Canadian angler crowned champion at Bassmaster Northern Open on St. Lawrence River

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Cory Johnston, of Cavan, Ontario, Canada, has won the 2021 Basspro.com Bassmaster Northern Open at the St. Lawrence River/1000 Islands with a three-day total of 78 pounds. (photo: Photo by Andy Crawford/B.A.S.S.)

CLAYTON, N.Y. (WWTI) — Over the weekend, a Canadian angler took home the top prize at the Basspro.com Bassmaster Northern Open at the St. Lawrence River and 1000 Islands.

This three-day competition was held out of Clayton, New York, and challenged anglers from across North America to reel in large bass, ultimately competing for the highest total weight. Bassmaster Elite Series Angler Cory Johnston turned in the “biggest bag,” winning the tournament with a three-day total of 78 pounds and took home $43,433.

According to B.A.S.S., Johnston is from Cavan, Ontario. He said his local knowledge assisted him throughout the three days.

“It was a great week and I had a lot of fun,” Johnston said. “I have a lot of spots out on Lake Ontario. I only pre-fished for about two days out here; I just know this place so well, but it’s burnt me so many times,” Johnston said in a press release. “I caught a ton of fish and I caught a lot of big fish. It just goes to show you what an incredible fishery we have here, so we have to look after this place.”

In the first two days of the competition, Johnston brought in limits of 25 pounds, seven ounces, and 25 pounds, thee ounces, which put him in fifth and second place. However, his final round limit was the event’s second-heaviest.

This competition differed from other events this summer as anglers were permitted to fish in both United States and Canadian waters on the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Johnston specifically fished on the river for the first two days of the event, but then worked his way out to the lake, where he ultimately made his heaviest catches.

I was about 20 miles out in the lake,” Johnston said. “I just had a milk run and I worked my way out. I started at the closest spot, worked my way out to the farthest spot and then came in. I spent my day in the lake [on Saturday] because the way the wind was blowing I could stay sheltered a little bit. There was a point way up the lake and that sheltered me a little. There were still 6-footers, they just weren’t 8s.”

Coming in second place for the Bassmaster Northern Open was day one leader Cal Climpson who had a tournament total of 77 pounds, three ounces. Wisconsin Angler Adam Neau finished third with a total of 76 pounds, six ounces.

This was the final North Open of the year. B.A.S.S. confirmed that Johnathan Kelley of Old Forge, Pennslyvania claimed the Northern Open points title with 549 points. Mike Iaconelli of New Jersey came in second with 549 points, followed by Alex Redwine with 549 points. Jacob Powroznik of Virginia lead the overall  Falcons Rods Bassmaster Opens Angler of the Year standings with 1,029 points.

The Basspro.com Bassmaster Northern Open at the St. Lawrence River and 1000 Islands was held in Clayton, New York from September 9 to September 11. The event was hosted by the 1000 Island Clayton Chamber of Commerce and the Antique Boat Museum.

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