UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Erie

Ober goes topside for top spot at Champlain

Ober goes topside for top spot at Champlain
A strong topwater bite produced a 21-pound stringer for Pennsylvania pro Jason Ober.

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. - Some say that luck is the intersection of opportunity and preparation and that certainly seemed to be the case for Johnstown, Pa., pro Jason Ober, who leads the Stren Series Northern Division event on Lake Champlain.

Weighing a limit that scaled 21 pounds, 1 ounce, Ober jumped three spots from his day one effort of 17-15 to overtake opening round leader Chris Baumgardner with a 39-pound total and nearly a 2-pound lead.

Ober said the key to his success was adaptation: "It was adjusting to the day. Today was a totally After leading day one, Snickers pro Chris Baumgardner caught another big limit, but slipped into second place.different day than it was yesterday and I just capitalized on the opportunities."

Indeed, mostly sunny skies and light breezes painted a vastly different canvas than the dim broad strokes of yesterday's cloudy, windy conditions. These pleasant conditions seemed to stimulate fish that were already actively hunting pods of yellow perch.

Fishing in the middle of the lake north of the launch site, Ober worked groups of schooling smallmouth he had located a day earlier in 7-15 feet. White bass were buzzing around the perch, essentially helping round up the forage and packs of smallmouth were making the most of the banquet.

A 19-pound stringer lifter Connecticutt pro Terry Baksay from seventh to third.Ober said the action was tremendous. "Everywhere I went, I had fish. This morning I went to my best spot first and caught my best fish. When that one came in, it had five fish with it."

With raging activity near the surface, Ober put his topwater plugs to good use and secured his limit by 11 a.m. "We were done by noon and we just went and checked some largemouth spots. With 21-1, you've done all you can do."

On day one, Ober found his fish deeper and caught them on crankbaits. Unsure of what weather would arrive for day three, he said he feels confident that he'll be able to get his fish to eat again.

"I'm around good fish and I know what to do," he said. "I just have to capitalize on every opportunity I Improving on his day-one score of 17-6, fourth-place pro Pete Gluszek weighed 18-9 on day two.get.

"I really haven't beaten up my fish badly - that's the key. I still have some fish for tomorrow. But tomorrow's going to be a different ballgame. On Champlain, everything changes every day, so you just have to be ready to change with it."

Baumgardner chatters into second place

In second place, Baumgardner returned to the shallow shorelines he fished on day one and again targeted lay downs and logs. He fished exclusively with a chatterbait and caught 17 pounds-5 ounces to boost his total to 37-2.

On day one, the Snickers pro from Gastonia, N.C., caught 19 pounds, 13 ounces with the chatterbait and a Texas-rigged Zoom Brush Hog. Like that first round, day two brought favorable results that Baumgardner hopes will continue through another two days.

"It all came together today," he said. "Maybe it will last."

A 19-pound, 4-ounce stringer was a big improvement for fifth-place pro Chad Pipkens who rose from 23rd on day one.Terry Baksay of Easton, Conn., moved up four spots and placed third with 36-3, while Pete Gluszek of Franklinville, N.J., gained two notches to fourth with 35-15. Chad Pipkens of Holt, Mich., advanced 18 places to fifth with his 33-12.

Best of the rest

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

6th: Scott Lakey of Augusta, Mich., 33-0
7th: John Voyles of Petersburg, Ind., 32-12
8th: Atsushi Nakahigashi of Chester, Va., 32-10
9th: Hugh Worth III of Erie, Pa., 31-15
10th: James Jeffries of Rouses Point, N.Y., 31-15.

Thomas Wooten of Huddleston, Va., won the Snickers Big Bass award with a 5-pound, 2-ounce Thomas Wooten used a Sweet Beaver to punch through matted weeds and found the pro divisionlargemouth. He caught his best fish by punching through weed mats in four feet of water with a Sweet Beaver and a 1 1/2-ounce Tru-Tungsten weight.

Shafer shuffles into co-angler lead

Thomas Shafer of Pine City, N.Y., bolstered his second-place day-one weight of 16-4 with a division leading effort of 15-12 that brought his total weight to 32 pounds.

Fishing tubes and dropshots around rocks and weeds led Thomas Shafer into the top co-angler spot for day two.Working rocks and weeds in the north end of the lake, Shafer fished a dropshot with watermelon and green-pumpkin worms and pitched a green-pumpkin tube. Shaffer prefers rigging his tube on a ¼-ounce jighead rather than Texas style.

"I think you get a better hookset and better penetration with the exposed hook," he said. "Also, the tube spirals down, instead of a straight-line drop."

In second place, Moo Bae of West Friendship, Md., moved up six spots with 31-7, while day-one leader Chris Girouard of Epsom, N.H., slipped to third with 27-10. In fourth place, Michael Sweeney of Attleboro, Mass., raced up the standings from 56th place on day one with 27-7. Chris Adams of Rutland, Vt., rose 15 notches to finish fifth with 27-7.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top 10 co-angler leaders at the Stren Series Lake Champlain event:Co-angler Cory Leonard caught a 4-pound, 15-ounce largemouth and shared Big Bass honors with Ted Hegner who boated a fish of equal weight.

6th: Joe Jablonsky of Malta, N.Y., 26-4
7th: Micah Frazier of Newnan, Ga., 25-6
8th: Marc Wagy of Dewitt, Va., 25-5
9th: Dustin Edwards of Ellington, Conn., 25-5
10th: Tim George of Kittanning, Pa., 25-1

Ted Hegner and Cory Leonard tied for the Snickers Big Bass award with 4-pound, 15-ounce fish.

Day three of Stren Series action on Lake Champlain continues at Friday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 6:30 a.m. (EST) at Dock Street Landing, located at 5 Dock Street, Plattsburgh N.Y.

Tags: david-a-brown  headline-story  2008-07-16-lake-champlain 

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