Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Professional League and Top 150 Solo: Upcoming Events at French Creek

American Bass Anglers (ABA) is excited to announce its next two major events in the picturesque St. Lawrence River, better known as 1000 Islands. The ABA Professional League will be held on July 13, followed by the Top 150 Solo series on July 26-27, both launching from French Creek, located at 365 Wahl Street, Clayton, NY 13624. These premier events will bring together some of the best anglers to compete in the rich waters of the 1000 Islands region, renowned for its exceptional smallmouth bass fishing.

The Professional League is a solo event with an entry fee of $325 and offers the strongest payout in the industry. As an example, the first NY event of the season with 84 anglers at Cayuga paid first place $5,800. See Results

(Register Now for Professional League at 1,000 Islands 7/13)

The Top 150 Solo is a two-day event (Friday – Saturday) with an entry fee of $625 and also pays stronger than other tours. As an example, in March on Lake Guntersville, the Top 150 Solo had 94 solo anglers, and first place earned $14,000 first place. See Results

(Register for the Top 150 Solo Series at 1,000 Islands 7/26-27)

Participants in the Top 150 Solo series will have an added incentive to compete, as it is sanctioned by the Ultimate Angler World Championship, to be held on Lake Guntersville from October 5-11, 2025. This championship promises the largest pro and amateur bass fishing tournament payout ever, with a guaranteed 1st Place payout of $500,000 and over $1 million in total cash payouts. Competing in the Top 150 Solo provides a pathway to this special event, offering a chance to be part of bass fishing history and compete for life-changing rewards.

The Venue: 1000 Islands

The 1000 Islands area, part of the St. Lawrence River, is a legendary fishing destination celebrated for its clear waters and abundant fish populations. Anglers participating in the ABA events will find themselves in one of North America’s most productive and scenic fisheries. The region’s diverse underwater structures, including deep channels and rocky shoals, provide ideal habitats for smallmouth bass.

Fishing Strategies and Techniques

Successful fishing in the 1000 Islands requires a blend of skill, knowledge, and the right equipment. Anglers can expect to use a variety of lures and techniques to target the elusive smallmouth bass. Spinnerbaits, particularly those in sunfish and white colors, are effective in shallower waters. Drop shot rigs with KVD Dream Shot baits are popular for deeper areas, where bass tend to congregate around underwater structures. Finesse jigs and other soft plastics also play a crucial role in an angler’s arsenal.

In 2023, some of the top lures used on the St. Lawrence River included:

  • Drop shots: Featuring various soft plastics, drop shots remained a favorite for targeting deep-water smallmouth bass.
  • Spinnerbaits: Particularly effective in shallower areas, with colors like sunfish and white proving successful.
  • Jerkbaits: Versatile and effective in both shallow and deeper waters, jerkbaits helped anglers adapt to changing conditions.

Historical Success

The 1000 Islands has been the backdrop for many successful tournaments. Notably, the region’s reputation was cemented when anglers at a major event weighed in more than 98 pounds of smallmouth bass, with the top finisher reaching a staggering 102 pounds. This level of productivity underscores the potential for high-stakes competition during the ABA events.

One notable historical performance in the region is the 2023 Patrick Walters’ impressive win of 20 smallmouth bass weighing 105 pounds, a record. Walters focused on deep-water smallmouth bass, using a combination of techniques, including drop shots and jerkbaits, to secure his victory. His approach involved meticulous attention to detail and adaptability, which are crucial for success in these waters.

Also in 2023 Jody White, hailing from Shaftsbury, VT, emerged as the ABA Open Series NY Division tournament champion on July 15, 2023, at the renowned 1000 Islands fishing destination. Launching from French Creek Marina in Clayton, NY, White displayed exceptional skill by reeling in five-bass, weighing an impressive total of 27.00 pounds.

Reflecting on his triumph, White expressed his enthusiasm: “Today was an outstanding day on the water. I managed to catch fish consistently throughout the day, and the action started early. Although I initially practiced on the lake, I couldn’t crack the code there. So, I decided to trust my instincts and focus my efforts in the river. From the outset, it was smooth sailing. I caught the majority of my fish deep, using a drop shot technique in water depths ranging from 30 to 40 feet. I lost count of the number of four-pounders I landed; it was truly unbelievable. My go-to bait was a flatworm in shades of brown back and green pumpkin.”

In addition to claiming the overall victory, Jody White secured the Big Bass Honors by reeling in an impressive 6.37-pound specimen.

Securing second place in the tournament was Jessie Spellicy from Gouverneur, NY, who weighed in a commendable five-bass limit totaling 24.96 pounds. Sharing his strategy, Spellicy explained, “I primarily focused my fishing efforts in the river, right around the mouth of the lake. Throughout the tournament, I targeted fish at various depths, employing a range of techniques such as using a hair jig, drop shot, ned rig, and tube. I adapted to the conditions and fished whatever presented itself in front of me.”

John Paul Pelletier of Castleton, NY, secured the third position among boaters, amassing a weight of 22.36 pounds with his five-bass catch. Reflecting on his performance, Pelletier stated, “I headed towards the lake and found success using a green pumpkin goby ned rig to land my fish.”

Accommodations and Local Attractions

Clayton, NY, offers a range of accommodations to suit all preferences. From campgrounds like the 1000 Islands Campground and Merry Knoll Campground to luxurious options such as the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel, visitors can find comfortable places to stay. Additionally, the area boasts numerous attractions, including the historic Boldt Castle and the Antique Boat Museum, providing ample opportunities for relaxation and exploration off the water.

Event Details

The ABA Professional League event on July 13 and the Top 150 Solo event on July 26-27 will showcase intense competition and allow anglers to demonstrate their skills in one of the best bass fisheries. The Top 150 Solo event spans two days, emphasizing individual prowess with each angler competing solo, adding an extra layer of challenge and excitement.

While neither event has an off-limits period, the Top 150 Solo does have a registration cut-off of Monday at 8 a.m. on 7/22. The Professional League event anglers may register through Friday prior to the event; however, entries received after Wednesday at 5 p.m. on July 10 will incur a $25 late fee.

To learn more about the Professional League and the Top 150 Solo events visit

For those planning to attend, the events will be hosted at French Creek Marina, providing easy access to prime fishing locations. The marina’s facilities ensure that all participants have the necessary support for a successful tournament experience.


The upcoming ABA events at French Creek are poised to be highlights of the fishing calendar. With its rich history, abundant fishery, and scenic beauty, the 1000 Islands region offers an unparalleled backdrop for competitive angling. Whether you are a participant or a spectator, these events promise excitement and the chance to witness top-tier bass fishing in one of the most renowned locations in North America. For more details on the events, visit the American Bass Anglers.

About American Bass Anglers

American Bass Anglers, committed to providing low-cost, close-to-home tournaments, offers an exciting platform for individual angler progression. With the support of industry-leading companies, ABA continues to advance the sport of bass fishing.

For more information about the ABA Professional League and the Top 150 Solo Tour, visit or call (256) 232-0406.

American Bass Anglers is proud to be sponsored by Caymas Boats, Mercury Marine, T-H Marine, Power Pole, Optima Batteries, Hotel, and

About American Bass Anglers: American Bass Anglers is dedicated to organizing affordable, local tournaments for weekend anglers while offering opportunities for individual angler advancement. To learn more about American Bass Anglers, including the Team Series, American Fishing Tour, American Couples Series, annual Military Team Bass Tournament, ABA Team Series, Top 150 Solo Tour, and Professional League, all presented by Caymas Boats, please visit or call (256) 232-0406.

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