CLAYTON, N.Y. (WWTI) — Rookie angler Jay Przekurat took the lead in the Bassmaster Elite Series event at the St. Lawrence River on Friday.

According to B.A.S.S., Przekurat is from Stevens Point, Wisconsin, and caught a day two limit of 25 pounds and 8 ounces. The catch allowed him to take over the lead of the Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River with a two-day total of 52-5.

The tournament stated that the angler returned to Lake Ontario where he caught 26-13 on day one, and fished a drop shot and a marabou jig to put together his second-round weight. Przekurat explained how the strategy allowed him to come out on top.

“This is an area where post spawners are trickling out,” Przekurat said. “The only difference between that area and other areas I have is there’s bait there. You can see it on the graph; it’s all over the place. The fish come up and jump and eat bait. It’s crazy.”

Przekurat said his area is rich with big bass, but the abundance of food is making them difficult to catch. Competing with nature’s seasonal buffet is always challenging, but Przekurat said lure selection is not his only consideration.

“Baits don’t matter; it’s all about time of day and when the wind picks up,” he said. “This morning, I couldn’t do anything wrong. I’d throw in there and they’d bite it.”

He went on to explain how the wind and timing played a major factor in his catches.

“Once it slicked off, it got really hard to get a bite. This morning, when we turned the corner (out of the river), all of a sudden the wind was blowing. When I got there, it was instantly bang, bang, bang,” Przekurat said. “Once 10 o’clock came around, it got really tough. They’d follow a bait down, look at it, touch it, but they wouldn’t bite it. I probably had 50 fish that did that. You could try every bait in the house, but you’re not going to get a bite.”

After boosting his bag in a second spot, Przekurat started making his way back to the weigh-in site. He made a stop in the St. Lawrence River and missed a final upgrade opportunity when a 5-pounder bit but came unbuttoned. Despite the missed opportunity, Przekurat headed into the semifinal on Saturday with a margin of 1-13 over Canadian Cory Johnston.

Johnston was the winner of last year’s Bassmaster Northern Open on the St. Lawrence River. He added 24-5 to the 26-3 he weighed on day one and gained a spot from third to second, with a two-day total of 50-8. Coverage on day three of the tournament can be found on the Bassmaster Elite website.