Summertime storm

We’ve had incredible weather all week. But that could be about to change. I’m sitting on Caleb Sumrall and we have that big blob bearing down on us.

Not sure how it will impact the fishing but it will certainly create some uncomfortable moments.

It promises bumpy rides and lots of rain. In some places a summertime storm like that one would be a welcome sight. Not sure that’s the case on the St. Lawrence.

Micah Frazier staying consistent

Micah Frazier has been Mr. Consistency through the first two days of this tournament - catching 20 pounds, 11 ounces both days. He started today in 12th place and he's well on his way to making the Top 10 cut for Sunday.

The 4-pounder shown here, which looks to be every bit of that and more, gave Frazier a limit estimated at 14 1/2 pounds at 11:05 a.m.

Here Today

The rapid bites for Bill Lowen have slowed to a crawl. He has landed a few short fish, but the big smallmouth he’s been catching off his morning stop seemed to have disappeared. “Here today, gone tomorrow!” he yelled. Still, Lowen has his shallow afternoon pattern where he caught most of the fish he weighed in yesterday. The cloud cover likely will not help that bite, though. He just landed another keeper ... but it’s small. Lowen has had a lot of success on this fishery. He hasn’t placed below the mid-30s, and has had two Top 15 finishes. So, there is little doubt he will know how to adjust to the changing conditions.

 

Kennedy’s heartbreak

Steve Kennedy made a move to the Canadian side of the St. Lawrence River, and quickly hooked up with what he said felt like a “good one.”

He played the fish for a couple of minutes, working it away from the island shoreline from which the bite came.

Then the bass gave one good surge, and Kennedy’s shoulders slumped.

“He broke off,” he said. “That one hurt.”

DiPalma's weapon of choice

Greg DiPalma intended to fish with a jig this week and by yesterday it was put away.

“They weren't eating it and I couldn’t figure out why, unless it was the way the current was setting up on my areas,” he said.

The decision was made after he lost five key smallmouth on Friday.

DiPalma described the bites as quick—the fish inhaled and exhaled the bait—so he added bulk to his plan of attack. He switched to a Carolina rig that he says allows him to make quick hooklets as the bass have a more bulky offering to mouth with the soft plastic.

Snowden's spybait success detailed

Every bass in Brian Snowden's 22-pound, 6-ounce bag yesterday was caught on a Duo Realis Spinbait 80 spybait, including the 5-pound, 13-ounce big bass of Day 2. Snowden is catching fish on a 4-inch Zoom Swimmer and a drop shot rig with a Zoom Z Drop worm, but the spybait was his ticket to success Friday.

Snowden has been fishing a spybait on the St. Lawrence River for a few years now. But the Reeds Spring, Mo., angler has perfected the technique on his home lake.

"I've really started using it a lot on Table Rock," Snowden said. "I'll even use it in the summertime out off deep points, over brushpiles, stuff like that. I've really practiced with it a lot this last year. It's the easiest fishing there is. Throw it out and when it hits the water start reeling (slowly).

"I've even caught largemouth up to seven pounds on Table Rock. It's been real fun on spots and smallmouth in the early spring. You just get on points and go down them. They eat it up."

Snowden's setup is a big key. He throws the 80 millimeter, twin-prop lure on a baitcaster. His spybait toolbox includes a Johnny Morris Signature 6.4:1 baitcaster, a 7-foot-2 St. Croix Legend Glass rod and 10-pound test XPS fluorocarbon line.

"The baitcaster allows you to cast it a long way," Snowden said. "For me, it works much better than spinning equipment. It's almost like you're crankbait fishing."

Slow grind for Kennedy

Steve Kennedy went into the third day of competition sitting in second, and it’s been a slow grind this morning. He just landed his second smallmouth of the day, giving him an estimated 6-2.

He’s drifting a series of shallow areas downriver of the Ogdensburg bridge, switching lures every few casts.

But he’s not concerned about the slow action.

“I didn’t catch my first fish for the first hour and a half on the first day,” he said. “I didn’t have my limit until 2 o’clock.”

What does worry him is the heavy cloud cover that moved in overnight.

“If the sun doesn’t come out, I’ll be in trouble,” Kennedy said. “I can’t see the fish to come back to them.”

Feider making most of second chance

Seth Feider wasn't a happy man when he came to the weigh-in tanks yesterday. He wasn't able to follow up on his Thursday 13th-place bag of 21 pounds, 1 ounce. And he was pretty sure that he'd missed the Top 35 cut.

He almost did. Feider was the last man in. His Day 2 limit weighing 15-13 gave him a two-day total of 36-14 - two ounces more than 36th-place Cory Johnston and 37th-place Harvey Horne.

Feider is making the most of his second chance today, landing this 4-pound, 2-ounce smallmouth at 10:01 a.m.

Plan B for Chris Johnston

Chris Johnston already knew before the day began that change would be inevitable.

“Typically in overcast skies the new fish don’t move up, and I’m seeing 90 percent of the fish that I am catching,” he said. “That’s not good because I’ve caught most of the fish in my area, and the few that remain have gotten smart and won’t bite. I’m probably going to have to move around.”

Depleting the fish is one thing, and so is fishing pressure. Johnston and Shane LeHew are sharing a 500 yard area with only a few sweet spots. They have leaned hard on the spots and there aren’t many left. The rain is coming and that will shut them down even more.

“I’m probably going to have to go to plan B early on, and deep drag a Carolina-rig and drop shot over the deeper humps in the river,” he explained. “All I want to do is get to Championship Sunday.”

The sunshine returns and when it does, Johnston plans to return to his shallow fish in the hopes the area recharges and he can go for the win.

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