Fall weather could impact bass-fishing tournament on St. Lawrence River


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CLAYTON, N.Y. (WWTI) — The fall weather could have an impact on anglers participating in the Basspro.com Bassmaster Northern Open on the St. Lawrence River/1000 Islands in September, according to elite anglers.

The Basspro.com Bassmaster Northern Open on the St. Lawrence River/1000 Islands will take place from September 9 until September 11 with anglers taking off daily from the Antique Boat Museum at 6:30 a.m. and weighing-in each day at the museum at 2:30 p.m.

The tournament boundaries will include the St. Lawrence River and its tributaries, as well as Lake Ontario. While Canadian waters were still closed during the Elite competition two months ago, the August 9 reopening now puts both sides of the river and lake in play.

This reopening will benefit the anglers by increasing their fishable waters, Michigan Elite angler Garrett Paquette said that where anglers choose to fish could have a major impact on how they finish.

“What’s cool about Lake Ontario is there’s so much (habitat) out there and there are so many unpressured fish that a guy can find a spot (with a large group of fish),” Paquette said. “But I think you could see a lot of people go out there and find that their fish are gone. So being able to relocate them each day is going to be key.”

Paquette said that the fall temperatures may also have an effect on those participating in the tournament.

“Smallmouth bass move fast (this time of year) because they know ice is coming. Once they feel that temperature start to drop, those big summer groups will start to break apart.” Paquette said. “That’s not to say that there won’t be any grouped up, but the fish will start to disperse. Instead of doing maybe one or two things, they’ll do multiple things. You can catch them from 6 inches of water out to 60 feet of water. It’s a matter of finding somewhere the fish are coming into and not leaving.”

Despite the seasonal challenges, Paquette said he’s looking for good numbers of big fish. Weather dependent, he predicts 20 pounds a day will make the Top 10, with 25 to 26 pounds a day winning the trophy.

The co-angler champion will be crowned after the Day 2 weigh-in. Coverage of the event will be available at Bassmaster.com. FS1 and the FOX Sports digital platforms will also carry live coverage Saturday beginning at 8 a.m.

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