I’m excited about the St. Lawrence River

Greg Hackney took third place on the St. Lawrence River in 2015.

Normally I don’t get too excited about fishing somewhere we’ve been before, especially if it’s at the same time of year. Over time the lakes and rivers fish smaller and smaller as more and more information gets out. The tournament goes ordinary. Long before you start packing you know where you’re going to go and what you’re going to do when you get there. It’s just not that interesting. OK, I’ll say it: It’s boring. 

I’d rather go to places I’ve never seen and fish them my way from the get-go. Even though I’ve been to the St. Lawrence River a couple of times the HUK Bassmaster Elite at the St. Lawrence River presented by Go RVing will be different this year. 

With the water as high as it is I’d say the whole place will fish like new water. I’m excited about that. I’m thinking that it’ll be like a brand new smallmouth fishery with new places to go and new things to try. If you count every day during both of my past trips, I’ve maybe fished 5 percent of what’s up there. It’s big.

As I recall, we had one tournament won out in the lake and the other one was won down a ways. I don’t honestly know which direction I’ll head when I get there — prefishing will tell me that — but it’ll be somewhere I’ve not fished before. That I can guarantee. 

The deal with places like the St. Lawrence River is that you always have the chance of finding a big school of bass way off somewhere that nobody else knows about. You can usually fish it for a couple of days — sometimes three — without anybody knowing where you’re at or much caring. 

The last time we were there I targeted largemouth. That was OK but they aren’t big enough to win. The smallmouth are just too big in the St. Lawrence River and in the lake. It’s catch them or leave early. I don’t want to leave early.

Something else that excites me about this tournament is that none of the other guys have fished it when it was this high. That makes for a tournament based more on skill than on past experience or information. That’s what our tournaments should be about — pure skill, not who you know or what you know before it starts.

Finally, this event, along with the next two, will give me a chance to try out some of the new products I’ve received from my sponsors. A few of them were introduced at ICAST this year, but I have several others that won’t be on the consumer market until 2018. I can’t say much about them right now but as soon as the regular season is over I’ll do something on them.

Next time I want to talk a little bit about the “no help” rule that B.A.S.S. just implemented. I’ll tell you why it’s a good thing and why it’ll make us (professional bass anglers) better at our sport.