UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Eufaula

In the rain at Champlain

In the rain at Champlain
A cloudier day greets EverStart anglers as they put in for Thursday's takeoff.

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. - Despite a stiff breeze and heavy chop, Lake Champlain was good to EverStart Series competitors on day one as a lot of five-bass limits crossed the scale. Anglers are saying day two will be even better as they try to make the opening-round cut in the Northeast Division season finale.

The wind knocked a lot of guys around Wednesday, but most of them still managed to catch a lot of bass at this fruitful fishery. So far, the wind has abated for Thursday, and a light rain is falling on the Champlain Valley. The calmer, overcast weather has some pros licking their chops.

"With that cloud cover, look out," pro Bob Plemmons said.

"That'll certainly help," day-one pro leader Bill Chapman said. "There will be some good bites again with that front coming through."

With a potentially better bite and calmer water, the pros will have some decisions to make. Some anglers have been jonesing to run down to Ticonderoga at the south end of the lake to take a crack at the big largemouths there. Yesterday, the wind mostly put the kibosh on that notion, but today's calm could open that possibility for many competitors.

Pro Dave Lefebre started that way yesterday morning, but wisely turned back and caught a second-place limit of smallmouths closer to home. Now, he's not sure what to do.

"I'm going to go straight back to where I was (Wednesday)," he said. "I didn't even touch it; there are so many fish in there. I think it's a place where you can win this tournament. ... Still, I'd love to make the cut with smallmouths, then go down the lake and win it with largemouths."

Whatever the anglers decide, expect a whole lot of Champlain bass to come to the scale again today. The pros are probably staring at around 32 or 33 pounds as their cut weight; the co-anglers a little less, maybe 29 or 30 pounds.

Standings race on the line

Aaron Hastings leads the pro points by a pretty good margin, but he has his work cut out for him if he wants to win the inaugural Northeast Division standings title. Hastings placed 52nd on day one, leaving the door open for none other than third-place Clark Wendlandt to make a run at it. Wendlandt, who is 48 points behind Hastings in the standings, placed 15th yesterday and could take the title with another good limit today.

Second place in the yearly standings by 29 points, Pete Gluszek placed 81st on day one and would need a massive stringer today to win the standings.

The co-angler race is even tighter. Alan Hench, Ryan Bowman, Douglas Grant and Mike Henry are all within seven points of each other, with Hench in the lead by one point over Bowman. Hench, however, faltered on day one here with a 79th-place showing. Bowman (38th place) and Henry (44th) now have the upper hand. Grant placed 117th Wednesday.

Both divisions will be cut to the top 10 anglers apiece following Thursday's fishing based on two-day, opening-round total weight. Day-two weigh-in festivities begin at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time at Plattsburgh Boat Basin.

Thursday's conditions:

Sunrise: 6:33 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 64 degrees
Expected high temperature: 76 degrees
Water temperature: 67-70 degrees
Wind: ESE at 6 mph
Maximum humidity: 76 percent
Day's outlook: intermittent showers

Tags: jeff-schroeder  morning-story  2005-09-14-lake-champlain 

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