UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Kentucky / Barkley Lake

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Gates opens up lead at EverStart Lake Champlain tourney

Gates opens up lead at EverStart Lake Champlain tourney
Pro Brian Gates of Mendon, Vt., was able to parlay his hometown advantage into a whopping 19-pound, 3-ounce stringer and a first-place finish in today’s EverStart competition.

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. - Local favorite Brian Gates of Mendon, Vt., used a wealth of fishing experience on Lake Champlain - 10 years to be exact - to jump atop the overall pro leaderboard after the first day of EverStart Northern Division competition on Lake Champlain. In fact, things went so smoothly for the Vermont native that it was hard to imagine exactly what he could have improved upon.

"It's awesome," said Gates of his first-place finish. "I really had a good day. I made all of the right decisions, I stuck with my game plan and the fish were exactly where I expected them to be. I had my limit by 11:15 a.m., and I just put my rod down and tried to help out my co-angler. We're culling 3-pound fish all day."

While Gates was able to parlay his hometown advantage into a whopping 19-pound, 3-ounce stringer in today's competition, he argued that being familiar with a lake isn't always a blessing.

"I'm from here, and I fish Lake Champlain about six days a week when I'm not traveling," said Gates. "And that clearly helped me. But I have a lot of friends from this area who came up empty today. I'm not sure what happened and they're probably not sure either. But it just goes to show you that a home-lake advantage doesn't always help."

Gates, who landed his catch by targeting grass and rocks with a combination of tubes and jigs, said that he's not about to rest on his laurels in tomorrow's competition.

"I'm going to go out there and try to catch 14 pounds," he said. "If I'm able to do that, I should be in good shape."

Although Gates clearly had a stellar day on the water today, he said that he might try to mix things up tomorrow.

"Today, I went after largemouth bass," said Gates, who made a 65-mile, one-way run to get to his prime fishing location. "But tomorrow, I'm thinking about targeting smallmouth bass so I can leave my good spot alone."

While Gates hasn't had the opportunity to fish in many EverStart events, he said he likes what he sees so far.

"I really appreciate FLW Outdoors coming up here," he said. "They really put on a good show."

Monsoor snags second place

Although Pro Tom Monsoor of Lacrosse, Wisc., has had a disappointing year by his own standards, he couldn't help but smile after finishing today in second place after weighing in a healthy 18-pound, 11-ounce catch.Although Tom Monsoor of Lacrosse, Wis., has had a disappointing year by his own standards, he couldn't help but smile after finishing today in second place after weighing in a healthy 18-pound, 11-ounce catch.

"I've had a pretty tough year, so it feels really good to finish where I did today given the fact that it's the last tournament of the year," said Monsoor. "I'm really excited. I absolutely love it up here."

Monsoor said he is enamored by both the quality and quantity of fish that Lake Champlain produces year after year.

"These fish up here are the wildest I've ever seen," said Monsoor. "These fish will tear the hooks right off the lures. The smallmouth fishing in this lake is just fantastic. I love lakes that have a lot of structure, and Lake Champlain seems to have a little bit of everything. You can fish boulders, lily pads, reeds, points or grass. It's just a lot of fun."

However, Monsoor said the key to today's success was making a few minor adjustments that he failed to make in practice.

"All week long in practice the fish were playing with my top-water baits, but they really weren't eating them," he said. "So I made an adjustment and weighted down the tail, and it really seemed to work. I also changed up my fishing line. I'm going with Berkely Big Game Green line now, and that seemed to make a difference as well."

Although Monsoor has had his fair share of top finishes over the years, he said that he still gets excited after a good finish - even if it is just for a day.

"It's always a thrill to be near the top, whether you're fishing an FLW tournament or an EverStart event," he said. "It never gets old to me. I see some people get off the water complaining that fishing is a lot of work. But I just tell them, `Hey, you're talking to the wrong guy.'"

Best of the rest

Pro Thomas LaVictoire of West Rutland, Vt., finished the day tied for third place after landing a total catch of 17 pounds, 14 ounces. LaVictoire also won $750 after netting the largest bass of the tournament to date - a 6-pound, 1-ounce largemouth - to capture today's Big Bass award.Thomas LaVictoire of West Rutland, Vt., finished the day tied for third place after landing a total catch of 17 pounds, 14 ounces. LaVictoire also won $750 after netting the largest bass of the tournament to date - a 6-pound, 1-ounce largemouth - to capture today's big-bass award.

FLW Tour pro Sam Newby of Pocola, Okla., also finished the day in third place with an identical 17-pound, 14-ounce catch.

Patrick Martin of Carver, Minn., used a 17-pound, 10-ounce catch to finish in fifth place.

Dingle puts on fishing clinic in Co-angler Division

Johnathan Dingle of South Meriden, Conn., not only finished the day in first place in the Co-angler Division by landing a whopping 19-pound catch, but he also managed to best every angler in the Pro Division with the lone exception of Gates. Not a bad performance for an EverStart rookie.

"I'm happy and very proud," said Dingle, one of the most affable anglers on the tour. "I was really worried at first. The water wasn't looking right and I wasn't really sure how the day would go. But I settled down and, eventually, everything worked out."

Ironically, the key to Dingle's success was an old crankbait he'd kept around for years but never used - until today.

"I bought this Mann's crankbait about six years ago and I never got around to using it," said Dingle. "But today, I knew I needed a deeper lure so I gave it a try. Obviously, it worked out great. After this tournament is over, I might retire that lure. But right now, I'm very stoked."

Dingle, who placed third in a Wal-Mart BFL tourney earlier this month, said that he was careful to pick and choose his spots wisely while fishing from the back of the boat in today's competition.

"When you're in the back of the boat, you have to do what your pro gives you," he said. "I was just trying to do something different from what my pro was doing. I made sure that I fished clean water - any water my pro decided not to fish."

Although Dingle was proud of his first-place finish in today's competition, he said he's not going to let up at all tomorrow - despite his commanding lead.

"In this sport, you can be top dog one day and zero the next. So I can't really sit back and relax tomorrow," he said. "I'm just going to try to keep a calm head, keep my line in the water and hope for the best. I'm not sure what I'll do tomorrow - that will depend on my pro. But I think I'm definitely going to try that crankbait again."

Dingle also won $250 after netting the day's big-bass award - a 4-pound, 14-ounce catch - in the Co-angler Division.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top five co-anglers in today's competition were Troy Sprague (second) of Lincoln, Neb., with a catch of 18 pounds, 4 ounces; Dean Meckes (third) of Clayton, N.Y., with a catch of 15 pounds, 9 ounces; Bob Melanson (fourth) of Springfield, Mass., with a catch of 15 pounds, 8 ounces; and Philip Borsa (fifth) of Redford, Mich., with a catch of 15 pounds, 6 ounces.

Tomorrow's takeoff is scheduled to take place at 6:30 a.m. at Mooney Bay Marina, located at 15 Mooney Bay in Plattsburgh, N.Y.

Click here for a preview of day two.

Related links:

Photos
Results
Results of day-one pairings
Day-two pairings
Press release

Tags: gary-mortenson  headline-story  2003-09-24-lake-champlain 

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 3

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 3

Kris Wilson did everything he could this morning to put away this tournament before anyone had a chance to make a run at him. The Montgomery, Texas, pro returned to the spot where he started the first two days and boxed up a pair of 5-pounders. The leader has camped on his spot basically all morning, and now we estimate he's culled up to about 18 pounds. Wilson came into today with a lead of more than 4 1/2 pounds over second-place pro Josh Bensema, and a much greater margin over everyone else, so that limit is huge and likely has him on course for a wire-to-wire victory in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. READ MORE »

Wilson Wins Big on Rayburn

Wilson Wins Big on Rayburn

Kris Wilson pounded out another big limit – 24 pounds, 1 ounce – to win the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury at Sam Rayburn Reservoir by a margin of 13 pounds, 15 ounces. His three-day total was 72-8.  READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 2

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 2

In terms of fish caught, tournament leader Kris Wilson had a tougher morning today than on day one. But a behemoth bass that will probably push the 8-pound mark has him in prime position to maintain his lead in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

On the flip side, Josh Bensema, who’s 4 pounds, 10 ounces behind Wilson, thinks he might have found the kind of Sam Rayburn motherlode that could earn him a come-from-behind victory. And while most of the rest of the top 10 are well behind Wilson, several of them hinted at being on the trail of some truly mammoth bags. READ MORE »

Wilson Still in Control at Rayburn

Wilson Still in Control at Rayburn

A 9-plus-pound bass anchored Kris Wilson’s day-two limit to help him stay in the lead at the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Wilson weighed in 21 pounds, 12 ounces today to go with 26-11 yesterday. His 48-7 two-day total has Wilson 4 pounds, 10 ounces ahead of Josh Bensema and miles ahead of the rest of the top 10.   READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Montgomery, Texas, pro Kris Wilson caught a big-time stringer of more than 26 pounds to take the day-one lead at the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury at Sam Rayburn. Wilson says he fished some of the flooded cover that’s lining Rayburn’s shorelines, but the bulk of his catch came from a series of offshore areas where bass are starting to pile up. The rest of the top five fished a mix of patterns, but their results indicate that the offshore pattern could wind up being the most consistent as the tournament goes on.  READ MORE »

Wilson Waylays 26 at Rayburn

Wilson Waylays 26 at Rayburn

The second stop of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn, which is presented by Mercury, has certainly lived up to expectations. Plenty of fish are out there to be caught, yet finding quality is the key to separating yourself from the pack. Kris Wilson of Montgomery, Texas certainly distanced himself after hauling in 26 pounds, 11 ounces to the Umphrey Family Pavilion stage. It may not be the Texas-sized bag Rayburn is known for, however, given the conditions it is absolutely impressive. Wilson will hold a 6-7 lead over Josh Bensema heading into Friday. READ MORE »

Campbell Goes Back to Back

Campbell Goes Back to Back

Brody Campbell of Oxford, Ohio, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division tournament on the Ohio River at Tanner’s Creek Saturday with five bass weighing 9 pounds, 15 ounces. Campbell netted $6,718 for his victory. READ MORE »

Shaw Drags Worm on Shelbyville

Shaw Drags Worm on Shelbyville

Wayne Shaw of Urbana, Illinois, weighed five bass Saturday totaling 13 pounds, 7 ounces, to win T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament on Lake Shelbyville. Shaw pocketed $4,071 for his day on the water. READ MORE »

Fox Claims No. 8

Fox Claims No. 8

Dwight Fox of Gainesboro, Tennessee, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Music City Division tournament on Old Hickory Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 18 pounds, 1 ounce. For his efforts, Fox netted $2,941. READ MORE »

Ganey Cracks 20-11 on Big Sam

Ganey Cracks 20-11 on Big Sam

Rylon Ganey of Pineville, Louisiana, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Cowboy Division tournament on Sam Rayburn Reservoir with five bass weighing 20 pounds, 11 ounces. For his win, Ganey took home $6,362. READ MORE »

Walser Nets 13th Title

Walser Nets 13th Title

Robert Walser of Lexington, North Carolina, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) North Carolina Division tournament on High Rock Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 21 pounds, 13 ounces. With his win – his 13th on the BFL circuit – Walser tied the BFL all-time wins record held by Dick Shaffer of Rockford, Ohio. READ MORE »

College Championship Midday Update – Day 3

College Championship Midday Update – Day 3

As expected, the fishing has been great for the final day of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Potomac River. Sunny skies and moderate winds have set everyone up for success, and so far the top 10 teams are making the most of it. READ MORE »

Racers Lock Up National Championship

Racers Lock Up National Championship

The final day of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Potomac River was quite the show, especially if you watched FLW Live. After catching the biggest limit of the event worth 18 pounds, 14 ounces on day two to take the lead, the Murray State duo of Adam Puckett and Blake Albertson gave it all they had on the final day to squeak out their smallest, yet most important limit of the week. Today, Murray State caught 15-8, which was enough to edge out the Bethel University team of Tristan McCormick and Dakota Pierce by just 3 ounces to bring home the title. Along with winning a Ranger Z175 with a 115-horsepower motor for the club, Puckett and Albertson also get entry into the 2019 FLW Cup on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Ark., this August 9-11. READ MORE »

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Day one of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Potomac River had a wide variety of patterns in play among the leaders. Today, with overcast skies and gusty winds, the folks fishing grass started to pull ahead. In the lead, Adam Puckett and Blake Albertson of Murray State have managed more than 16 pounds each day, but the rest of the top-10 crew is hot on their heels. Additionally, the fishing seems to be getting better by the day, so a big bag from a team down the standings a little bit wouldn’t exactly be a shock on the final day.  READ MORE »

Murray State Races Ahead

Murray State Races Ahead

Thanks to a day-two limit worth 18 pounds, 14 ounces, Adam Puckett and Blake Albertson of Murray State University have the lead going into the final round of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance at the Potomac River. The Racers weighed 16-13 on day one to place seventh, but moved up the leaderboard today with the tournament’s biggest limit so far. READ MORE »

College Championship Midday Update – Day 2

College Championship Midday Update – Day 2

Day two of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Potomac River has been quite different from day one. With strong souths winds kicking up the main channel and keeping the tide back, teams have had to adjust. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - College Championship

FLW Live Leaderboard - College Championship

Anglers and FLW staff provide unofficial weight estimates for the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship on the Potomac River. READ MORE »

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Though the fishing seems markedly better than it was just a few days ago, the techniques getting it done are just as mixed as before. Unlike some years on the Potomac, slightly underdeveloped grass beds have the river fishing in a pretty diverse way. If all you want to do is fish grass, that isn’t ideal, but it has made for a lot of opportunity elsewhere. READ MORE »

Minor, Raines Lead College Field

Minor, Raines Lead College Field

Nolan Minor and Thomas Raines of West Virginia University have the day-one lead at the 2019 YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance at the Potomac River. The Mountaineers’ 18-5 bag gives them a 9-ounce cushion over second-place anglers Jarrett Martin and Nickolas Marsh of Adrian College.  READ MORE »