Beaudrie Takes Over Lead In Bassmaster Northern Open At Chesapeake Bay
3 weeks ago by Keith Worrall
Modified Sep 11th, 2022 at 11:36 AM
Chris Beaudrie of Princeton, Ky., is leading after Day 2 of the 2022 St. Croix Bassmaster Northern Open at Upper Chesapeake Bay presented by Mossy Oak Fishing with a two-day total of 33 pounds, 14 ounces. Photo by Kyle Jessie/B.A.S.S.
September 9, 2022
Beaudrie Takes Over Lead In Bassmaster Northern Open At Chesapeake Bay
CECIL COUNTY, Md. — No one was more surprised to see Chris Beaudrie atop the leaderboard than Beaudrie himself. Nevertheless, a two-day total of 33 pounds, 14 ounces has the pro from Princeton, Ky., leading Day 2 of the St. Croix Bassmaster Northern Open at Upper Chesapeake Bay presented by Mossy Oak Fishing.
On Day 1, Beaudrie placed second with 17-8, just 11 ounces off the lead. Adding 16-6 on Day 2, Beaudrie heads into Championship Saturday with nearly a 7-pound lead over Trey Swindle.
“You could have bet me any amount of money and never in my wildest dreams would I have thought this would happen,” Beaudrie said. “It’s going so good; I’m catching my fish quickly and I’m looking forward to having a full day of fishing tomorrow because both days I’ve stopped fishing at 12 (to conserve the spot).”
With tough late-summer conditions plus the week’s full moon creating a tough bite, Day 1 yielded only 44 limits on the pro side and 23 for co-anglers. Day 2 saw those stats drop to 34 and 19.
Despite making his first appearance on Chesapeake Bay, Beaudrie looked like he was competing on a totally different fishery. Returning to his Day 1 spot, he stayed within 20 to 30 minutes of takeoff.
Notably, the area he selected was not very productive during practice. However, Wednesday’s rain ushered in a pleasantly refreshing cooldown that lowered water temperatures and brought a rejuvenating force.
“One of the areas I’m fishing has an extremely large culvert,” Beaudrie said. “On Monday, the (plume of water) dumping out of there was 3 or 4 feet high, so it was pouring fresh water into the area.”
Also helping Beaudrie’s cause — abundant forage.
“You can hear the baitfish schooling in the grass nonstop, which wasn’t happening during practice,” he said. “I only found one other area that had that bait activity in the grass and it came alive on the first morning of the tournament.”
Beaudrie opted to keep his bait details under wraps for now, but he said a single reaction bait produced all of his bass. The key, Beaudrie said, was working the bait slowly.
“The pattern I’m doing is a little different than what other guys are doing,” Beaudrie said. “Hopefully, we can finish it out.”
Encouraged by two strong days of productivity, Beaudrie said he’s eager to get back to his spot.
“Both days, I got what I thought I needed and then left them alone,” he said. “At the end of the day, I found one more spot and made a cull. That’s a whole stretch where I think I might be able to catch some as well.
“A 20-pound bag is possible in my area. The stars would have to align perfectly, but it’s definitely possible. By fishing half days in there, I haven’t exploited it.”
Hailing from Cleveland, Ala., Swindle is in second place with 26-15. Adding 11-3 to his first-round limit of 15-12, Swindle gained three spots in the standings, but doing so required overcoming two obstacles.
“My main area was covered in boats this morning, so I started on one of my better places from yesterday, but the tide was wrong this morning,” Swindle said. “Yesterday, I caught them on a falling tide, but this morning, it was rising and it was going to get really high and it wasn’t going to start falling until noon.
“I just went around and found more fish. I had a little more than I thought, but it was a grind. I was throwing a crankbait, and I caught every one of my fish off a new place, within that area that was covered up.”
Pete Gluszek of Mount Laurel, N.J., is in third place with 26-1. After placing sixth on Day 1 with 15-9, the Chesapeake Bay veteran followed with 10-8. A late-day adjustment proved critical to his success.
“I had to get more finessey today,” Gluszek said. “Yesterday I caught them power fishing and finesse fishing; today I really had to lean on finesse.
“The areas where I caught them yesterday were absolute mob scenes today. I struggled to find a place where I could be effective and I did this afternoon. I made two nice culls — I caught two 3 1/2-pounders and a big smallmouth. That got me into the cut for tomorrow.”
Cole Drummond of Effingham, S.C., is in the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors with his 5-13.
Eugene Kim of Lindenhurst, Ill., won the co-angler division with 16 pounds. After placing fifth on Day 1 with 8-2, Kim needed 7-14 to edge Ryan Bauman of Reading, Pa., who had set the lead at 15-15. When Tournament Director Hank Weldon read Kim’s Day 2 weight of 7-14, the reaction was pure tournament drama.
“I knew it was going to be close — I didn’t realize it was going to be that close,” Kim said. “This is my first year fishing Bassmaster Opens and it’s been an absolute blessing for me. This will probably set in sometime during the 14-hour drive home.”
Enhancing the joy of winning the co-angler title and the $15,300 top prize, Kim was able to catch his winning fish on a bait designed by his family’s tackle company, Convergence Tournament Tackle. The prototype 3/4-ounce chartreuse/white spinnerbait with downsized gold willow-leaf blades and a Strike King Caffeine Shad trailer earned a special initiation.
“One of our mantras is that we don’t sell a (tackle item) until we’ve won on it — it’s a beautiful thing,” Kim said. “I had three bites yesterday (on a Texas-rigged worm) and four bites today. I was blessed to be able to capitalize on those. This is just unreal.”
Roland Gittings of Perryville, Md., won the Phoenix Boats Big Bass award in the co-angler division with a 5-1.
Alex Wetherell of Middletown, Conn. leads the Bassmaster Northern Opens standings with 571 points. Kyoya Fujita of Minamitsuru, Yamanashi, Japan, is second with 565, followed by Keith Poche of Montgomery, Ala., with 548, Jacob Walker of Springville, Ala., with 546 and Mike Iaconelli of Pittsgrove, N.J., with 532.
Cooper Gallant of Bowmanville, Canada, leads the overall Bassmaster Opens Angler of the Year standings with 982 points.
Takeoff is scheduled for 6:30 a.m. ET at Anchor Marina and North East Community Park. The weigh-in will be held at the park at 2:30 p.m. Full event coverage will be available on Bassmaster.com, while Championship Saturday action will be broadcast live on FS1 beginning at 8 a.m. ET.
The tournament is being hosted by Cecil County Tourism and the Town of North East.
2022 Bassmaster Opens Series Title Sponsor: St. Croix
2022 Bassmaster Opens Series Presenting Sponsor: Mossy Oak Fishing
2022 Bassmaster Opens Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota
2022 Bassmaster Opens Series Premier Sponsors: Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Progressive Insurance, Ranger Boats, Rapala, Skeeter Boats, Yamaha
2022 Bassmaster Opens Series Supporting Sponsors: AFTCO, Daiwa, Garmin, Huk Performance Fishing, Marathon, Strike King, Triton Boats, VMC
B.A.S.S., which encompasses the Bassmaster tournament leagues, events and media platforms, is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 515,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), TV show, radio show, social media programs and events. For more than 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.
The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, St. Croix Bassmaster Opens Series presented by Mossy Oak Fishing, TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Series, Strike King Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Bassmaster High School Series presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Team Championship, Yamaha Rightwaters Bassmaster Kayak Series powered by TourneyX, Yamaha Bassmaster Redfish Cup Championship presented by Skeeter and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic.