Lavictoire extends Champlain lead

Day-one leader Thomas Lavictoire Jr maintained his position for a second day on Lake Champlain.

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. - You'll often hear anglers say "Wind is your friend," because moving air masses move the water, oxygenate the shallows, position baitfish and make bass easier to target. But just like that friend who overstays his welcome, raids your fridge and leaves his socks on the couch, too much wind can become a hindrance. That's what happened to a lot of anglers on day two of the FLW EverStart Series Northern Division tournament on Lake Champlain. Following a nearly flat-calm opening day, this long and narrow lake straddling the New York-Vermont border saw big winds of 30-plus knots building ahead of the approaching storm system that would drench Plattsburgh a few hours after the weigh-ins. Fortunately, Champlain offers many leeward banks, islands and protected coves; but when your main deal sits right in the wind, it's tough seeing the game plan blow away like dry maple leaves. Day-one pro leader Tom Lavictoire Jr., of West Rutland, Vt., faced just such frustrations, but he persevered and held onto the top spot with a limit that weighed 18-2. Adding that to his first-day's Thomas Lavictoire Jr said he struggled with the wind on day two.weight of 20-4 gave him 38-6 and a margin of 2-10. "It was a very different day," Lavictoire said. "Yesterday, I caught 80; today I caught 25. It was a hard blow and I lost 3-4 of my prime spots to the wind and the mud." Lavictoire, who returned to the Ticonderoga area at the lake's south end today, said he countered the wind's influence by moving around more and managing his time with a healthy dose of discernment. "Instead of spending a half an hour or 40 minutes on any of those spots today, I spent a grand total of 5-10 minutes," he said. "If it didn't look right or if it was muddy, I left. I'm running different places; I have a spot way down south by Benson Landing that's producing for me. "It might look easy for me out there, but it's not. I struggled to get quality bites today. I had four quality ones today and I culled a fish late in the day next to the boat ramp that helped me with another half a pound." As he did on day one, Lavictoire caught his fish by flipping and pitching into the shallow grass for which Ticonderoga (aka "Ti") is known. He's using a jig and an undisclosed Texas-rigged bait that he said is playing a key role in his program. Thomas Lavictoire Jr reaches into his bag to retrieve a pair of photo fish."I'm just power fishing with heavy stuff," Lavictoire said. "I have two rods on the deck and when they bite, it's either a pound-and-a-half or it's 3 1/2-4 1/2 pounds. You have to go through a lot of them to get to the (quality fish). "The thing that scared me today was that the mid-range fish weren't biting - the 2 1/2- to 3, 3 ¼-pound fish. I didn't catch a lot of those and a lot of my areas down there are pretty much blown out." Lavictoire said he's committed to fishing Ti in Saturday's final round. The weather forecast calls for much lighter winds, but with 20-plus year of fishing Champlain, he knows it's never a cake walk. "There are so many variables where I'm going and the first thing is the weather and you're mechanical stuff," he said. "You have to get down to Ticonderoga and you have to get back from Ticonderoga. It's a 66-mile shot one way. Your (outboard) motor has to run, you're trolling motor has to run, you have to catch them and your fish have to stay alive. There's so much that has to come together. "My friends and I always talk about the 'Ticonderoga Curse.' You can go down there and catch 18-20 pounds or you can catch 10 or 12 pounds. I just hope that doesn't happen to me tomorrow." Grigsby improves to second Keystone Light pro Chad Grigsby also made the run to Ti and found another strong limit that raised Keystone Light pro Chad Grigsby moved up to second on day two.him from third place to second on day two. He weighed 18-3 on day one and added 17-9 today for a total weight of 35-12. The Maple Grove, Minn. pro said his transit to and from Ti was not unbearable, but the west wind certainly impeded his fishing. "It wasn't bad this morning and it really wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be coming back this afternoon," he said. "(Fishing) was hard for me because I'm pinpointing little holes in the grass. Two of my areas are right in the wind and I'm throwing a light rig to get it where I want it and be able to feel the bite." Grigsby caught his fish on a Texas-rigged Senko fitted with a 5/0 Strike King Hack Attack flipping hook and a 3/16-ounce tungsten weight. After struggling with the wind for most of his day, he located a semi-protected spot with good grass beds and ended up doing his best work there. "I had looked at this place in practice but I hadn't fished it," Grigsby said. "I fished it today and I caught a 4-pounder and two 3's. I culled out everything but one in the last half hour. I want to fish that spot tomorrow for more than 45 minutes to see what potential there is there." Lefebre goes to third Frosted Flakes pro  Dave Lefebre caught most of his quality fish on a crankbait today.Although day one was much calmer, Frosted Flakes pro Dave Lefebre suffered from the ill effects of declining water level. He burned a couple of hours trying to make a shallow spot work, but today, he went right to where he needed to be and made better use of his time by fishing deeper grass "I went right to where I was catching them yesterday," Lefebre said. "Looking back, the only thing I did wrong was I left too early. I couldn't really tell which direction the wind was blowing and I thought it might be super bad coming back, but I got back with an hour and a half to spare." Getting right on his productive scenario - Ti grass beds - Lefebre had time to mix up his presentations. He caught fish by flipping and pitching the same Texas-rigged baits he used on day one, but he found the fish were liking a new crankbait model. "I was throwing a crankbait that I know nobody has because it's a brand-new thing," Lefebre said. "There's a lot of pressure where I'm fishing so having something a little different was the key." Lefebre said he caught about 30 fish today. Four of his limit fish came on the crank. His day-two bag of 17-7 lifted him to third place with 35-4. Schwenkbeck slips to fourth Darrin Schwenkbeck, of Keeseville, N.Y. slipped two spots to fourth on day two with 32-11. He's Fourth-place pro Darrin Schwenkbeck focused his day-two efforts on smallmouth. fishing the north end of Champlain, and found today's wind extremely limiting. "I was handcuffed and strapped down today," Schwenkbeck said. "I stayed in one little area and once I had (the fish I weighed), I couldn't upgrade. I made one small run to a place where I had found a 3 1/2-pound largemouth in practice in a patch of reeds. I didn't catch anything and when I looked out in the lake, I knew I couldn't go anywhere." Targeting strictly smallmouth, Schwenkbeck threw a Spro McStick jerkbait in the clown color. He likes to fish this bait aggressively, but with frequent long pauses. This technique, he said, was tough in the blustery conditions. "It's hard to feel your bait in the wind," he said. "The technique I use is very specific and you really need to sense what's going on with your bait. With that wind, it's hard because you have too much slack line." Wood makes big move to fifth Fifth-place pro Joseph Wood moved up from 26th on day two.Securing his final round berth in dramatic fashion, Joseph Wood, of Westport, Mass., sacked up 16-1 on day two and climbed 21 spots to place fifth with 31-11. Focusing on smallmouth in the lake's north end, he also found the wind impeding his technique. "I did the same thing I did yesterday, although today I was limited to one area and I just pounded it," Wood said. Fishing over grass-strewn rocks in 8-15 feet, Wood caught his fish on a dropshot and a Carolina rig with a Zoom lizard. Best of the rest Rounding out the top-10 pro leaders at the EverStart Series Lake Champlain event: 6th: Bryan Labelle, of Hinesburg, Vt., 31-10 7th: Aaron Hastings, of Middletown, Md., 31-10 8th: Rob Digh, of Denver, N.C., 31-5 9th: Todd Brunelle, of Milton, Vt., 31-3 10th: Dave Wolak, of Wake Forest, N.C., 31-2 Garry Woodruff took Big Bass honors with a 5-pound, 5-ounce largemouth. Giannini expands co-angler lead to 2 1/2 pounds Making his EverStart debut, Robert Giannini, of Rochester, Ma., not only maintained his lead for a Co-angler  Robert Giannini expanded his lead on day two.second day; he extended his advantage from a whisper-thin day-one margin of 4 ounces to a meatier 2-pound, 8-ounces on day two. Pairing his first-round weight of 16-8 with 13-3, Giannini heads into Saturday's final round with 29-11. Today's windy conditions prompted Giannini and his pro partner to head in about an hour early, but the short day didn't seem to hurt the top co-angler. That's because he got off to a quick start and pretty much had his deal sewn up a couple of hours after takeoff. "My boater put me on smallmouth so I could get a quick limit," Gianninin said. "He knew roughly what I needed to make the top-10, so he took me to one of his spots and let me catch what I needed to catch. "I got my limit and then we went flipping for largemouth. I couldn't upgrade by flipping, but I had my weight by 8:20." Same as day one, Giannini caught his fish on a dropshot with a black worm. He found his bites on a deeply sloping bank in 8-25 feet of water. "Some of them were up tight; some of them were out deep," Giannini said. "The bigger ones were out deeper." In second place, Edward Jaskolski, of Dudley, Ma., had 27-3, while Jason Bezio, of Plattsburgh, N.Y., placed third with 26-12. In fourth place, Dick Gum, of Woodbridge, Va. had 26-11 and Bryan New, of Belmont, N.C. took fifth with 26-7. Best of the rest Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers leaders at the EverStart Series Lake Champlain event: 6th: Frank Miller, of West. Nanticoke, Pa., 26-6 7th: Scott Shafer, of Glenville, N.Y., 26-4 8th: Andy Dick, of Wilmington, Del., 25-12 9th: Darren Carlson, of Penfield, Pa., 25-10 10th: Lenny Baird, of Stafford, Va., 25-10 Day three of EverStart Series Northern Division action on Lake Champlain continues at Friday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 5:30 a.m. (Eastern) at the Dock Street Landing in Plattsburgh, N.Y.

Tags: headline-story 

/news/2015-04-19-top-10-patterns-from-lake-murray

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Murray

As contestants in the FLW College Fishing National Championship on Lake Murray discovered last week, fishing the blueback herring spawn can be backbreaking work. All that stooping over to grab a different rig to cast at bass busting their favorite forage, and then quickly straightening, is hard on the old spinal column. Flexing up and down is what it took to contend in the championship, however, as bass couldn’t make up their minds whether they wanted their grub served on the surface or closer to the bottom. Typically, the collegians were fan-casting Carolina rigs, umbrella rigs, hard jerkbaits and even crankbaits to likely looking points and broad flats. Sometimes they caught fish with such random prospecting, but perhaps more bass were taken when anglers found themselves within casting distance of blowups and were quick enough to grab a soft jerkbait rig or topwater lure and virtually spoon-feed it to the fish. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-18-gamecocks-win-college-title

Gamecocks Win College Title

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-18-gamecocks-win-national-title

Gamecocks Win National Title

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-18-hallman-prevails-on-grand

Hallman Prevails On Grand

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-18-lake-murray-midday-update-day-3

Lake Murray Midday Update Day 3

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-17-top-5-patterns-from-grand-lake-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake Day 2

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-17-college-championship-race-tightens

College Championship Race Tightens

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-17-hallman-out-front

Hallman Out Front

Spawning bite continues to produce for the anglers in the Rayovac FLW Series event on Grand Lake. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-17-lake-murray-midday-update-day-2

Lake Murray Midday Update Day 2

The air temperature reached a high of 53 degrees here yesterday, which tied a record for the coolest high temperature for that date. Apparently, the short-lived cold snap also had a chilling effect on the fishing at Lake Murray this morning, as several competitors in the FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance Insight Genesis College Cup reported meager results. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-16-liberty-leads-college-championship

Liberty Leads College Championship

A 22-pound, 2-ounce stringer anchored by a 7-pound, 9-ounce largemouth boosted Liberty University’s Travis Rulle and Caleb Eppler into the opening-round lead of the FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance Insight Genesis College Cup here on Lake Murray. Rulle and Eppler were the last anglers to weigh in on day one, and their five-fish limit gave them a lead of more than 3 pounds ahead of Eastern Kentucky University veterans Kyler Raymer and Ethan Snyder, who had 18-15. The surprise team of the tournament so far is Colorado Mesa University’s Josh Worth and Kennedy Kinkade, who brought in 18-10 despite never having fished east of the Mississippi River before. Worth and Kinkade are in third place, followed by Cade Laufenberg and Wyatt Stout of Winona State University, and Benn Curry and Tim Ward of Auburn University, both teams with 17-8. Lamar University’s Cameron Lafleur and Justin Royal in 10th place set the cut mark at 16-8. The entire field will fish again tomorrow, and only the top 10 based on two-day cumulative weight will fish in Saturday’s final round. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-16-castledine-stands-tall-on-grand

Castledine Stands Tall On Grand

Day one of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Power-Pole on Grand Lake produced stunning weights. With “thousands” of bass on the beds, the pros brought in a total of exactly 2,240 pounds and it took 16 pounds to make the top 60. Rising above the crowd was Nacogdoches, Texas, pro Todd Castledine, renowned for his prowess in Texas, the sight-fishing master cracked 23 pounds, 13 ounces and leads second-place pro Jonathan Henry by 1 pound, 6 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-16-top-5-patterns-from-grand-lake-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake Day 1

The first day of the Rayovac FLW Series Central Division tournament was all about the sight-bite – from day-one leader Todd Castledine on down. The event, presented by Power-Pole and hosted by the Grand Lake Association, undoubtedly featured other patterns, but every angler who did well relied in large part on bedding bass. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-16-lake-murray-midday-update-day-1

Lake Murray Midday Update Day 1

With precipitation ranging from an incessant mist to torrential downpours sweeping the area throughout the morning, the odds favored a slow start to the FLW College Fishing National Championship being presented by the Lowrance Insight Genesis College Cup here on Lake Murray. As it turns out, however, the bass apparently liked the extra water and reacted accordingly. A number of the teams that found prime spawning areas for blueback herring in practice earlier this week returned on day one and were rewarded with limit catches of largemouths and spots by midmorning. Among them was the local favorite, the University of South Carolina, which reportedly had culled up to about 13 pounds by 11 a.m. Likewise, the Oregon State University was sitting on about 15 pounds and had culled five times. Tanner Masters and Wyatt Ryan of East Central University (of Oklahoma) caught their limit fishing seawalls and riprapped banks during the sporadic herring spawns that fired up as soon as boats reached their first fishing destinations. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-hanselman-wins-back-to-back

Hanselman Wins Back-to-Back

Once you get Ray Hanselman going, just get out of his way. The Del Rio, Texas, pro is riding an incredible high right now after sewing up his second consecutive Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division win. Hanselman won the opener on Lake Amistad in February, then backed it up this week with a win on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in an event presented by Mercury. For his final-day limit, Hanselman plowed deep into Rayburn’s flooded cover to track down a five-bass limit worth 16 pounds, 10 ounces, raising his three-day total to 60-08 for a win by more than 7 pounds. For his efforts, Hanselman earned a cool $35,815 check and another trophy to add to his mantle. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-white-takes-bragging-rights-on-kentucky-lake-

White Takes Bragging Rights on Kentucky Lake

GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. – Joe White of Princeton, Kentucky, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 23 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League LBL Division tournament of 2015 on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. For his victory, White earned $5,014. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-taylor-targets-bluebacks-for-hartwell-win

Taylor Targets Bluebacks for Hartwell Win

ANDERSON, S.C. – Brock Taylor of Pendleton, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 1 ounce Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Savannah River Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Hartwell. For his victory, Taylor earned $4,830. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-chenoweth-wins-on-kerr

Chenoweth Wins on Kerr

HENDERSON, N.C. – Rick Chenoweth of Fredericksburg, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division tournament of 2015 on Kerr Lake. For his victory, Chenoweth earned $5,241. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-rayburn-day-3-midday-update

Rayburn Day 3 Midday Update

A chilly morning greeted the top 10 pros and co-anglers for the final day of Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division competition on Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Mercury, but a warm sunrise filtered by scattered clouds bespoke the gorgeous conditions forthcoming. Winds have dropped off to barely a breeze, main-lake running is easy, and the coves and creeks where most anglers are fishing are glassy smooth. Fish surely pulled tighter to cover with the sunny conditions, but that probably makes little difference, as the majority of anglers have been flipping close to trees and into dense buck brush since day one. The heavy, tangled spots with vines seem to be the prime targets again today. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-hansen-holds-lake-of-the-ozarks-title

Hansen Holds Lake of the Ozarks Title

OSAGE BEACH, Mo. – Brian Hansen of Fenton, Missouri, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 18 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Ozark Division tournament of 2015 on Lake of the Ozarks. For his victory, Hansen earned $4,507. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-frog-carries-lowery-to-victory

Frog Carries Lowery to Victory

ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. – David Lowery of Phenix City, Alabama, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Bama Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Martin. For his victory, Lowery earned $4,385. READ MORE »