History might just be on Brock Mosley’s side as he tries to make a move in back-to-back Elite events in New York. Yet it could turn against him. That’s just the fickle nature of fishing.
Head games and all sorts of other battles will be played out once the Berkley Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River presented by Black Velvet blasts off Thursday at 9 a.m. ET. Mosley hopes to seize on his good finishes up north — and forget a couple negative ones — to make a run to his first Classic.
“We’re finally getting up north, and I’m comfortable fishing up here,” Mosley said Monday from the water. “I believe I can move up in the next couple events and get a little cushion.”
Mosley stands just inside the Classic cut in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings. He’s 39th, tied with Brian Snowden and Tyler Rivet with 371 points. Mosley has high hopes to qualify for the 50th Bassmaster Classic, and he said he’d feel better if he were to gain some ground on the current cut line, 42nd place.
“I love fishing up north, and I love fishing in New York,” he said. “If we could have all our events up here, it wouldn’t hurt my feelings.
“If I can just get through the next two weeks with a couple solid finishes, I’ll be OK. I’m hoping this week and next week I can have a couple top 20s, and I believe that would boost me up.”
The fourth-year Elite from Collinsville, Miss., had mixed results the past two years on the St. Lawrence. In 2017, he was the only angler to record bags of more than 20 pounds each of the four days in taking second. Last year, he missed the cut by finishing 68th.
“In 2017, I fished extremely clean. I think I lost maybe two fish, and they wouldn’t have made a difference,” he said. “Last year I ran the same deal, and I lost a couple of key fish each day that would have bumped me to that 20-pound mark. That was the difference between my weights.
“I will be 100 percent honest. Last year, I didn’t see the slugfest coming. I had the same typical practice, catching 20, 21, 22, like the year before, so I did not see that coming.”
Anglers had to average almost 20 pounds a day just to make the two-day cut last year. Day 1 saw 52 bags of 20 pounds or more, which was more than all four days in 2017 (48). There were 116 bags above 20 pounds overall, and nine topped 25 pounds, led by Matt Lee’s 27-12. Winner Josh Bertrand averaged almost 24 pounds a day in his 95-3 total of smallmouth.
“This year is different and should be more like 2017,” Mosley said. “The water is up. Talking to a few guys who were here last year, it’s not fishing the same. They’ll be some good bags, but it’s fishing tougher. There’s still high water, and a lot of fish are shallow. This reminds of 2017, when a lot of the top 10 fished shallow. I can see that happening again this year.”
That year was actually good to Mosley, at least in that he weighed in nine bags of smallmouth of more than 20 pounds. Four were at St. Lawrence and another four came in another second-place finish at Lake St. Clair, site of this year’s Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship. With three events remaining, including the rescheduled Elite on Oklahoma’s Fort Gibson, Mosley knows he’s got work ahead to be among the top 50 who advance to fish St. Clair.