UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Eufaula

Johnston jousts Ontario’s big water for early lead at 1000 Islands

Johnston jousts Ontario’s big water for early lead at 1000 Islands
Chris Johnston of Peterborough, Ont., leads the Stren Series event at 1000 Islands with 23 pounds, 7 ounces of smallmouth.

CLAYTON, N.Y. - There's no doubt that the 1000 Islands area in New York is one of the finest mixed black bass fisheries in the world, holding huge populations of both largemouth and smallmouth bass.

But on day one of the Stren Series Northern Division, the show was all about Lake Ontario's giant smallmouths. All four of day one's 20-pound plus bags were brown fish from the big lake.

Essentially, some pros who braved Ontario's significant rollers, whipped up by the 15 to 20 mph southwest winds, were rewarded with the best catches.

Chris Johnston of Peterborough, Ont., was one of those who braved the wind and waves and made it back to weigh-in with an eye-popping 23 pounds, 7 ounces of Lake Ontario smallmouths to take the tournament lead on day one.

All of Johnston's bass were identical 4- to 5-pound smallmouths that looked like they had been raised on growth hormones.

"I came here last week to pre-practice and we had three days of unusually calm weather," the young Canadian said. "It was so calm and clear I was able to find some fantastic breaks with my eyes - I could literally see where spawning flats broke off into deep water. I knew those were the first places those big post-spawn smallmouths would go, so I marked them with my GPS."

Today was far too rough to see the breaks again, but thanks to accurate GPSing, Johnston was able to line his casts up on the breaks. He chose to go with a drop-shot on the key contour changes and he was rewarded with big bites.

"One thing that's helped me tremendously in this kind of wind is to drop-shot with braided line," he said. "I used Power-Pro braid as my main line and then tied a fluorocarbon leader for my drop-shot rig. The sensitivity of that rig is amazing with braid. Even in the wind I can feel everything going on down there."

Johnston sacked his large limit by noon and then took his sweet time getting back in, some two hours of surfing rollers back to Clayton.

Desforges looking to defend

Mike Desforges of Burlington, Ont., won the 1000 Islands Stren Series event last year and now he'sMike Desforges of Burlington, Ont., won the 1000 Islands Stren Series event last year. He is in second place with 22 pounds, 14 ounces thanks to the help of a 5-15 smallie that took the Folgers Big Bass award. looking to make it two wins in a row.

Desforges brought in 22 pounds, 14 ounces of smallmouth today to begin the event in second place. His massive stringer included a 5-pound, 15-ounce smallmouth that claimed the Folgers Big Bass award.

Desforges is going into Lake Ontario as well. He believes that the fish he is catching are either still on beds or just beginning to leave the nests.

Several of the big fish he caught today he found in practice when they showed themselves on a jerkbait.

"They would come up on the jerkbait and I would pull it away and just mark the spot," he explained. "Today I went back to two of those spots and they produced my two biggest bass."

Desforges hopes that calmer weather tomorrow will allow him to push even farther out into Lake Ontario to some other areas he marked in practice.

Belinda third
Tom Belinda of Hollidaysburg, Pa., grabbed the third place spot on day one with a 21-pound, 13-ounce catch of smallmouths.
Tom Belinda of Hollidaysburg, Pa., grabbed the third place spot on day one with a 21-pound, 13-ounce catch of smallmouths from Lake Ontario. His limit included a pair of smallmouths weighing 5-3 and 5-7.

"I made it to the mouth of the river this morning and I almost turned around because of the waves," Belinda said. "But then I forced myself to go because of the giant smallmouths I found out there in practice. If I want to win, that's where I have to go. Ontario is where the big tournaments are won."

Belinda also noted that he broke off and lost other bass the same size of the 5-pounders he weighed in.

"There are more monsters there," he added. "If I can get there tomorrow, I think I can weigh in another 20-pound bag."

Strub fourth
Derek Strub of Elora, Ont., is in fourth place after day one with 20 pounds, 1 ounce.
Derek Strub of Elora, Ont., also pushed his way out onto Lake Ontario, thanks to the help of a 22-foot walleye boat. His efforts netted a 20-pound, 1-ounce limit to put him in fourth place after day one.

"It's all about how far the wind will let us go," Strub said. "The calmer it is, the farther we can all go and the bigger the weights will be across the board. The harder it blows, the closer we have to stay and the lower the weights will be - that's just the nature of Great Lakes fishing."

Duckardt fifth

Bill Duckardt of Pittsgrove, N.J., represented the largemouth bass contingent with an 18-pound, 10-ounce catch of green bass for fifth place.Bill Duckardt of Pittsgrove, N.J., represented the largemouth bass contingent with an 18-pound, 10-ounce catch of green bass for fifth place.

"Largemouths are my specialty here," Duckardt said. "That's all I fish for. But it takes a lot of jumping around to catch good weight with largemouths right now. You can't just go to one bay and fish all day. I'm jumping around to a lot of one and two fish spots to catch the best fish."

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top-10 pros in the Stren Series Northern Division at 1000 Islands after day one:

6th: Rob Laframboise of Sault St. Marie, Ont., five bass, 18-8
7th: John Lorenzo of Kane, Penn., five bass, 18-1
8th: Mike Neilson of Markham, Ont., five bass, 17-11
8th: Chad Pipkens of Holt, Mich., five bass, 17-11
10th: Cory Johnston of Peterborough, Ont., five bass, 17-0

Mong leads co-anglers

C. David Mong of Zwolle, La., leads the Co-angler Division of the Stren Series event at 1000 Islands with a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 4 ounces.


John Woodroof of Lynchburg, Va., is in second place in the Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 11 ounces.

Anthony Savino of Marlboro, N.Y., holds down the third place position in the Co-angler Division with five bass for 14 pounds, 8 ounces.

Vince Denina of Willis, Texas, is in fourth place with five bass for 14 pounds, 4 ounces.

George Yund of Albany, N.Y. rounds out the top five co-anglers with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 3 ounces.

Big bass

Doug Wiser of Brackney, Pa., caught the big bass in the Co-angler Division on day one weighing 5 pounds, 4 ounces.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers in the Stren Series Northern Division event after day one:

6th: Scott McGill of Lindsay, Ont., five bass, 14-2
7th: JC Chandler of Tunnel Hill, Ga., five bass, 14-1
7th: Eric McDonald of Barkhamsted, Conn., five bass, 14-1
7th: Stephen Semelsberger of Mt. Airy, Md., five bass, 14-1
7th: Robert Sweeney of Baltimore, Md., five bass, 14-1

Day two of the Stren Series event at 1000 Islands will begin Friday at 6:30 a.m. from French Creek Marina.

Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2009-07-16-1000-islands 

Smith Leads at Eufaula with 50 Pounds

Smith Leads at Eufaula with 50 Pounds

Competing in the Toyota Series Southeastern Division event at Lake Eufaula this week, Michael Smith weighed in 25 pounds, 7 ounces yesterday to take the lead and backed it up with 24-9 today. His 50-pound two-day total has Smith ahead of second-place pro Scott Montgomery by 5 pounds, 9 ounces.  READ MORE »

Lake Eufaula Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Lake Eufaula Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Michael Smith established the pace at the Toyota Series Southeastern Division event on Lake Eufaula with a five-bass first-day limit that weighed 25 pounds, 7 ounces. He leads a crew of mostly offshore sticks that are mining Eufaula’s brush piles and ledges for some seriously big bass. Though, it’s worth pointing out that several in the top 10 did catch some or all of their keepers up shallow today. Here’s a rundown of the top five after one day of fishing. READ MORE »

Smith Smacks 25-7 at Eufaula

Smith Smacks 25-7 at Eufaula

It’s a 90-minute drive from Michael Smith’s Andalusia, Ala., home to Lakepoint Resort State Park where the Toyota Series Southeastern Division kicked off its season today on Lake Eufaula. That’s just close enough, says Smith, that he fishes here more than anywhere else. His understanding of how Eufaula’s bass transition from the bank to postspawn ares to the main lake really showed today while Smith put together an impressive 25-pound, 7-ounce limit to gain the day-one tournament lead. READ MORE »

Lake Eufaula Midday Update – Day 1

Lake Eufaula Midday Update – Day 1

It’s pretty clear from what went down on Lake Eufaula this morning that this lake is plumb full of fish. Almost everybody we pulled up on was catching bass. Yet, the consensus was that the bite isn’t quite as good today as it was during practice. No one reported the kind of mega-weights everyone expects to see. But there’s still some time. READ MORE »

Shad Spawn Carries Kelly

Shad Spawn Carries Kelly

Boater Danger Kelly of Somerset, Kentucky, brought five bass to the scale Saturday totaling 14 pounds, 14 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on South Holston Reservoir in Bristol, Tennessee. For his victory, Kelly earned a total of $3,021. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Pickwick

Top 10 Patterns from Pickwick

Pickwick Lake greeted Toyota Series anglers with high, stained water and stronger than normal current last week. While the last week of May usually means fishing to depths of 25 feet on Pickwick, some anglers felt Pickwick’s bass were a little behind in their summer migration to the deep ledges. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Pickwick

Top 10 Baits from Pickwick

From shallow bars to deep ledges, the offshore bite on Pickwick was the deal for the majority of the field in second stop of the Toyota Series Central Division. Because the offshore bite reigned supreme, it’s no surprise that the lures thrown by the top 10 pros were standard issue for the Tennessee River this time of year. READ MORE »

Lockard Locks up Pickwick Win

Lockard Locks up Pickwick Win

At the day-three weigh-in of the FLW Toyota Series at Pickwick Lake, the biggest five bass limit of the final day wasn’t caught from the front deck – it was caught from the back deck. READ MORE »

Wheeler Wins on Pickwick

Wheeler Wins on Pickwick

What started out as a scouting trip to better learn Pickwick Lake turned into another tournament victory for Jacob Wheeler’s ever-expanding career resume at the second Toyota Series Central Division event of the season. Today, Wheeler brought in a limit of bass for 17 pounds, 11 ounces to take the win with a three-day total of 56 pounds, 8 ounces worth $38,545. READ MORE »

Pickwick Midday Update – Day 3

Pickwick Midday Update – Day 3

For two days Pickwick Lake gave up some nice early morning flurries for the top10 fishing the Toyota Series Central Division event. But this morning, the lake might as well have been frozen over. Despite ample amounts of current still rolling down the lake, and fairly light fishing pressure for a beautiful Saturday morning in the Tennessee Valley, the early bite was shut down for most of the field. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Pickwick – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Pickwick – Day 2

Today’s weather was much sunnier, warmer and calmer; conditions that some think could push fish out deeper. But some are still counting on shallow grass. Here is a rundown of how the rest of the top five caught their fish on Pickwick today. READ MORE »

Murray Leads Wheeler by an Ounce

Murray Leads Wheeler by an Ounce

Sacking up 22 pounds, 10 ounces on day two of the Toyota Series Central Division event on Pickwick Lake, John Murray rocketed up the standings from 14th place to the lead. With a total of 38-14, Murray is just one ounce ahead of Jacob Wheeler, who weighed 20-11 on day two to move up from ninth place. READ MORE »

Pickwick Midday Update – Day 2

Pickwick Midday Update – Day 2

The red-hot shad spawn bite that fueled the big catches on day one of the Toyota Series Central Division event on Pickwick has fizzled this morning. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Pickwick – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Pickwick – Day 1

Grass seemed to be the dominant theme at the top of the day one leaderboard at the Toyota Series Central Division event on Pickwick Lake. Not only did Buddy Gross target grass for his leading catch, but three others in the top five seined the grass for top catches as well. READ MORE »

Buddy Blasts 24-1 on Pickwick

Buddy Blasts 24-1 on Pickwick

Buddy Gross won his first FLW Tour event on Pickwick Lake in May of 2016 fishing a shad spawn on eelgrass along the Tennessee River channel. Today, Gross rekindled those old memories from four years ago to bring in 24 pounds, 1 ounce and take the day one lead in the Toyota Series Central Division event on Pickwick. READ MORE »

Pickwick Midday Update – Day 1

Pickwick Midday Update – Day 1

Pickwick Lake didn’t disappoint on the first morning of the Toyota Series Central Division event. As predicted, fish were biting right off the bat. READ MORE »

Let the Ledge-fest Begin

Let the Ledge-fest Begin

With the start of the Toyota Series Central Division event on Pickwick Lake this morning, today marks the first day back to competition in the world of professional bass fishing. READ MORE »

Abram’s Dream Comes True

Abram’s Dream Comes True

All week on Lake Martin for the third stop of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit the weights have been close, so it was only fitting that the final weigh-in followed suit. READ MORE »

Lake Martin Day 4 Coverage

Lake Martin Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit's third stop at Lake Martin in Alexander, Ala. READ MORE »

Abram One Day Away

Abram One Day Away

Day three of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event on Lake Martin was a bit tougher for the 30 pros on the water, and while quality has been tough to come by all week, that was especially the case today READ MORE »