The Area Adored by Anglers: St. Lawrence River Named Top Bass Fishing Waterway in Nation

Senator Patty Ritchie

July 12, 2019

Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column

“If you are looking for the best angling experience in the country right now, the St. Lawrence River should be your next destination.”

I could not have said it better myself.  However, this quote is not from me. These words are from James Hall, the editor of Bassmaster Magazine. Each year, this national publication releases its rankings of the best bass fisheries in the nation and this year, the waterway topping its list is right here in our backyard.

In the magazine’s recently released 2019 rankings, James Hall says the St. Lawrence River “seems to be showing off’. It certainly is. Not only does the St. Lawrence have some of the best scenery an angler will ever experience, this year it is producing bass that has the national fishing scene taking notice. 

The magazine uses the just wrapped up Bassmaster College Series event—hosted by Clarkson University—to prove its point. In the event, the average weight caught by the 149-team field was just over 20 pounds. The top award for the event was a 6-pound, 7-ounce fish.

Those numbers are also the reason that the Bassmasters Elite professional fishing series ensures the St. Lawrence River is a competition spot each year. This year, the event—which takes place at Whitaker Park in Waddington—will be held from August 15th through the 18th.  The tournament typically draws about 10,000 people to the Village of Waddington, as well as top bass anglers from across the globe. It features not only some of the world’s best fishing, but family events, live music, food and more. 

The Bassmasters Elite tournament is also a big boost to the area’s economy. That is why over the years, I have been proud to help spread the word about the event and the river’s fishing scene by securing more than $100,000 to help the village market the event across the country.

Now, fishing is just one way the Thousand Islands likes to show off.  The fact is, the entire region has so much to offer. The North Country truly is a perfect place for families to come and do everything from sightseeing, to camping and boating to of course, fishing. If you get the opportunity to visit the 1000 Islands this summer, I certainly encourage you to do so.  Bring your fishing pole too!