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BASSMASTER CLASSIC: Rasmussen Reels In 2nd With CrushCity, Huff Cranks Up 3rd With OG Tiny

Wisconsin multi-species pro Adam Rasmussen may have flown under the radar but the secret is out.

Wisconsin multi-species pro Adam Rasmussen may have flown under the radar prior to the 2024 Bassmaster Classic on Oklahoma's Grand Lake, but after an exceptionally consistent performance that resulted in a second-place finish, the secret is out. He put together limits that weighed 19-5, 17-10, and 18-5, to finish less than 3 pounds out of the overall lead and almost 5 pounds more than the third-place angler – and as in many recent national tournament successes, the CrushCity™ lineup was a key element of his effort.

That third-place angler was Missouri pro Cody Huff, a three-time Classic qualifier who caught his best bag of the week on a Rapala® OG Tiny® 4. That 21-2 catch had him just over a pound out of the lead, and he said that the flat-sided bait was key to getting fish to bite and keeping them hooked up.

Power Fishing Enhancements
While forward-facing sonar was a key part of Rasmussen's attack, he wasn't shaking a Freeloader in front of suspended fish. Instead, he employed a one-two punch of power fishing staples – a bulky jig and spinnerbait – to make sure that he caught the quality needed to contend.

His threw ½ and ¾-ounce jigs, and his Crush City Cleanup Craw trailer made all the difference in tempting the pressured fish.

"The Cleanup Craw just has a lot of action, which is key in dirtier water," he said. "They pick it up a lot better. It's a great jig trailer, but it's so much more than that. You can flip it, use it on the back of a swim jig – I do everything with it."

He fished it on a 7'3" medium-heavy 13 Fishing baitcasting rod paired with a 13 Concept Z (8.3:1) reel spooled with 17-pound test Sufix® Advance® Fluorocarbon.

"That rod was key," he said. "It's slightly longer, with a softer tip. That soft tip is critical to prevent them from slingshotting off."

The CrushCIty 3-inch Mayor soft swimbait was also a key element in getting more bites and getting more of them into the boat. He fished it on the back of his spinnerbait to add bulk yet retain a streamlined package.

"It helps them to suck it in instead of just hitting it and getting away," he said. "It's something I always do with my spinnerbaits for extra attraction and efficiency" He fished it on a 7'1" medium-heavy 13 Fishing baitcasting rod, paired with the same Concept Z reel, this time spooled with 20-pound test Advance Fluorocarbon.
Multi-Species Expert
Rasmussen showed off his largemouth chops this week on the sport's biggest stage, but the scary thing for other competitors may be that they're not his most frequently chased species. Indeed, he's a walleye guide who also runs a salmon charter and dominates Sturgeon Bay region smallmouth tournaments.

"The more you're fishing, the more you're learning," he said. "You can take bits and pieces from everything and put them to use elsewhere. For example, understanding salmon is all about understanding current. That applies to just about every species at some point."

The one thing that's not negotiable on the water for the Classic contender is the quality of his tackle. He knows what it means to push his gear to the limits and settles for nothing but the best.

"You need to have quality gear you can trust when you get the bite of a lifetime or the bite that has the possibility of changing your life. I want to make sure that every fish gets to the boat, and products from Rapala®, Sufix®, 13 and CrushCity give me the confidence that I can compete with anyone."

Now he's ready for a return trip to the big dance.

"This is the biggest deal in fishing and I'm super-honored to be here," he said after the tournament, still frustrated that he hadn't achieved his goal of winning. "We were treated like royalty and now my goal is to get back and finish the deal."

Huff's Day One Cranking Beatdown
"All my weight on the first day came on the OG Tiny 4," Huff explained. "When the cold front hit, I had to swap to a jig, but I wouldn't have been in that position without that particular flat side. It's the perfect fit, something real finessy, and it was perfect for the conditions that we had."

Huff focused on hard cover on flat banks. He fished his crankbait in the Coosa Special pattern straight out of the package and had a tough time getting the VMC Hybrid trebles out of their mouths.

"The hooks straight out of the package are perfect, they stick to those fish like glue," he explained.

Huff turned 27 just a few days ahead of the Classic and has lots of runway in front of him. He'd already fished the 2020 and 2023 tournaments in Alabama and Tennessee, respectively, and feels that not only was this his best Classic in terms of finish, but also in terms of feeling like he's ready to win.

"I enjoyed just getting to go fish," he said. "Even with the drastically changing conditions, Grand is a lake where I just felt comfortable."

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