UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Erie

Change is good

Change is good
Jason Ober fished schools of bass that were following yellow perch and found the winning limit.

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. - In a dramatic see-saw battle against a formidable opponent, Jason Ober of Johnstown, Pa., made a critical adjustment and secured his victory in the Stren Series Northern Division event on Lake Champlain.

Locked in a close contest with Chris Baumgardner - the Snickers pro from Gastonia, N.C. - Ober took Baumgardner's day-one lead in the second round, but gave it back on day three. Entering the final round in second place, Ober caught a limit weighing 17 pounds, 4 ounces and tallied a tournament total of 74-5.

Prevailing against not only Baumgardner, but an entire field of accomplished anglers was very meaningful to Ober.

"I'm overwhelmed - this is the highlight of my life," he said. "To fish against (pros such as) Chris Baumgardner, Mike Iaconelli and Pete Gluszek is unbelievable."

Ober spent the entire tournament working waypoints where he had marked large groups of smallmouth After relying on crankbaits and topwaters for most of the tournament, top pro Jason Ober fished a dropshot in the final round.bass. In open water depths of 12 to 14 feet, the smallies were following dense pods of yellow perch, so locating the food meant locating the predators.

Crankbaits and topwater plugs had delivered the majority of his bites during the first three days of competition, but when the hard baits' productivity declined, Ober took an essential cue from his co-angler, Thomas Shafer, who also won his division. Shafer was using a green-pumpkin candy Chigger Craw on a drop-shot, and when the bait hit paydirt, Ober knew what he had to do.

"My co-angler is the reason I won today," Ober said. "I was saving one little honeyhole for today, and I went there at the end of the day. My co-angler caught a great big one, and then he caught another great big one. Finally, I said, `Look, I am hard-headed, but I'm not that hard-headed - show me the deal.'

"I tied up (with Shafer's bait), and we caught them on every cast from then until it was time to go. I caught two of my weight fish (with that bait) that I'm sure made the difference for me.

"I went from throwing topwater plugs, to cranking to drop-shotting to seal this deal. Drop-shotting is what just won me this (tournament)."

Second-place Baumgardner let down by lay-downs

Heavy rains the night before the final round shut down Chris BaumgardnerRunning 25 miles from the launch site, Baumgardner started out throwing a 1/2-ounce black/blue ChatterBait with a Zoom Speed Craw around lay-downs in creek bends. For the past three days, targeting suspended fish in 3 to 5 feet of water had consistently produced big stringers, including his top effort: a 20-pound, 10-ounce bag on day three.

However, Baumgardner said his creek pattern produced only two keepers - probably due in some part to the heavy rains that fell the night before. Dingy water pushing through the lake's arteries affected visibility, while swift current hindered fish and fisherman.

"With all the rain we had, my spot got trashed," he said. "The current was twice as strong (as the day before)."

Baumgardner said he worked his creeks until about 11 a.m. and put two keepers in the well. He then moved to a "community hole" where he finished out his limit by drop-shotting for smallmouths.

"I fished the creek until my trolling wouldn't go anymore; the current was that strong," Baumgardner said. "I tried to go with the current, but it was just to fast. You couldn't fish it."

Baumgardner weighed 16 pounds, 3 ounces on day four and ended with 73-15.

Voyles feeling froggy in third

Entering the final round in fifth place, John Voyles of Petersburg, Ind., ran south to the fertile grass beds Snapping a frog on a slack line led John Voyles to a third-place finish.of Ticonderoga. Green-and-black Spro frogs fished over matted vegetation in 3 to 4 feet produced his 16-pound, 7-ounce stringer (63-11 total) and some of the most exhilarating strikes he'd ever seen.

"When those bass came up and hit that frog, it's like watching and alligator coming out of the water," Voyles said. "It's phenomenal."

The key to working the frog, Voyles said, was maximum action with minimal forward progress. "I was snapping it on a slack line. I was really trying to make it pop on that mat."

When John Voyles ran out of the Spro frogs he was using in practice, a friend in Indiana overnighted a fresh supply for the tournament.Working an area overrun with hungry bass, Voyles said he could have abandoned his technique and still caught fish. "There was such a good school of fish underneath (the mat), I really didn't need to pop the frog. I mean they were fighting over it."

Voyles said he discovered the hot frog action during practice, but the intense bite wore down all but one of his frogs. He had to make that lone amphibian imposter suffice for the first day of the event, but fortunately a friend back home in Indiana was able to overnight reinforcements to Plattsburgh so Voyles could continue his pattern.

Seal sticks it out, takes fourth

Starting day four in seventh place, Gregg Seal of Eldred, Pa., rose three places with a limit catch of Despite a first-round stumble, Gregg Seal stuck with his game plan and turned in a fourth-place finish.15 pounds, 15 ounces, which gave him a 62-14 total. Starting his campaign with a 38th-place effort on day one was not favorable to his confidence, but Seal persevered.

"I dropped the ball a little bit the first day, and I thought I was done, but I just stuck with it," he said. "I'm proud of the adjustments I made."

Seal used dropshot tubes earlier in the tournament, but eventually discovered a good topwater pattern that produced several of his weight fish.

Lakey finds his fish (again) for fifth

He temporarily lost his school of fish on day three, but fifth-place pro Scott Lakey found them again in the final round.Entering the final round in ninth place, Scott Lakey of Augusta, Mich., caught 15 pounds, 11 ounces for a total of 62-3. He fished a 1/2-ounce football -head jig in peanut butter-and-jelly color.

Like most, Lakey was keying on areas with large schools of yellow perch and the smallmouths that were gorging on this forage. He turned in two bags of 16-plus pounds on days one and two, but stumbled on day three with just 13-8.

"I was on a big wad of fish this week," he said. "I lost them yesterday, but I found them again today."

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., 60-11
7th: Brian Gates of Mendon, Vt., 60-9
8th: Chad Pipkens of Holt, Mich., 60-1
9th: Pete Gluszek of Franklinville, N.J., 59-7
10th: Atsushi Nakahigashi of Chester, Va., 58-11

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

Pirowski Flips for Potomac Title

Pirowski Flips for Potomac Title

Boater Alex Pirowski of Occoquan, Virginia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 17 pounds, 3 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland. For his victory, Pirowski earned a total of $5,337. READ MORE »

Richmond Wins on Ouachita

Richmond Wins on Ouachita

Boater Russell Richmond of Sheridan, Arkansas, brought three bass to the scale Saturday totaling 11 pounds, 5 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Ouachita in Mount Ida, Arkansas. Richmond topped his nearest competitor, Stephen Browning of Hot Springs, Arkansas, by 1-pound, 1-ounce and earned $4,394 for his victory. READ MORE »

McClain, Drake Take Hoosier Double-Header

McClain, Drake Take Hoosier Double-Header

It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Bloomington with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on Lake Monroe events presented by Fish-Intel. FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, rescheduled the events after the coronavirus pandemic forced the organization to pause competition in mid-March. READ MORE »

Okie Double-Header on Arkansas River

Okie Double-Header on Arkansas River

It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Muskogee with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on the Arkansas River events. FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, rescheduled the events after the coronavirus pandemic forced the organization to pause competition in mid-March. READ MORE »

Losee, Tweite Close out High School Championship

Losee, Tweite Close out High School Championship

The Riceville (Iowa) High School team of Lawson Losee and Kooper Tweite won the 2020 Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship on the Mississippi River out of La Crosse, Wis., with a three-day (three bass per day) total weight of 30 pounds, 4 ounces. Losee and Tweite topped 194 of the top high school teams in the country. READ MORE »

It’s All Wheeler on Chickamauga

It’s All Wheeler on Chickamauga

You’re not going to find a bass angler on a hotter streak right now than Tennessee’s Jacob Wheeler. Prior to this week, the 29-year-old pro had won five multiple-day tournaments since the start of the 2019 season. Today, the No. 1 ranked angler in the world added a sixth victory to his impressive run by dominating the first-ever Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga. Wheeler’s four-day total of 93 pounds, 12 ounces earned him the win by a margin of more than 11 pounds. READ MORE »

Lake Chickamauga Day 4 Coverage

Lake Chickamauga Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga June 23-26, 2020. READ MORE »

Losee, Tweite Take Over High School Lead

Losee, Tweite Take Over High School Lead

Lawson Losee and Kooper Tweite of Riceville High School in Riceville, Iowa, have the lead going into the final day of the Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship on the Mississippi River near La Crosse, Wis. Their two-day total of 19 pounds, 2 ounces (three-fish limit per day) has Losee and Tweite 1 pound, 1 ounce ahead of the second-place team. The top 10 teams compete tomorrow for the title.  READ MORE »

Wheeler Crushes 25-12 to Retake Lead

Wheeler Crushes 25-12 to Retake Lead

Day three of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament was another banner day on Chickamauga, but it was a really stupendous day for Jacob Wheeler. Weighing 25-12 with a 10-pounder for a 72-6 total, Wheeler cruised back into the lead with no problem. Heading into the final day, Wheeler has a 4-13 edge over Jason Reyes, who weighed 17-11 and dropped to second with a 62-3 total. READ MORE »

Lake Chickamauga Day 3 Coverage

Lake Chickamauga Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga June 23-26, 2020. READ MORE »

Mains, Chapman Lead High School Championship

Mains, Chapman Lead High School Championship

Legacy Christian Academy (Lenexa, Kan.) anglers Ryder Mains and Mason Chapman have the early lead at the Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wis. With a three-fish limit worth 11 pounds, 11 ounces, Mains and Chapman lead the second-place team by 1 pound, 9 ounces.  READ MORE »

Reyes Surges Ahead

Reyes Surges Ahead

The big fish bit on day two of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga. While the first day featured plenty of good fishing, both Jason Reyes and Cole Floyd caught bags that crossed the 25-pound mark on day two. Weighing 27 pounds, 4 ounces, Reyes surged into the lead with a 49-14 total. READ MORE »

High School Championship Under Way at La Crosse

High School Championship Under Way at La Crosse

La Crosse, Wis., has been inundated with bass boats this past week as young anglers pre-fished and boat drivers got them into casting position on the mighty Mississippi for the FLW High School Fishing presented by Favorite National Championship. This three-day lure-slinging event, June 24-26, 2020, is likely to showcase this area’s amazing bass fishery, as well the diversity of techniques that can be used to catch them in early summer.  READ MORE »

Lake Chickamauga Day 2 Coverage

Lake Chickamauga Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga June 23-26, 2020. READ MORE »

Wheeler leads with 24-9 on Chick

Wheeler leads with 24-9 on Chick

Day one of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga featured good fishing with a lot of pressure put on the offshore fish. Making the most of his local knowledge, Jacob Wheeler weighed 24 pounds, 9 ounces to take the lead on day one. Behind him, John Cox weighed in 23-6 for second place. READ MORE »

Lake Chickamauga Day 1 Coverage

Lake Chickamauga Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga June 23-26, 2020. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Chickamauga

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Chickamauga

FLW marshals and media staff provide unofficial weight estimates for the fourth stop of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Lake Martin. READ MORE »

Dixon, Houchin Win on Dardanelle

Dixon, Houchin Win on Dardanelle

Boater Wayne Dixon of Morrilton, Arkansas, brought three bass to the scale totaling 10 pounds, 11 ounces to win Saturday’s event and earn $5,127, but Mabelvale’s Quincy Houchin was the big winner on the weekend. Houchin finished second Saturday – good for $3,139 – then backed it up with a win on Sunday, which earned him the top prize of $12,309, including the lucrative $7,000 FLW PHOENIX Bonus contingency award. READ MORE »

Morgan, Chandler Win on High Rock

Morgan, Chandler Win on High Rock

Boaters Brian Morgan of Sherrills Ford, North Carolina, brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 22 pounds even to win Saturday’s event, while Kevin Chandler of New London, North Carolina, brought in a limit weighing 19 pounds, 3 ounces on Sunday to earn the win. Morgan earned $5,511 for his win Saturday, while Chandler won Sunday’s top prize of $4,359. READ MORE »

Bama Division Goes Back-to-Back

Bama Division Goes Back-to-Back

Boaters Jason Nixon of Wetumpka, Alabama, and Byron Smith of Tyrone, Georgia, both brought a five-bass limit to the scale totaling 13 pounds, 10 ounces to tie for the win at Saturday’s event, while Hunter Hayes of Gadsden, Alabama, brought in a limit weighing 14 pounds, 12 ounces on Sunday to earn the win. Nixon and Smith each earned $2,937 for their wins Saturday, while Hayes won Sunday’s top prize of $4,545. READ MORE »