CLAYTON, N.Y. (WWTI) — History was made in Clayton over the weekend at the Bassmaster Elite Series.
Rookie Angler Jay Przekurat from Wisconsin took home the trophy at the close of the four-day pro fishing tournament., which took place on the waters of the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario.
The challenge daily for the pro anglers was to catch a four-day limit of 20 smallmouth bass that weighed 100 pounds or more. Prior to this event, no angler in recorder sportfishing history had ever reached 100 pounds with just smallmouth bass.
But by the end of the competition, Przekurat had a four-day total of 102 pounds, 9 ounces, taking home the winning title in the Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River. This earned the Rookie one of the most prestigious trophies in pro fishing and the top cash prize of $100,000.
“Trying to take in the moment during the day of the tournament is pretty hard because you’re just focused on catching 5-pounders out there,” Przekurat said in a press release. “You’re running back to the ramp and you start getting a little emotional. There’s no other feeling like it.”
Spending all four days on Lake Ontario, south of Chaumont Bay, Przekurat’s starting spot was the north bank of Black River Bay. When fishing pressure and calm conditions took their toll on the bite, he would relocate to another post-spawn spot.
Przekurat started the event with his biggest catch and a final weight of 26 pounds, 13 ounces. He then added 25-8 on the second day, which sent him into the Semifinal on Saturday.
In addition to making historical catches, Przekurat also became the youngest Elite Series champion at 23 years and 26 days old.
Canadian Angler Cory Johnson also exceeded 100 pounds with his catches over the four-day period. He was technically first to enter the “Century Club” and took second place overall with a weight of 100-5.
Over the first three days, Johnston turned in limits of 26-3, 24-5 and 21-5. Day 4 saw him catch 28-8 — the event’s heaviest bag, which included a 6-1.
The Bassmaster Elite at the St. Lawrence River took place at the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, New York from July 14 to July 17.