UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Big hopes on big lake

With good weather on tap for day one, EverStart anglers spread out to find their fish.

CLAYTON, N.Y. - In an area known as the 1000 Islands, EverStart Series Northern Division anglers will have at least that many options for finding a good sack of fish.

With the St. Lawrence River dumping into Lake Ontario's vastness just a short run from the takeoff point, competitors have the option of fishing protected, but confined waters, or challenging the big pond. Both will produce quality smallmouths, but when calm weather permits limitless lake running, Ontario's productivity offers far greater potential.

New Hampshire pro Joe Lucarelli summed it up like this: "Survive in the river; win in the lake."

Having practiced in both river and lake, Lucarelli has no doubt that the latter is his best bet. He was unable to find the deep bite he prefers, but he located enough fish in two scenarios to feel comfortable with his game plan.

"I'm going to fish shallow in the morning and see if I can get a couple of reaction bites in 6 to 8 feet ofNew Hampshire pro Joe Lucarelli will start shallow and then move deep with a dropshot as the sunlight intensifies. water, and then I'm going to slide out a little deeper into the 20- to 25-foot range," Lucarelli said. "With the water being so clear, the higher the sun gets, the more it pushes them off the bank."

Lucarelli will use spinnerbaits and jerkbaits in the shallow zone. Out deeper, he'll depend mostly on a drop-shot.

Jeff Hippert said he doesn't anticipate having any trouble finding fish, but it will be important to find the right ones. He'll be fishing drop-shots and tubes over shoals and breaks in 15 to 30 feet.

"If you can find them, the smallmouth are in pretty good little schools, and you can do pretty good," Hippert said. "You can get into a good school and catch a limit fairly easily, or you might catch one, move on to the next spot and catch another."

While most anglers will target the smallmouth bass that dominate this fishery, some will seek largemouth. Troy Garrison of Topsham, Maine, said green fish are his default preference, but he has a good bead on quality fish this week.

Jeff Hippert said it"I'm going with largemouth mostly because I don't know (as much) about smallmouth - I'm figuring it out," Garrison said. "I've been averaging 15 to 17 pounds a day, so that's what I'm hoping to do today."

Garrison will depend mostly on Texas-rigged stick worms in June-bug color, along with spinnerbaits to tempt his largemouths. For the occasional smallmouth spot, he'll use a drop-shot.

Pennsylvania pro Adrian Avena, who won the previous Northern Division event on Lake Champlain June 25, said he had a lean practice, but managed to find enough fish to remain competitive. A key tackle adjustment helped him earn the tough bites.

"These fish are extremely line shy because the water is so clear," Avena said. "When I launch my boat, I can look down and see every detail of my trailer. I've had to drop down to 6-pound line on my drop-shots."

Contrasting the cloudy, rainy weather headed to the region tomorrow, today's forecast of moderate winds and mostly sunny skies creates a do-or-die kind of deal. Fish will bite in the nasty stuff that will characterize day two, but boat positioning and precision presentations will suffer when storms move across the lake.

Lucarelli said he believes 18 to 19 pounds a day will earn a top-10 berth, while 20-plus a day will win theWhile many of his competitors target smallmouth, Maine pro Troy Garrison will throw spinnerbaits and Texas-rigged stick worms at largemouth. event.

Logistics

The tournament is being hosted by French Creek Marina, located at 250 West Street in Clayton, N.Y., where daily takeoffs will begin at 6 a.m. Thursday and Friday's weigh-ins will take place at French Creek Marina beginning at 2 p.m., and the final weigh-in will begin Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Walmart located at 20823 NY State Route, Watertown, N.Y.

Pros will fish for a top award of $35,000 plus a 198VX Ranger boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Co-anglers will cast for a top award consisting of a Ranger 177TR with 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $5,000 if Ranger Cup guidelines are met.

The EverStart Series consists of five divisions - Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of four tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the Strike King Angler of the Year title along with $5,000 for the pro and $2,000 for the co-angler. The top 40 pros and co-anglers from each respective division will qualify for the EverStart Series Championship that will be held on Kentucky Lake in Buchanan, Tenn., Oct. 27-30.

With a light wind blowing at the day-one boat check, anglers will have good conditions to run and try multiple spots. Thursday's conditions

Sunrise: 5:47 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 62 degrees
Expected high temperature: 74-75 degrees
Wind: SW at 5-10 mph
Humidity: 75 percent
Day's outlook: mostly sunny

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2011-07-28-1000-islands 

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