MASSENA, N.Y. (WWTI) — The three-day bass fishing tournament at the St. Lawrence River in Massena, New York announced their winner on August 29. The Toyota Series at the St. Lawrence River was hosted by the Town of Massena and was the second of three regular-season tournaments in 2021 for Northern Division anglers.

Toyota Series angler Chris Johnston of Peterborough from Ontario won the tournament after catching 15 bass over the three days, weighing in at over 77 pounds. This earned him the win by a 6_pound, 5-ounce margin over his brother Cory Johnston, who finished the event in second place with 71 pounds, 10 ounces. Chris took home the top payout of $39,048 in the second tournament of the 2021 Toyota Series Northern Division.

The winner said he’s been challenged by Toyota Series events on the St. Lawrence and the associated waters many times over the last several years. After running hundreds of miles over the three-day event, from Massena to Lake Ontario each day, he said he was excited to finally get the win.

“I was thinking about it while running back up the river, thinking ‘If I get back, I’ve finally got this off my back,’” Johnston said. “I’ve obviously won tournaments, but the St. Lawrence River is special to me. To win this one means a lot because something has always gone wrong. I jumped off a 6-pounder on Day 3 before I had a good one in the boat, and my co-angler boated three good ones.”

Chris said an unidentified prototype worm on a drop-shot was the main player this week, which he threw on a Daiwa Certate LT 2500, a 7-foot, 1-inch Daiwa Tatula Elite spinning rod, 10-pound  Seaguar Smackdown with an 8-pound Seaguar Gold Label leader, on a No. 2 Gamakatsu TGW Drop Shot Hook with a 3/8-ounce drop-shot weight.

Johnston said he mostly fished deep rock, usually in piles or stretches of it in general areas. He said he fished small sections in 20 to 40 feet deep water so that he wouldn’t get too bogged down.

“I could roll up to a spot, fish it 10 or 15 minutes, and I’d know whether they were biting,” Johnston said.

The top 10 pros on the St. Lawrence River finished as follows:

                  1st:           Chris Johnston of Peterborough, Ont., 15 bass, 77-15, $39,048
                  2nd:          Cory Johnston of Cavan, Ont., 15 bass, 71-10, $14,550
                  3rd:          Justin Atkins of Florence, Ala., 15 bass, 70-7, $11,265
                  4th:           Brent Anderson of Kingston Springs, Tenn., 15 bass, 64-7, $10,387
                  5th:           Jonathan Robla of Waddington, N.Y., 15 bass, 62-6, $8,448
                  6th:           Brent Crow of Hartselle, Ala., 15 bass, 61-12, $7,510
                  7th:           Charlie Hartley of Grove City, Ohio, 15 bass, 59-11, $6,571
                  8th:           Jesse Spellicy of Gouverneur, N.Y., 15 bass, 58-10, $5,632
                  9th:           Scott Cooke of Marengo, Ohio, 15 bass, 57-15, $4,694
                  10th:        Marty Robinson of Lyman, S.C., 15 bass, 57-1, $3,755

Sakae Ushio from Tonawanda, New York won the Strike King Co-angler Division Saturday with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing in at 62 pounds, 5 ounces. Ushio took home the top prize package of a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard motor.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers on the St. Lawrence River finished as follows:

1st:           Sakae Ushio of Tonawanda, N.Y., 15 bass, 62-5, Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat w/115-hp outboard
2nd:          Shawn Gokey of Georgia, Vt., 15 bass, 56-4, $4,663
3rd:          Lenny Baird of Stafford, Va., 15 bass, 55-10, $3,930
4th:           Bradley Saunders of Scottown, Ohio, 15 bass, 52-4, $3,264
5th:           Chris Hurley of Carlisle, Pa., 15 bass, 50-7, $2,798
6th:           Tim Curran of Huntsville, Ala., 15 bass, 48-9, $2,331
7th:           Dane Anderson of Hudson, N.Y., 15 bass, 48-5, $1,865
8th:           Clay Reece of Lexington, Ky., 13 bass, 47-3, $1,632
9th:           Paul Melo of Hudson, Mass., 15 bass, 47-1, $1,399
10th:        Jarvis Ellis of Albany, Ga., 15 bass, 45-4, $1,166

The next event for Toyota Series anglers will be the the Toyota Series at the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland and will place from September 16 through the 18.