UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2021 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Calmer outlook on Erie

Calmer outlook on Erie
Calmer conditions greeted EverStart anglers at the day-two take-off on Lake Erie.

BUFFALO, N.Y. - How do you make a good thing better? Well, in fishing, you make it more accessible. Fortunately for EverStart Series Northern Division anglers, that summarizes today's Lake Erie weather outlook.

Day one showcased the Great Lake's potential with pro and co-angler divisions producing 75 and 57 limits, respectively, seven bags over 20 pounds, and several smallies of 5-plus. On the downside, strong winds roiled the lake and wave to eight feet made for long, grueling boat rides that chewed up the clock and rattled the fillings. On their fishing spots, anglers struggled to maintain boat positioning, while many discovered that the fish they'd found in practice had relocated in the rough water.

Today's forecast for calmer winds will keep Lake Erie in a more hospitable mood. Residual wave energy is likely in the morning, but as the day progresses, anglers will likely enjoy a more comfortable and efficient day. That could yield an uptick in quality and quantity.

Brad Brodnicki, of Amhert, N.Y. and Simon Frost, of St. Catherines, Ont. share the pro lead tied at 22 pounds, 5 ounces. Both believe they can do as well or better on day two.Anglers in later flights make their way through boat check as the 6:30 takeoff approaches.

"I think the fishing will get better from here on," Brodnicki said. "With the calmer weather, we'll definitely catch more fish today."

Frost, who had to abandon his primary day-one spot when he realized that the rough water had pushed the baitfish elsewhere, said he'll try the spot again today in hopes that the forage and the bass that seek it has returned.

"I think (yesterday's) south wind blew the bait off the spot and with (today's) calm wind, the bait will move back on it," Frost said. "Hopefully, the calm water will bring them back and hopefully it will be a little easier and a lot drier."

Canadian pro Bob Izumi - winner of the previous Northern Division event at the 1000 Islands - starts the day in 23rd place with 17-1. With plans to dropshot a variety of Berkley Gulp! baits, he's hoping Anglers will use a variety of dropshot baits to tempt Lake Erietoday's better running conditions will allow him to locate some of the Erie all-stars that will bolster his weight.

"Yesterday, I didn't get a bona fide 4-pound fish," Izumi said. "On Erie, 4-pounders are good fish, 5's are really good fish and I didn't get either. Today, I'm going to run a little further than I ran yesterday. I ran quite a few miles yesterday, but I was still about 10 miles short of one of the areas I wanted to hit. I just couldn't get to it because I was looking at the average speed I was going and it was just taking too long.

"It took an hour and 55 minutes to get to my first spot. Today, I'm hoping I'll get in a little more running time and I have a longer day because of my later flight, so I'm pretty excited."

Also eager to work in calmer water is Maine pro Troy Garrison. He came into day one with a good spot identified and found another during the opening round. Yesterday's conditions prevented him from effectively fishing either one.

"I located hump yesterday that was holding a lot of fish and in practice, I had a hump where I caughtMaine pro Troy Garrison will drophshot a black leech today. 19 pounds," Garrison said. "Yesterday, it was the wind and the waves. I'm not used to that. Today, things have laid down so I think it will be better."

On day one, dropshotting anglers had to use heavier weights of up to an ounce to reach bottom and hold their baits on target in the rough stuff. Today's calmer water will see most returning to lighter weights. One thing that won't change is the need for fish care. This morning, Izumi's boat looked more like he was heading to a picnic, but the explanation bespoke the care and concern the FLW anglers devote to resource protection.

"I brought the equivalent of about 10 bags of ice onboard and about every 15 minutes, I'm putting a little bit of ice in the livewell to keep that temperature just a little cooler than the surface water," Izumi said. "It's very critical in this warm water that we're fishing because those fish are very susceptible to coming p to the surface and getting stressed. I use my hand (to test the livewell temperature) and if it feels cool, that's good.

With more hot weather on tap for day two, Canadian pro Bob Izumi carried a huge load of ice to help keep his fish cool in the livewell."It takes some time out of your fishing, but I'd rather keep fish alive and (avoid penalties) I didn't lose a fish at the 1000 Islands event, even though I was fishing as deep as 42 feet, and I didn't lose a fish yesterday. I'm trying to keep that streak alive."

Logistics

Anglers will take off from NFTA Boat Harbor located at 1111 Fuhrmann Blvd., in Buffalo, N.Y., at 6:30 each morning. Thursday and Friday's weigh-ins will also be held at the marina beginning at 2:30 p.m. daily. Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at the Walmart located at 4255 McKinley Parkway in Hamburg starting at 3:30 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
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.

The EverStart Series tournament on Lake Erie is being hosted by the Buffalo Niagara Convention andEverStart anglers stand for the national anthem prior to the day-two takeoff. Visitors Bureau.

Friday's conditions:

Sunrise: 6:24 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 65 degrees
Expected high temperature: 81 degrees
Wind: SW 5 mph
Humidity: 49 percent
Day's outlook: Sunny

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2011-08-18-lake-erie-buffalo 

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