DRAGONFLY - RAYMARINE

TOP 5 SMALLMOUTH TOURNAMENTS OF THE PAST DECADE

Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 07/22/2018

Story by Matt Pangrac - Grigsby photo courtesy of FLW Communications

Moore, OK – With the 2018 FLW Tour regular season on the books and just two stops remaining on the 2018 Bassmaster Elite Series regular season, The BASS ZONE offers up a subjective list of the top five FLW Tour and Bassmaster Elite Series tournaments from the past decade that were dominated primarily by smallmouth bass:

5.  2013 Bassmaster Elite Series – St. Lawrence River (August 8-11, 2013)
Winner: Brandon Palaniuk (88-12)
Winner’s average weigh/day: 22-3
Weight/day to finish in the Top 5: 19-7
Weight/day to finish in the Top 50: 17-1
Big Bass: 5-13 (Steve Kennedy)
Number of anglers with a limit each of the first two days: 92 out of 97
Number of limits over 23-pounds: 5

4.  2017 Bassmaster Elite Series – St. Lawrence River (July 20-23, 2017)
Winner: Kevin VanDam (90-3)
Winner’s average weigh/day:  22-9
Weight/day to finish in the Top 5:   20-4
Weight/day to finish in the Top 50:  17-7
Big Bass: 6-5 (Kevin VanDam)
Number of anglers with a limit each of the first two days: 102 out of 109
Number of limits over 23-pounds: 7

3.  2008 Bassmaster Elite Series – Lake Erie/Niagara River (July 31 – August 3, 2008)
Winner: Kota Kiriyama (93-6)
Winner’s average weight/day:  23-4
Weight/day to finish in the Top 5: 19-14
Weight/day to finish in the Top 50: 15-3
Big Bass: 5-15 (Kota Kiriyama)
Number of anglers with a limit each of the first two days: 90 out of 106
Number of limits over 23-pounds: 3

2.  2016 Bassmaster AOY Championship – Mille Lacs Lake (September 15-18, 2016)
Winner: Seth Feider (76-5)
Winner’s average weigh/day: 25-5
Weight/day to finish in the Top 5: 22-6
Weight/day to finish in the Top 25 (50 angler field):  19-14
Big Bass: 6-10 (Brent Ehrler)
Number of anglers with a limit each of the first two days: 45 out of 50
Number of limits over 23-pounds: 23
Number of limits over 35-pounds: 8

1.  2018 FLW Tour – Lake St. Clair (June 28 – July 1, 2018)
Winner: Chad Grigsby (97-8)
Winner’s average weight/day:  24-6
Weight/day to finish in the Top 5: 21-15
Weight/day to finish in the Top 50: 18-12
Big Bass: 6-10 (Ryan Chandler)
Number of anglers with a limit each of the first two days: 157 out of 180
Number of limits over 23-pounds: 17
Number of limits over 25 pounds: 5
*144 pros averaged at least 15-pounds a day
*Day one set the 2nd heaviest weight ever for an FLW Tour weigh-in with 3,033-7 
*Day two set the 3rd heaviest weight ever for an FLW Tour weigh-in with 3,011-15

The Elite Series closes out the 2018 regular season with a return to the St. Lawrence River in Waddington, New York.  

When asked if there will ever be a four-day Elite Series tournament where the winner eclipses the 100 pound mark exclusively with smallmouth, Elite Series pro Brandon Palaniuk just paused and started to chuckle.  “I think that there’s a legitimate chance that it’ll happen next month on the St. Lawrence,” he opined.  “I know that we can’t go into Lake Ontario, but I’m not sure how many people realize what lives in the St. Lawrence River.”

Palaniuk said that several years ago he spent three days during August on the St. Lawrence and cracked the 28-pound mark for his best five smallmouth on two of the days.  “I weighed each one of them, so I know exactly what I was dealing with.  It was absolutely insane.  If we hit it right, it could take triple digits to win.”