Friday, August 27, 2021

Chris Johnston Wallops 25-7 on Day 1 at Toyota Series Event o!n St. Lawrence River

Chris Johnston doesn't make the run to Lake Ontario. 
Brother Cory is sitting in 3rd. (Photo: MLF)

By Jody White 

MLF Press Release

For the second stop of the Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E. Northern Division on the St. Lawrence River, there didn’t seem to be much doubt that the smallmouth factory would show out. With Canadian waters and Lake Ontario in play, the field had plenty of room to work and work they did.  

After Day 1, 28 bags weighing 20 pounds or more hit the scale, and Canadian superstar Chris Johnston set the pace with a whopping 25-pound, 7-ounce limit. Behind him, three other pros cracked the 23-pound mark and four bested 22 pounds.

Electing not to make a giant run into Ontario for his fish, Johnston stayed in the river to get off on the right foot.

“Not that I don’t want a part of it, but I didn’t want to go today, because I had something else lined up,” Johnston said. “I’m probably going to go fish it again tomorrow and see if there’s anything left. Tomorrow is supposed to be windy, so it’s not going to be a great day for the lake. If I need to I might go out there for an hour or so, but we’ll see what the wind is like, it might be a river day for me.”

One of the best at the 1000 Islands, Johnston’s worst finish since 2016 on the fishery is third. Typically, he’s done his best work out in the lake. This time, it sounds like he has a chance to keep the river train rolling.

“I’ve been practicing the river because I keep getting burned here when the lake is off-limits,” he said. “I’ve got a few spots in the river, I don’t know if I can get 25 again, but there’s some fish left.”

Plying a drop-shot with a secret bait, it sounds like Johnston is on a roll.

“It was all deep, anywhere from 20 to 45 feet,” he said. “I caught a ton of fish, it was hard to get a big one. I never really had a kicker, they’re all clones. Out here now, a 5-pounder is honestly kinda average, you need a 6-pounder to get up and over.”

Top 10 Pros

1. Chris Johnston – 25 – 07 (5)           

2. Justin Atkins – 23 – 15 (5)  

2. Cory Johnston – 23 – 15 (5)

4. Matt Becker – 23 – 06 (5)   

5. Brandon Marks – 22 – 07 (5)          

6. Brian Latimer – 22 – 02 (5) 

7. Jonathan Robla – 22 – 01 (5)

8. Scott Cooke – 22 – 00 (5)   

9. Kurt Mitchell – 21 – 14 (5)  

10. Darryl Esterly – 21 – 10 (5)

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