Lefebre Maintains Lead

Kellogg's Frosted Flakes pro Dave Lefebre stays in the lead on day two with a five-fish limit of 19 pounds, 13 ounces.

PLATTSBURGH, NY—In an afternoon marked by major leaderboard fluctuations among the 142 pros competing in the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Champlain, Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes pro Dave Lefebre of Erie, Pa., held tight to the pole position, bringing a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 13 ounces for a two-day total of 41 pounds, 5 ounces.

Although he is happy to lead the field of 10 pros headed into the final round of the three-day event, sitting more than 3½ pounds ahead of his closest rival, Lefebre lamented not hooking the big bite on day two.

“It was a pretty good day; just no kicker,” he said seconds after being the first angler to cross the stage at scenic Dock Street Landing. “I just needed one of the big ones I got yesterday to really build a cushion.”

True enough, his catch did dip from a total of 21 pounds, 8 ounces on day one. But it was still a breakout performance considering that many anglers struggled to piece together limits in the midteens, let alone match their day-one catches. 

As on day one, Lefebre took advantage of a calm morning to run south to target beefy largemouths that were still on the bite. “My first two fish were 4-pounders, and that took a lot of pressure off,” he grinned. He stuck to the program throughout the day, only turning his bow toward port when it was time to race for the timer boat. Having led the first flight out, he was due in at 2 p.m., sharp. As it turned out, afternoon breezes provided a bit rougher ride than Lefebre expected. “It was real bumpy coming back,” he said. “After coming in early yesterday, I cut it way too close today.”

Looking ahead, Lefebre foresees another southern sojourn on Saturday. “I know I’m headed back down regardless of the weather,” he said. While he knows hungry largemouths await, he tempers his optimism with the knowledge that plenty of company will be there as well. “The area has gotten a lot of pressure from anglers fishing a local tournament,” he said. “I have a following of spectator boats, and when I leave, they move in and fish the spot. When I come back, there are five or six boats on it.”

In fact, with a large event in the 100-boat class set for Saturday, tournament director Ron Lappin moved takeoff from 6 a.m. to safe light, 5:15, for the finals, to give the top-10 anglers a chance to find their fishing grounds ahead of the crowds.

“My biggest obstacle will not be getting thrown off my game if I have to move around,” Lefebre added. “I need to have no preconceived notions about starting here and going there, and keep an open mind. Fortunately, I’ve got a pattern going and haven’t fished half of my spots yet. I might weigh all my fish from a place I haven’t fished yet.”

As for his evening plans, he said, “I’m going to sleep like a baby, get up and go fishing.”

Jordan Lee of Auburn, Ala., jumped from fifth to second on day two at Lake Champlain with an 18-pound, 3-ounce limit. Lee Milks Morning Reactions 
Jordan Lee of Auburn, Ala., was among the hard-charging contenders hot on Lefebre’s heels. Lee climbed from fifth place up to second on the wings of an 18-pound, 3-ounce limit that pushed his total to 37-12.

Lee tapped a blistering morning bite to make his move. “I have one spot the smallmouths are biting early,” he said. “I got them all before 8 o’clock and then it was over.”

His program included throwing strike-triggering reaction baits in depths of 10 feet or less. “I think the fish are holding deeper and moving up shallow to feed,” he said. “They’re spitting up big baitfish in my livewell.”

On day one, he credited his co-angler for sharing a red-hot bait that yielded numerous bites, and that presentation continued to produce. “I caught fish on a couple different baits, but the co-angler’s was still particularly good,” he said.

To extend the action later in the day, Lee hopes to rekindle a surface bite he discovered earlier in the week. “I was catching them on topwaters in the afternoons during practice, but haven’t caught them that way during the tournament,” he said. “If it gets really flat calm tomorrow I may try it again, though.”

Pro Chris Johnston of Peterborough, Ont., made a move to the top from 17th place to third on day two.Johnston’s Weed Game Yields 20 Pounds 
In third place, Chris Johnston of Peterborough, Ont., was one of two pros to crack the 20-pound barrier on day two. He notched a 20-pound, 3-ounce limit of largemouths to claim third with 37-10, advancing 14 places from his day-one ranking of 17th.

“I ran 70 miles down south,” he said. “I caught most of my fish flipping jigs into weeds in about 4 to 5 feet of water.” Cryptically, he added that his success hinged on a tweak he’d rather not talk about until after the final weigh-in. “I was doing something a little bit different that got me more fish, and I’ll tell you more about that tomorrow,” he said.

Like Lefebre, Johnston was far from alone in the southern weedbeds. “There’s a lot of pressure down there,” he said. “I was just off the main stuff, and a lot of guys who are fishing a tournament tomorrow saw me catching fish, so that could hurt me.”

Marini Plays Green Card 
Like many pros, Michael Marini of Slingerlands, N.Y., saw his weight fall on day two. But his 18-pound, 8-ounce bag was still enough to fuel a run from ninth to fourth.Pro Michael Marini of Slingerlands, N.Y., claimed fourth place on day two with a limit weighing 18 pounds, 8 ounces.

“I was a little shy on my weight today, but that’s only because I stopped fishing at 11:30 this morning to give myself time to get back,” he said.

Once again on the hunt for greener pastures rich in largemouths, Marini headed south to ply soft baits in the weeds. “I ran down to Ticonderoga again to fish worms in the milfoil,” he said. “I found the same school of fish, and they were still biting.”

Glenn Babineau of Mechanicville, N.Y., brought in 19 pounds, 1 ounce to move into fifth place on day two.Babineau’s Junk-Fishing Genius 
Glenn Babineau of Mechanicville, N.Y., moved up from 14th place to round out the top five pros with 37 pounds, 7 ounces. His day-two largemouth limit weighing 19-1 actually marked an improvement from his 18-6 day-one limit.

“I was doing pretty much the same as yesterday—junk fishing,” he laughed. “I can’t really sit on one grass spot and get ‘em like some of the guys can. I wish I had something like that but I don’t. So I’m running around throwing a lot of baits at a lot of targets and getting quality bites.”

Babineau’s varied arsenal includes just about everything in the tackle box. “I caught fish on jigs, [Z-Man Original} ChatterBaits and crankbaits,” he said. “I’m mixing it up because I don’t have anything to go to.”

Babineau might call it junk fishing, but considering it fueled a critical leap up the leaderboard and opened the door to making the cut and competing on day three, many would call it genius.

Best of the Rest

Rounding out the top-10 pro leaders at the Rayovac FLW Series Lake Champlain event:

6th: Derick Olson, Honey Brook, Pa., 37-5

7th: Cory Johnston, Peterborough, Ont., 36-3

8th: Mike Neilson, Markham, Ont., 35-13

9th: Mike McDonald, Randleman, N.C., 35-7

10th: Mark Daniels Jr., Fairfield, Calif., 35-1

For complete results, including the co-angler results, click here.

Day three of Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division action on Lake Champlain continues at Saturday’s takeoff, scheduled to take place at 5:15 a.m. ET at Dock Street Landing, located at 5 Dock Street in Plattsburgh, N.Y.

Tags: headline-story 

/news/2015-05-23-brown-rallies-for-seminole-win

Brown Rallies for Seminole Win

When the Rayovac FLW Series event on Lake Seminole started on Thursday, hot, slick conditions prevailed. The air temperatures pushed into the 90’s, water temperatures hovered between 80 and 85 degrees – summertime was on. Or was it? READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-23-jeter-takes-co-angler-crown

Jeter Takes Co-Angler Crown

Call it a local’s sweep at the Rayovac FLW Series on Lake Seminole. While local pro Clint Brown of Bainbridge, Ga., won the boater Division, his Bainbridge neighbor, Greg Jeter won the Co-angler Division to make it a local twofer. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-23-lake-seminole-day-3-midday-update

Lake Seminole Day 3 Midday Update

Second place pro Clint Brown was gaining some serious ground on Reneau as Brown had boxed four solid keepers for about 11 pounds on his very first spot – all caught from protected backwaters with a topwater. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-22-reneau-grabs-lead-on-seminole

Reneau Grabs Lead On Seminole

Though Reneau has weighed in 15-1 and 20-7 over two days for a total of 35 pounds, 8 ounces, he says he is only getting about six bites per day. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-22-top-5-patterns-from-seminole-day-2

Top 5 Patterns From Seminole Day 2

A shake-up occurred on day two of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Lake Seminole. Day one was all about slow, summertime fishing in the lake’s deep timber. Overnight a frontal passage dropped water and air temperatures and left a north wind howling down the lake. As a result, the timber bite cooled off and those fishing shallower waters climbed up the leaderboard. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-22-lake-seminole-day-2-midday-update

Lake Seminole Day 2 Midday Update

The hot summer at Seminole turned back into spring this morning as a cold front blew through the area dropping air temps some 10 degrees with a blustery north wind. Sweatshirts were needed again as the cold air felt more like April than May. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-21-enfinger-leads-on-seminole

Enfinger Leads On Seminole

Enfinger said he got off to a “fast start” this morning, sacking a limit by 10 a.m., but he only upgraded twice after that, catching about eight keepers on the day. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-21-top-5-patterns-from-seminole-day-1

Top 5 Patterns From Seminole Day 1

Bradley Enfinger took the day-one lead at the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Lake Seminole fishing suspended bass in timber. Others in the top-5 fished both wood and grass on day one. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-21-lake-seminole-midday-update

Lake Seminole Midday Update

Lake Seminole is known to be more of a quality lake than a quantity lake and that trait showed on the morning of day one as anglers who were catching fish were not necessarily getting many bites, but 3-pound pluses seemed to be the norm for the ones hauled in over the gunnel. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-ledges-lift-wilson-to-top

Ledges Lift Wilson to Top

Tim Wilson of Gas City, Indiana, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 29 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Choo Choo Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Guntersville. For his victory, Wilson earned $5,584. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-two-in-a-row-for-fox

Two in a Row for Fox

Dwight Fox of Gainesboro, Tennessee, weighed four bass totaling 16 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Mountain Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Cumberland. For his victory, Fox earned $4,463. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-bluff-walls-carry-meredith

Bluff Walls Carry Meredith

GROVE, Okla. – Mitch Meredith of Hulbert, Oklahoma, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 18 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Okie Division tournament of 2015 on Grand Lake. For his victory, Meredith earned $7,165. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-tidwell-slows-down-for-title

Tidwell Slows Down for Title

MCCORMICK, S.C. – Brian Tidwell of Seneca, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division tournament of 2015 on Clarks Hill Lake. For his victory, Tidwell earned $3,021. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-ginter-gets-the-win

Ginter Gets the Win

CELINA, Ohio – Gary Ginter of Maplewood, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division tournament of 2015 on Grand Lake. For his victory, Ginter earned $3,963. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-jig-does-the-trick-for-roselle

Jig Does the Trick for Roselle

MARBURY, Md. – Mike Roselle of La Plata, Maryland, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Shenandoah Division tournament of 2015 on Potomac River. For his victory, Roselle earned $6,235. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-17-thrift-by-3

Thrift by 3

The “numbers game.” It’s a term that Bryan Thrift used to describe his fishing on Lake Eufaula back in 2013 when he finished runner-up to Randy Haynes in a Walmart FLW Tour event. The method to his numbers madness was to hit as many solitary objects – stumps, brush piles, rocks, logs – on the bottom of Lake Eufaula as humanly possible in an eight-hour tournament day. When Thrift saw that Lake Eufaula was back on the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour schedule for May of this year, he grinned that patented Bryan Thrift grin because he already knew how to crunch the numbers at Eufaula. And Thrift is still grinning. After sacking up a final-day catch of 15 pounds, 5 ounces to top off 69-14 for the week, Thrift made the numbers work for his fourth FLW Tour win. He added another $125,000 to his bank account. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-17-lake-eufaula-day-4-coverage

Lake Eufaula Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Eufaula presented by Quaker State. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-16-morrow-thrift-neck-and-neck

Morrow, Thrift Neck and Neck

Georgia pro Troy Morrow brought in 15 pounds, 4 ounces on the third day of competition at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Quaker State on Lake Eufaula to increase his tournament total to 54-13. Morrow maintains his lead for the second consecutive day, but he won’t sleep comfortably tonight with North Carolina hammer Bryan Thrift just 4 ounces off the lead with 54-09. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-16-top-5-patterns-from-lake-eufaula-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Eufaula Day 3

Troy Morrow is leading the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Quaker State on Lake Eufaula. However, with one day left to fish, he has a big problem going into the last day: Bryan Thrift. The Shelby, N.C., pro is just 4 ounces behind Morrow. Here’s how Thrift and the rest of the top five caught their fish. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-16-lake-eufaula-day-3-coverage

Lake Eufaula Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Eufaula presented by Quaker State. READ MORE »