 gallons of fuel, Techron Marine is a cost-effective way to stretch the fuel range of any gasoline-powered boat.
Doing these things will help maximize your range and time on the water between visits to the fuel pump. It’s also important to remember to treat your fuel when you won’t be using your boat for an extended time. In addition to cleaning your engine and fuel system and keeping everything running like a top, Techron Marine Fuel Treatment provides best-in-class corrosion protection and stabilizes fuel up to 24 months.

To learn more about optimizing your boat’s fuel efficiency and range, while protecting your boat’s fuel system and engine in the harshest marine environments, visit

Liberal Politicians Fear Guns and Law-Abiding Gun Owners

Answer: Rust and politicians. Question: What are the only two natural enemies of guns? I’m not sure who first said that, but it is a popular saying seen on shirts and posters. And it is all too true.

Liberal politicians naturally fear guns and gun owners. We are harder to control than those without guns. Another old saying is “people with guns are citizens, people without guns are slaves.” We won our freedom from Britain with guns. But slaves and even free blacks were not allowed to own or possess guns.

Biden compares the current Georgia voting law to Jim Crow laws. He should go back and actually read some Jim Crow laws and the Georgia voting law, especially the Jim Crow prohibition of gun ownership to keep black citizens in line. His gun laws apply to everyone, but they are designed to keep us in line.

Looking at some of the individual proposals from the democrats show how ineffective they are in dealing with crime. Biden wants to ban “assault weapons” which are described as semiautomatic rifles with certain “scary” characteristics.

Some sources say there are approximately 17,000,000 modern sporting rifles in the US – the guns some mistakenly call “assault weapons.” Others say up to 25 million. They are the most popular kind of gun in the
US. Most fire a .223 caliber bullet, legal for deer hunting in most states. Its ironic to see some gun banners call this a big dangerous bullet while also saying too small to use hunting deer.

According to the FBI there were 13,927 murder victims in 2019. Of those, 6778 were by handgun, 300 by rifles of all kinds. That includes every rifle made so only a part of them were by so-called “assault weapon” rifles.

There were 1562 deaths by knife or cutting instrument. The FBI does not say how many of those were assault knives. And hands, feet and fists killed 668 – more than twice the number killed with all rifles.

I know facts don’t matter when you are on a mission to play to your political base, but what sense does it make to concentrate on guns that are used in such a tiny part of murders. And what sense does it make to concentrate on the inanimate object when people using them are the problem.

If criminals were punished for crimes maybe there would be less crime. But the murders on the golf course in Kennesaw are a perfect example. Three people were shot, the kind of gun is not mentioned, but a little research on the killer is interesting.

Brian Rhoden, the accused murderer, was arrested in 2016 for trying to sell drugs to two teenagers then getting into a shoot out with them. He faced several felony charges after that but a Fulton County judge sealed his record in 2017 and the court spokesman could not say why.

In May 2020 he was arrested for having drugs for sale in his car. At that time he also had a warrant for his arrest in East Point, but was let go for some reason. In August 2020 he was arrested in Indiana after a high-speed chase going over 150 mph but was let go with a fine.

In April this year he threatened a Uber driver with a gun and Rhoden admitted having one, but he was let go. Now he is arrested for killing three people, including the golf pro who just happened to be in the way while Rhoden was killing two folks.

The above information is mostly from an article from CBS 45, but also other online sources like the FBI.

I am waiting on someone to say the gun he used should be banned.

Criminals do not follow laws. Law-abiding citizens do, until something legal for all their life is suddenly illegal.



SOCIAL CIRCLE, GA (July 20, 2021) – Catch five different black bass species and you have a Georgia Bass Slam! This program recognizes anglers with the knowledge and skill to catch different species of bass in a variety of habitats across the state, while also stimulating interest in the conservation and management of black bass and their habitats, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.

Georgia’s ten (10) recognized native black bass species are largemouth, smallmouth, shoal, Suwannee, spotted, redeye, Chattahoochee, Tallapoosa, Altamaha and Bartram’s. Anglers can find out more about these eligible bass species, including images, location maps and more at

How Can You Participate? To qualify for the Georgia Bass Slam, fish must be caught within a calendar year, must be legally caught on waters where you have permission to fish, and anglers must provide some basic information on the catch (length, weight-if available, county and waterbody where caught) accompanied by several photos of each fish. Anglers will submit information to for verification. Complete rules posted at

What is Your Reward? Well, besides bragging rights among all the anglers and non-anglers you know, you will receive a certificate worthy of framing, two Go Fish Education Center passes, and some fantastic and fun stickers (for vehicle windows/bumpers) to advertise your achievement. Anglers also will be recognized on the WRD website, at the Go Fish Education Center (, and possibly through a variety of social media platforms. In addition, all successful submissions will go into a drawing for an annual grand prize!

Don’t have time to dedicate to catch five species of bass, but maybe you have your eye on a lunker largemouth? We have a program for that, too! The Trophy Bass Angler Award program recognizes largemouth bass catches of 10 pounds or greater. These fish are rare, and the data from these catches helps to provide genetics and growth information that is valuable to fisheries managers. Those that successfully submit a qualified fish will receive a certificate, hat, t-shirt and an entry into a drawing for a reward package. Oh, and catch one larger than 13 pounds, and you may be eligible for a free mount of your bass! More info at

For more information, visit

Bass Are Always Biting Somewhere for Someone

Bass are always biting somewhere for someone on a big lake. The Flint River Bass Club July tournament on Lake Sinclair last Sunday proved this in a big way. In eight hours of fishing, 11 members and guests landed 29 12-inch keeper bass weighing about 61 pounds. There were two five bass limits and one person did not catch a keeper.

Niles Murray blew us all away with five bass weighing 17.08 pounds and his stringer included two identical 4.52 pounders. Lee Hancock placed second with three weighing 8.46 pounds and had big fish with a 4.76 pound largemouth. Doug Acree came in third with fiv weighing 8.39 pounds and Niles’s guest, Otis Budd, came in fourth with four weighing 7.32 pounds.

My day started and ended bad. On the way to the ramp I hit either a hole or something right on the side of the road with my trailer tire. When I got in the boat and Alex started backing me in, I heard the telltale sound of a flat tire. I had not noticed anything wrong until then.

I waited to put the spare on after weigh-in since it is much easier to put it on an empty trailer. Thanks to Doug Acree and Niles Murray for their help, it took only a few minutes. Then Chuck Croft stuck around and pulled me out after I loaded my boat.

In the tournament my start was not good. I missed two hits on a buzzbait, jerking one keeper out of the water all the way to the boat but it came off. Then I caught a keeper on the buzzbati between two docks. There seemed to be no reason for the fish to be where it was.

I noticed some mayflies and started fishing around them but caught only bream. I finally caught a second keeper at 9:00 on a shaky head worm near some brush, then with an hour left to fish caught my third one on a floating worm in grass. My three weighed 3.46 pounds and was good for sixth place, not the day I wanted.



SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. (July 20, 2021) – If someone asks if you are coming to the local fish fry – your answers is always “yes.” Especially when that fish fry is serving up catfish. Want to contribute to the meal? Catfishing provides great opportunities for new and experienced anglers, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.

“Angling for catfish is an activity that requires relatively simple gear and is a great way to introduce someone new to fishing, especially kids, so it’s a perfect opportunity to get everyone outside during the summer,” says Scott Robinson, WRD Fisheries Management Chief. “Additionally, catfish are a species found throughout Georgia so angling opportunities are plentiful.”

Georgia’s public waterways are home to several species of catfish, including channel, white, blue, flathead and bullheads (consisting of several similar species – yellow, brown, snail, spotted and flat). While you may not catch them often, the larger species, like flathead catfish, can sometimes reach monster weights in excess of 100 pounds – and that’s no tall fish tale!

What to Use:

If targeting channel and white catfish, fisheries biologists recommend eight to 14-pound test line and medium-sized hooks (size 2 to 1/0) under a bobber or fished on the bottom. Best baits for channel, bullheads and white catfish are worms, liver, live minnows, shrimp, cut bait and stink bait.
For anglers trying to land a large blue or flathead catfish, heavy tackle is a must – large spinning or casting tackle with at least 20 to 50-pound test braid or monofilament line, large hooks (3/0 to 8/0), and heavy weights (1-5 oz) to keep bait on the bottom. Flatheads are ambush predators that prey heavily upon fish, so live or freshly killed fish used as bait will increase your chances. Similarly, freshly caught gizzard shad increases your chances of reeling in a giant blue catfish.
Other methods for catching catfish include trotlines, limb lines, and jug-lines. More info on the regulations relative to these methods can be found in the 2020 Georgia Sportfishing Regulations Book found at

Where to Look:

In general, anglers should target rocky shorelines, rip-rap areas, points and outside bends of rivers or the submerged river channel. Catfish will stay in deep areas or “holes” during the day before roaming the shallows at night for food. When fishing rivers during the day, anglers should look to deep holes containing rocky or woody cover. During dawn, dusk and at night, anglers should concentrate on shallow sandbars, flats, and shoals near the deep holes fished during the day. Catfish, especially flatheads, love holding near downed trees, so look for these on outside bends.

Georgia’s Public Fishing Areas ( are great places to target catfish, especially as most of them are open 24 hours a day year-round. Looking for additional locations? Check out the Fishing Forecasts webpage at

When to Go:

Though most species of catfish are active throughout the day, the best summer fishing is at dusk and during the night. Catfish can be caught year-round, with the best bite typically from early spring through the peak of summer. Be prepared to fish multiple areas and if you don’t get a bite within 30 minutes, just try another until you find some fish.

Need a license before you go? Visit to purchase a license online or to view a list of retail license vendors, or buy a license by phone at 1-800-366-2661.

For more information on fishing in Georgia, visit

Fishing Lay Lake With Zeke Gossett

It was nice and peaceful on Lay Lake a few weeks ago on Tuesday and the bass were biting, if you knew where to go and what to throw. Zeke Gossett knows both. I met this young man about eight years ago when he was a sophomore in high school. I set up a trip with him for a magazine article not knowing his age and was shocked. His skills and knowledge of fishing were better than mine!

Zeke won many fishing awards in high school and college, including winning the College Classic on Lay Lake last year. This year he was third in the College Classic in Texas and he and his partner won the point standings College Team of the Year in 2020.

Now Zeke is trying to establish a professional fishing career while guiding on the Coosa River chain of lakes and Lake Martin. His father is one of the best bass fishermen in the area and coaches a high school team that has won high school team of the year two years in a row.

His knowledge of these lakes is exceptional from his own fishing as well as the teaching of his father. I have recommended him to some friends for guide trips and they were pleased. As many good fishermen as I get to fish with doing magazine articles, Zeke is the only one I have done three articles with!

Zeke showed me two good patterns for Lay Lake in August, and they are already working now. Lay is full of shallow grass beds and Zeke caught several nice bass casting frogs to the grass. Bream were bedding and Zeke knows there will usually be a big bass or several around a bream bed.

Another good pattern is fishing the many brush piles fishermen have put out on points and humps. These brush piles in 10 to 20 feet of water are magnets for summertime fish. They hold in them and feed around them day and night.

The night before we fished Zeke had placed second in a three-hour night tournament. He weighed in a three fish limit weighing almost ten pounds in that short time, missing first place by a couple of ounces!

While we fished Zeke caught about a dozen bass on humps and points with brush casting a topwater plug over the brush and working a jerk bait down deeper. I even caught a nice keeper spot while taking a casting break from my pen, pad and camera.

I get to fish with many amazing fishermen doing my magazine articles and Zeke is one of the best. There are a lot of young fishermen out there coming up into the pros and I get to watch as their careers develop. I am jealous!

While we fished many college fishermen were on Lay Lake practicing for a college wild card tournament that was held Thursday and Friday. I was amazed to see college age kids drive up in $50,000.00 trucks puling $80,000.00 boats.

When I was in college I ate 10 cents a can Showboat Spaghetti and loaf bread for dinner to save money. And I was one of the few lucky ones in my fraternity to have a car, an eight-year old hand me down Chevy Bel Air. There were students driving around Athens in new Vets and Mustangs, but they lived and revolved in a different world.

I know some college fishermen drive old vehicles and very well used boats and have done articles with some of them, but they seem to be the exception to the rule. I fear college fishing is developing into a sport for the rich.

Georgia Public Fishing Areas


SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. (July 20, 2021) – Searching for a new place to fish? Be sure to start with one of Georgia’s 11 Public Fishing Areas (PFA). PFAs are managed for fishing by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD), and most offer additional experiences to entertain the whole family.

“Georgia Public Fishing Areas make a great place for both new and experienced anglers,” says Scott Robinson, WRD Fisheries Management Chief. “Even though fishing is the main attraction for most visitors, Georgia PFAs also offer other family-friendly activities such as hiking, bird watching, picnicking and camping.”

Waters on PFAs vary from lakes several hundred acres in size to ponds less than one acre with some designated as kids-only fishing ponds. Anglers can fish from a boat, along the shoreline, or from a pier at most locations.

Many PFAs have picnic tables, nature and wildlife observation trails, fish cleaning stations, archery ranges and restroom facilities. There are camping opportunities on some PFAs (from primitive camping to RV) for those wishing to stay overnight on the area. All PFAs are open seven days a week, and with the exception of Rocky Mountain PFA, also allow night fishing year-round.

Make plans to visit one of the following PFAs today:

Rocky Mountain PFA (Floyd County): Includes two lakes totaling 559 acres. Species: largemouth bass, bluegill and redear sunfish, channel catfish, crappie and walleye. Additional amenities: beach area, camping opportunities.

McDuffie County PFA (McDuffie County): Includes seven ponds ranging from five to 37 acres, a trophy bass catch and release pond, fish hatchery, and an education center. Species: largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish and channel catfish. Additional amenities: camping opportunities.

Big Lazer Creek PFA (Talbot County): Includes a 195-acre lake. Species: largemouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish, redear sunfish, redbreast sunfish, and crappie. Additional amenities: primitive camping opportunities.

Marben Farms PFA (Jasper/Newton counties): Includes 20 ponds ranging from one to 95 acres, a wildlife management area and the Charlie Elliott Education Center. Species: largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, crappie and channel catfish. Additional amenities: primitive camping opportunities.

Ocmulgee PFA (Bleckley County): Includes a 106-acre lake. Species: largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, and redear sunfish.

Dodge County PFA (Dodge County): Includes a 104-acre lake. Species: largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, channel catfish and crappie. Additional amenities: primitive camping opportunities, group shelter facility.

Evans County PFA (Evans County): Includes three lakes ranging from eight to 84 acres. Species: largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish, brown bullhead and channel catfish. Additional amenities: camping (tent and RV) opportunities, event center.

Flat Creek PFA (Houston County): Includes a 108-acre lake. Species: largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, crappie and channel catfish.

Hugh M. Gillis PFA (Laurens County): Includes a 109-acre lake. Species: largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, channel catfish and crappie. Additional amenities: primitive camping opportunities.

Paradise PFA (Berrien County): Includes 60 lakes totaling 525 acres. Species: largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, crappie, and channel catfish. Additional amenities: tent camping opportunities.

Silver Lake PFA (Decatur County): Includes more than 30 lakes and ponds totaling 537 acres. Species: largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, channel catfish. Additional amenities: primitive camping opportunities.

Need a fishing license before you go? Visit to purchase a license online or to view a list of retail license vendors, or buy a license by phone at 1-800-366-2661.

For more information on PFAs in Georgia or for detailed PFA guides and maps, visit


from The Fishing Wire

Gustafson flipping

Few presentations outproduce flipping when bass tuck tight into shallow cover. Such was the case at the 51st Bassmaster Classic, recently held on Lake Ray Roberts in North Texas. In the weeks leading up to the event, unrelenting rains caused the lake to swell, with high water inundating shoreline brush and trees and providing resident largemouth with nearly boundless opportunities to explore previously inaccessible cover.

“When these big southern reservoirs flood, incredible numbers of bass head for the bushes and stay there as long as the water remains high,” reflected Elite Series Pro and two-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson.

“Typically, by the time June arrives, the best bite is usually offshore, where fish will bite on everything from football jigs to big crankbaits to topwaters – and that’s what I’d prefer to be doing. But the reality is, I’ll be spending lots of time flipping those flooded bushes to get the five quality bites I need each day.”

And flip, he did. By happenstance, I was paired with Gussy as his marshal on day 2 of the Bassmaster Classic, which afforded me the unique opportunity to spend the day observing – and dissecting – the mechanics and mindset of an elite angler competing in an apex-level event. I would be a student in Gussy’s flipping masterclass from the back deck of his Lund 2075 Pro-V Bass boat.


Flipping is a short-range, shallow water technique that delivers a bait into heavy cover.

Flipping, of course, is a short-range, shallow water technique that delivers a bait into heavy cover. Anglers swing the lure on a pendulum-like cast and gently feather it into the water, minimizing surface disturbance as the bait plunges quickly to the bottom. “Flipping elicits a reaction strike,” noted the Kenora, Ontario native who won his first Bassmaster Elite Series event earlier in 2021 on the Tennessee River. “Bass will often pounce on the bait as it falls or right when it contacts the bottom; frequently, you’ll feel that fish as soon as you engage the reel and come tight to the bait. My routine is to drop to the bottom, giving the bait a couple shakes if I didn’t get bit on the way down, and then reel in and repeat.”


Covering lots of water is the key to finding fishy targets.

With dozens of miles of flooded shoreline available, all brimming with fishy-looking bushes, where does one begin? Gussy remarked, “during practice, I’d start at one end of a long stretch of shoreline and flip my way to the other end. Invariably, there would be one or two key sections that provided consistent bites or larger average size. What makes those areas different from the miles of flooded bushes that aren’t attracting fish? Maybe it’s the bottom content; rocks attract more crayfish than does mud. Sometimes it’s the density of the vegetation; often, an isolated bush provides more consistent action than an uninterrupted line of greenery. Covering lots of water is the key to locating these fishy targets.”

While an individual flip doesn’t necessarily cover a lot of water, the rapid, rhythmic nature of the presentation allows anglers to survey significant territory during the fishing day. Out of curiosity, I counted the number of flips that Gussy made per minute while plying these flooded waters searching for Texas largemouth; each time I counted, Gussy flipped between six and seven times per minute. That’s at least 360 flips in an hour and closing in on 3000 flips for a solid eight-hour day of fishing. With Gussy at the helm, each flip was short, precise, and purposeful. A bush wouldn’t get just one flip; Gussy would flip to the left side, in front, to the right side, and often behind the shrub as well. “You just don’t know where that bass might be sitting or what direction it’s facing; so, you’ve got to cover all the options before moving on.”


Gussy flipped up to 360 times each hour in search of quality Texas largemouth.

Precision boat control is an essential yet sometimes overlooked aspect of successful flipping. “I try to stay off the trolling motor as much as possible – just a quick touch of my Minn Kota Ultrex 112 here and there as needed – to avoid spooking these shallow fish,” remarked Gustafson. “I use the wind to push me along if I can, but often, that speed is just too fast to hit all the key casting targets. So if I find myself in a particularly fishy pocket, or when I need a minute to deal with a hooked fish or re-rig a bait, I deploy my twin Minn Kota Talon shallow water anchors to lock the boat in place.”


Gussy flipped his way to success using a G. Loomis NRX+ rod paired with a Shimano Metanium reel.

The tournament day began with a broad selection of rods on the front deck of Gussy’s Lund, including rods rigged with a swim jig, a spinnerbait, and even a Texas-sized plastic worm. “Gotta keep ‘em honest,” quipped the Canadian cowboy. Truthfully, Gussy did throw those baits occasionally. Ultimately, however, Gussy caught all of that day’s fish using a flipping stick. His weapon of choice was a G. Loomis NRX+ 895C JWR – a 7’5” rod with extra-heavy power and fast action – equipped with a Shimano Metanium reel. “This combination is incredibly light and sensitive yet extremely powerful and durable. I can flip all day for a week and never have the slightest amount of arm fatigue. At the same time, once a fish bites, the NRX+ 895 rod has the power needed to bury the hook and to get the fish’s head turned quickly, while the 7.1:1 gear ratio Metanium winches it out of trouble.” Gussy spooled his Metanium with 50 lb test PowerPro braided line and threaded on a ⅜ oz Flat Out Tungsten flipping weight, held in place using a small rubber bobber stop. Then, Gussy tied directly to a Gamakatsu 3/0 Super Heavy Cover Flippin’ Hook using a snell knot.

Flipping lends itself to a wide range of lure choices, with creature baits being one of the frequently presented styles. As we waited out a two-hour storm delay, Gussy engaged his neighbor in the take-off line, Bassmaster Elite Series pro Chad Morganthaler, in some friendly dock talk as Gussy asked, “how am I going to flip my way to five keeper bites today?” Morgenthaler, a seven-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier, responded with one word: tubes. As it turned out, Gussy left his entire tube selection with his smallmouth bass gear at home near Ontario’s Lake of the Woods, so Morgenthaler reached into one of his compartments and gave Gussy a handful to try. “Each of us out here wants to see everyone succeed, and we try to help each other out anytime we can,” noted a thankful Gustafson as he rigged up his first borrowed tube.


Tubes borrowed from two other Bassmaster Classic competitors let Gussy flip his way into championship Sunday.

Morgenthaler’s tubes would prove pivotal. By mid-morning, Gussy had three keeper fish in the livewell and had sorted through several members of the lake’s junior-varsity bass squad – but was down to a single tattered tube. Luckily, help was about to arrive as another Classic competitor, Seth Feider, idled into view. A quick exchange led to Feider recharging Gussy’s tube supply with a generous pile of green pumpkin-patterned baits. Those borrowed tubes helped Gussy capture a tournament limit of over 13 pounds that day and secure a berth in the Classic’s Sunday championship round.

GIve flipping a try the next time that high skies and high water push bass into shallow cover. Tips and tactics from Gussy’s masterclass will surely connect you with flipping success.


Gussy’s tools and tactics will help connect you with flipping success.




About the author: Dr. Jason Halfen is a long-time guide, tournament angler, and specialist in marine electronics. He owns and operates The Technological Angler, dedicated to teaching anglers to leverage hi-tech tools to find and catch more fish. Learn more by visiting

Summer Injuries

While growing up, summers were a glorious time of sunburn, scrapes, scratches, poison ivy, stepping on nails barefooted and other similar joys. Wearing nothing but shorts most days meant lots of skin exposed to various dangers, and the farm, woods and ponds were full of them.

Calamine lotion was worn what seemed as many days as not. It helped with sunburn, mosquito bites and poison ivy rash. Its “skin” colored liquid dried to a crust if it stayed on long enough.

As often as not, mama would put it on in the morning and it would be gone within a few minutes, worn off on bushes or washed off in branch water. We didn’t actually wash in the branch but fell in or got in the water to cool off.

Mosquitoes were common back then but either their bite bothers me a lot more now than back then or they were not as big or strong. Little red bumps that itched a few minutes but were then gone have changed over the years to red whelps that itch for a couple of days now.

I learned young to identify poison oak and ivy but knowing how to identify it and avoiding it were two very different things in my life. After all, when you are gathering wood to build a trap for non-existent wildlife, who has time to watch for “leaves of three?”

It never failed, during the first week of summer vacation I would get sunburned on my back, stomach shoulders and upper arms where school shirts covered up until then. And my legs, newly exploring sunlight after nine months of hiding under desks in long pants, got blistered, too.

The sunburn hurt a little for a couple of days but by the end of the first of week of vacation the rest of my body caught up with my face, arms and hands from being exposed to the sun every day. And if I went to Shields Pond to the swimming hole that first week, I would get good and blistered, peel but be brown under it. We never heard of sunscreen back then, we just roasted to a golden brown naturally.

Every summer I stepped on somewhere between two and five nails. Around the farm there were always pieces of old wood lying around. No matter how hard we tried to rescue and reuse all old nails, some escaped out attention.

It probably didn’t help that we went barefoot everywhere and really didn’t pay attention where we stepped. It didn’t take long after shedding our shoes for our feet to get tough and most things we stepped on didn’t bother us.

On test each summer was to walk on the tar and gravel road in front of the house. At first the gravel rocks hurt when we stepped on them. But within a couple of weeks, we ran on the gravel without pain. But nails are a bit sharper and longer than gravel.

When we got a nail in our foot we would either pull it out and hobble home hopping on one foot, or, usually it would just go in and back out as we took our doomed step. When we got to the house mama would use an old cure. We would put a penny on the hole, put a chunk of fatback over the penny and an inch or so around it, wrap it up and cover it with a sock.

The actions of the copper and meat were supposed to pull the poison out. Fortunately, we also kept our tetanus shots current. And I will never forget the smell of that fatback as it “worked” on hot summer days.

Ticks were not a problem back then. Every once in a while, we would pull a big fat gray tick off our dogs and squish it between two rocks to kill it and see the tar like stuff come out. But I can not remember ever getting a tick on me until I grew up. I am pretty sure whitetail deer spread them as they increased their range and as they became more common so did ticks. Now I get one or two on me every time I go in my back yard!

Fishing trips inevitably meant hooks in skin somewhere. Since we mostly bream fished, most of the hooks were small and easy to remove. Bigger hooks, like catfish or bass hooks, often meant a trip back to the house for help removing them and some kind of band aid over the hole they left.

Encounters with wasps, bees and yellow jackets were a common problem every summer. Wasps seemed to like to build nest in the kinds of places I liked to explore. Any tree house or hut left from the past year had to be checked carefully before using them. And new construction had to be inspected every week.

Part of the danger was the use of wasps nests larvae for fishing bait. When I could find a big wasp nest either by looking or getting stung, I would make a torch and burn the adults off the nest, usually at night. Luckily I never set the house on fire. Then the nest would be put in a paper bag ion the refrigerator to slow down the growth of larvae.

Sometimes getting the nest would result in a sting since some adults might survive the fire torch. And more than once I got stung when taking a nest out of the bag if I opened it to get a larva for bait without checking for any wasps that had transformed to adults even in the cool refrigerator.

My body was always a road map of scratches with scrapes marking metropolitan areas. Walking or running through briars and branches in the woods always left scratches and bumping against trees or rocks left scrapes. And my knees were always raw from crawling around looking for stuff.

Although summer memories often involve pain, the pain is tiny compared to the joy of those memories.