Shallow on St. Lawrence with Cox

John Cox began the 2022 Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River in second place in the Progressive Bassmaster Angler of the Year race. Follow along as he works to try and regain the lead he held for most of this season.
Cox began minutes away from the launch site of the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton.
He worked shoals, sight-fishing for smallmouth that were “swimming around.”
He quickly hooked up on his first fish.
The pro soon was lipping the bass and swinging it into the boat.
Cox weighed the bass, which logged in at just more than 3 pounds.
He often made casts while he was scanning the water looking for another cruiser.
The bass were soon in the area, and Cox quickly hooked up again.
It was another 3-pounder, which was put in the livewell. Cox said that size bass wasn’t what was needed. “I’m going to try to catch another fish or two, but if they don’t get any bigger I’m going to the lake,” he said.
Cox rerigged and quickly headed back to the front deck to put the lure back in the water.
Another hookup …
.. turned into a small throwback.
That was enough to show Cox he needed to make a move.
He headed upriver, heading for Lake Oneida.
Cox ran his Crestliner no faster than 40 mph. “I can’t run any faster or I’ll run out of gas,” he said before heading out.
After an hour-long run into Lake Oneida, Cox was back on a shallow shoal and hooked up.
This was a keeper, but it wasn’t the size he ran so far for. The bass weighed less than 3 pounds.
As he did in the river, Cox was looking for cruising bass that he would then target.
It didn’t take long for bite number two off the island’s shoreline.
This was a better bass, forcing Cox to scope instead of lip the struggling fish.
The heftier bass put a smile on Cox’s face …
… and provoked a fist pump.
This smallmouth logged in at just more than 4 pounds.
He spotted another bass, flipped his lure out and hooked up.
Not another 4-pounder, but it filled out his five-bass limit.
A few minutes later, Cox set the hook – and this time he chased the fish, signalling it was a bigger bass.
His first cull fish was soon being pulled into the boat.
The 3-pounder sent him to the livewell to find his smallest bass.
Cox dropped the cull fish into the water. He said he had more than 16 1/2 pounds – which by 1:30 had grown to 19 1/2 pounds