DRAGONFLY - RAYMARINE

PALANIUK LEADS ON THE ST. LAWRENCE AFTER DAY TWO

Posted by Z3 MEDIA TEAM on 08/09/2013

Story by Matt Pangrac and Dave Rush - Photos by Dave Rush

Waddington, NY – For the second consecutive day, Idaho’s Brandon Palaniuk made the 100+ mile run to Lake Ontario and finished the day at the top of the leaderboard at the Bassmaster Elite Series seventh stop of the 2013 season on the St. Lawrence River out of Waddington, New York.

After weighing a limit of smallmouth for 23-9 on Thursday, Palaniuk backed it up with another 21-5 limit on Friday to enter the weekend with a total weight of 44-14.  He leads 2nd place finisher, Cliff Pirch, by 1-10. 

Palaniuk’s lead would be bigger had it not been for a culling mistake mid-morning.  After boating a quick limit, Palaniuk landed his sixth keeper of the day, a 5-12 brute that proved to be the biggest bass of the tournament to this point.  After placing the fish in the livewell, he inadvertently made a cast and realized that he had failed to cull.  He immediately called B.A.S.S. and reported the violation and was assessed a 2 pound penalty.  

Surprisingly, Palaniuk was one of three anglers who was assessed a 2 pound penalty on Friday for making a cast with six bass in the livewell.  Charlie Hartley, who entered the day in a tie for 5th place, also made the same mistake.  With the penalty, he ended up weighing in a limit for 14-8 and dropped to 37th place in the standings.  

Arizona’s Josh Bertrand was the third angler who made a cast with six bass in the livewell, and weighed-in a limit for 18-13 on Friday after the penalty was assessed.  The violation cost him 10 places in the standings and he finished the day in 19th place. 

Kevin VanDam remained near the top on Friday, weighing-in a limit of smallmouth worth 21-9 to finish the day in 3rd place with a total weight of 42-10.  Aaron Martens moved up to 4th with 21-8 on the day and a total weight of 42-2, and Jonathon VanDam rounded out the top five with a total weight of 42-1. 

In all, 95 of the 99 pros crossed the stage with a five bass limit on Friday, and 13 anglers broke the 20 pound mark.  In the Toyota Angler Of the Year race, current TAOY leader, Edwin Evers, finished the day in 25th place with a total weight of 37-1 to remain at the top of the Angler Of the Year standings. 

The 5 Day Two Facts from the St. Lawrence River:  
Tournament: Bassmaster Elite Series (August 8-11)
Location:  St. Lawrence River – Waddington, New York    
Leader/weight:  Brandon Palaniuk (23-9, 21-5: 44-14)
50th place weight: Chris Zaldain (34-2)
Total weight separating 1st place from 12th place: 5-8

1st Place: Brandon Palaniuk (23-9, 21-5: 44-14)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“I knew that the fish were there.  If you pull up at the right time and make five casts, you can literally catch between 20 and 25 pounds.  It just depends on whether it’s a 3 ½ pounder or a 5 pounder when you drop down.”

Brandon PalaniukHow would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“I rolled up to the same spot where I caught them yesterday, and it was the same thing.  On my second drop, third drop, and fourth drop, I caught 3 pounders.  It was actually getting on my nerves because I knew that 3 pounders weren’t going to do my any good.  I had a limit of 3 pounders, so I moved off a little bit to try and find the bigger ones, and the first one that I caught was a 5-12. 

“I was really excited, so I hopped back up and dropped down.  I got about halfway down on my cast and I realized what I had done and that I had forgotten to cull.  I reeled in and immediately called Chris Bowes and reported that I had to give myself a 2 pound penalty. 

“I didn’t think that I had as much weight as I did today, so I’m really lucky.  The problem is that I should have 2 more pounds.  When you’re making as big of a run as I’m making, you can’t make mental mistakes like that.  If the weather permits, I feel like I can get to my fish and catch them.  If the weather gets bad, it will really cut down on my fishing time.  Unless I get out there and think that I can’t physically make it out there and back alive, I’ll go even if I have just half an hour to fish. I have nothing in the river, so there is no “plan B.”

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
“Catching the big 5-12 was a key moment for me today, but that fish actually cost me the 2 pound penalty because that was my sixth fish when I forgot to cull.  I actually started talking with my marshal today about (Bryan) Kerchal because he knew Kerchal personally and was one of his first sponsors. 

“It was the weirdest thing that I’ve ever seen, because as soon as we started talking about him, I culled three times with two bass that were around 5 pounds each and one that was 3 ½.”

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“The mental aspect of getting over my screw up was the most challenging part of the day.  I pride myself in not making mental mistakes and controlling the things that I can control, but I made a mistake today that could cost me.” 

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“With the exception of my culling mistake, I made all the right decisions and executed today.”

2nd Place: Cliff Pirch (20-11, 22-9; 43-4)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
"Today, I knew I was going to make a little longer run than I did the previous day so I really wasn't sure exactly what to expect.  I knew the area had good potential, so I was expecting that I would do pretty well today if things went right."

How would you summarize your day as a whole?
"I went and fished some completely different areas than I had on day one.  I didn't feel like I needed to fish the exact same areas I did yesterday and I was able to expand a little today.  All the areas I am fishing have a ton of fish in them, so I feel like I have some really good places but it isn't easy to catch them."

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
"Just the day going how I had hoped it would was really key.  I was able to catch two 5 pounders today which was huge, and then I backed off of my fish around 10:30 this morning so that was a plus."

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
"I checked some areas that I had caught them yesterday and didn't catch them at all there today.  That was really surprising to me, I don't know if it was a timing deal or not but I just didn't catch them today on those spots."

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
"I was really fortunate today.  I probably caught about 15 keepers and never lost a fish today."

3rd Place: Kevin VanDam (21-1, 21-9: 42-10)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“I knew that with the different conditions that the fish would be positioned a little differently than they were yesterday.”

How would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“I caught them on some different baits, and the fish are definitely moving around.  Today, the cloud cover changed some things and it took me a couple hours to figure out what was going on.  Once I made the right adjustment, I caught them.  You don’t have to catch but five big ones here, and there are millions of fish in this place.  When you get around them, you have to take advantage of it.  After I had a good limit, I spent the rest of the day searching for new water, and I think that I found some good stuff. 

“All of my fish were right around 4 pounds or a little better.  You can catch a 23 or 24 pound bag, but it’s hard to catch much more than that.  I didn’t want to cull a 4 ½ pounder for a 4-9, so I just kind of laid off where I knew the bigger fish were at and tried to find some more.  I probably caught 20 to 25 fish today.”

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
“The day started off really slow today.  There were some places where I really thought that I’d catch them and I didn’t get a single bite.  I really kept my patience and I didn’t get nervous or anything.  I just kept adjusting and running new water.  Once I got my first good bite, I really settled down.” 

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“I’ve been torn all week to go to the Lake (Ontario), and I just haven’t gone yet.  Today would have been the day to go if you were going to go because the wind is supposed to blow tomorrow.   The biggest fish that I’ve seen are in the lake, but it’s 130 miles one way, and with the wind blowing 10 to 20 out of the West tomorrow, it’s not an option.

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“There are no guarantees that you’ll catch the big ones out there and get them in the boat.  I feel like I can get five big bites each day and so far I’ve landed all of them.  I think that I’m in a good position.” 

4th Place: Aaron Martens (20-10,21-8: 42-2)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
"My expectations were good headed into today.  I was saving some spots that I wasn't going to hit until today, so I was hoping that the fish would still be there.  Fortunately for me the fish were still where I had found them in practice, and it worked out."

How would you summarize your day as a whole?
"I caught about 19 pounds by 11:00, and then I went hog hunting like I did yesterday.  I didn't get as many bites as I did the day before, but I caught some good ones.  Three out of the six fish I caught in the last two hours were four plus pounds. "

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
"The last couple of hours were key for me.  I was able to cull out a few 3 pounders  for some 4 pounders, so that was crucial for me today."

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
"I was really surprised how well I caught them today based on the conditions.  It was really dark out there today, and I wanted it to be bright.  If the conditions would stay right you might see some 25 pound bags."

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
"I lost another big one today, so that hurts.  It isn't anything I think I am doing wrong, they just pull so hard and fight so much up here.  I am using the right set up and getting a good hook set on them and they will still just come unbuttoned.  Everyone is having the same problem, so I am probably fortunate to have gotten as many as I have in the boat."

5th Place: Jonathon VanDam (20-9,21-8: 42-1)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
"I really wasn't sure what to expect heading into day two.  I didn't get a lot of bites yesterday, so I was hoping today was going to be better for me and I'm glad it was."

How would you summarize your day as a whole?
"Today was better for me than yesterday overall.  I caught about fifteen keepers today, but I actually lost a lot today as well.  Today the fish were jumping a lot more than yesterday and they were just throwing the bait."

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
"The last couple of hours were key for me.  I was able to cull out a few three pounders  for some fours, so that was crucial for me today."

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
"Keeping the fish hooked up was definitely the most challenging aspect for me today.  It was really frustrating because I saw most of those fish and knew they would have helped me out a lot."

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
"My decision making was good today but I did lose some fish that would have helped me.  I really don't think it was an execution thing, the fish just threw the bait. There really isn't much you can do about that with these smallmouth."

DAY TWO STANDINGS

Place PRO ANGLER Day 1Day 2 Total Fish Total Weight
FishWeightFishWeight
1 Brandon Palaniuk 5 23- 9 5 21- 5 10 44-14
2 Cliff Pirch 5 20-11 5 22- 9 10 43- 4
3 Kevin VanDam 5 21- 1 5 21- 9 10 42-10
4 Aaron Martens 5 20-10 5 21- 8 10 42- 2
5 Jonathon VanDam 5 20- 9 5 21- 8 10 42- 1
6 Chad Pipkens 5 20- 4 5 21-12 10 42- 0
7 Bernie Schultz 5 18- 7 5 23- 5 10 41-12
8 Ott DeFoe 5 18- 5 5 23- 5 10 41-10
9 John Murray 5 19- 9 5 20- 7 10 40- 0
10 Dennis Tietje 5 21- 9 5 18- 0 10 39- 9
11 Casey Scanlon 5 18- 1 5 21- 6 10 39- 7
12 Gerald Swindle 5 19- 9 5 19-13 10 39- 6
13 Yusuke Miyazaki 5 22- 2 5 16-14 10 39- 0
14 Derek Remitz 5 18-12 5 20- 3 10 38-15
15 Bobby Lane 5 19- 4 5 19- 7 10 38-11
16 Mark Davis 5 15-15 5 22-11 10 38-10
17 Kevin Hawk 5 19- 5 5 19- 0 10 38- 5
18 J Todd Tucker 5 18- 6 5 19-14 10 38- 4
19 Josh Bertrand 5 19- 5 5 18-13 10 38- 2
20 Keith Combs 5 18- 5 5 19-12 10 38- 1
21 Jason Christie 5 18- 0 5 19-15 10 37-15
22 David Walker 5 19-10 5 17-15 10 37- 9
23 Greg Vinson 5 18- 2 5 19- 7 10 37- 9
24 Jeremy Starks 5 18-13 5 18- 9 10 37- 6
25 Hank Cherry 5 18-10 5 18- 7 10 37- 1
25 Edwin Evers 5 18- 7 5 18-10 10 37- 1
27 Jared Lintner 5 17-15 5 18- 8 10 36- 7
28 Mike McClelland 5 15-14 5 20- 8 10 36- 6
29 Kevin Short 5 19- 8 5 16-10 10 36- 2
30 Morizo Shimizu 5 17- 5 5 18-13 10 36- 2
31 Bradley Roy 5 20- 4 5 15-13 10 36- 1
32 Andy Montgomery 5 17-12 5 18- 3 10 35-15
33 Randy Howell 5 20-15 5 14-15 10 35-14
34 Tommy Biffle 5 16- 7 5 19- 4 10 35-11
35 Bill Lowen 5 16- 9 5 19- 0 10 35- 9
36 Cliff Pace 5 17- 0 5 18- 8 10 35- 8
37 Charlie Hartley 5 20-15 5 14- 8 10 35- 7
38 Timmy Horton 5 18- 1 5 17- 3 10 35- 4
39 James Elam 5 17-14 5 17- 6 10 35- 4
40 Scott Rook 5 16- 7 5 18- 9 10 35- 0
41 John Crews 5 16- 9 5 18- 7 10 35- 0
42 Kotaro Kiriyama 5 20- 2 5 14-12 10 34-14
43 Stephen Browning 5 16- 2 5 18-10 10 34-12
44 Britt Myers 5 16- 3 5 18- 7 10 34-10
45 Terry Scroggins 5 16-11 5 17-15 10 34-10
46 Stephen Kennedy 5 14-12 5 19-10 10 34- 6
47 Brent Chapman 5 16- 5 5 18- 1 10 34- 6
48 Davy Hite 5 16- 6 5 17-15 10 34- 5
49 Matt Greenblatt 5 17- 6 5 16-15 10 34- 5
50 Chris Zaldain 5 14- 3 5 19-15 10 34- 2
51 Kurt Dove 5 16-15 5 17- 3 10 34- 2
52 Brian Snowden 5 20- 5 5 13-11 10 34- 0
53 Michael Simonton 5 18- 3 5 15-12 10 33-15
54 Cliff Prince 5 17- 9 5 16- 6 10 33-15
55 Rick Clunn 5 17- 7 5 16- 7 10 33-14
56 Paul Elias 5 15-12 5 17-12 10 33- 8
57 Takahiro Omori 5 18- 7 5 14-15 10 33- 6
58 Alton Jones 5 17- 3 5 15-14 10 33- 1
59 Todd Faircloth 5 16- 9 5 16- 4 10 32-13
60 Matthew Herren 5 13- 9 5 18-13 10 32- 6
61 Fred Roumbanis 5 17- 3 5 15- 1 10 32- 4
62 Nate Wellman 5 15- 3 5 16-15 10 32- 2
63 Michael Iaconelli 5 18- 9 5 13- 7 10 32- 0
64 Boyd Duckett 5 17- 5 5 14-11 10 32- 0
65 Greg Hackney 5 15-10 5 15-15 10 31- 9
66 Brandon Card 5 18- 1 5 13- 5 10 31- 6
67 Ish Monroe 5 14- 3 5 17- 2 10 31- 5
68 Billy McCaghren 5 17-13 5 13- 7 10 31- 4
69 Grant Goldbeck 5 17- 4 5 13-14 10 31- 2
70 Jamie Horton 5 14- 8 5 16-10 10 31- 2
71 Jeff Kriet 5 15- 8 5 15- 8 10 31- 0
72 Dean Rojas 5 14- 4 5 16- 9 10 30-13
73 Pete Ponds 5 13- 9 5 17- 3 10 30-12
74 Shaw E Grigsby 5 14-14 5 15-12 10 30-10
75 Gary Klein 5 14-10 5 15-15 10 30- 9
76 Fletcher Shryock 5 13-13 5 16- 9 10 30- 6
77 Chris Lane 5 14-13 5 15- 6 10 30- 3
78 Marty Robinson 5 13- 7 5 16-11 10 30- 2
79 Casey Ashley 5 12- 3 5 17-13 10 30- 0
80 Jason Williamson 5 16-10 5 13- 6 10 30- 0
81 James Niggemeyer 5 12- 6 5 16-15 10 29- 5
82 Rick Morris 5 15- 3 5 14- 0 10 29- 3
83 Russ Lane 5 17- 1 5 11-15 10 29- 0
84 David Smith 5 15- 4 5 13- 7 10 28-11
85 Cliff Crochet 5 13- 3 5 15- 4 10 28- 7
86 Zell Rowland 5 13-11 5 14- 9 10 28- 4
87 Jami Fralick 4 9- 7 5 18-11 9 28- 2
88 Kelly Jordon 5 12-12 5 13-15 10 26-11
89 Kevin Ledoux 5 13- 4 5 11- 5 10 24- 9
90 Kelley Jaye 5 10- 3 5 13- 2 10 23- 5
91 Jason Quinn 5 10- 1 5 13- 1 10 23- 2
92 Matt Reed 5 12- 5 5 10- 5 10 22-10
93 Skeet Reese 5 18- 1 3 3-12 8 21-13
94 Jared Miller 5 12-10 5 8- 3 10 20-13
95 Byron Haseotes 5 17-10