Northland Fishing Tackle Marks Canadian Expansion

Legacy tackle manufacturer recruits Can-Am Sales Group to multiply sales north of the border.

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Northland Fishing Tackle and Canada are like peanut butter and jelly. If it catches fish in Canada, Northland makes it. And now, the Minnesota-based fishing gear manufacturer further fortifies its relationship with Canadian anglers by recruiting the Can-Am Sales Group, a leading full-service sales organization out of Quebec, Canada.

“We have always had strong business partners in Canada, but now with the signing of Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson, and our purchase of Smeltinator, we are adding the Can-Am Sales Group to help us expand our retail and marketing support throughout all of Canada,” said Northland President and CEO Gregg Wollner.

“We make lures for all Canadian fisheries including crankbaits, soft plastics, ice lures and jigs for every species and every season. We are excited to expand our innovative new products to more consumers in Canada.”

Northland recently announced a licensing agreement with Bass Tactics to produce, distribute, and sell the Smeltinator and Smeltinator Underspin Jigs under the Northland Fishing Tackle brand name.

The Smeltinator is hardly new to the fishing scene. The jig and the moping technique have been dominating the Canadian tournament scene for a decade and is quickly taking root in the US. The “Moping” technique popularized by 2023 Bassmaster Classic victor Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson involves fishing a fluke or minnow style plastic on the Smeltinator Jig and the Smeltinator Underspin Jig over the top of deep suspending smallmouth bass. 

Alongside the Smeltinator business deal, Northland inked a title sponsorship deal with Gussy for all B.A.S.S. events moving forward. 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.

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. 

Can-Am is led by founder and President Scott Makway, an experienced sales executive with a proven track record of driving retail performance in the outdoor sporting goods arena. With relationships at many of North America’s leading retailers, Scott has a solid history of partnering with customers to understand and support their unique strategies while delivering comprehensive solutions.

“In our quest to provide our distribution and retail partners with the best and most innovative brands on the market, we are very excited to join forces with Northland Fishing Tackle and add them to our stable of top tier fishing brands,” said Scott Makway. “With Walleye being the number one targeted species in Canada and Northland’s focus and commitment on Walleye lures, this is a win / win for our customers and the Canadian angler.”

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.