MASSENA — Chris Johnston continued to take advantage of his familiarity with the St. Lawrence River by adding another 25 pounds to his total to grab a commanding lead Friday in the Major League Fishing Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E Northern Division event.
Johnston, from Peterborough, Ontario, and a veteran of Bassmaster Elite events in the area, finished with a Day 2 total of 25 pounds, 2 ounces after totaling 25-7 the first day. His 50-9 amount for two days is 4-2 more than the angler in second place, Johnston’s brother, Cory.
“I’m in a good spot, I’m not going to complain,” Chris Johnston said. “You never know what can happen out here, some of my spots I’ve checked have been empty. You could roll up to your first three spots and they’re just gone. It’s scary that way, I’m not on one spot with 50 fish and I’m just going through them.”
The Johnstons have reached the Top 10 in multiple Northern Division events but have never gained a Toyota Series win in what’s their home fishery.
“I’m snake-bit here, on this circuit,” Chris Johnston said. “I’ve never won a Toyota or Costa, whatever you want to call it. And I think I’ve led this one in particular three or four times and blown it. I can’t seal the deal, this one is my nemesis.”
Chris Johnston finished second during the Bassmaster event in Waddington last month. He did win the Bassmaster Elite tournament held out of Clayton in 2020.
Chris Johnston fished mostly deep Friday with a drop-shot and said he totaled only about 3 1/2 hours of fishing time.
“I kind of scrambled and caught a couple,” he said. “If it’s calm tomorrow, I’ll probably put all my eggs in one basket and run to the lake. (Friday) I hit like three or four spots; (today), if I can hit seven or eight, I should be able to run into a good group of them somewhere.”
Cory Johnston sits second at 46-7 with Justin Atkins third at 46-2. Jonathan Robla (43-9) and Brent Crow (43-7) round out the top five.
The tournament ends today. Anglers will take off at 6:30 a.m. from the Massena Intake Boat Launch. Weigh-ins will be held at the boat launch starting at 2:30 p.m. Fans can attend or follow daily coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
This is the third major Major League Fishing tournament based in Massena since June.
Top 10 Pros
1. Chris Johnston (50-9), 2. Cory Johnston (46-7), 3. Justin Atkins (46-2), Johnathan Robla (43-9), 5. Brent Crow (43-7), 6. Charlie Hartley (43-0), 7. Brent Anderson (42-9), 8. Marty Robinson (42-4), 9. Scott Cooke (41-8), 10. Jesse Spellicy (41-4).