BASS Elite – St. Lawrence River

St Lawrence River 2015Historically the St. Lawrence River events have been won with big limits of smallmouths, and even though the big lake was off limits to us this time around there was no reason to think that brown fish wouldn’t be the winning ticket once again. That didn’t bother me at all because I like to fish for smallmouths and felt that I’d be able to figure things out pretty quickly.

Unfortunately, they weren’t ganged up like they were the last time the Elites went there. The water was still pretty cold and while most of the fish had spawned they were scattered out both deep and shallow. I tried both strategies in practice and the problem was that you could get just enough bites doing one or the other to become dangerous to yourself. It was easy to get committed to something that wasn’t a winning pattern. That’s what happened to me.

I ended up focusing mostly deep and used the side-imaging and down-imaging features on my Humminbird Onix units to find isolated rock piles and shoals out in 20 to 25 feet of water. Those are places where they typically live after they’re done spawning and I felt like I could catch decent limits by running those spots. A couple of times I jumped up shallow with a Megabass Vision 110 jerkbait and caught a few that way. The problem was that you really couldn’t pull into one area and blast away at the type of fish that you needed to win. The bass were more concentrated for the Elites two years ago, but this time you had to run a lot of different places to cobble together a good bag.

I was in a late flight on Day One which meant that I had a long day on the water. That was good because it was 11 o’clock before I got my first bite out deep. We’d had some bad weather roll through and I was just about to go shallow when that 3-pounder bit. Shortly thereafter I lost one close to 4 pounds and then I caught a second smallmouth that weighed 5-05. That convinced me that I was on the right spot and it was only 12:30, which meant I had plenty of time left. I got one more bite, a solid 3 ¾ pound fish, but that was it. I couldn’t believe it. read more…

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