Friday, September 7, 2018

2018 Costa FLW Series Northern Division 1000 Islands Day 2: Kyle Hall Leads by 7 ounce over Johnston with 50-01lbs!

Battle of the smallmouth!

Giant smallmouth love young Texans.
(Photo: FLW)
It was another glorious day in smallmouth country, and though the weights slipped slightly, for the top 10 pros it’s still a slugfest. Keeping the lead after day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event at the 1000 Islands, presented by Navionics, is Rio Vista, Texas, pro Kyle Hall. The 21-year-old cracked 26 pounds, 4 ounces yesterday and added another 23-13 to give him 50-1 overall and a narrow 7-ounce lead over Chris Johnston.
Even though this is Hall’s first trip to New York, you’d never guess it. His game plan has produced fish from both Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. He’s one of few in the top 10 that caught them good in the river and that knowledge will come in handy on the final day. Saturday’s forecast is calling for high winds and big seas in the lake, and tournament officials have already made Lake Ontario off-limits.
If you look at his weight, you’d assume Hall had another stellar day on the water today, but things were much tougher than day one. Though he weighed 23 pounds, one of them was a comparatively “small” 3-pounder he couldn’t cull out.
“I started on my spot where I caught most of them yesterday and they were there, but they wouldn’t bite,” says Hall. “I didn’t stay there long and started running new water towards the lake. I didn’t catch a fish until 10:30 this morning.”
Hall’s decision to move to the lake was impressive for a rookie to the area, but having spent a few weeks up here he’s dialed in the smallmouth game pretty well.
“I came up to Lake Champlain to fish the Bassmaster Open at the beginning of August and a buddy of mine convinced me to stay in New York and come fish this event and I don’t regret it,” Hall explains.
“I ran out to the lake and pulled up on a spot and told my co-angler I was going to catch a 6-pounder, and I did. The time spent up here has helped me figure out these smallmouths a lot.”
Hall scrapped his limit together over the course of 15 to 20 different stops. He’s not getting many bites, but when he does, they are grown. Like yesterday, once he had his weight he turned to help his co-angler.
“I told my co-angler that as soon as I had 23 pounds I’d take him to get a limit,” Hall says. “I caught my limit at 1:30 p.m. and spent the rest of the day helping him out.”
The day actually could have been better for Hall had he not had a 5-plus-pounder pull off right at the net. He also had a 3-pounder he weighed in, which “hurt” his bag.
With one day to go and a pack of smallmouth snatchers behind him, Hall is just focused on catching bass.
“I’m going to run some new stuff, on the same pattern I have done the last few days,” Hall says. “I haven’t looked at the forecast all week, I just like to go fishing and that’s what I’ll do tomorrow.”
Top 10 pros
1. Kyle Hall – Rio Vista, Texas – 50-1 (10)
2. Chris Johnston – Peterborough, Ontario – 49-10 (10)
3. Austin Felix – Eden Prairie, Minn. – 47-9 (10)
4. Matt Becker – Finleyville, Penn. – 47-8 (10)
5. Carl Jocumsen – Queensland, Australia – 46-9 (10)
6. AJ Slegona – Pine Buch, N.Y. – 46-8 (10)
7. Jesse Spellicy – Gouverneur, N.Y. – 46-7 (10)
8. Joey Ford – Bowmanville, Ontario – 45-9 (10)
9. Curtis Richardson – Belleville, Ontario – 45-8 (10)
10. John Hunter – Shelbyville, Ky. – 44-15 (10)

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