St.Lawrence River Showdown
The St. Lawrence River Showdown is quickly approaching and with that 100 of the top Bassmaster Elite Pros will be arriving to test their skills on the mighty St. Lawrence River. At this time many of the Pros are currently stopped in Syracuse, NY to fish Oneida Lake for a B.A.S.S. Open which takes place August 1st-3rd. At the end of that event you can expect to see plenty of fancy boats and trucks once again start arriving in our area as the official practice time will start next week.
During my fishing adventures I have had many opportunities to speak with some of the top names in the sport. One thing is certain these guys love the chance to fish for smallmouth bass. In the past Oneida Lake has been a regular stop for the Elite Series tour and the anglers are always excited for that event just for the chance to catch those smallmouth bass that fight like they are on steroids. Oneida Lake typically averages 2.5-3 pound smallmouth and anglers will need to catch a five limit bag of those size fish to cash a check. These are nice fish but I am predicting when these anglers drop their boats into the water and see the numbers and quality of fish that are swimming about this expansive water system they will be on cloud nine!
I had not been out on the river in about a month, which is unusual for me but it has just been a busy tournament season traveling. I decided I better get out for a day of fun fishing and see what these giant smallmouth bass were doing and how they were biting. Last Thursday my wife and I set out for a day on the water out of one of my favorite locations. My plan was to fish new water I have never fished and try some different techniques. This would give me an idea how the bite was going to be and help me make an estimate on the weights that may come in during the Elite Series event.
We launched at 6:30 am and were met, with much disappointment to my warm blooded wife, by cool morning temperatures in the low 60s and a steady North wind at 10 mph. For those of you that don’t know the North wind no matter how hard it blows makes for the hardest fishing conditions on the river to catch smallmouth. We ventured out and my first stop turned out to be generous with a 3.5 and a 4.6 pound fish landed within a few minutes. Those fish were followed in by a small pack of other hungry smallmouth waiting for the caught fish to drop the bait.
We continued to jump around locations and the day warmed, my wife defrosted, and we fished water from 12-50 feet and the fish were plentiful. I don’t want to give all my secrets away just yet as my father and I have a team event this weekend. I will post some more information on my website chrisflintfishing.com after the event if you are interested. I can say most of my stops provided multiple fish of the same size which to me means one thing and one thing only. These fish have moved into their summer hunting grounds and the bite is about to be phenomenal! At the end of our day and keeping track of our five best fish we had a weight of a little over 20 pounds. This is a pretty darn good day of fishing considering it was new spots and trying some new techniques and a north wind!
So as the Elite Series anglers arrive what can we expect to see? I have been apprehensive in giving a prediction on weights because the weather is always a factor in determining what, where and how the fish will feed on the river. Right now they are right on track with a good late summer bite which means big heavy fish. I am predicting it will take 92 pounds of fish to win the four day event. What I am more interested to see is what the biggest fish will be each day. I know there are seven pound smallmouth bass out there and I would love to see one!!
Regardless of if you are interested in fishing or not this is an event you should not miss. There will be plenty to do and see, from Helicopter tours to Bass Boat rides, an antique car show, horse and carriage rides and a festival with food vendors and plenty of music and drinks for everyone, and lots of stuff for the kiddies. Admission is free as are almost all the activities! There will be a ‘Hawg Trough’ set up which is a large fish aquarium where fishing demonstrations will take place. This as well as other fishing activities will be inside the arena. I will be set up in that area with my boat and truck so if you want some free samples and to talk fishing be sure to stop by and see me!
Don’t chase your dreams….catch them!!!