Ushio Earns Strike King Co-Angler Win at the St. Lawrence - Major League Fishing
Ushio Earns Strike King Co-Angler Win at the St. Lawrence
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Ushio Earns Strike King Co-Angler Win at the St. Lawrence

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August 28, 2021 • Jody White • Toyota Series

Piling up 62 pounds, 5 ounces over three days, Tonawanda, N.Y., angler Sakae Ushio took home the Strike King co-angler win in the Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E. Northern Division event on the St. Lawrence River. Fishing behind Chris Johnston on the final day, Ushio tallied 22-9 to earn himself a new Phoenix bass boat and his second first-place trophy.

When Ushio won the first time, he did it behind Chris Johnston on Lake Erie, in a weather-shortened event. This time, Ushio proved it over all three days.

“Last time, when I won, it was just a one-day tournament,” Ushio said. “This time, it was three days. Nobody can say I was just lucky. I had a lot of opportunity for this to happen, and I finally got it, I’m so happy today.”

Fishing in the river the first two days and on the lake on Day 3, Ushio bucked the trend of finesse. Though a Ned rig fooled some of his fish, a free rig with a ½- to ¾-ounce weight, 12- to 16-pound line and either a 5.8-inch Geecrack Bellows Stick or a Berkley PowerBait MaxScent Creature Hawg.

“I’m just aiming for big ones,” he said. “I know there are a lot of 2- or 3-pounders. I’m purposely using the big worm to get the right bite.”

Fishing in his wheelhouse, Ushio was right at home on the big water.

“It’s the same situation as my house, the Niagara River, or Lake Erie,” he said. “It’s comfortable, it doesn’t feel like a tournament, it just feels like a fun weekend.”

Top 10 Strike King Co-Anglers

1. Sakae Ushio – 62 – 05 (15) – $33,500

2. Shawn Gokey – 56 – 04 (15) – $4,663

3. Lenny Baird – 55 – 10 (15) – $3,930

4. Bradley Saunders – 52 – 04 (15) – $3,264

5. Chris Hurley – 50 – 07 (15) – $2,798

6. Tim Curran – 48 – 09 (15) – $2,331

7. Dane Anderson – 48 – 05 (15) – $1,865

8. Clay Reece – 47 – 03 (13) – $1,632

9. Paul Melo – 47 – 01 (15) – $1,399

10. Jarvis Ellis – 45 – 04 (15) – $1,166

Complete Results