UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Erie

Baumgardner back on top at Champlain

Baumgardner back on top at Champlain
After slipping to second on day two, Snickers pro Chris Baumgardner regained the lead with his biggest stringer thusfar.

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. - Never underestimate the value of experience or the virtue of diligence. Evidence this: Chris Baumgardner - the Snickers pro from Gastonia, N.C. who again leads the Stren Series Northern Division event on Lake Champlain despite practicing only one day.

On day two, Baumgardner yielded the lead to now second-place pro Jason Ober of Johnstown, Penn., Heavy storms plagued the day-three weigh-ins with frequent showers, thunder and occasional lightning.whose 21-pound stringer moved him up from the number two spot in the opening round. Today, Baumgardner caught 20-pounds, 10-ounces - his biggest stringer of the event - to reposition himself at the head of the pack with an 11-ounce lead.

Returning to the shorelines he fished on days one and two, Baumgardner again targeted laydowns. The same as day two, he threw a 1/2-ounce black/blue chatterbait with a Zoom craw and found the fish very receptive.

"I had a very good day," Baumgardner chuckled. "They keep biting and I keep catching. I was saving one little area and I went in there today and caught my two biggest fish in about an hour."

Baumgardner fished the north end of the lake, about 25 miles from the launch site. "I had caught them here before. I only had one day to practice, so I just went to where I knew."

Missed opportunities send day two leader Jason Ober back to second place.The top pro said that inclement weather kept him on edge. A heavy storm system pushed across the lake during the morning launch and greeted anglers with rain and sporadic lightning that persisted throughout the day. Winds remained moderate throughout the day, until a new wave of storms invaded the Plattsburgh area right about the time anglers were heading back for the weigh-ins.

"The weather didn't really affect my fishing - it's just scared me," Baumgardner said.

After catching fish in windy and overcast conditions on day one, sunny and calm conditions on day two and then today's rainy setup, Baumgardner said he's confident in his area's ability to produce regardless of weather. "Three different conditions and they still bite."

Ober slips, bumps back to second

After posting a 21-pound, 1-ounce score on day two, Ober was confident that he could squeeze another strong limit from the schools of active smallmouth he has been working in open water at the lake's north end. The area yielded 18 pounds, 1 ounce - enough for second place, but Ober said it could have been more.

Pete Gluszek held steady in the number four spot."I'm so upset to have 18 pounds in this bag right now," Ober lamented. "I had this thing wrapped up. I lost a 4 1/2-pounder today."

Fishing in 12 feet of water, Ober caught most of his fish on topwaters and a few on crankbaits. Effective at tempting bass, both lures are also prone to shake-offs. "Anytime you're throwing a topwater or any lure with treble hooks, you just have to have that loss ratio built in."

Despite catching one of the day's biggest stringers, Ober said the area that produced frenetic action on days one and two seemed short on sizzle today. He said he suspects weather was the culprit.

"The spot never got right," Ober noted. "I said (after the day-two weigh-ins) that if there was one Indiana pro John Voyles rose three spots to fifth place on day three.condition I was afraid of it was right in between windy and calm and that's exactly what it did today.

"I had one fish at 11:30 - I had to keep two 12-inchers (later). Up until this point this week, if I had caught a 12-incher before I had a limit, I was throwing it back. I had that much confidence in what was going on. That wasn't the case today - I kept every fish I got a hold of."

Notwithstanding the weather variance, Ober said he was disappointed in his execution. Lauding his competition as Lake Champlain's best anglers, he said: "I missed some opportunities today and when North Carolina pro George Lambeth took Snickers Big Bass honors with a beautiful 5-pound, 7-ounce smallmouth bass.you fish against these guys, you can't make any mistakes."

Atsushi Nakahigashi of Chester, Va. placed third with 52-9, while Pete Gluszek of Franklinville, N.J. held onto fourth with 49-2. John Voyles of Petersburg, Ind., was fifth with 47-4.


Best of the rest

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

6th: Mike Iaconelli of Runnemede, N.J., 47-0
7th: Greg Seal of Eldred, Penn., 46-15
8th: Brian Gates of Mendon, 46-10
9th: Scott Lakey of Augusta, Mich., 46-8
10th: Chad Pipkens of Holt, Mich., 45-12

Snickers Big Bass honors went to George Lameth who caught a 5-pound, 7-ounce smallie on a dropshot.

Co-angler Girouard spins back into first


Day one co-angler leader Chris Girouard of Epsom, N.H. weighed 14 pounds, 15 ounces and reclaimed Fishing spinnerbaits, Chris Girouard reclaimed the top co-angler spot.the top spot with a 42-9 total. He caught his fish with a 1/2-ounce white spinnerbait with willow blades.

The day-three action was less than impressive and Girouard went fishless until about 10:30 in the morning.

"It didn't go really well today," Girouard said. "I got just enough bites and I didn't do any culling. Some key fish came on the spinnerbait."

Thomas Shafer of Pine City, N.Y. actually matched Girouard's weight, but the top co-angler's heavier day-three weight (14-15) broke the tie.

Fishing a pumpkinseed Brush Hog in grass at the lakeThird place went to Ryan Bowman of Seneca, S.C., who improved 12 places with his 39-13 total. Moo Bae of West Friendship, Md. placed fourth with 39-7, while Marc Wagy of Dewitt, Va., rose 3 notches to finish fifth with 38-10.

Best of the rest

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

6th: David Roberts of Sunderland, Ma., 37-6
7th: Micah Frazier of Newnan, Ga., 37-4
8th: Chris Adams of Rutland, Vt., 37-2
9th: Michael Sweeney of Attleboro, Ma., 36-13
10th: Jeff Zeisner of Arva, On., 36-8

Scott Wilson of Boyds, Md. won Big Bass honors with the event's heaviest fish, a 5-pound, 15-ounce largemouth. He caught his top fish on a pumpkinseed Brush Hog in grass at the lake's south end.

Day four of Stren Series action on Lake Champlain continues at Saturday'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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