Video: ‘Moping’ Technique Is Key for Gustafson’s Recent BASS Victory

Canadian Jeff Gustafson dominated the field at the recent BASS Elite on the Tennessee River, and he caught every one of his 20 smallmouth bass (four day event) on the same lure type.

Video: ‘Moping’ Technique Is Key for Gustafson’s Recent BASS Victory

Although anglers in the South call it Damiki rigging, northern anglers like Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson call it “moping,” and the technique of dangling a soft-plastic minnow imitation in front of deep-water bass resulted in Gussy dominating the field in the recent BASS Elite on the Tennessee River. (FYI: The Damiki Rig is named because anglers who popularized it in the South used a Damiki Armor Shad as the soft-plastic component.)

Gussy’s soft plastic of choice was the 5-inch  Z-Man Scented Jerk Shadz, and although he used a jighead built by a friend of his during the tournament, the one on the market that closely mimics it is the Northland UV Mimic Minnow. He prefers a 1/4- or 3/8-ounce jighead; it depends on fish depth and current (Gussy uses moping to catch bass from 12 to 40 feet).

As he explains in the video below, Gussy says the key to enticing strikes is marking the fish on your electronics and then lowering the lure and holding it still (don’t jig it!) a couple feet above the bass. It’s critical that you can see your lure and the fish on your electronics. As he says, it’s very similar to ice fishing.

The technique was first called "moping" by legendary multi-species angler Ron Lindner, who along with his sons James and Bill, pioneered the presentation while fishing deep-water smallies during tournaments on Rainy Lake. Moping refers to the lack of action imparted to the lure by the angler.

Gussy’s 20 deep-water smallmouth bass (most of his competitors targeted largemouth bass in shallow water) weighed a total of 63 pounds. He took home the first-place check for $100,000, and was the leader after every day of the event. Second place ($35,000) went to Steve Kennedy with 17 fish (all largemouth) for 55 pounds, 15 ounces.


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