CLAYTON, N.Y. (WWNY) - The 2020 SiteOne Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River was a success both on land and in the water for the 86 anglers and support crew that traveled to Clayton for the 4 day long event last week.
A tournament that saw Paul Mueller reel in the biggest smallmouth bass ever caught in an elite tournament and a few other records threatened.
It all came together in a little over a week, but despite the short prep period, the 2020 SiteOne Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River was a huge success after being moved from Waddington to Clayton.
The 86 anglers that competed are the best bass fishermen in the world and had nothing but rave reviews for the quality of fishing not only in the St. Lawrence River, but Lake Ontario as well. Lake Ontario was open to the fishermen this year with Canadian waters closed due to COVID-19.
”In all honesty, for me personally, this is my favorite place I’ve ever fished. I just, I just love it here. I don’t know why. I fished my very first B.A.S.S. event ever in 1992 out of Clayton. And I just- I mean, I’ve only fished 2 tournaments here, but I just- I really enjoy fishing here. It’s a neat place, it’s huge, it’s got clear water and the big smallmouth. I mean, what more do you need than that?” said Clark Wendlandt, who finished in eighth place.
”It’s awesome. I mean this is- I’m gonna say it’s- If it’s not the best smallmouth fishery in the world, it’s in the top 5,” said Paul Mueller, who finished second.
”This place will always be near and dear to my heart. And it’s my third time here, my best finish ever, I kept getting better, better and now I finally made the top 10. Maybe if we come back again next year, who knows,” said Chad Morgenthaler, who finished in fourth.
Not only were the anglers impressed with the fishing, they were equally impressed with the hospitality the Clayton community showed them during their stay in the area.
”It’s been an awesome week. You know it’s- I hope we come back to Clayton, that’s all I can say. These people in Clayton are awesome. I mean, I don’t know how, I’ve had hundreds of people every day come running down the dock and just talk to me,” said Brock Mosley, who finished in third.
”Bridgeview Motel, we stayed there all week. They cooked all us anglers dinner every night. It was top notch. If you ever need a place, check ‘em out,” said the 2020 SiteOne Bassmater Elite Champion Chris Johnston.
The stay in Clayton was just for this year though, since the Bassmaster Elite series has a contract with Waddington through 2021 to hold the event there.
”You know, our contract, you know, runs through next year with them. We also got a Bass Nation event that is suppose to take place there next year as well as the elite event. It’s been a great partnership and some of the biggest tournaments we’ve had and tournouts. Yes we- Right now the plan is to go back next year,” said Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. Chief Executive Officer.