UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Detroit River

Greenblatt goes green

Greenblatt goes green
For winning the FLW Tour event on Lake Champlain, co-angler Matt Greenblatt earned $25,000.

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. - Matt Greenblatt lives in Tequesta, Fla., near Lake Okeechobee so he gets plenty of opportunities to fish thick grass for largemouth bass. When he heads north to scenic Lake Champlain, he's eager to tie into some bruising smallmouths. But after using brown bass to qualify for the final round, Greenblatt was taken down to Ticonderoga Saturday.

Fishing with pro Kyle Mabrey, Greenblatt immediately knew he wasn't going to be able to drop shot. The first two days of competition he used a Baby Bass-colored Yamamoto Shad Shape Worm while Co-angler Matt Greenblatt pumps his fist in celebration after learning he won the FLW Tour event on Lake Champlain.dragging flats.

After looking at the grass he knew an audible was in order and he chose to go with a weightless Texas-rigged 5-inch Senko. But this wasn't an ordinary Senko, it was a newer laminate bait where half the body was green pumpkin in color and the other half was watermelon. On stage Greenblatt referred to it as the 9-12 as a reference to the color scheme in the Yamamoto catalog.

"I was catching smallies all week, so I really had to do a 180 today," he said. "We were in some heavy weeds, but the fish wanted a slow fall so I rigged my bait weightless and let it drop nice and slow. I had to fish it on slack line to allow it to fall because if I had a tight line, the wind would grab it and the Senko would ski across the top of the grass and ruin the drop. They were just grabbing it on the freefall on the edge of the weeds and they were not shy about it."

Greenblatt's morning was painful for many reasons. For starters a stiff south wind made the 75-mile journey just past Ticonderoga a painful adventure. When they finally arrived, Greenblatt began to unwrap his rods and get to work. Mabrey then immediately called for the net and Greenblatt obliged. He went back to working on his rods and Mabrey again called for the net. This pattern continued with fish three through five as Mabrey had a limit in the boat before Greenblatt had a bait in the water.

Eventually, he was able to accumulate a limit of his own and he even culled five times. His heaviest five weighed 15 pounds, 5 ounces and that was more than enough to claim the title.
Co-angler champion Matt Greenblatt holds up his kicker largemouth from day three on Lake Champlain.
"I got a little bit lucky because we were in a pocket so the wind wasn't bothering us too much when we were actually fishing. I know a lot of other guys got tossed around today and it affected the bite."

The co-angler champion said he used Trilene 100% fluorocarbon line in 6-pound test for the smallmouths and 10- to 12-pound test for largemouths.

Greenblatt fishes just about everything FLW Outdoors offers, from the BFL to the Stren Series to the FLW Series and the FLW Tour. He has five top-10 finishes, but this was his first win and he earned a check worth $25,000.

"Lake Champlain has always been good to me. When I was 16-years-old my dad took me up here for my first tournament. The last two years I top-10d in the FLW Series. This is my first win and it feels really, really good. I did it from the back of the boat and now comes the front of the boat."


Lucas second

Justin Lucas has four FLW Series Western Division wins, two FLW Series Western Division Angler of Second-place co-angler Justin Lucas shows off one of his five smallmouth bass from Saturdaythe Year titles and a Stren Series win to his name. At the 2009 FLW Tour season opener on Lake Guntersville, it appeared he would be taking home another major title. But after weighing in a 16-pound, 4-ounce limit, he watched in agony as Judy Israel placed 17 pounds, 11 ounces on the scale.

Today he was the last co-angler to weigh in but he brought only 12 pounds, 14 ounces to the scale, his lightest weight of the tournament.

"I'm not going to complain about second place and ten grand but I want to win," said the back-deck sensation. "It's a little frustrating that I caught more weight during the tournament than he did. If it was cumulative, I would have won."

Lucas was paired with pro Mark Hardin Saturday and the two attempted to fish for smallmouths on a flat. The wind made it extremely difficult, if not impossible. Of the five keepers the Folsom, Calif., native weighed, two came on a Berkley Hollow Belly swimbait, two came on a Lucky Craft Pointer 100 jerkbait and one came on a Carolina rig with a creature bait.

Ober third

Johnstown, Pa., native Jason Ober finished the Lake Champlain event third with 10 pounds, 1 ounce.Jason Ober won last year's Stren Series Northern Division event on Champlain as a professional - out-dueling the likes of Pete Gluszek, Dave Lefebre and Mike Iaconelli for the first-place prize of $25,000 and fully-equipped Ranger boat. Earlier that year, he won the Stren Series Southeast Division event on Santee Cooper as a co-angler.

This year, he won $40,000 at the National Guard Open on Lake Norman. Today, the Johnstown, Pa., native fished with two-time Land O'Lakes Angler of the Year Clark Wendlandt, who retreated to a smallmouth area today after fishing Ticonderoga the first two days.

Ober caught a limit of smallies, but they only weighed 10 pounds, 1 ounce. He earned $7,300 for third.

"I broke off a few fish today that could have helped me," said Ober, who used a Carolina rig on day three.


Shuffield, Sweeney round out top five
Spencer Shuffield took fourth in the Co-angler Division and earned $4,867.
Fourth place and $4,867 went to Spencer Shuffield of Bismarck, Ark., with five bass that weighed 8 pounds, 7 ounces. This was Shuffield's second top-10 finish of the season, the first coming at Lake Norman, where he took third. In just three years as a co-angler he has notched five tour-level top 10s.

Jim Sweeney of West Dover, Vt., finished fifth with four bass weighing 7 pounds, 14 ounces. He earned $3,893. In 2005, Sweeney won two BFL events on Lake Champlain as a boater. This was his first FLW Tour event.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 co-angler finishers at Lake Champlain:

6th: Brandon Hunter of Benton, Ky., 7-12, $3,407
7th: Lynn Baciuska Jr. of Afton, N.Y., 7-9, $2,920
8th: Shane Lehew of Charlotte, N.C., 5-12, $2,433
9th: James Schneider of Watervliet, N.Y., 4-12, $1,947
10th: Keith Honeycutt of Temple, Texas, 3-2, $1,460

Tags: brett-carlson  co-angler-headline  2009-07-09-lake-champlain 

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