DRAGONFLY - RAYMARINE

THE SLR PREVIEW.......

Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 08/07/2013

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

Waddington, NY – The St. Lawrence River marks the seventh stop of the season for the Bassmaster Elite Series and the third stop of the 2013 season on a major river system.
  
It has been 11 years since B.A.S.S. has visited the St. Lawrence.  Koby Kreiger won that Northern Open, with a three day total of 52-0.  If early practice reports are any indication of what is to come this week in Waddington, then things have gotten a lot better on the Canadian border fishery.  

 

While that particular Northern Open was about a month later on the calendar, the prevailing factors at the St. Lawrence will be mostly unchanged.  Anglers looking to make the 70 plus mile run to the fertile smallmouth waters of Lake Ontario will be counting on Mother Nature to deal them a good hand, while those who choose to fish the St. Lawrence or the Thousand Islands areas will likely be hoping for much of the same in order to deal with the swift currents that are the prevailing conditions throughout the fishery.
 
In the Toyota Angler Of the Year race, Edwin Evers (519 points) enters the St. Lawrence River tournament with a 44 point lead over California’s Skeet Reese.  Kevin VanDam and Aaron Martens are tied for 3rd with 469 points, and Alton Jones and Cliff Crochet are next on the list with 460 points and 456 points, respectively.

The Five Preview Facts for the St. Lawrence River: 
Tournament: Bassmaster Elite Series (August 8-11).
Location: St. Lawrence River, Waddington, New York.  
Field Size: 99 anglers. 
Previous Winner: Koby Kreiger (52-0) – 2002 Bassmaster Northern Open (three day tournament).
Day One Conditions: 81 degrees for the high with isolated thunderstorms in the morning. Winds WSW at 10 mph.

Bobby Lane (8th in TAOY standings)
What is the X-factor going to be this week on the St. Lawrence River?
“The X-factor this week is going to be who can catch a 5+ pounder.” 

How much of a factor will the largemouth play this week? 
“I think it will be a 98.9% smallmouth tournament.  You will see some good largemouth weighed-in, but I don't see it being a big factor at all.  I think you are shooting yourself in the foot this week if you are fishing for largemouth.”

What has been the most challenging or surprising part or your practice so far?
“Getting back into using the spinning rod has been challenging for me.  I am normally a power fisherman from Florida, so my big concern was learning to use my other hand to reel again this week.”
 
What conditions will play the biggest factor this week? 
“If the wind blows against the current then it will slow the current down, which usually hurts the smallmouth bite.  Also a guy who is making a 90 to 100 mile run down to the lake to his waypoints, is going to find it almost impossible if we get a bad wind.  It has been flat calm for the practiced period so far, so we haven't had to deal with anything like that but you never know what the weather is going to do."

Will it take over or under 80 pounds to win this event?
“The winning weight should be 80+ pounds, without a doubt.”

John Crews (10th in TAOY standings)
What is the X-factor going to be this week on the St. Lawrence River?
“The X-factor is going to be the guys who are willing to make the really long runs.  If a guy is willing to make a gamble and go looking for the glory, then that could be a factor.” 

How much of a factor will largemouth play this week?     
“I think you will see some good largemouth come across the stage, but I don't think you can make a Top 12 with largemouth.  There are some nice largemouth that live here, and they are as healthy and beautiful as the smallmouth, but I just don't see them being a big factor - I could be wrong, though.”

What has been the most challenging or surprising part or your practice so far?
“I was surprised that the water isn't a little bit clearer than it is this time of year.  Other than that, I am just really surprised at the overall health and size of these fish up here.  You will think you have a two pounder and when you get it in the boat and hold it is more like a three.  These fish are really healthy, so I think you may see a little higher weights than were predicted.”

What conditions will play the biggest factor this week? 
“Wind can play a big factor this week in a couple of ways.  The wind can play a big role in how the current acts, even if you are fishing in the river itself.  If it blows really bad then what is going on down in the lake current wise can play a role up here in the river as well.  Also if the wind decides to blow then the anglers who have decided to make long runs will be looking at some serious issues."

Will it take over or under 80 pounds to win this event?
“It will take over 80 to win for sure.  You may see the winning weight push 90 pounds, but the statistical likelihood that you will see 100 pounds is very slim.  If we were here during a different time of the year it might have happened, but not right now. ”

Todd Faircloth (12th in TAOY standings)
What is the X-factor going to be this week on the St. Lawrence River?
“It is going to be the wind. You don't want it too windy, but you definitely don't want it flat calm out there like it was today either.”  

How much of a factor will largemouth play this week? 
“I really don't know how big of a factor they could play, because I haven't fished for them enough.  I fished for them a little bit today and did OK, but not enough to get a good feel for it.  I think someone could do OK with largemouth, but smallmouth will be the predominant factor this week."

What has been the most challenging or surprising part or your practice so far?
“Just the amount of water up here.  Trying to cover water on this place is a challenge. There is a lot of stuff to look at when you don't have any experience up here.  Most of it is good fishable water also, so it is really easy to get yourself spread out."

What conditions will play the biggest factor this week? 
“I would say the wind, and whether it blows or doesn't.  Anytime you are dealing with a big, deep, clear body of water, wind is going to play a big role.  It will determine whether you can make those big long runs, but it will also play a role in whether those fish bite well or not in that clear water."

Will it take over or under 80 pounds to win this event?
“I say it will take over 80 pounds to win.”

Mike Iaconelli (47th in TAOY standings)
What is the X-factor going to be this week on the St. Lawrence River?
“The X-factor in this one is going to be a guy that runs to the lake.  There are god fish in the river, but the lake has a totally different breed of fish.” 

How much of a factor will largemouth play this week? 
“I think you will see some guys cash some checks with largemouth this week, and you may even see a top 20, but largemouth will have nothing to do with how this event is won this week.”

What has been the most challenging or surprising part or your practice so far?
“The biggest surprise for me is the overall quality of the fish throughout the fishery.  The biggest challenge would be fishing in the current because it is really strong this week.  You really have to adjust your fishing style to be productive in that much current.”

What conditions will play the biggest factor this week? 
“Without a doubt it will be the wind. It is already hard to present your bait the right way with all of the current, so if you add wind to that mix it could make it a nightmare."

Will it take over or under 80 pounds to win this event?
“I think it will be a hair over 80. My guess would be around 85 pounds.”