UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

It’s Knapp time again

Pro Jason Knapp of Uniontown, Pa., caught a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 38 pounds, 6 ounces to win the EverStart Series Northeast Division event on Lake Champlain.

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: jeff-schroeder  headline-story  2005-09-14-lake-champlain 

/news/2016-07-29-two-for-one

Two for One

The sibling partnership has done that with staggering ability. The two have a practice system in place that, while simple, has generated success north to south. That system, and the teamwork that makes it possible, is about to get its greatest test this week at Wheeler Lake. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-28-early-reports-from-wheeler

Early Reports from Wheeler

Starting this Sunday, the 50 Forrest Wood Cup competitors will hit Wheeler Lake bright and early for the first of three days of official practice. It’ll be the first time the anglers have been allowed on the Tennessee River reservoir since the pre-practice cut off date of July 17. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-27-celebs-seminars-on-deck-for-the-cup

Celebs, Seminars on Deck for the Cup

The 2016 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart in Huntsville, Ala., on Aug. 4-7 will be crawling with some of the best bass anglers in the industry – both active pros and bassin’ legends. Fans in attendance will have the opportunity to personally wish their favorite anglers good luck before takeoff, snag a picture and an autograph from an industry superstar, or sit in on a seminar. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-27-bass-and-bbq-festival-set-for-forrest-wood-cup-expo

Bass and BBQ Festival set for Forrest Wood Cup Expo

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – FLW is adding some Alabama flavor to the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup with its Bass & BBQ Festival as part of the FLW Expo outside the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama, August 6 and 7. The BBQ Festival, presented by WQRV 100.3 The River, will feature four award-winning BBQ teams offering delicious fare to visitors at the Forrest Wood Cup. A portion of all... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-27-bk-s-year-as-the-champ

BK’s Year as the Champ

Brad Knight plans on getting a good night’s sleep before this year’s Forrest Wood Cup on Wheeler Lake begins on Aug. 4. Sounds pretty straightforward, but there have been times during the past 12 months when dozing off wasn’t so easy for the defending Cup champion. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-top-10-patterns-from-the-1000-islands

Top 10 Patterns from the 1000 Islands

High wind and fluctuating water temperatures made things a little difficult for the anglers, but the top-10 pros adapted and utilized the whole playing field to exploit everything from deep smallmouth to shallow largemouth. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-mccartney-o-keefe-tie-for-win-at-flw-bass-fishing-league-great-lakes-division-event-on-mississippi-river-presented-by-navionics

McCartney, O’Keefe Tie For Win at FLW Bass Fishing League Great Lakes Division Event on Mississippi River Presented By Navionics

LA CROSSE, Wis. (July 25, 2016) – Mark McCartney of Davis Junction, Illinois, and Nick O’Keefe of La Crosse, Wisconsin, each weighed three bass totaling 11 pounds even, Saturday to win the third FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament of 2016 on the Mississippi... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-mccartney-o-keefe-tie-on-the-mighty-miss

McCartney, O'Keefe tie on the Mighty Miss

Mark McCartney of Davis Junction, Illinois, and Nick O’Keefe of La Crosse, Wisconsin, each weighed three bass totaling 11 pounds even, Saturday to win the third FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament of 2016 on the Mississippi River presented by Navionics. For his win, McCartney earned $5,540 after bonuses, and O’Keefe took home $3,540. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-country-music-superstar-dustin-lynch-to-perform-free-concert-in-huntsville-presented-by-wdrm-102-1

Country Music Superstar Dustin Lynch to perform Free Concert In Huntsville presented by WDRM 102.1

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Country music superstar Dustin Lynch will perform a free concert on the Walmart weigh-in stage at the Propst Arena in the Von Braun Center in Huntsville on Sunday, August 7, starting at 4 p.m., prior to the final weigh-in of the world championship of professional bass fishing, the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart. The concert is presented by WDRM... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-canterbury-s-next-challenge-

Canterbury’s Next Challenge

At the time of writing, Canterbury had been picked by every pundit and 50 percent of players overall, which is a decent bump over Morgan at 47 percent. The dollars attached obviously make a difference, but there’s no doubt that everyone expects great things. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-jay-kendrick-the-rookie-

Jay Kendrick – The “Rookie”

A rookie by designation if not by experience, Forrest Wood Cup contender Jay Kendrick finished 34th in the standings in his first year on the Walmart FLW Tour to clinch a spot in the championship. What makes it even more fortuitous for him is that because the Cup is taking place on Wheeler Lake, he’ll be able to stay at his own house for the event, which is just about 30 minutes from takeoff at Ditto Landing. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-fan-freebies-and-contests-at-the-cup

Fan Freebies and Contests at the Cup

One pro angler is going to win $300,000 at the Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart Aug. 4-7 on Wheeler Lake in Huntsville, Ala. That’s good for him. For fans, the chance to win is pretty good too. FLW and its partners and sponsors have lined up a sweet selection of giveaway prizes for the Cup and the accompanying FLW Expo, ranging from a tricked-out bass boat to a fishing trip with Jimmy Houston. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-24-1000-islands-top-10-baits

1000 Islands Top 10 Baits

The top pros from the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands kept it pretty simple to catch both largemouths and smallmouths from this massive fishery that includes the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Drop-shots, spinnerbaits and jigs all saw action and got it done from the lake to the river. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-24-penn-state-taps-docks-at-chautauqua-

Penn State Taps Docks at Chautauqua

The Penn State University duo of Clayton Frey of York, Pennsylvania, and Derek Horner, of State College, Pennsylvania, won the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event at Chautauqua Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and qualified the team for the 2017 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-thompson-co-angler-champ-on-1000-islands

Thompson Co-angler Champ on 1000 Islands

The 1000 Islands is a great place to take a vacation, especially if you are from the south and want to escape the heat. That is exactly what co-angler Joe Thompson of Clayton, Ga., did and wound up capturing the top spot in the co-angler division bringing home a Ranger Z117 with a 90 hp motor. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-penn-state-university-wins-flw-college-fishing-northern-conference-event-on-chautauqua-lake

Penn State University wins FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Event on Chautauqua Lake

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. – The Penn State University duo of Clayton Frey of York, Pennsylvania, and Derek Horner, of State College, Pennsylvania, won the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event at Chautauqua Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and qualified the team for the 2017 FLW College Fishing National... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-michigan-s-dobson-leads-wire-to-wire-wins-costa-flw-series-event-at-1000-islands-presented-by-mercury

Michigan’s Dobson leads wire-to-wire, wins Costa FLW Series Event at 1000 Islands presented by Mercury

CLAYTON, N.Y. – Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Michigan, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event at 1000 Islands presented by Mercury with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 68 pounds, 8 ounces. For his win, Dobson earned $82,669, including a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-dobson-dominates-1000-islands

Dobson Dominates 1000 Islands

Scott Dobson didn’t expect it to come so quickly, but 30 minutes is all it took for him to find the winning pattern during his first day of practice for the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands. That pattern would lead him to three consecutive limits of more than 20 pounds, including today’s final-round bag worth 21-12 – the day’s biggest limit, yet his smallest of the tournament. His three-day total weight of 68-8 earned him a check for more than $37,000 along with a Ranger Z518C with a 200-hp engine for being Ranger Cup qualified. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-1000-islands-top-5-patterns-day-2

1000 Islands Top 5 Patterns Day 2

Strong winds limited competition to only the St. Lawrence River on day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands, but that was no problem for the majority of the top 10. Even though most of them fished Lake Ontario on day one, they were able to adjust and stay on the fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-dobson-extends-lead-at-1000-islands

Dobson Extends Lead at 1000 Islands

A windy day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on the 1000 Islands didn’t stop day-one leader Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Mich., from sacking up the biggest bag of the day. Dobson threw down an impressive 22-pound, 3-ounce limit to extend his lead to 5 pounds over Cal Climpson – a noted Lake Ontario maestro. Dobson’s two-day total stands at 46-12, and with lighter winds tomorrow some big bags are expected. READ MORE »