The final day of the Costa FLW Series presented by Evinrude at the 1000 Islands dawned still and cool. Taking off from Clayton, eight of the top 10 headed west into Lake Ontario and they barely had to slow down until they were well out into the lake. Now, around 11:30 a.m., the wind is rustling pleasantly on land and there are perhaps 3-footers rolling in the lake – nothing these pros can’t handle with ease. Over it all, the sun is beaming down and steadily warming things up into a very nice day.
Out in Ontario, five of the top six pros are fishing roughly in the area around Galloo Island, which means we were able to run down a lot more updates than is typically possible with a two-person crew on a playing field the size of the 1000 Islands.
Leading into the final day, Joseph Fonzi has had a fairly slow morning. He’s catching plenty of fish, but lacking the size that got him the lead. Fonzi said he had about 10 pounds around 10 o’clock, but he was probably light – with one good one, we figure he has more like 13 pounds. Nonetheless, he’s well off the pace he set the first two days. Second-place pro Timmy Thompkins is also scuffling, and he’s only managed about 15 pounds so far.
Out on Ontario and excelling, Chris Johnston and Matt Becker both have more than 20 pounds in the ‘well. Johnston had nearly 20 by about 8:30 a.m. and Becker has one that he says is “giant.”
Kurt Mitchell has covered a lot of ground today and has perhaps 15 pounds to show for it. Starting the day in fourth, Casey Smith is fishing in Chaumont Bay and had just two skippers in the box around 10:00 in the morning. By 10:30 he had added a pair of 3- or 4-pound smallies to the ‘well and was starting to get dialed in on his mid-depth moving bait pattern.
Cory Johnston, Ed Casey, Cal Climpson and Chris O’Brien remain mysteries. Climpson and Casey elected to fish the St. Lawrence River today, and Climpson, in particular, left the dock extremely confident. He’s fired up about the chance to fish shallow with some sun and lights winds – perhaps it will pay off for him.
One thing’s for sure – there are gonna be a ton of big smallmouths at weigh-in.
Format: All boaters and co-anglers will compete for two days. The top 10 boaters and co-anglers based on cumulative weight after two days of competition will advance to the third and final round, with the winner in each division determined by the heaviest cumulative three-day weight.
Takeoff Time: 6:30 a.m. ET
Takeoff Location: Clayton Village Ramp, 750 Mary Street, Clayton, N.Y.
Weigh-In Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
Weigh-In Location: Clayton Village Ramp