2023 Bassmaster Classic Champ, Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson, Lands New Title Sponsorship

When Northland Fishing Tackle founder John Peterson first fished against Jeff Gustafson at the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship in the mid-2000’s, he had no idea they would become lifelong friends

Bemidji, MN – When Northland Fishing Tackle founder John Peterson first fished against Jeff Gustafson at the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship in the mid-2000’s, he had no idea they would become lifelong friends. Looking even farther ahead, Peterson never would have dreamed “Gussy” would also develop as a world-class angler and go on to win the 2023 Bassmaster Classic.

Today, Peterson is proud to know that the relationship between Northland and Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson’s is growing faster and better than ever.

Seeking to bolster this relationship, Northland is proud to announce that starting with the 2024 season, the company will act as Gussy’s title sponsor in all B.A.S.S. events moving forward into the years ahead. 

Northland President/CEO, Gregg Wollner, relates: “We are very excited for this opportunity to grow our business and partner with Gussy as his presenting sponsor. This is more of a partnership between family members than it is a business arrangement. Jeff’s relationship with Northland and our founder John Peterson goes back more than 20 years. We look forward to bringing great new products to the bass fishing market for years to come. Gussy and Northland are both at the top of their game right now, and we will do great things together.”


Along the lines of offering more bass-centric bait designs vis-à-vis Gussy’s recommendations, Northland has already invited input from the influential bass angler that brought products to retailers and consumers in 2023, with more to come in 2024.

For example, Gustafson’s input was utilized when Northland came to market earlier this year with the new Elite Series of jigheads featuring Gamakatsu hooks, as well as the popular Finesse Football Head, Nedster, Weedless Nedster, and Weedless Wacky Jig.  For 2024, anglers will discover an all-new Marabou Jig and Bassmaster Elite-winning Smeltinator Jig.  

Northland has produced the best walleye and panfish jigs for almost 50 years and now the company is aggressively expanding into the bass fishing market. Northland’s relationship with Gustafson cements the company’s commitment to creating the best bass jigs and lures as the company moves along this trajectory. In 2024, anglers will see a lot of media, video, and other great content coming out from Northland via native social media feeds as well as a relationship with media partner, B.A.S.S. and Bassmaster.com. 

2023 Bassmaster Classic Champion, Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson, concludes: “I’m really, really excited about this relationship. As title sponsor, this allows me to work with Northland on an entirely new level, helping blaze a trail through bass fishing with new ideas in bait designs to meet today’s highly-technical tactics. We’ve already kicked around some groundbreaking bait design ideas. I can hardly wait to bring these to anglers everywhere. Of course, it helps that I’m working with a company whose baits I’ve been using since I was young. This is an extension of what was already a strong family relationship.”

Northland Fishing Tackle

About Northland Fishing Tackle

In 1975, a young Northwoods fishing guide named John Peterson started pouring jigs and tying tackle for his clients in a small remote cabin in northern Minnesota. The lures were innovative, made with high quality components, and most importantly, were catching fish when no other baits were working! Word spread like wildfire, the phone started ringing… and the Northland Fishing Tackle® brand was in hot demand! For 40 years now, John and the Northland® team have been designing, testing and perfecting an exclusive line of products that catch fish like no other brand on the market today. Manufactured in the heart of Minnesota’s finest fishing waters, Northland® is one of the country’s leading producers of premium quality jigs, live bait rigs, spinnerbaits and spoons for crappies, bluegills, perch, walleyes, bass, trout, northern pike and muskies.

About Bagley Bait Company

The personality of any company comes from its founder. Jim Bagley was an inventive, fun-loving, passionate fisherman who became one the most respected legends in the fishing tackle industry. In late 2010, Jarmo Rapala and a group of investors bought Bagley Bait Company. As an admirer of Jim Bagley for his attention to quality and of his product ingenuity and innovation, Jarmo initiated significant changes in operations, enhanced production processes and quality control. Now in 2020, Northland® Fishing Tackle, along with Jarmo as its Chief Lure Designer, maintain the legacy of creating premium balsa crankbaits and topwater lures, as well as jigs and spoons for both freshwater and saltwater anglers.

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