Early lead holds for top pro Worth - Major League Fishing

Early lead holds for top pro Worth

Tried and true tactics put Seal atop co-anglers in Stren Northern
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Weighing in the first flight, Hugh Worth III jumped to an early lead in the pro division and held off all challengers. Photo by David A. Brown. Angler: Hugh Worth III.
August 20, 2008 • David A. Brown • Archives

CLAYTON, N.Y. – When it’s good it’s really good – that’s the summation for day one of Stren Series action in upstate New York’s magnificent 1000 Islands region.

Needless to say, when anglers can run, they usually will, and that means fanning out to find productive spots – the pleasant antithesis of the windy, rough weather that more commonly greets anglers in and around the Great Lakes. On this day, only the subtlest of breezes whispered across nearly flat waters Charlie Hartley took Snickers Big Bass honors on the pro side with this 5-pound, 9-ounce smallmouth.until a modest increase in the late afternoon put a little rustle in the leaves and wave in the flags.

Taking advantage of the rare gift of calm conditions, anglers were able to fish as they wished without the multifaceted limitations of windy days. Some fished in the St. Lawrence River, others worked Lake Ontario, and a handful blasted all the way down to Lake Erie. Many returned with impressive catches of hefty largemouth and smallmouth bass.

Co-angler Edward Knight fished a wacky-rigged Senko and caught the biggest bass in his division.Tenth-place pro Mike Iaconelli said that the 1000 Islands area was showing its true potential: “Where else can you catch a limit of largemouth and a limit of smallmouth? You know, you hear a lot about the South’s great fisheries, but we have some great fisheries in the Northeast, and this is one of them.”

Indeed, the numbers bear testament to the productivity: Twenty-two pros caught 17 pounds or better, while 16-9 was the top-10 cutoff for co-anglers. Several competitors weighed smallmouths of at least 5 pounds, including pro Charlie Hartley and co-angler Edward Knight, who won their division’s Big Bass prizes with fish weighing 5-9 and 5-12, respectively. Hartley caught his brown bomber on a Berkley Gulp bait in the St. Lawrence River. Knight used a wacky-rigged 5-inch green-pumpkin pepper Senko to tempt his big bass.

Topping the Pro Division, Hugh Worth III of Erie, Pa., ran up the St. Lawrence River about 40 minutes Michigan pro Trevor Jancasz ran 30 miles from Clayton, N.Y. and caught a second place limit in Lake Ontario.from the launch site, targeted patches of matted weeds and caught a limit of smallmouths weighing 21-4. Flipping in 3 to 6 feet, Worth fished a ¾-ounce black-and-chartreuse jig with a chartreuse trailer.

Worth said the action started quickly: “I had my limit within the first hour and a half. After that, I just (practiced) for the rest of the day.”

Worth was one of the first dozen anglers to weigh in, and despite reports of a late-day surge in activity, his early lead withstood all competitors.

Of the day’s conditions, Worth said: “It was an easy ride. There’s so much habitat and so much bait that it’s just a pleasure to fish (here).”

Jancasz in second

White Pigeon, Mich., pro Trevor Jancasz ran 30 miles into Lake Ontario and caught the second-place limit A Berkley Gulp leech on a dropshot put Ohio pro Jason Root in third place.of 20 pounds, 10 ounces. A drop-shot with the Berkley Gulp Fry was his rig of choice.

Jancasz, too, got on his fish early and secured his first five before most New Yorkers had finished their first cup of coffee.

“I had a limit within 40 minutes, and I just kept culling up from there,” he said. “I just kept covering water and covering water, and then all of a sudden, there they are.”

Jancasz said he looked for specific bottom compositions where rock, sand and grass combined to provide attractive smallmouth habitat: “The fish have a lot of ambush points. They’re eating a lot of perch and huge gobies.”

Thomas Strange Jr. placed an ounce behind third and an ounce ahead of fifth in the Pro Division.Best of the rest

In third place, Jason Root of Fostoria, Ohio, caught 19 pounds, 9 ounces. Thomas Strange Jr. of Middlefield, Conn., was fourth with 19-8, and Kurt Dove of Fairfax, Va., finished fifth at 19-7.

Rounding out the top 10 pro leaders at the Stren Series Northern event at 1,000 Islands:

6th: Derek Strub of Elora, Ontario, 19-7

7th: Mike Desforges of Burlington, Ontario, 19-6

8th: Tom Tarasoff of Kingston, Ontario, 18-12

9th: Joshua Wagy of Dewitt, Va., 18-11

10th: Iaconelli of Runnermede, N.J., 18-10

Seal secures co-angler lead

Using Fishing in Lake Ontario, top co-angler Zackery Seal stuck with the basics and bounced green-pumpkin tubes with ¼-ounce jigheads over rocks in about 30 feet to catch a limit weighing 19-13. Relying on his local knowledge helped him capitalize on the opportunities.

“There’s a lot of family history on this lake,” Seal said.

Best of the rest

Henry Stone of Massena, N.Y., placed second with 19-9, while James Richardson Sr. of Harrison, Ohio, was third with 19-5. Tim Elliott of Kenbridge, Va., finished fourth with 18-9, and Mark Keniston of Camden, N.Y., caught 17-9 for fifth.

Rounding out the top 10 co-angler leaders at the Stren Series Northern event at 1,000 Islands:

6th: Corey Leonard of Castalia, N.C., 17-1

7th: Kenneth Roderick Jr. of Putnam, Conn., 16-15

8th: Trudy Noechel of Lost Creek, W.Va., 16-13

9th: William Johnson of Leesburg, Va., 16-11

10th: Dustin Edwards of Ellington, Conn., 16-9.

Day two of Stren Series action on 1,000 Islands continues at Thursday’s takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7 a.m. EDT at French Creek Marina located at 250 Wahl St. in Clayton, N.Y.