During the opening round of the 2019 Berkley Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River presented by Black Velvet, Ohio native Hunter Shryock decided that the overlooked largemouth bass roaming the shallow grassy bays of the St. Lawrence could be a factor at this year’s event.
In seasons past, several anglers have targeted the largemouths, and while occasionally producing bags near or in excess of 20 pounds, never had the weights exceed that of the winning smallmouths.
Another consideration for Shryock is his current position in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of they Year race. At the point of official take-off on Day 1 at St. Lawrence, Shryock was sitting in 37th place.
Currently, the Classic cut line is 42nd, but that could change even more depending on who wins the remaining Bassmaster Opens. He knows the big money is at the Classic next March in Birmingham, Ala.
Shryock is focused on green bass and green backs.
“I started out fishing for smallmouth bass first thing this morning, but I decided after what I learned in practice I might have a better shot at a stronger finish by targeting the largemouths. It’s a gamble to focus on the green bass here,” Shryock said. “But they are overlooked, generally under pressured, and considering the weights will likely be down for smallmouth bass here this year, the largies could be a real factor.
“With smallies, there’s too much hoping for me,” he said. “I can predict the largemouth bite, but my head doesn’t work that way with smallmouth bass because they are notorious at being there one day and gone the next.