It won't take big bass honors at the end of the day, but Jay Yelas is off to a good start. Yelas boated a 4 1/2-pound smallmouth bass at 9:28. Nothing special, right? Just another typical big ol' smallie from the St. Lawrence. (Ha!)
It was 49 degrees at 6 a.m. in Waddington, N.Y., this morning, just another reminder of how much everyone loves coming here in late July and August. But the main attraction, of course, is the smallmouth bass fishing.
This marks the fifth time in the last seven years that the Bassmaster Elite Series has come to the St. Lawrence River. The following is a look a glance at the winners and their winning totals from the previous four tournaments:
|2018||Aug. 23-26||95 lbs., 3 oz.||Josh Bertrand|
|2017||July 20-23||90 lbs., 3 oz.||Kevin VanDam|
|2015||July 30-Aug. 2||77 lbs., 10 oz.||Edwin Evers|
|2013||Aug. 8-11||88 lbs., 12 oz.||Brandon Palaniuk|
The kids in Waddington loves to bass fishing.
A very nice and comfortable day on the St. Lawrence River as there will be plenty of sun with mild temperatures throughout the day. We'll start off in the mid-60s at 9:00 am for takeoffs and will climb into the upper 70s by the end of the fishing day. Winds will be out of the northeast at 5-10 MPH with dewpoints hanging out in the mid-50s throughout the day.
It will be a much different day on Friday as there will be more clouds than sun throughout the day on the river with a small chance of a few showers throughout the fishing day. Temperatures will start off in the mid-60s at takeoffs and rise into the upper 70s by the end of the fishing day. Winds will be out of the northeast at 2-5 MPH. The chance of rain will be around 30% while dewpoints will be rising from the upper 50s to the lower 60s.
While we'll continue to have a chance of showers and maybe a few claps of thunder for Saturday, temperatures will be warmer. Skies will be mostly cloudy throughout the day and temperatures will start off in the mid-60s at takeoffs. Those temperatures will climb into the lower 80s by the mid-afternoon hours. Winds will start off out of the south at 3-7 MPH but will shift out of the southwest by the early afternoon. The chance of rain will be around 50% while dewpoints will be in the mid-60s.
The final day of the St. Lawrence tournament will feature a chance of showers and a few claps of thunder throughout the day on Sunday, but latest model guidance is showing that most of that may hold off until the fishing has completed. Skies will once again be mostly cloudy with temperatures starting in the lower 70s and rising into the lower 80s by late afternoon. The chance of rain is around 30% to start but rises to 50% by the early afternoon hours. It will feel a little muggy as dewpoints will be in the upper 60s to near 70 degrees.
Thursday: Moonset (5:48 am) / Moonrise (8:28 pm) / Illumination (99.9%)
Friday: Moonset (6:49 am) / Moonrise (8:55 pm) / Illumination (99.4%)
Saturday: Moonset (7:49 am) / Moonrise (9:20 pm) / Illumination (97.2%)
Sunday: Moonset (8:49 am) / Moonrise (9:43 pm) / Illumination (93.1%)
Stetson Blaylock is having a bang-up season on the Elite Series tour. He posted a first-place finish at Winyah Bay and a second-place finish at Lake Hartwell. He's ranked sixth in Toyota Angler of the Year points entering this tournament.
The Benton, Arkansas, pro loves the St. Lawrence River. But he's yet to solve the puzzle here in his previous two trips, when he finished 77th in 2017 and 59th last year.
"Like everybody else, I absolutely love this place," Blaylock said Wednesday. "I think it's the best fishery I've ever been to, as far as catching quality fish every day. But I can't figure this place out in a tournament. I've had decent practices every time. It's like those big ones refuse to bite for me.
"There are so many 15- to 18-pound bags in the river that you've got to get over that, and I can't do it. Last year I had 18 pounds the first day and 19 pounds the second and still got sent home."
Fifty-two bags topping 20 pounds were weighed on Day 1 last year at the St. Lawrence River. That set a previously unthinkable standard for a smallmouth bass fishery. The river might not be so generous this year. But even if that's the case, it's going to take a 20-pounds-plus average per day to win this four-day event.
"I'm due some 20-pound stringers from this river, as good as it is," Blaylock said.