It’s Knapp time again

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. - The last time Jason Knapp won an FLW Outdoors tournament, he was a fresh-faced kid out of Uniontown, Pa., with stars in his eyes and a bag of tricks full of Mizmo tubes. But don't let his youthful nature fool you: Jason Knapp is a killer fisherman, especially at Lake Champlain. Fishing the Pro Division, Knapp handily won the EverStart Series Northeast Division closer Saturday with a final-round weight of 38 pounds, 6 ounces. In 2004, he also won the Wal-Mart FLW Tour event here as co-angler, taking home $40,000. This week, he collected $9,600 in EverStart winnings plus a new Ranger 519VX - all told, a package worth over $50,000. While his earnings have shot upward, about the only thing about Knapp that has changed since he last won here is his impact on the tour. At 24 years old, he's still a fresh-faced kid, but anyone who fishes against him at Lake Champlain had better shield their own eyes from his star power. "I don't know what to say," he said. "I've been dreaming of this moment forever, ever since I started fishing the BFLs when I was 16. This is just a dream come true. It's so true: I love New York. Without a doubt, this is the best fishery on the planet." Knapp won this event by virtue of his catch Saturday, and he had to earn it. All 10 pros caught five-bass limits both days of the final round, which is no surprise at this awesome fishery. Knapp had posted a second-place weight of 18 pounds, 13 ounces Friday, and then wowed the crowd Saturday with the leading limit of the day, 19-9. Larry Allard, who led the pros yesterday with a bag over 20 pounds, came up short today and finished in second place more than 4 pounds behind Knapp. As expected, largemouth bass seemed to play the key role in the victory. Of the 10 fish Knapp weighed in during the finals, seven of them were largemouths. "I found one log that I absolutely smoked them on," said Knapp, who reluctantly admitted that he fished the upper end of the lake. "I basically had it all to myself all week long, and it was just loaded with smallies. But I knew, to win this thing, I had to change the last two days and go for largemouths. I would catch my limit of smallies pretty quickly and then go flipping shallow, and I was able to do that everyday. I didn't lose a fish all week and I made good decisions. I've done all I can do." Jason Knapp shows off his winning bait at Lake Champlain: a 4-inch green-pumpkin Mizmo tube. The tube was so successful, his thumb is bandaged after being rubbed raw from catching so many smallmouths throughout the week.A lot of the top pros were catching smallies on spinnerbaits with a fast retrieve this week. Carolina-rigged lizards and drop-shots were also popular. Knapp, however, stuck with a 4-inch green-pumpkin Mizmo tube for most of his fishing, smallmouth and largemouth - the same kind of bait that won for him here over a year ago. "The log where I caught those smallies was in 5 or 6 feet of water. It's extremely shallow to be able to produce that amount of fish," he said. One aspect of Knapp's win that might prove a little frustrating for all the pros who spent days prefishing for this tournament is that he didn't practice at all before this event. He ran around the lake a little on Tuesday afternoon, but he couldn't get here before then due to prior commitments. But he certainly didn't seem bothered by it. For his EverStart Lake Champlain victory, Jason Knapp earned a Ranger 519VX powered by a Yamaha or Evinrude outboard, Minn Kota trolling motor, Garmin electronics and EverStart Batteries plus $9,600 cash. In addition, Knapp earned the $10,000 Ranger contingency bonus, the $3,000 Ranger Cup award and $1,500 Powered by Yamaha award for a total of $64,100 in cash and prizes."Lake Champlain is the best in the world," he said. "It's almost like you can find too much stuff to fish. You just want to concentrate your efforts in one area, and I found one area and stayed close. My largemouth spot was within two or three miles of that log; you could almost see it from there. I like fishing for shallow largemouths, so this place kind of just plays into my hands." Rest assured, this will not be the last time you hear from Jason Knapp. Between his FLW and EverStart wins here, he also fished the Northern Division event at Lake Champlain in 2004. That week, he posted 19 pounds on day one and might have made a title run then, too, if he hadn't been ambushed by boat trouble on day two. At such a young age, Knapp already has five FLW top-five finishes as a co-angler, including two this year. Word is, he's moving up to the front of the boat at the elite level next year, and the FLW Tour is returning to Lake Champlain in June. Look out. Pro Larry Allard of Ware, Mass., weighs in as Jason Knapp looks on. Allard managed to hold on to finish second with a final weight of 34 pounds, 3 ounces.Allard hangs on for second Allard caught the heaviest limit Friday, then almost caught the lightest limit Saturday and managed to hold on to finish second with a final weight of 34 pounds, 3 ounces. The pro from Ware, Mass., earned $9,600. Despite his stated desire to fish for largemouths Saturday, Allard came in with a limit of smallies that weighed 13 pounds, 14 ounces. Why? He said that he found somebody else on his largemouth spot this morning. "I went there and (Knapp) was already there," Allard laughed. He was joking, of course; he and Knapp fished completely different areas. Besides, Allard has fished Lake Champlain for 55 years; even if somebody was on his primary spot, it's a safe bet that he has backups. Still, on Saturday he found he just couldn't tear himself away from the spinnerbait smallmouth bite that got him this far. "No little fish bite that spinnerbait ," he said. Pro Jacob Powroznik of Prince George, Va., finished third with a final weight of 34 pounds.Powroznik third Jacob Powroznik of Prince George, Va., finished third and collected $8,650 with a final weight of 34 pounds. He caught smallmouths Saturday. "The sun really needed to shine for the big ones to bite," he said. "We were fishing a rock pile in water 33 to 20 feet, and I caught a 4-pounder there everyday. My co-angler (winner Jason Sherwood) caught a big one on a Carolina rig, so I picked mine up and we stayed out there and caught them all day." Rookie pro Warren Wolk of Jamison, Pa., posted the second-heaviest limit Saturday - 18 pounds, 1 ounce - and finished fourth with a final weight of 33-13.Rookie Wolk takes fourth Rookie pro Warren Wolk of Jamison, Pa., posted the second-heaviest limit Saturday - 18 pounds, 1 ounce - and finished fourth with a final weight of 33-13. He earned $7,650. "I'm speechless. This lake is unbelievable. That's my second 18-pound bag this week," he said. "This is my first EverStart event, and you can be sure there will be many more to come." Veteran pro Gerald Beck of Lexington, N.C., finished in fifth place with a final weight of 32 pounds, 7 ounces.Beck fifth Veteran pro Gerald Beck of Lexington, N.C., finished in fifth place and collected $7,150 with a final weight of 32 pounds, 7 ounces. "It's an awesome lake," he said about Champlain. "Y'all can't imagine how good it is until you fish some of the lakes around the house back home where you go out and catch five or six fish and call it a good day. I have no idea how many fish we caught here this week." Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 Pro Division finishers at Lake Champlain: 6th: Brian Bylotas of Olyphant, Pa., 31-14, $6,150 7th: Mitch Pierson of Newton, N.J., 31-1, $5,150 8th: Ricky Doyle of Keeseville, N.Y., 29-7, $4,650 9th: J.T. Kenney of Frostburg, Md., 29-6, $4,150 (opening-round leader) 10th: Bill Spence of St. Albans, Vt., 28-5, $3,650 Coming up The next EverStart Series event is the final regular-season tournament of the year. It's the Northern Division closer on the Detroit River at Trenton, Mich., Sept. 21-24. The EverStart Series Championship will be held on Pickwick Lake at Florence, Ala., Nov. 2-5.

Tags: headline-story  jeff-schroeder 

/news/2015-06-29-dobson-sticks-with-jerkbait-for-win

Dobson Sticks With Jerkbait for Win

Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Michigan, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Michigan Division tournament of 2015 on Lake St. Clair. For his victory, Dobson earned $5,804. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-johnston-targets-beds-for-big-limit

Johnston Targets Beds for Big Limit

Cory Johnston of Cavan, Ontario, Canada, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 25 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Northeast Division tournament of 2015 on 1000 Islands. For his victory, Johnston earned $5,632. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-football-jig-helps-bates-net-title

Football Jig Helps Bates Net Title

Matthew Bates of Greenville, Mississippi, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 20 pounds even Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Ferguson. For his victory, Bates earned $3,963. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-hipsher-hops-ledges-for-victory

Hipsher Hops Ledges for Victory

Craig Hipsher of Benton, Kentucky, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League LBL Division tournament of 2015 on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. For his victory, Hipsher earned $4,385. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-lauer-wins-on-ohio-river

Lauer Wins on Ohio River

David Lauer of McConnelsville, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 12 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division tournament of 2015 on the Ohio River. For his victory, Lauer earned $6,289. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-creature-bait-does-it-for-berhorst

Creature Bait Does it for Berhorst

Dennis Berhorst of Holts Summit, Missouri, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Ozark Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Truman. For his victory, Berhorst earned $5,963. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-wendlandt-back-at-the-top

Wendlandt Back at the Top

It’s been 14 seasons since Clark Wendlandt last stood on a Walmart FLW Tour stage and hoisted a tournament championship trophy. Since that time, the Texas pro has experienced ups and downs, including an Angler of the Year title (his third) in 2009 and a major medical issue that sidelined him for most of the 2014 season. All that’s in the past now, however, and Wendlandt is right back where he belongs in the world of bass fishing – in first place after the final day on the Potomac River in the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-top-10-patterns-from-the-potomac-river

Top 10 Patterns from the Potomac River

Clark Wendlandt didn’t pull off any secret techniques to win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. He simply found an area with the right quality of bass to win and managed it perfectly despite facing a medley of Mother Nature’s toughest challenges. The rest of the top 10 stuck with the standard Potomac targets too, namely grass, docks and wood cover. The only underlying trend of the top 10 is that they found areas to themselves. Here’s how the rest of the top 10 got it done at the 2015 Tour finale. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-potomac-river-day-4-coverage

Potomac River Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on the Potomac River presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-27-wendlandt-receives-helping-hand

Wendlandt Receives Helping Hand

Not to discredit Clark Wendlandt’s skills as a bass fisherman, but if it wasn’t for an extreme act of kindness on the part of fellow competitor Shin Fukae, Wendlandt wouldn’t be where he is this evening – leading through three days of competition at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-27-top-5-patterns-from-potomac-river-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Potomac River Day 3

Pouring rain, gusting winds, a remarkable act of kindness, an Angler of the Year title on the line – day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River certainly was not boring. To say the top 20 anglers were waterlogged after Saturday would be any understatement, but as nasty as the weather was, it wasn’t the biggest story of the day. Shinichi Fukae generously helped Clark Wendlandt retain his lead, while Scott Martin sealed the deal on his first AOY title. Meanwhile, a number of other anglers scrambled to adjust with what the weather and the Potomac are throwing at them. Here’s how the rest of the top five caught their fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-27-potomac-river-day-3-coverage

Potomac River Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on the Potomac River presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-26-wendlandt-in-familiar-territory

Wendlandt in Familiar Territory

A lot of flip-flopping took place on the second day of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. When the scale closed, it was three-time Tour Angler of the Year Clark Wendlandt who found himself on top with a two-day total of 32 pounds, 10 ounces. Wendlandt caught 17-13 today – the day’s second-heaviest limit – and leads Potomac local Bryan Schmitt by 1-12 going into the weekend. Wendlandt missed part of last season after suffering a heart attack but has rebounded with good success this season. He has won three times on Tour but hasn’t finished in first place since Beaver Lake in 2001. Details to come on the patterns of the top five. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-26-potomac-river-day-2-coverage

Potomac River Day 2 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Chickamauga presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-jersey-boy-leads-the-pack

Jersey Boy Leads the Pack

Talk about a traffic jam. And, no, we’re not talking about the streets around the Washington, D.C. area. We’re talking about the standings at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. Adrian “Jersey Boy” Avena leads the way with a 16-pound, 12-ounce limit, but a total of 41 pros weighed in at least 12 pounds. Many pros lamented the tough bite today, but the results say otherwise as 114 limits were brought to the scale on the pro side. Troy Morrow trails Avena by just 1-06, and 1 ounce behind Morrow is one of the most successful tidewater bass anglers of all time, Bryan Schmitt. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-top-5-patterns-from-potomac-river-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Potomac River Day 1

It might seem impossible for 405 miles of water to fish small, but space was hard to come by on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. The creeks near takeoff at Smallwood State Park have seen as much traffic as a Washington, D.C. highway at rush hour. On the flip side, anglers who were able to develop patterns that got them away from the crowds, such as day-one leader Adrian Avena, have been able to reap the benefits of what has been a stingy fishery. Here’s how the rest of the pros in the top five caught their fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-aoy-shake-up-martin-makes-his-move

AOY Shake-Up: Martin Makes His Move

Scott Martin has been talking about winning the Angler of the Year title since before the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour season started. It’s on his mind and for good reason: Angler of the Year is the only major FLW title he hasn’t won in what Martin has built into one of the most decorated professional fishing careers in FLW Tour history. Today, on the first day of competition at the Tour finale on the Potomac River, Martin has unofficially moved into the lead in the AOY race for the first time all season. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-potomac-river-day-1-coverage

Potomac River Day 1 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Chickamauga presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-20-richardson-wins-all-american

Richardson Wins All-American

Curtis Richardson has a way of surprising people – even himself. The Ontario angler had all but written himself off in the championship round of the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American, thinking his limit of five bass wouldn’t hold up for long with the likes of Jeremy Lawyer and Bill Schroeder breathing down his neck. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-20-all-american-midday-update-day-3

All-American Midday Update Day 3

Big changes might be coming in the standings of the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American on Kentucky Lake, as some of the top 10 leaders struggled this morning to catch limits. Canadian angler Curtis Richardson, who currently is leading, had only one 3-pound keeper by midmorning. And second-place boater Billy Schroeder, who had fished just below the Paris Landing Bridge for the first two days, finally bailed out from there after catching four keepers this morning. READ MORE »