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Saturday Sports: Bassmaster Elite returns to Waddington this year

Published: Jun. 26, 2021 at 8:47 PM EDT
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WADDINGTON, New York (WWNY) - In just a few short weeks, some of the top anglers from around the world will be in Waddington for the Bassmaster Elite Series.

On Wednesday, Sportscaster Rob Krone had a chance to speak with B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin about the tournament’s return to St. Lawrence County.

The 2021 Farmers Insurance Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River will make a stop in Waddington from July 15th - 18th. It’s the 10th stop for the Elite series.

After moving to Clayton last year due to COVID-19, Akin says it’s all systems go for Waddington this year.

”We’re, I think, full steam ahead this time. You know, there might be a few crowd limitations but as far as the distancing and some of that, we’ll still be doing it but now that New York is reopened and back in business we anticipate another great tournament up there and I’m sure the fishing is going to be great as it always is,” said Akin.

Waddington will also be the final event of the season for the Elite series and Akin says there will be a lot on the line for the anglers participating.

”That will be announced at Waddington, as well. Being the last Elite event of the year, we’ll crown an Angler of the Year champion as well. As well, the winner this year. We determined that the winner of the last event of the year would get a classic berth whether they’re in the top 39 in Angler of the Year, points or not, so that’s another thing at stake in this tournament so a lot at stake,” said Akin.

With the Canadian border closed due to COVID-19, Akin says for a 2nd straight year participants will be limited to fishing on the U.S. side of the St. Lawrence River once again.

”They’ll be restricted to U.S. waters, but we will fish Lake Ontario like we did last year as well. In years past we didn’t fish Ontario, at least the last couple of times at Waddington, but we’ll fish Ontario because we’ll only have the U.S. side of the waters to fish,” said Akin.

The Bassmaster series has made Waddington, Clayton and the St. Lawrence River an annual stop for a number of tournaments they hold at different levels and Akin says there’s a reason for that.

”I think we didn’t do 100 best bass lakes last year because of COVID. But the year before, the St. Lawrence was the number one ranked body of water for fishing by Bassmaster Magazine in our 100 Best Bass Lakes and they’ve been right up there every year and the whole St. Lawrence waterway and that area is just renowned for it,” said Akin.

With this being the final year of the deal for the Elite series stopping in Waddington, Akin says they’re interested in extending that to keep the Elite series a fixture there for years to come.

”We’re interested in resuming talks on extending that. Like I said, the anglers love to go there. We also, we like to mix it up a little bit and go different places, but that’s been such an outstanding fishery up there. You know, that’s certainly one of the 3 major stops, regular stops on the Elite series,” said Akin.

If last year is any indication, look for some records to be challenged or broke this year when the Bassmaster Elite series takes to the waters of the St. Lawrence in Waddington.

Saturday night’s PGCBL contest between the Watertown Rapids and the Newark Pilots at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds has been postponed due to weather concerns.

The game will be made up July 9th as part of a doubleheader at the fairgrounds.

The Rapids are back in action Sunday at the Duffy Dome, playing host to the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs with first pitch set for 5 PM.

The Rapids will be out to snap a 2 game losing streak. Their latest loss coming Friday night in Auburn where they dropped a 6-3 decision to the Doubledays.

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