Friday, July 30, 2021

2021 Tackle Warehouse Pro Tour St. Lawrence River Day 1: John Cox Smacks 24-12Lbs for slim lead!

Cox continues stellar year, Cifuentes ounces behind.
(Photo: MLF)


Press Release

Catching 24 pounds, 12 ounces of smallmouth in a day is a big deal. That’s a once-in-a-lifetime bag for most. The type of bag that should’ve put distance between John Cox and the rest of the field by a decent margin.

It didn’t. Not even a little. Welcome to the St. Lawrence River.

While Lake Ontario often steals the show for tournaments in the area, Day 1 of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Bad Boy Mowers event showed that the river is hardly a slouch in terms of quality.

Aaron Britt cracked 20 pounds on the nose and didn’t make the Top 10 (he’s in 14th). And Todd Walters’ 18-pound bag squeaked him into the top 30.

So, circling back to Cox, yes, he had an incredible day; the best day of smallmouth fishing he says he’s ever had. However, it’s just a day here, and he knows it, especially since it was so unexpected.

“It’s crazy,” Cox said. “Both days of practice, I was like, ‘This is the worst practice I’ve ever had.’ Day two was so bad I loaded up at noon, went back to the hotel, took a nap, and then came back out at 5 and got a couple more bites.

“I don’t know why today was so different. I really just wanted to catch five because you don’t want to not catch five at this place. And I caught seven and they were just all big ones.”

If this story from Cox sounds familiar, it should. The man rarely has good practices and often finds things on the fly. Yet, it’s a pattern that routinely works for him, which should worry the rest of the field.

Take today. He says he saw some fish just swimming around in an area in practice but didn’t think they were big. Turns out, they were, as he caught two 5-pounders almost back to back. He also had a point he really wanted to find from previous events but couldn’t seem to locate it in practice. Well, he finally remembered which one it was, and sure enough, he caught two more giants off it.

To that last point, though, history wasn’t necessarily all too kind to him.

“I didn’t catch anything on any of the areas I fished in the Bass Pro Tour event a few weeks ago,” Cox said. “I tried so hard to make those areas work, but they’re not even the same. Grass has grown in those areas.

“During the BPT, the fish were in long stretches. Now, it’s specific. Like, you had to hit the mark. If you threw and missed it, you wouldn’t get bit.”

So, to recap: The St. Lawrence is putting out giant bags like usual, and Cox is flying by the seat of his pants like usual. Things could get very fun the remainder of this week.

Top 10 Pros

1. John Cox – 24 – 12 (5)       

2. Joey Cifuentes – 24 – 05 (5)          

3. Ron Nelson – 23 – 07 (5)   

4. Miles Howe – 22 – 10 (5)  

5. Matthew Stefan – 22 – 07 (5)         

6. Alex Davis – 22 – 00 (5)    

7. Erik Luzak – 22 – 00 (5)

8. Michael Neal – 21 – 08 (5)

9. Tom Monsoor – 21 – 02 (5)           

10. Justin Lucas – 21 – 00 (5)

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