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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Lucarelli lands 'em at 1000 Islands

New Hampshire pro Joe Lucarelli turned in his best performance on day three to win the 1000 Islands event.

CLAYTON, N.Y. - About this time last year, New Hampshire pro Joe Lucarelli told the weigh-in crowd that he wanted to go home and forget about the 1000 Islands. Good thing he didn't really let the bitter pill of a 75th-place finish obscure his memory; otherwise, he wouldn't have left the 2012 EverStart Series Northern Division event with the first-place trophy.

Lucarelli got off to a good start on day one by placing 13th with 19-6. He'd follow a day later with his first of two bags over 20 - this one a limit that weighed 21-15 and moved him up to third place. In the final round, Lucarelli turned in his best performance and weighed a bulging bag of smallmouths that went 22-8 (second-largest of the event) and pushed his aggregate to a tournament-winning total of 63-13.

"It feels great to win this (after my 2011 disappointment)," Lucarelli said. "This fishery keeps gettingPro winner Joe Lucarelli caught his fish on a large flat with scattered rocky structure. better and better. I've been coming here for about 10 years and I remember when we used to be able to come here and catch 17-18 pounds and it really meant something. You wouldn't be (in the top-10) if you caught 17 or 18 pounds."

Lucarelli spent all but a fraction of his tournament time in the St. Lawrence River - actually less than a mile from the take-off site in French Creek. The river certainly saw its share of rough water, with the usual flow of 1000 Islands traffic plus the practice and competition days for an antique speedboat race out of Clayton. However, Lucarelli fared much better than those who committed to fishing the big waters of Lake Ontario. The Great Lake was fairly hospitable on day one, but the second day saw the lake's mean face when a passing cool front brought strong southwest winds and big - make that huge - waves. Winds were a little lower on day three, but the lake was still pretty sporty.

Notably, the weather wasn't the sole motivation for Lucarelli's game plan. Sure, he was very clear about his disinterest in slamming around in the gear-busting bull ride that is an angry Lake Ontario. Nevertheless, he said he was motivated to learn a game that he had been hearing about for quite some time - smallies in the river. While the common generalization might suggest that you fish the lake for brown fish and the river for those green sissies known as largemouths, the St. Lawrence is actually bursting with big, fat, aggressive smallmouths.

"I've been coming here for years and I was always able to put together one good day and then weather would dictate what I was able to do," Lucarelli said. "I'd always fight it, but it was miserable. There are too many variables going against you. I told myself 'I have to learn this river.' I spent countless hours driving and just looking at my Lowrance Sidescan and found some key spots about a half mile from where we took off."

Although Lucarelli caught one of his day-three keepers on a rocky spot just outside the mouth of the St. Lawrence, technically in the lake, he spent the majority of his time fishing a large flat with scattered rock formations and caught his fish in 32 to 47 feet of water. Current was key and Lucarelli said that while monitoring his Lowrance HDS-10, he could just about predict the fish's disposition based on where he observed them positioning. Essentially, smallmouths sitting on the back side of a current break were not as aggressive as those sitting out front, boldly braving the swift water to maximize the feeding opportunities therein. Also, daily conditions influenced fish positioning.

"When the current was slow, the fish didn't need theJoe Lucarelli is joined onstage by his father and fellow EverStart pro Steve Lucarelli. structure as much so I'd catch them out roaming. But when the current was ripping with that big wind on day two a little more today, they needed those current breaks and I could just about call my shots.

Lucarelli caught all of his fish on drop-shots. He alternated between an X-Zone Slammer and a Yamamoto Shad Shape Worm. Lucarelli varied his drop-shot weight based on depth and he adjusted his color as the sky conditions changed - darker during cloudy conditions; lighter for sunny times. Most effective, he said, was a Slammer designed to impersonate gobies - those invasive bottom dwellers loathed by Great Lakes biologists but loved by smallmouth bass.

"My favorite color (in the Slammer) was a No. 309 - it's a green pumpkin/watermelon mix with a blue inlay," Lucarelli explained. "You can't get a better color to imitate a goby than that - it's perfect. The smallmouth absolutely can't stand it."

Defending champ Izumi takes close second

After winning the 1000 Islands event in 2011, Canadian pro Bob Izumi placed second in this yearBob Izumi, of Milton, Ontario, also brought memories of 2011 into this year's event, but he was hoping for a repeat of his come-from-behind victory. Capping day three with his best performance of the tournament - a 22-pound, 7-ounce bag - Izumi came within 14 ounces of another title, but ended with a second-place finish and a three-day total of 62-15.

Izumi caught his fish by drop-shotting several different Berkley Gulp baits over hard bottom structure in Lake Ontario. Despite a strong finish and two days of 20-plus pounds (also 21-15 on day one and 18-9 day two), Izumi said that he had to cover lots of water to find his daily limits.

"These fish have passports for both (the U.S. and Canada)," he joked of his extensive running time. "I gave my co-angler quite a boat ride today and I had to put $100 (in fuel) into my boat midway through the day. I think I hit every spot I've fished in the last 30 years on this lake."

Powroznik surges to third

When a fisherman brings in a bag better than his previous day's weight, EverStart Tournament Snapple pro  Jacob Powroznik caught the heaviest bag of day three - a limit weighing 23-1.Director Ron Lappin often jokingly says "You got mad at them today." By that standard, Snapple pro Jacob Powroznik, must have been furious on day three, as the angler from Prince George, Va., sacked up the heaviest catch of the tournament - a limit that went 23-1 and pushed Powroznik up from eighth place to third with a three-day total of 62-3.

Powroznik placed 15th on day one with 18-12 and rose seven spots on day two with a limit of 20-6. He, too, fared best with a drop-shot, but it was some innovative thinking that enhanced his presentations.

"Up here (the locals) use these baits that are flat on the bottom," Powroznik said. "The fish just wouldn't bite my (Berkley goby) so I took a pair of scissors and cut it in half and it looked perfect. I used that until I ran out and then I just picked up a little Berkley worm and caught some. But I have to go to the tackle store and get some more Gulp because I'm out."

Powroznik fished the river largely to avoid risking equipment damage prior to an FLW Tour event on the Detroit River following the 1000 Islands event. He said his St. Lawrence productivity was pleasantly surprising. "I didn't think I could ever catch that in the river. I caught (almost) 21 pounds out there yesterday in 10 minutes. We took off this morning at 6:00 a.m. and at 6:23, I was culling 4-pounders."

Strub stays solid but slips to fourth

Day-two leader  Derek Strub had another solid performance, but he was just missing the 5-pound bites he had found on days one and two.Day-two leader Derek Strub, of Elora, Ontario, turned in a solid day-three performance with a limit catch of 19-7, but with Lucarelli, Izumi and Powroznik stepping on the gas, he slipped a few spots to fourth. Adding in his 20-10 and 21-13 from days one and two, Strub tallied a tournament total of 61-14.

"It's been funny; I just pulled one out of the hat," the Lake Ontario veteran said. "I really wasn't on much in practice. I'm fortunate enough that I have a lot of water here so every day I went a different direction and just went fishing each day.

"I was fortunate the first and second day to have a fish or two over 5-pounds and yesterday I had one almost 6. That's really all I was missing today. If I cull a high 3 and put a 5 1/2 in there and I'd have my 21 1/2 again. But I'm really happy. To make that cut with this level of (competitors) is just a thrill for me."

Throughout the tournament, Strub caught most his fish on dropshots baited with Trigger X Probe Worms and X-Zone Slammers. He also caught one on a jerkbait and another on a spinnerbait.

Ober takes fifth on his new love

Jason Ober has a new favorite and another New York waterway might be a little jealous, but that's justFifth-place pro  Jason Ober declared the 1000 Islands his new favorite fishery. how it is for the Pennsylvania pro after finishing fifth with 60-9. He bagged daily weights of 20-15, 18-15 and 20-11 and he had high praises for the 1000 Islands fishery.

"This has been an amazing week for me," Ober said. "Everyone who knows me knows that Lake Champlain is very near and dear to my heart, but I think it just got beat. This entire system from the lake to the river is fishing phenomenally. I cannot tell you how many 4-pound bass I've caught (this week), but it's a bunch."

Like most of his fellow competitors, Ober caught most of his fish on drop-shots - his baited with black Berkley Gulp leeches. He also caught one day-three keeper on a green pumpkin tube.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 pro leaders at the EverStart Series 1000 Islands event:

6th: Chris Flint, of Potsdam, N.Y., 60-5
7th: Jamie Hartman, of Newport, N.Y., 60-2
8th: Tom Belinda, of Holidaysburg, Penn., 59-6
9th: Bill Chapman, of Salt Rock, W.V., 56-9
10th: Howard E. Hammonds, of Westport, N.Y., 51-12

Tags: david-a-brown  headline-story  2012-08-16-1000-islands 

/news/2019-02-12-montevallo-wins-on-seminole

Montevallo Wins on Seminole

The University of Montevallo duo of Justin Barnes of Monroeville, Alabama, and Adam Carroll of Carrollton, Georgia, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake Seminole Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 23 pounds, 1 ounce. The victory earned the Falcon’s bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-12-mount-paran-christian-school-wins-on-seminole

Mount Paran Christian School wins on Seminole

The Mount Paran Christian School duo of Lee Rose Koza and Carter Koza, both of Marietta, Georgia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 23 pounds, 2 ounces to win the 2019 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Lake Seminole Open. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-11-anders-chases-shad-for-keowee-w

Anders Chases Shad for Keowee W

Boater Joe Anders of Easley, South Carolina, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River division event on Lake Keowee presented by Navionics. Anders earned $4,164 for his efforts. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-10-toho-day-4-coverage

Toho Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-10-gross-wins-second-tour-title

Gross Wins Second Tour Title

Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, Ga., won the 2019 FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats at Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla., with a four-day total of 20 bass that weighed 85 pounds, 12 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-09-gross-grabs-toho-lead

Gross Grabs Toho Lead

Day three of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho was tough on the leaders, but Buddy Gross stayed steady, rising to first from fifth with 19 pounds, 12 ounces. In total, Gross has amassed 62 pounds even through three days, which is just about a pound ahead of Darrell Davis, who caught 25-12 for a 60-15 total and rocketed up to second from 13th. Going into the final day, everyone in the top six is within 5 pounds of the lead, and the way the Kissimmee Chain is pumping out big ones, that counts as the slimmest of margins. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-09-toho-day-3-coverage

Toho Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-08-cox-stays-ahead-on-toho

Cox Stays Ahead on Toho

Day two of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger on Lake Toho featured not one, but TWO 10-pounders, one caught by Casey Scanlon and the other by Jamie Horton. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-08-toho-day-2-coverage

Toho Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-07-cox-leads-toho-slugfest

Cox Leads Toho Slugfest

Day one of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho was the slugfest many expected. Leading the way is sight-fishing extraordinaire John Cox, who caught 31 pounds, 9 ounces and the day one big bass – a giant that went 10-9.  In second, John Voyles wrangled up 24-15, and Scott Martin is close behind him with 24-12. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-07-toho-day-1-coverage

Toho Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-04-flw-live-schedule-for-lake-toho

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Toho

Weigh-ins at the FLW Tour Lake Toho event will be broadcast daily at 3 p.m. ET days one and two and 4 p.m ET days three and four. The studio broadcast, with live in-the-boat streaming, airs Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. with hosts Travis Moran and Peter T. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-02-thliveros-brings-it-home

Thliveros Brings it Home

Nick Thliveros led after day two on Okeechobee and after weighing his lowest weight of the week, he was able to seal the deal for his first Costa FLW Series win as a pro. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-02-top-5-patterns-from-okeechobee-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 2

Fishing as a whole is still tough on the Big O, but there was definitely an improvement today – especially for the guys at the top of the leaderboard. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-01-thliveros-in-charge-on-okeechobee

Thliveros in Charge on Okeechobee

Nick Thliveros is one day away from taking the title in the Costa FLW Series event on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-01-top-5-patterns-from-okeechobee-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 1

Things are tough on Okeechobee, but these pros cracked some of the code to wrangle solid catches. READ MORE »

/news/2019-01-31-roder-out-front-on-big-o

Roder Out Front on Big O

Okeechobee is normally the place of dreams. This week, however, it isn’t quite living up to its reputation. Day one of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event on the Big O saw plenty of fish, though the quality bites were hard to come by. Troy Roder of Brookeland, Texas, set the pace early with a 19-pound, 15-ounce limit to grab the lead in the season opener – presented by Power-Pole – with a lead of over 4 pounds heading into Friday. READ MORE »

/news/2019-01-28-anderson-tops-on-tough-okeechobee

Anderson Tops on Tough Okeechobee

David Anderson of Fort Myers, Florida, caught five bass Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 1 ounce, to win the 2019 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Gator Division opener on Lake Okeechobee. For his win, Anderson earned $4,479.  READ MORE »

/news/2019-01-28-pitt-wins-again-on-toledo-bend

Pitt Wins Again on Toledo Bend

Local angler Cody Pitt of Many, La., caught five bass Saturday weighing 24 pounds, 5 ounces, to win the 2019 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Cowboy Division opener on Toledo Bend Reservoir presented by Navionics. Pitt earned $6,349 for his efforts.  READ MORE »

/news/2019-01-14-bolton-hangs-on

Bolton Hangs On

With a 17-pound, 6-ounce bag on day four of the FLW Tour opener on Sam Rayburn, which was presented by Polaris, the 24-year Tour veteran did something he’s been within ounces of doing so many times before: He won. He won his first Tour event, and he did it despite a handful of tremendous anglers — including standout rookie Nick LeBrun and the best angler on the planet, Bryan Thrift — breathing down his neck in a furious effort to outpace the Benton, Ky., pro. READ MORE »