UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Champlain

Stick Tracy

Pro Tracy Adams of Wilkesboro, N.C., earned a hard-fought victory and $100,000 Saturday on Lake Champlain in the final FLW Tour qualifier of 2006.

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. - While many of the top pros at Lake Champlain this week were scouring the flats looking for spawning smallmouths to catch, Tracy Adams turned his eyes toward the bank and its quarry of big largemouths to win the $100,000 Pro Division title at the final regular-season stop of the 2006 Wal-Mart FLW Tour. Trailing leader Dion Hibdon by just 2 ounces coming into Saturday, Adams caught the day's heaviest five-bass limit - 17 pounds, 11 ounces - and defeated runner-up Kevin Vida by just under a pound and a half. Adams totaled a winning 34-7 in the two-day final round and Vida 33-1. Hibdon, who caught the heaviest stringers each of the first three days, fell off his pace Saturday, caught a limit weighing just 14-5 and finished third with a final weight total of 31-3. Adams was part of the contingent of anglers who braved the hour-long run to the south end of Lake Champlain each day to fish for largemouth bass. All four days, while many pros stayed on the upper end of the lake sight-fishing for smallies, Tracy went down to Ticonderoga, N.Y., to fish grass and milfoil for summer-pattern largemouths. The plan worked, too, not just for Adams, but for fellow finalists Hibdon and Curt Lytle. However, weather conditions changed the final two days. The wind switched, coming out of the north, and that altered the feeding habits of the fish on the south end. The first two days, Adams had been able to work the grass mats and catch fish with ease on his main bait, a green-pumpkin Zoom brush hog, but Friday and Saturday the bite tended to taper off when the north wind picked up later in the morning. Pro Tracy Adams of Wilkesboro, N.C., five largemouth bass weighing 17 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday and won with a two-day total of 34-7."I was in the grass about 8 feet deep all week, and they quit biting about 9 o'clock every day," the pro from Wilkesboro, N.C., said. "I knew I had to do something if I was going to win, so after getting my limit in the grass early today, I picked up a jig and started flipping willow trees in about 2 feet of water." When he decided to go shallow, Adams had a limit in the livewell, but it weighed just 10 or 11 pounds - nothing close to a winning weight. Flipping his 3/8-ounce, black-and-blue Hotshot Lure jig with a sapphire-blue Zoom Super Chunk trailer, however, he was able pluck some good 3- and 4-pounders out of the flooded willows close to the bank. He caught some 15 keeper largemouths Saturday, including a kicker fish he estimated at around 4 pounds, 2 ounces, and culled up to his moneymaking weight. The veteran Adams utilized one of the lake variables this week that many pros talked about coming into the event. The water level on big Lake Champlain was much higher than the anglers had seen in tournaments past, about four or five feet, and that turned out to be the winner's salvation when that north wind picked up speed Saturday morning. Tracy Adams takes home his first FLW Tour trophy, at Lake Champlain, after 10 years on tour."Those willows wouldn't have been in the water if the lake hadn't been up," Adams said. "So that definitely helped." This was Adams' first victory on the FLW Tour, and it was a long time coming. He's fished the tour since its inception in 1996 and has four prior top-10 finishes to his name - including a runner-up - but victory had eluded him until his fifth trip to the finals this week. "Man, it feels pretty good. It just kind of feels like, finally, it happened," he said. "It just shows you how hard it is to win with 200 guys out there. I mean, the competition is just so strong." Pro Kevin Vida of Clare, Mich., caught 17 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday, the second-heaviest limit of the day, and his second-place final total weight was 33-1.Vida strong on smallies, comes up short Vida caught a hefty sack of smallmouths that, fishing a green-pumpkin Mizmo tube, he picked off from spawning beds up north on the flats. His catch Saturday - 17 pounds, 4 ounces - was the second-heaviest of the day, and his second-place final total weight of 33-1 earned him $36,000. "I had a great day today. I couldn't do anything wrong. I had my limit within the first 25 minutes, and I just went up to the north end and caught them all day long," the pro from Clare, Mich., said. "This is, no doubt, the best all-around fishing lake in the country, and not just for bass. Everybody here is very lucky to have what you have, so please take care of it." Third-place pro Dion Hibdon of Stover, Mo., caught 10 bass weighing 31-3 in the finals. His limit Saturday weighed 14-5.Hibdon runs out of big ones, takes third Like Adams, Hibdon's largemouth efforts down at Ticonderoga fell off after the first two days. However, he didn't quite adjust as well as the winner, and Hibdon finished third, collecting $25,000. "I just never had a big one bite me today," said Hibdon, who stuck to pitching a Lucky Strike jig with a Guido's Bug trailer in the grass. "With that north wind, they just don't like it very good after 9 o'clock, so the last two days were pretty frustrating for me. But I had a great week, and I'm tickled to death." Fourth-place pro Scott Martin of Clewiston, Fla., caught 10 bass weighing 30-9 in the finals at Lake Champlain.Martin catches largemouths, takes fourth The defending FLW Tour Lake Champlain champion from 2004, Scott Martin of Clewiston, Fla., rallied with a 16-pound, 14-ounce limit Saturday but could only muster a fourth-place finish. His final-round weight was 30 pounds, 9 ounces, and he earned $20,000. "I went south today. I couldn't believe it. I found those fish, like, eight days ago, and I didn't think they'd be there with all the people that have been fishing out there this week," said Martin, who weighed in his first pair of largemouth bass of the week Saturday. "That's the first largemouth I've weighed in in three events here, but I told them I'd catch a largemouth today." Fifth-place pro Shinichi Fukae of Mineola, Texas, caught 10 bass weighing 30-3 in Lake ChamplainFukae finesses to fifth Shinichi Fukae of Mineola, Texas, finesse-fished his way into a 15-pound, 12-ounce limit Saturday and finished the finals in fifth place with a total weight of 30-3. He earned $18,000. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pro finishers in FLW Tour competition at Lake Champlain: 6th: Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Mich., 29-8, $17,000 7th: Thomas Lavictoire of West Rutland, Vt., 28-0, $16,000 8th: Keith Williams of Conway, Ark., 24-12, $15,000 9th: Jerry Williams of Conway, Ark., 21-9, $14,000 10th: Curt Lytle of Zuni, Va., 13-2, $13,000 Flanked by his wife, Kristin, and his fellow pro anglers, Anthony Gagliardi accepts $25,000 from Land OFinal standings update With the FLW Tour regular season at a close, Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, S.C., officially won the pro standings and the 2006 Land O'Lakes Angler of the Year award with 1,025 points. Matt Herren of Trussville, Ala., was second with 1,002 points and Jim Moynagh of Carver, Minn., third with 985. Onto the championship The next Wal-Mart FLW Tour event is the FLW Tour Championship, scheduled for Logan Martin Lake at Birmingham, Ala., Aug. 2-5. The top 48 pros and co-anglers in the year-end standings will compete for a $1.5 million purse. The pros are gunning for a half-million-dollar winner's payout at the championship.

Tags: headline-story  jeff-schroeder 

/news/2015-07-30-cioppa-leads-on-champlain

Cioppa Leads On Champlain

David Cioppa of Hopkinton, Mass., weighed 22 pounds, 13 ounces late in the weigh-in to grab the lead after the first day of the Rayovac FLW Series event on Lake Champlain. Cioppa weighed all largemouths and says that he caught the entirety of his weight by about 9 a.m. from one location in the northern end of the lake. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-30-top-5-patterns-from-champlain-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Champlain Day 1

Lake Champlain was rough and wild on day one of the Rayovac FLW Series event presented by Plano, and a bunch of the anglers still got it done in a big way. David Cioppa caught largemouths in the Inland Sea, but the rest of the top guys spread out all over the massive lake. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-30-champlain-midday-update-day-1

Champlain Midday Update Day 1

Takeoff was placid enough, with a beautiful sunrise and a light breeze in the slightly protected corner that is Plattsburgh. By about 6:30 a.m., day one of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Plano on Lake Champlain was already beginning to get rough. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-21-top-picks-from-icast

Top Picks From ICAST

A few days of walking the floor at ICAST is enough to exhaust a body, but it isn’t enough to know exactly what’s worthwhile. For that, you need some time to reflect and probably a few tournament seasons to fly by to see what rises up. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-renfrew-fished-to-win

Renfrew Fished to Win

Ian Renfrew of Phoenix, New York, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Northeast Division tournament on Oneida Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Renfrew earned $4,695. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-docks-and-rocks-key-for-synders

Docks and Rocks Key for Synders

Rus Snyders of Nashville, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Music City Division tournament on Old Hickory Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Snyders earned $2,703. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-jig-crankbait-carry-powroznik

Jig, Crankbait Carry Powroznik

Ryan Powroznik of Prince George, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division tournament on the James River. For his victory, Powroznik earned $7,507. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-persistence-pays-for-arning

Persistence Pays for Arning

Ray Arning Jr. of Walnut Hill, Illinois, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Illini Division tournament on Rend Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Arning earned $5,804. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-17-new-rod-roundup

New Rod Roundup

Rod companies continue to impress each year with a new crop of lighter, faster and more affordable (sweet!) rods. On the subject of price, these days, a tournament pro or an average angler could be fishing with rods that cost less than $100 apiece, but without giving up anything in the realm of quality. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-17-new-terminal-tackle

New Terminal Tackle

Don’t skimp where it counts the most – terminal tackle. Hooks, weights, jigheads and the like are the keys to taking all those new soft baits and swimbaits to the fish, hooking them and getting them in the boat. Here’s the best stuff we saw on the floor at ICAST 2015. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-flw-announces-2016-tour-schedule

FLW Announces 2016 Tour Schedule

FLW announced the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour regular-season schedule today in a live press conference held at the 2015 ICAST show in Orlando, Fla. With the help of six veteran Tour pros, the company unveiled each of the six events, one-by-one, to a crowd of observers gathered around the FLW booth. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-6-new-reels-to-try

6 New Reels to Try

Whether you need to replace an old reel or you’re just looking to add to the arsenal, here are some of the latest and greatest from ICAST. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-6-new-lines-from-icast-2015

6 New Lines from ICAST 2015

Line might just be the most important part of the package when it comes to landing fish. From presenting the bait to getting them in the net, your line is involved the entire way. If you’re looking for something new to try, the following lines are worth a shot. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-icast-best-of-show-winners-

ICAST Best Of Show Winners

One of the highlights of ICAST is the annual “Best of Show” awards. Not everything at ICAST is of interest to bass anglers, but the below might end up being staples for a long time to come. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-10-new-frogs-and-toads

10 New Frogs and Toads

These days, frogs and toads aren’t just mimicking frogs and toads. They’re designed to be perfect imitations of rats, bream and various oddball creatures. New models at ICAST this season offer anglers some of these “alternative” species, as well as new sizes, colors, action types and degrees of realism. Here are 10 new models that we feel are of greatest interest. Click here for complete 2015 ICAST coverage. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-7-terrific-topwater-baits

7 Terrific Topwater Baits

If you don’t like fishing topwater, just give up fishing already. These seven new baits will help you get your surface-fishing fix next season. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-critters-and-craws

Critters and Craws

Nearly everyone already has a tackle box overflowing with soft baits. That said, there are always more to try. If you’re looking for something new, the following might do the trick. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-new-hard-baits-for-2015

New Hard Baits for 2015

It doesn’t take long to find yourself overwhelmed on the show floor of ICAST. Hundreds of companies are here unveiling cool, new products. When it comes to the hard bait category it can be daunting to sift through all the new stuff. Its early, but here are a few things that might be worth adding to the tackle box. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-icast-2015-fishing-accessories

ICAST 2015 Fishing Accessories

Check out these tools and accessory items that fill a variety of roles when on the water. We’ll update the list later tomorrow too. Click here for complete 2015 ICAST coverage. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-cool-new-electronics-at-icast-2015

Cool New Electronics at ICAST 2015

These days, anglers rely on cutting edge electronic devices not only to find and catch fish, but also to share their fishing experiences with the world. The following new products, as seen on day one at ICAST 2015, will help you do all of the above. READ MORE »