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ADVBassStats: St. Lawrence River

Welcome to ADVBassStats (Advanced Bass Fishing Statistics).  I’m using data analytics tools and visualizations to tell professional bass fishing stories with graphs, maps, numbers, and colors.

In this first collaboration with Bassmaster, we’re reviewing the 2022 Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite Series event at the St. Lawrence River.  If you love this kind of stuff, follow along on Instagram or Facebook at ADVBassStats, and feel free to reach out with questions, suggestions, ideas, and anything you think might be an error (it happens).

3-day bag weight comparison (full-field)

The story of the first 3 days was the incredible and incredibly consistent weights being scored. In a typical event, half the field is Under 15 pounds (light blue bars). At St Lawrence, only an unlucky dozen Under-15s were brought to the scales on the first 3 days combined. There was very little difference between Thursday and Friday, mostly in the red 20-22 pound range, resulting in a fractional drop in the average weight for the 90 anglers fishing the first two days. Weights rebounded in a strong way for the Top 47 on Saturday, with the average climbing over 21 pounds.

Top 10 Sunday anglers map

The Sunday field had a nicely distributed geographical makeup. Chris Johnston, Cory Johnston and Paul Mueller represented the “locals”. Bob Downey and eventual winner Jay Przekurat came over from Wisconsin smallmouth country. Shane LeHew represented the southeast corner. It’s never truly odd with the talent levels, but it looked funny to have 4 from the south-central states of TX, LA & AR. Pre-event angler history analysis showed that Clark Wendlandt stood out with Top-10s in 5 of the 6 BASS events he had fished at the St Lawrence, so he was not really a surprise to get there again.

Day 4 results

The Top 10 destroyed the fish on Sunday. 7 of the 10 bags went over 25 pounds, none under 15, and an AVERAGE fish size of 4.8 pounds. Cory Johnston landed the biggest bag of the tournament, reached the 100-pound mark, and gave Jay Przekurat a strong final-day challenge. Przekurat’s 25-8 was enough to cruise to a 102-9 total and his first Elite Series win.

4-day bag weights (Top 8 finishers)

Przekurat had the 2nd best bag of the field on Thursday, took the overall lead on Friday and never gave it up again. He used consistent quality to take the win, with only his Day 3/Saturday bag coming in below 25 pounds. Paul Mueller in 5th and Shane LeHew in 7th also limited their “under 25’s” to a single day, but in both of their cases that off-day was more costly.

Post-event bag weight analysis

The lasting legacy of the St Lawrence event is going to be the first all-smallmouth Century Belts. There was a big second story here on the overall quality of catching for the field. 68% of all bags weighed came in over 20 pounds. By Saturday, 29 anglers had caught more than 20 pounds on each of the first 3 days, and 20 of them DID NOT make the Sunday field. That compares favorably to the outstanding event at Lake Fork earlier in the year, where they had 41% over 20 pounds, despite having a higher winning weight and 4 100-pound bags.

There’s plenty more where this came from, so if you’re not afraid of a few charts come and find them on social media!