UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Champlain

Winning without the wind

Mike Desforges converted the lead he established on day two into a Stren Series victory

CLAYTON, N.Y. - The scene must have been pretty nasty when Mike Desforges surveyed the wind-whipped monster known as Lake Ontario. However, trading a miserable ride for placid St. Lawrence River action proved prudent as the Burlington, Ontario, angler upheld his two-day lead for a Stren Series Northern Division win at New York's 1,000 Islands. For three days, anglers had expressed amazement at the mostly calm conditions prevailing throughout the Clayton, N.Y., area. Day four brought the ego equalizer, as blustery south winds pushed 4- to 6-foot waves across Lake Ontario. As Desforges attested, the lake turned so rough on day three that he had to leave his main area and When rough water in Lake Ontario kept him in the St. Lawrence River, Mike Desforges target largemouths and smallmouths.work other spots in calmer water. Still, day three was doable. The final round - not so much. Making the decision to stay inside the St. Lawrence River, the top pro scrambled around, working spots he'd fished in years past. Realizing he was working in backup mode, while fellow pro Charlie Hartley had been whacking big limits of smallies in the river all week, Desforges said he did not believe his day would end as it did. "I was fishing all day for second place, because I figured Charlie was really on them - he had weighed 20 pounds the last two days," he said. "I figured he would get them (today), so I just didn't want to fall too far back." Entering the final round in second place, Hartley was indeed poised for a big move. As it turned out, his spot dried up and he fell a bass short of his limit. Jerkbaits produced most of Mike DesforgesDesforges split his time between smallmouth and largemouth spots, fishing jerkbaits for the brown bass and Texas-rigged Senko-style baits for the green ones. His mixed bag weighed 17 pounds and boosted his winning total to 77 pounds, 1 ounce. While most anglers agreed that you could practically sink a boat with 2- and 3-pound smallmouths, Desforges said he didn't actually boat a lot of fish during the tournament. In the final round, he brought just eight to the boat. "I wasn't really catching numbers; I was just catching quality fish. Most of the fish I caught were over 3 pounds." Desforges finished day one in seventh place with 19 pounds, 6 ounces. On day two, he posted his heaviest stringer - 21-3 - and took over the lead. Desforges defended his lead a day later with a 19-pound, 8-ounce effort that gave him a 2-pound, 9-ounce margin going into the final round. For his victory, Desforges won $25,000 plus the prestige of prevailing against a talent-rich field of competitors. "There are a lot of good fishermen here, so I'm really proud to (win)." Sancho sacks second Entering the final round in ninth place, Joseph Sancho of New Windsor, N.Y., weighed the heaviest bag in the Pro Division on Saturday, a 21-pound, 8-ounce limit good for second place with a tournament total of 73-5. Fishing in the St. Lawrence River, Sancho made long drifts over broad flats in 40 to 75 feet. Drop-shottingTurning in the heaviest pro limit of the final round, Joseph Sancho finished second. with a Berkley Gulp leech produced all of his final-round fish. Sancho said that the river's abundant population of gobies actually served as a living chum machine: "You just drop (the drop-shot) down there and hold it still. You'll feel the gobies nibbling at the Gulp, but all of a sudden, they would stop and your rod just loads up." Notably, Sancho's co-angler - James Richardson Sr. of Harrison, Ohio - won his division with 22 pounds, 6 ounces - the tournament's heaviest stringer. "The spot we fished was just stacked," Sancho said. "This is just an awesome fishery." Strub debuts at third In his first FLW event, Derek Strub challenged Lake Ontario and secured a third-place finish.Fishing in his first FLW Outdoors tournament, Derek Strub of Elora, Ontario, caught a limit weighing 18 pounds and culminated his debut performance with a third-place total of 71 pounds, 7 ounces. Fishing a walleye boat with high gunnels and a deep-V hull, Strub challenged Lake Ontario's rough waters and caught his quintet of smallmouths on jerkbaits, tubes and drop-shots. Martin manages fourth Matthew Martin of Chittenango, N.Y., caught a mixed bag of largemouths and smallmouths weighing 16 One look at an angry Lake Ontario convinced Matthew Martin to stay in the river.pounds, 6 ounces and slipped from third to fourth with a 70-12 total. Flipping a blue-and-black jig through holes in grass growing around rocks, Martin drew his strikes by shaking the jig and aggravating the fish into biting. At the morning takeoff, Martin intended to head into Lake Ontario, but the roiling water he found at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River convinced him to can that idea. "I made a tactical retreat from what I had been doing (during previous days)," Martin said. "I got to the mouth of the river and saw those 5- to 6-footers. I said to my co-angler, `Uh-uh, we're not going to do this.' "I have a great 4-year-old boy at home and I wanted to make sure I saw him again." Jancasz finishes fifth Fishing a dropshot with the Berkley Gulp! fry gave Trevor Jancasz a fifth-place finish.Climbing three notches from eighth place, Trevor Jancasz of White Pigeon, Mich., caught a limit weighing 18 pounds and finished with a total of 70 pounds, 2 ounces. Jancasz also fished in Lake Ontario and caught his fish on drop-shots rigged with Berkley Gulp Fry baits in watermelon color. Best of the rest Rounding out the top 10 pro leaders at the Stren Series 1,000 Islands event:Finishing sixth, Michael Iaconelli moved into first place in the Stren Northern Division points standings. 6th: Michael Iaconelli of Runnemede, N.J., 68-6 7th: Charlie Hartley of Grove City, Ohio, 67-3 8th: Al Gagliarducci of Agawam, Ma., 63-9 9th: Michael Beebe of Conneautville, Pa., 62-10 10th: Daniel Welch of New Martinsville, W.Va., 62-8 With his top-10 finish, Iaconelli moved into the lead in the Stren Northern Division points standings.

Tags: headline-story  david-a-brown 

/news/2015-07-21-top-picks-from-icast

Top Picks From ICAST

A few days of walking the floor at ICAST is enough to exhaust a body, but it isn’t enough to know exactly what’s worthwhile. For that, you need some time to reflect and probably a few tournament seasons to fly by to see what rises up. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-renfrew-fished-to-win

Renfrew Fished to Win

Ian Renfrew of Phoenix, New York, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Northeast Division tournament on Oneida Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Renfrew earned $4,695. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-docks-and-rocks-key-for-synders

Docks and Rocks Key for Synders

Rus Snyders of Nashville, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Music City Division tournament on Old Hickory Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Snyders earned $2,703. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-jig-crankbait-carry-powroznik

Jig, Crankbait Carry Powroznik

Ryan Powroznik of Prince George, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division tournament on the James River. For his victory, Powroznik earned $7,507. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-persistence-pays-for-arning

Persistence Pays for Arning

Ray Arning Jr. of Walnut Hill, Illinois, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Illini Division tournament on Rend Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Arning earned $5,804. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-17-new-rod-roundup

New Rod Roundup

Rod companies continue to impress each year with a new crop of lighter, faster and more affordable (sweet!) rods. On the subject of price, these days, a tournament pro or an average angler could be fishing with rods that cost less than $100 apiece, but without giving up anything in the realm of quality. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-17-new-terminal-tackle

New Terminal Tackle

Don’t skimp where it counts the most – terminal tackle. Hooks, weights, jigheads and the like are the keys to taking all those new soft baits and swimbaits to the fish, hooking them and getting them in the boat. Here’s the best stuff we saw on the floor at ICAST 2015. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-flw-announces-2016-tour-schedule

FLW Announces 2016 Tour Schedule

FLW announced the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour regular-season schedule today in a live press conference held at the 2015 ICAST show in Orlando, Fla. With the help of six veteran Tour pros, the company unveiled each of the six events, one-by-one, to a crowd of observers gathered around the FLW booth. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-6-new-reels-to-try

6 New Reels to Try

Whether you need to replace an old reel or you’re just looking to add to the arsenal, here are some of the latest and greatest from ICAST. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-6-new-lines-from-icast-2015

6 New Lines from ICAST 2015

Line might just be the most important part of the package when it comes to landing fish. From presenting the bait to getting them in the net, your line is involved the entire way. If you’re looking for something new to try, the following lines are worth a shot. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-icast-best-of-show-winners-

ICAST Best Of Show Winners

One of the highlights of ICAST is the annual “Best of Show” awards. Not everything at ICAST is of interest to bass anglers, but the below might end up being staples for a long time to come. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-10-new-frogs-and-toads

10 New Frogs and Toads

These days, frogs and toads aren’t just mimicking frogs and toads. They’re designed to be perfect imitations of rats, bream and various oddball creatures. New models at ICAST this season offer anglers some of these “alternative” species, as well as new sizes, colors, action types and degrees of realism. Here are 10 new models that we feel are of greatest interest. Click here for complete 2015 ICAST coverage. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-7-terrific-topwater-baits

7 Terrific Topwater Baits

If you don’t like fishing topwater, just give up fishing already. These seven new baits will help you get your surface-fishing fix next season. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-critters-and-craws

Critters and Craws

Nearly everyone already has a tackle box overflowing with soft baits. That said, there are always more to try. If you’re looking for something new, the following might do the trick. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-new-hard-baits-for-2015

New Hard Baits for 2015

It doesn’t take long to find yourself overwhelmed on the show floor of ICAST. Hundreds of companies are here unveiling cool, new products. When it comes to the hard bait category it can be daunting to sift through all the new stuff. Its early, but here are a few things that might be worth adding to the tackle box. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-icast-2015-fishing-accessories

ICAST 2015 Fishing Accessories

Check out these tools and accessory items that fill a variety of roles when on the water. We’ll update the list later tomorrow too. Click here for complete 2015 ICAST coverage. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-cool-new-electronics-at-icast-2015

Cool New Electronics at ICAST 2015

These days, anglers rely on cutting edge electronic devices not only to find and catch fish, but also to share their fishing experiences with the world. The following new products, as seen on day one at ICAST 2015, will help you do all of the above. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-new-clothing-and-sunglasses-at-icast-2015

New Clothing and Sunglasses at ICAST 2015

Sunglasses and clothing that can resist all that Mother Nature throws at it are critical for hard-core anglers. Here’s what’s new in those categories at this year’s ICAST show. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-three-new-finesse-worms

Three New Finesse Worms

Though there is a ton of finesse worms already available on the market, but the following three from the first day of ICAST might be worth a look if you sense a gap in your arsenal. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-14-dance-detweiler-and-east-win-icast-cup

Dance, Detweiler and East Win ICAST Cup

Weighing in midway through the 48-boat field, Bill Dance, Cody Detweiler, and Dave East repped Mystik Lubricants brought a five-bass limit for 17 pounds, 1 ounce to the scale for the win. The team focused on two shallow, grassy areas within sight of Big Toho Marina for the entirety of the event and caught about 10 bass and culled twice before 8 a.m. READ MORE »