“It is totally different from everything I’d normally fish … I have spots that will catch 12- to 13-pound bags, but I had to find places other anglers weren’t going to get on,” Nels said.
Nels is looking for a smallmouth bite around weedy humps and grass edges. He’s using a Leverage spinnerbait on a 17-pound test silver-thread line as well as Yum tubes on an 8-pound fluorocarbon.
David Marion of Cold Spring, N.Y., trailed Nels by a mere 11 ounces with a total weight of 16-14. He brought four large and one smallmouth bass to the scales, getting about 20 bites during the day.
“(During practice) I tried 40 to 50 different lures, but one caught them every time,” Marion said, not disclosing which lure was his favorite. “I used that one lure and worked it all day….I’m fishing in a 100-yard area of weed beds.”
Joey Rodrigues of Danbury, Conn., is currently in third with a limit of 16-10. Lake Erie CITGO Bassmaster Northern Open winner Paul Hirosky of Guy Mills, Pa., is in fourth with 16-9 and Rick Morris of Lanexa, Va., rounds out the top five boaters with 16-4.
On the non-boater side, Andrew Hammond of Fulton, N.Y., leads with 16-13. Hammonds is fishing for smallmouth in scattered weeds and rock piles using tubes and spinnerbaits.
“I got lucky,” Hammond smiled. “I was on good fish all day.”
Hammond is followed by David Hovanec of Unionville, N.Y., with 14-11 and George Hirapetian of North Babylon, N.Y., with 14-8.
Local sponsors: Syracuse Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce.
Bassmaster Northern Open sponsors: CITGO Petroleum Corp., Toyota, Busch Beer, Purolator, Triton Boats, Mercury Marine, Berkley, Lowrance Electronics, MotorGuide, Bass Pro Shops and Cialis (tadalafil).
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