Catch Greatness: Smallies on the St. Lawrence River (Part 1)

Catch Greatness: Smallies on the St. Lawrence River (Part 1)


Our MONSTERBASS team traveled north to compete in a smallmouth competition for money and bragging rights as the brand's smallmouth champs. The St. Lawrence yields tons of massive smallmouth every year and gives visiting (or local) anglers a chance to catch their PB and the fish of a lifetime. Tag along and let's find some footballs!

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Video transcript:

Rick Patri:
Should we do that?

Eric Galasso:
Yeah, that's a good idea.

Rick Patri:
Biggest bag of the day gets a $500 shopping spree on the website. When we decided that we wanted to make a fall trip, we were thinking about all the different locations across the country that would have epic fishing this time of year, and there's really no place like the St. Lawrence river.

Will Clute:
We have a winner of this first annual ... Yeah, baby! Woo!

Rick Patri:
This time of year, you've got giant smallmouth that are readily available. It's different kind of fishing than the rest of the country, but we knew it would make a great location, so we got together with Travis Manson from SmallmouthCrush and Eric from Epic Eric, and we started planning this trip.

Raphie Aronowitz:
Going into this trip outside of maybe a stocked trout pond, I haven't caught anything in fresh water. I'm just starting out. And I know this sounds crazy, but it wasn't so much about catching anything. It was the opportunity to be here with such a diverse array of really prolific anglers. Right? Who else gets that kind of opportunity to go to some place that's magical, to be with guides that know what they're doing and are kind of taking you all over the place?

Larry Melton, Jr.:
I know it's probably going to be good, but I never want to over-hype anything. I don't want to think about it the whole time and have a expectation for the trip, and then it doesn't come, and then your feelings are hurt. So you just want to go in, just mellow, expecting to catch fish but not expecting to catch a four pounder your first cast.

Jeff Burlingame:
I need at least a four pounder. Your PB's a five?

Paul Glass:
Yeah. What I'm actually just really excited for is that's what we do on the, well, what we do on the channel, right? We just fish different water, and as somebody who like fishes St. Clair all the time, I'm really excited to do some of the same type of fishing for the same type of fish in big, moving water. We never get to do that.

Larry Melton, Jr.:
I'm going for the state record today. People set goals of just catching one, two, or just catching their first one, like me and Raphie. Me and Raphie are going to catch eight and nine-pound smallmouth today.

Raphie Aronowitz:
That's it.

Travis Manson:
This time of year, normally, it's been a mild fall. We finally have some conditions that I like to fish in, but it's like it happened overnight, right? So these fish are going to be, "Hmm. Do we group up and get shallow? Do we go deep? Do we go in between?" That's what's going to happen today. There's going to be shallow fish and deep fish, it's still in transition. But should be reaction baits. Hopefully, we can get them on reaction baits, but we may have to slow down, throw some finesse baits, some drop shots, small football heads, things like that.

Rick Patri:
Should we do that?

Eric Galasso:
Yeah, that's a good idea.

Rick Patri:
1000 bucks? What do you get? Maybe we should do 500? Great idea.

Jeff Burlingame:
Biggest bag of the day?

Rick Patri:
Hey, [inaudible 00:02:57]!

Travis Manson:
Do we have scales? Whoever gets the biggest bag of the day-

Rick Patri:
Biggest bag of the day gets a $500 shopping spree on the website.

Raphie Aronowitz:
What?!

Eric Galasso:
It's on now. That just changed things.

Rick Patri:
Yeah!

Travis Manson:
It's a good setup. We're all good, everybody's happy.

Eric Galasso:
Everybody's happy. Good boats, man. Good time.

Travis Manson:
Will did a good job. You want to weigh that? That's a monster.

Eric Galasso:
That's a monster bass. Welcome to the MONSTERBASS show. Feels heavy. It's pulling bad.

Travis Manson:
[crosstalk 00:03:24]. It's not grass, it's bass. Grass and bass!

Eric Galasso:
Yes!

Travis Manson:
Yes!

Rick Patri:
Wow! Oh, my god! Holy crap!

Travis Manson:
You know you're on the good fishery, but they do get bigger. He's going to clock in right at about four seven is what we got this one at. So just an average fall fish here on the St. Lawrence. Oh, I think a 30-pound bag's possible, for sure. All right.

Raphie Aronowitz:
See, Will and I have this thing going where he tells me exactly what to do and I do the opposite. Hasn't been working out for me at all.

Will Clute:
I got him. I got him, baby. I got him. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Cameraman:
What do we got there?

Larry Melton, Jr.:
We got a big old little-mouth bass, as I call them. Smallmouth. Pretty fish. It's like number 6, 7, 8 that I've caught, and probably the biggest eight fish, eight smallmouth I'll ever catch [inaudible 00:04:59]. I don't think it's ever going to get as good as this is right now.

Cameraman:
How many more are you going to catch today?

Larry Melton, Jr.:
Oh, I plan on catching about 100, 200 more like this, so stay tuned, guys.

Todd Grubb:
Yeah, we got to get a fish on right now. Oh, nice. Again with the light bites, dude, the lightest bites. Solid fish. Just another stud. Gorgeous fish, man.

Larry Melton, Jr.:
[inaudible 00:05:22] these things are.

Todd Grubb:
This place is unreal. Basically, right before we left, Rick told us that the biggest bag of the day is going to get a $500 shopping spree on the MONSTERBASS website. So Larry and I are putting the hurting on him because we need stuff. We need gear. We're probably close to 24 pounds, and we're hoping to get a kicker. That's really what we need. We need something that is definitely going to be the biggest fish of the day. We need the lunker. Just look at how wide the thing is. Every one of them. Fantastic fish! On a normal day, this would be going in the box, but today ... nope!

Larry Melton, Jr.:
Smallmouth bass? Look at that fin right there missing.

Todd Grubb:
My dude!

Larry Melton, Jr.:
Let's go, baby!

Todd Grubb:
Yeah.

Larry Melton, Jr.:
This is a quality smallmouth. This is an Instagram-worthy smallmouth doing YouTube, but here, it's just another three-pound smallmouth. You're just like, "Eh, yeah. It's a dink." Really, it truly is a dink compared to the ones we've been catching today, which is absolutely insane. This is my first ever smallmouth trip, and I'm going to be spoiled for the rest of my life.

Paul Glass:
I didn't know that we were keeping fish.

Cameraman:
He said this morning, five limit.

Jeff Burlingame:
Numbers-wise, I think we're close, but he definitely caught all the big fish. It has been slow for me. Yes! Yo. Literally, I just said Patrick put us on the juice for the Carolina rig, and then here he comes in with this baby.

Patrick:
Yeah!

Jeff Burlingame:
Dude, come on now. That is a tummy on that one. Nice. I think it's important to note that I've never fished a body of water like this whatsoever. I'm very uncomfortable out here, so I tried to dial it. It probably took me two hours to just watch Patrick catch them on the C-rig, and I was finally like, "You know what? Fine," and started throwing the C-rig. That's when I got like my first decent fish of the day.

Paul Glass:
Yeah. What we've been mostly fishing today, it's not been banky. We've been near the bank but not on the bank. What we've been seeing is spotted weed cover. You'll just see the weeds as far as you look out, and then, as long as you got decent glasses on, you'll be able to see an opening, right? Where you see dark, dark, dark, dark, and then a sand-colored pocket.

Jeff Burlingame:
Closer!

Patrick:
Oh, yeah! That's your biggest, your baby. That's your baby!

Jeff Burlingame:
Come on, baby. Come on, baby. Putting up a fight.

Patrick:
That's your baby!

Jeff Burlingame:
Woo! Woo-hoo!

Patrick:
That's your baby.

Jeff Burlingame:
Oh, my god. Literally, Sam goes, "All right, we got to go." Wow. Holy cow. Yo! Oh, my gosh. Wow. Pretty good.

Larry Melton, Jr.:
Yeah, we're pretty good.

Jeff Burlingame:
Pretty good. I hope the scales weigh heavy. We don't know.

Rick Patri:
This morning, I thought I'd liven and things up a little bit. We put $500 on the line for the biggest bag, and now we're about to see who's the winner. We had a pretty good day, but I think these guys had good days too, so it's going to get exciting.

Travis Manson:
I think we're going to be okay. We have just under 25 pounds, we have 24 pounds, 14 ounces.

Eric Galasso:
That's right. Good job, guys.

Rick Patri:
Yeah. Feeling pretty good.

Cameraman:
Can we get a couple shots of some of your biggest fish, or you already let them go.

Travis Manson:
We let them go.

Eric Galasso:
We did let them go. Yeah.

Travis Manson:
We just got them on the scale. Yep.

Will Clute:
We did pretty good. We lost a few, we caught a few. Caught some good ones.

Raphie Aronowitz:
I caught a bunch of weeds, some salad.

Rick Patri:
Yeah. His new native name, new native name is Dances With Weeds.

Raphie Aronowitz:
Yeah, I earned it.

Rick Patri:
That's what we gave him.

Raphie Aronowitz:
I earned it.

Cameraman:
Raph, you caught your first fish today?

Raphie Aronowitz:
I caught my first smallmouth, I caught my first walleye, and I caught my first goby.

Will Clute:
Yeah, so he got the trifecta today. That's what we were saying.

Raphie Aronowitz:
Yeah.

Will Clute:
It's the trifecta award. Yay, Raphie! Yay, Raphie!

Jeff Burlingame:
I think we broke 20.

Paul Glass:
I have one just over four, I have a four and a half, so I know I'm responsible for eight six [crosstalk 00:09:46].

Cameraman:
But it's together. It's a bag. You're together.

Paul Glass:
Yeah, yeah. And then you have probably-

Jeff Burlingame:
I have a three six-

Paul Glass:
12, 13. [crosstalk 00:09:53].

Jeff Burlingame:
Three six to three and a half, and then hopefully [crosstalk 00:09:56].

Paul Glass:
Oh, way more than a [inaudible 00:09:56].

Jeff Burlingame:
Biggest one we didn't put in here was a three six. That was my PB breaker.

Travis Manson:
That's all you got right now? That was four fish.

Jeff Burlingame:
That's all we got.

Travis Manson:
But you caught another one?

Jeff Burlingame:
[crosstalk 00:10:06]. The next biggest was three six-

Travis Manson:
So you had 18 pounds today.

Jeff Burlingame:
Yeah. There you go. I'll take it.

Paul Glass:
18? 18? I'm not upset.

Jeff Burlingame:
I'm not mad.

Paul Glass:
There we go. There we go. I'm not mad.

Will Clute:
Yep. I got hanging [inaudible 00:10:22].

Travis Manson:
Five two, guys.

Todd Grubb:
I thought the last one was the wide one.

Cameraman:
Dust his shoulders off.

Travis Manson:
Five one, so they're going to need a five pounder.

Larry Melton, Jr.:
This is my PB [inaudible 00:10:39], large and small right here.

Cameraman:
Now comes our boy's PB.

Todd Grubb:
Dude.

Travis Manson:
It'll be a close one, guys.

Todd Grubb:
It's a gangster.

Jeff Burlingame:
It's pretty meaty.

Travis Manson:
Okay.

Todd Grubb:
It's fat. Oh, it's fat.

Jeff Burlingame:
Should be five and a quarter.

Travis Manson:
I'll tell you what, it's over five pounds.

Jeff Burlingame:
Should be five and a quarter.

Travis Manson:
You have five 11, five 10.

Jeff Burlingame:
You said five 11.

Travis Manson:
Well, look at what the scale's saying, not me!

Larry Melton, Jr.:
Check it one more time.

Travis Manson:
It's five 10. We have a winner of this first annual MONSTERBASS Tournament.

Todd Grubb:
Yeah, baby! Woo! [crosstalk 00:11:10]. Yeah! Yeah, baby!

Will Clute:
Good job, boys. Good job. Good job.

Rick Patri:
The opportunity to fish for giant smallmouth is not something that everyone in the country gets to do on a regular basis, and so, to be able to bring the team together, just to have some fun and reinforce the fact that we're all part of a team, was something that meant a lot to me, and to give that opportunity to them was something that I really looked forward to.

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