In the picturesque backdrop of Ontario’s Sunset Country, Elite Series pro Jeff Gustafson walks us through moping for bass (Damiki rigging) in his Canadian Shield stomping grounds. For Gussy, this is where he learned the moping technique, the baitfish-rich waters of Lake of the Woods and Rainy Lake, ultimately leading to his Bassmaster Classic victory in 2023. This video provides a detailed breakdown of Gussy’s history with the system, his Bassmaster Classic-winning bait, and how to use the tactic in unison with forward-facing sonar technology. This modern approach amplifies the efficiency in locating fish and optimizing bait presentation.
TACKLE USED (retail links)
- JIG – Bass Tactics Bryan Gustafson’s Smeltinator Jig Head, 3/8: Buy at Tackle Warehouse, Buy at Omnia Fishing
- PLASTIC – Z-Man Scented Jerk ShadZ: Buy at Bass Pro Shops, Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- SUPER GLUE – Loctite Super Glue Ultra Gel Control: Buy at Amazon
- ROD – G.Loomis NRX+ Spinning Rod 782: Buy at Bass Pro Shops, Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- REEL – : Shimano Exsence A Spinning Reel, C3000MHG A: Buy at Tackle Warehouse, Buy at FishUSA
- LINE (braided mainline): Power Pro Spectra Braided Line Yellow, 10-pound: Buy at Tackle Warehouse, Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- LINE (fluorocarbon leader): Shimano Mastiff FC Fluorocarbon Line, 10-pound: Buy at Omnia Fishing, Buy at Tackle Warehouse
Gustafson meticulously walks through rigging up Z-Man’s ultra-realistic and durable ElaZtech plastic on a jig head, emphasizing when to use various sizes and his favorite color on stained shield lakes. “Gussy’s Glimmer Blue” mimics the natural forage colors in tannic waters and draws consistent multi-species action. He then details his Smeltinator jig setup and when to use different weights and hook sizes. The video then pivots to how Gustafson casts to fish and presents his bait with Humminbird’s MEGA Live. But the tactic isn’t dependent on forward-facing sonar and can work well when fished directly below the boat with 2D sonar.
Gustafson underscores the importance of keeping the bait above the fish. With the aid of forward-facing sonar, he demonstrates how to identify high-percentage rock clusters and make targeted casts. Using a run-and-gun method with a traditionally slow technique, Gussy quickly builds a milk run of productive spots. Lastly, he covers his go-to rod, reel, and line setup for Damiki rigging bass and how to work the bait based on the fish’s mood.
The great jig and minnow migration is upon us, and this dialed moping system will help you catch more bass and other predator fish on lakes and rivers throughout the country.
ELECTRONICS & BOAT
- TROLLING MOTOR – Minn Kota Ultrex QUEST: Check out at Minn Kota
- FISH FINDERS (bow stack) – Humminbird APEX 13 MEGA SI+ Fishfinder/Chartplotter: Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- 360 SONAR – Humminbird MEGA 360 Imaging: Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- LIVE SONAR – Humminbird MEGA Live Imaging Transducer: Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- MAPPING – Humminbird LakeMaster Premium VX Digital Map Chart Card (Great Lakes): Buy at Bass Pro Shops, Buy at Humminbird
- BASS BOAT – Lund 2075 Pro-V Bass XS
- MOTOR – Mercury 250hp Pro XS: Check out at Mercury