Water dynamics

The dynamics of this fishery are set up to deliver unknown results, but all good.

Here is why. The deep, narrow channel of the St. Lawrence River produces a strong current, stronger than anywhere else we visit on the Bassmaster Elite Series. Smallmouth thrive in current and that moving water allows them to live life to the fullest. The flow creates more underwater current breaks, or specific areas out in the river channel that concentrate smallmouth.

The largemouth are benefiting from the higher water. They prefer shallower and there is good reason to be in that zone. The inundated shoreline cover provides even more places for the largemouth to thrive on their predator instinct of ambushing baitfish and crawfish.

The point is the St. Lawrence River, and this tournament, are among the very few where catching largemouth and smallmouth to win a tournament is a real possibility.

First hour fishing hot

If you're following the BASSTrakk Twitter feed, you've noticed that fish catches having been coming in hot and heavy since shortly after the 6:15 takeoff. This is going to be another St. Lawrence River shootout.

However, Gerald Swindle's 15-pound early limit should have an asterisk beside it, we suspect. Multiple 3-pounders caught at the exact same time 6:42 a.m. tends to indicate an "operator error" problem with the BASSTrakk phone. We are trying to confirm Swindle's actual weight but have been unable to reach his marshal.

No matter. There are plenty more bass that will be caught on the St. Lawrence River today. As the day progresses, keep an eye on the 20-pound mark. That's what several anglers predicted it would take - a 20-pounds-per-day average - to win this four-day tournament.

Directional challenges

The St. Lawrence River is a little peculiar in the fact that it flows north. That causes some directional challenges at times.

I'm south of Waddington today which in most other environments means I'm "down" the river when I'm actually headed up river.

Our focus today is just about anyone who is catching them but we talked with Jamie Hartmann to see where he would settle and he pointed us to an area about 40 minutes south of the take off. We've been here for a while and the boats are just starting to arrive.

This is the area where Chad Pipkins and Jonathan Vandam had great a tournament the first time we were here. All of them are drifting. So it will look differently than what most bass angles are used to.

That's why we like coming here. Seeing new things and new ways to catch smallmouth. Should be interesting.