Waddington has suffered some economic woes in recent years as
factories have left the area for foreign shores. Don Barone has a
story on Bassmaster.com about this today.
A big reason they invited the Elite series here is to publicize the
fact that the St. Lawrence River is a great place to fish for bass.
They hope many people will visit the area for that reason and spend
dollars in the process. This koozie is part of that campaign.
Aaron Martens and John Murray have been hiding in plain sight, usually on the wrong side of islands we've been driving by. We found Murray fishing grassbeds and rocks along a rock wall near Ogdensburg just now and watched him long enough to see him lose a 4-plus-pound smallmouth. He had the fish hooked up solidly. Even three acrobatic jumps couldn't throw the hook. But as he got it near the boat, the fish apparently bored into grass or wrapped around zebra mussel encrusted rocks and broke his line. Murray has three fish in the well sorar, his marshal told us, and that one would have been so far the heaviest. I think I have good photos of a couple of the fish jumps, but that's no consolation for Murray.
Palaniuk steps back to the consol and adjusts the mini Go Pro camera mounted there. He and his cameraman have been having a few camera issues this morning.
Palaniuk moves back to the trolling motor and immediately sets the hook. He battles the fish to the boat as his cameraman scrambles to capture the action. This is bass number four and it will go four pounds.
Minutes later Palaniuk lands another bass that weighs 4 pounds or more.
"There's a whole school of them down there that big," Palaniuk yells.
His first five bass weigh about 18 pounds, and he's just getting started.
He has two fish.
First fish was 2 pounds. The second fish was a five-pounder. As I write this, he caught third fish close to 3 pounds. Now he has three fish.
Jonathon VanDam just caught a 3-pounder for his third keeper, which should give him about 8 pounds for the day. The wind is supposed to blow from the west southwest at 10 to 15 mph today. It's a little bouncy out here now.
Palaniuk is making short pitches with a small drop shot bait. He gives the rod a very subtle shaking action when the weight is on bottom. I thought I noticed him doing that yesterday. It was hard to tell for sure in the wind and waves.
Within minutes Palaniuk
hooks a bass and soon boats a 2-pounder. He calmly puts it in the live-well. Moments after that he hooks a big bass. He takes his time playing the fish and eventually hails aboard a beautiful 5-pound smallmouth bass. This fish is greeted with screams and fist pumps.
"Four more like that and I'll put this tournament away," Palaniuk yells to us.
James Overstreet, Dean Meckes and I just pulled up near Jonathon VanDam, just past the Brockville Narrows, about 35 or 40 river miles west of the launch site.
We saw him boat what we think was his second keeper of the day, and it was just that, a keeper, 2 pounds maybe. We're told he caught a 3-pounder earlier.
JVD got his line stretched a few minutes ago by a drum that weighed at least 12 pounds.
He's been drop-shifting two Strike King soft plastics this week - a green pumpkin sapphire Dream Shot and dark melon Coffee Tube with purple and gold flake.
We've launched at Henderson Bay just in time to see Brandon Palaniuk, the tournament leader, pounding across waves on Lake Ontario into the bay. It's still bumpy here, but it's a cakewalk compared to yesterday. I suspect that Palaniuk will have a deep bow in his rod in short order.
Just as we were starting to leave Chad Pipkins he hauled in a nice 4
and a quarter pound smallmouth. That's a good start to the day for
"Could you start to leave me again?" Pipkins said with a laugh. He,
like most anglers is always looking for a behavior to repeat that may
help them catch another fish.