Jeff Gustafson of Canada had a great start to the US$1 million Bassmaster Classic. Gustafson of Kenora, Ont., took the overall lead after the first day of the Tennessee River’s premier pro bass fishing event.

Gustafson has done well in the past. In 2021, he won the Elite Series tournament on the Tennessee River from start to finish. As a result, he became the circuit’s second Canadian champion.

Chris Johnston of Peterborough, Ont., won the Elite Series event on the St. Lawrence River at Clayton, N.Y., the year before.

“You know,” Gustafson said, “it worked out today.” “I don’t have many options, but I started this morning where I caught them the last time, and there are some fish there, but they’re difficult to catch.”

“I lost a nice one because I tried to boat-flip it on a small hook, which I shouldn’t have done.” I went to the next location, sat down, and made it happen.”
Both Johnston and his brother, Cory, had strong starts on Friday.

Cory Johnston of Cavan, Ont., finished fifth overall with a five-fish bag weighing 14 pounds, two ounces, while Chris Johnston finished seventh with a five-fish bag weighing 13 pounds, 12 ounces.

Cooper Gallant of Bowmanville, Ont., the other Canadian in the 55-angler field, finished 48th overall with two fish weighing three pounds, 13 ounces.

The Johnstons and Gustafson are returning to the Classic for the fourth year in a row, while Gallant, an Elite Series rookie, is competing for the first time.