UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Potomac River

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Wet and willing

Wet and willing
Cloudy skies and the promise of rain greeted EverStart anglers at the start of day two.

CLAYTON, N.Y. - With rain and scattered thunderstorms headed for the 1000 Islands region, EverStart Series Northern Division anglers know they're in for a damp, bumpy ride.

Contrasting the sunny conditions that greeted competitors at the start of day one, today saw thick cloud cover overhanging the takeoff. Rain should fall by late morning and the midday-afternoon period will likely see rough weather stirring up the lake.

Such scenarios make it tough for anglers to reach their spots and tougher yet to maintain the effective boat positioning necessary for targeted presentations. On the flipside, the barometric fluctuations associated with passing storm cells often trigger intense feeding periods. Massachusetts pro Sheron Brown is hoping to capitalize on that principle while spending his day in the St. Lawrence River.

"During practice, we had storms and I was getting some (big) largemouth and smallmouth on reaction baits," he said. "Yesterday, it was hot and humid and we had no thunderstorms, so the fish didn't biteMassachucetts pro Sheron Brown will depend heavily on a Keitech swimbait today. the reaction baits. During the last half hour of the day, I went to my secondary pattern, which was dropshotting in about 30-45 feet with a Keitech swimbait and I caught three fish for about 9 pounds before I had to go to weigh in.

"Today, I'll throw reaction baits - a Rapala DT-18 and a Hildebrant chartreuse spinnerbait - for the first two hours and then I'll concentrate on that dropshot pattern in the river. I'm going to concentrate on that swimbait for my dropshot. I believe I can get 18 pounds today with that. I may get a 4-pounder on a reaction bait, but I'm not going to die by it today."

Dropshots and tubes will be the most common offerings among smallmouth anglers and many one of these baits are designed to imitate one of Lake Ontario's most prolific forage - the non-native goby. These invasive bottom dwellers may frustrate fisheries managers, but smallmouth love `em.

Ohio pro Charlie Hartley will leverage this link in the food chain by dropshotting a Venom goby. He'll fish main lake breaks in 15-25 feet and concentrate on the steepest areas along these contour lines. Starting the day in 17th place with 17 pounds, 9 ounces, Hartley said he'll need to adjust his timing to have a more productive day two.

Slender baits with bulbous heads imitate the gobies that smallmouth love to eat."Yesterday, I did not get a bite on the first three or four spots I fished and they were my best spots, so I'm going to bypass those because I ate up three or four hours yesterday morning before I started catching them," he said. "My biggest concern is that the fish just aren't biting until later in the morning and I think I went to my best spots before they started biting. So, even though I didn't get bit on those spots yesterday, I need to go to them - but a little later in the day."

Hartley said his will be a run-and-run strategy today. "I have so many spots that if I don't get bit in 15 minutes or so, I'll just go to another spot. I literally have 40 waypoints over there."

While most of the field will target smallmouth, New York pro Aaron Wessels will hunt big largemouth in the St. Lawrence. He knows that brown fish get top billing in northern waters, but past experience has revealed the river's great largemouth potential.

"Smallmouth consistently win more tournaments up here, but largemouth are definitely doable," Wessels said. "I've been fishing largemouth in the river for many years and if you get around the right groups, you can catch them quickly. They're big, strong, a lot of fun to catch."

Wessels will target his largemouth with a ¾-ounce black/blue Stamina jig with a black/blue chunkNew York pro Aaron Wessels will focus his efforts on largemouth bass in the St. Lawrence River. trailer. The local green fish, he said, actually behave more like smallmouth.

"They live in the current, they're not afraid of the windy side of the islands in the current and they'll get out in the deeper breaks in the main channel," Wessels said. "They'll use their spawning areas and then they'll migrate out to the shoals and the islands. It really looks like smallmouth water."

Jeff Hippert, of Hamburg, N.Y. leads the pro field with 24-8. Yesterday, he enjoyed a busy day of culling fish over shoals in 18-30 feet, but he said today's weather may curtail some of that action.

"I just want to catch five (today)," Hippert said. "It might be a little tougher day with the cloud conditions. I'm going to fish the same areas to see if the fish move up, but if not, I have other shoals."

Larry Lafaver, of Watertown, N.Y. holds the co-angler lead with 20-1.

Logistics

The tournament is being hosted by French Creek Marina, located at 250 West Street in Clayton, N.Y., The narrow launch ramp at French Creek Marina was a busy spot during the early morning hours of day two.where daily takeoffs will begin at 6 a.m. 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.Anglers race to their first spots as day two commences at the 1000 Islands.

Friday's conditions:

Sunrise: 5:48 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 62 degrees
Expected high temperature: 82 degrees
Wind: SW 5-7 mph
Humidity: 75 percent
Day's outlook: Cloudy, rainy

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

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