UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir


Large and in charge

After a slow start, Alabama pro Greg Pugh got on the fish and sacked up a leading limit.

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. - Lake Champlain has a lot going for it, not the least of which is a double barrel bass population boasting solid fisheries for largemouth and smallmouth. Although the latter usually holds an edge in popularity, the former played the lead role in the day one drama at the American Fishing Series Northern Division event.

In fairness to the brown guys with striped faces, there was no lack of smallmouth representation. In fact, several anglers reported spirited action with smallies. Despite the day's high bright skies, some found smallies willing to blast topwaters with vicious aggression that carried them clear out of the water.

Nevertheless, the smallmouth deal was a little off and a recent algae bloom that left a lot of rocks coatedPro leader Greg Pugh gets a shot of water on his fish after taking the top spot. and slimy probably has something to do with this. Not surprisingly, the green fish earned big bass honors in the pro and co-angler divisions, but more on that later.

Leading the pro field is Greg Pugh of Cullman, Ala., who sacked up a limit of 21-2. Pugh made the long run south to Ticonderoga where he found his better fish around isolated clumps of grass. A sunny and mostly windless day did not work in his favor, but Pugh dealt with the conditions and got his game going by mid-morning.

"The way I'm fishing, I needed a little wind blowing and a little cloud cover but it was slick and all I could catch was small ones this morning," he said. "But around 10 o'clock it picked up and I started catching a couple good ones here and there."

Like many of his competitors, Pugh was factoring the day two forecast for windy, stormy weather into his first day's game plan.

A bone colored Pop-R delivered tremendous action for Paul Noechel, including a 6-pound, 1-ounce largemouth that tied for the Big Bass spot."The wind is supposed to blow (tomorrow) and I wanted to get a big bag today," he said. "I actually thought I had a little more than (what I weighed) and I pulled off of them. But (21-2) is still a good bag up here on Champlain."

Pugh fished a jig in certain scenarios, but caught most of his fish flipping an undisclosed bait. He said the pursuing Champlain's green fish taps into his southern roots. "Largemouth is something I like catching. I haven't quite figured out these smallmouth yet. Over that last couple of years, I've started learning a little bit about (Champlain's) largemouth, so maybe I have a little something figured out."

Noting that he's looking for specific types of spots within the grass beds, Pugh compared his tactics to something he'd do back home. "There are some key elements that I'm looking for. It's kind of like back home on Lake Guntersville. Fishing the grass on this lake is a lot like fishing Guntersville."

Pugh said he caught between 30 and 40 keepers on day one.

Webster winds up second
The only other pro to break 20 pounds, Rob Webster of Janetville, Ont. earned the second place spot with aFlipping grass in the Ticonderoga area put Rob Webster in second place. limit weighing 20-10. Targeting largemouth bass was his intention, and his practice results steered him to the lake's south end.

"I practiced up north and couldn't find groups of nice largemouth so I spent all my time down south," he said.

Webster did his damage by flipping a Punisher jig and a Packer Craw Texas-rigged with a 1-ounce weight. He found his better fish congregating around isolated vegetation.

"The seemed to be around isolated clumps of grass, not miles of it," Webster said. "You'd catch four or five fish and then you'd go to the next clump. They were definitely grouped up."

Marietta, Schwenkbeck and Wolak tie for third

One of three anglers tied at third, Harold Marietta fished mostly Texas-rigged plastics.Coming up an ounce short of the 20-pound mark is a notable point in itself. Three anglers did it today. Those with 19-15 were:

Harold Marietta of Hunker, Pa.: He tried topwaters early, but Marietta caught only small fish and quickly decided to shift gears and switch to deeper presentations with plastics. Fishing slow and giving his baits a slight wiggle was intrinsic.

"I started to get bigger fish when I dropped off into deeper water," Marietta said. "With the largemouth and smallmouth, there seemed to be bigger fish when I got down around the 16-foot mark.

"I fished around rocks, but weeds were a bonus. It seemed that when you got around rocks with weeds, that (scenario) seemed to double the number of fish.

Marietta fished north of the launch site the entire day and found abundant action. "I caught fish all day long. I probably caught 40 keepers and had my limit by 10 o'clock.

Darrin Schwenkbeck of Varysburg, N.Y.:Fishing in and around the Ticonderoga area, SchwenkbeckA late-day rally near Ticonderoga delivered big results for Darrin Schwenkbeck. caught his fish by flipping black/blue and green pumpkin baits. Although he thought his practice findings had given him a slam dunk spot, he ended up having to work at it a little harder today. Belief in his area ended up rewarding him.

"I had one area that I thought, if I got it to myself, that I could bust a heavy sack and be back here by 11 o'clock," Schwenkbeck said. "They didn't eat this morning, but I rolled back in there later in the day, caught one key fish, picked up a flipping stick and culled out twice about half an hour before I had to come back."

With extensive Champlain experience, David Wolak knew that heDavid Wolak: Coming into the event with a deep well of experience, Wolak said he put his faith in his practice findings. In the days preceding the tournament, he found more plump and aggressive largemouth. Day one confirmed his beliefs.

"I think part of the whole gig here is determining which species you're going to fish for," he said. "I fished for smallmouth and caught a small limit, but I (decided) that they really weren't the dominant pattern today and I ended up focusing more on largemouth."

Wolak caught most of his day one fish on Texas-rigged Yum Dingers. A blue-back Zara Spook produced his first fish of the day - a 6-1 that earned Big Bass Honors.

"When you catch a big fish like that first thing, you kind of put a sense of serenity on yourself," he said. "I knew I just needed to go out and catch 3-pounders for the rest of my sack."

Best of the rest

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

6th: Pat Eichmann of Nancy, Ky., 19-12
6th: Matt Greenblatt of Tequesta, Fla., 19-12
8th: Bill Spence of St. Albans, Vt., 19-10
9th: Gregg Seal of Eldred, Penn., 19-6
10th: A.C. Campbell of Mineral Springs, Penn., 19-3
10th: Paul Noechel of Lost Creek, W.V., 19-3

Noechel caught another 6-1 and split Big Bass honors with Wolak.

Plastics right for Wright

He usually fishes as a boater, but Peter Wright of Eden, Vt. took a break from driving and handily securedCo-angler leader Peter Wright caught his fish on slow sinking plastics. the lead from the back of the boat. Fishing green plastics, Wright caught a limit weighing 19-12.

Wright said he Texas-rigged his baits with a small peg weight to create the type of fall his fish seemed to favor. "The liked it gliding."

One other co-angler, John Woodroof of Lynchburg, Va. reached 19 pounds. Fishing reaction baits, Woodroof's limit of 19 even included the day's largest co-angler bass - a 5-11 largemouth.

William Capwell of Macungie, Penn. finished third with 17-12 and Christopher Hall of Clarks Summit, Penn. took fourth with 17-6. Masahiro Yanase of Knoxville, Tenn. was fifth at 17-3.

Second place co-angler John Woodroof caught the biggest fish of his division, a 5-11.Best of the rest

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

6th: Jeff Zeisner of Arva, Ont., 17-1
7th: Seth Downing of London, Ohio, 16-15
8th: Larry Evans of Southport, Ohio, 16-8
8th: Dick Gum of Woodbridge, Va., 16-8
8th: Jeff Misaiko of Tolland, Ct., 16-8

Day two of American Fishing Series on Lake Champlain continues at Friday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 6 a.m. (Eastern) at the Plattsburgh Boat Basin located at 5 Dock St. in Plattsburgh, N.Y.

Tags: david-a-brown  headline-story  2010-07-15-lake-champlain 


Montevallo Wins on Seminole

The University of Montevallo duo of Justin Barnes of Monroeville, Alabama, and Adam Carroll of Carrollton, Georgia, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake Seminole Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 23 pounds, 1 ounce. The victory earned the Falcon’s bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »


Mount Paran Christian School wins on Seminole

The Mount Paran Christian School duo of Lee Rose Koza and Carter Koza, both of Marietta, Georgia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 23 pounds, 2 ounces to win the 2019 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Lake Seminole Open. READ MORE »


Anders Chases Shad for Keowee W

Boater Joe Anders of Easley, South Carolina, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River division event on Lake Keowee presented by Navionics. Anders earned $4,164 for his efforts. READ MORE »


Toho Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »


Gross Wins Second Tour Title

Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, Ga., won the 2019 FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats at Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla., with a four-day total of 20 bass that weighed 85 pounds, 12 ounces. READ MORE »


Gross Grabs Toho Lead

Day three of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho was tough on the leaders, but Buddy Gross stayed steady, rising to first from fifth with 19 pounds, 12 ounces. In total, Gross has amassed 62 pounds even through three days, which is just about a pound ahead of Darrell Davis, who caught 25-12 for a 60-15 total and rocketed up to second from 13th. Going into the final day, everyone in the top six is within 5 pounds of the lead, and the way the Kissimmee Chain is pumping out big ones, that counts as the slimmest of margins. READ MORE »


Toho Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »


Cox Stays Ahead on Toho

Day two of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger on Lake Toho featured not one, but TWO 10-pounders, one caught by Casey Scanlon and the other by Jamie Horton. READ MORE »


Toho Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »


Cox Leads Toho Slugfest

Day one of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho was the slugfest many expected. Leading the way is sight-fishing extraordinaire John Cox, who caught 31 pounds, 9 ounces and the day one big bass – a giant that went 10-9.  In second, John Voyles wrangled up 24-15, and Scott Martin is close behind him with 24-12. READ MORE »


Toho Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »


FLW Live Schedule for Lake Toho

Weigh-ins at the FLW Tour Lake Toho event will be broadcast daily at 3 p.m. ET days one and two and 4 p.m ET days three and four. The studio broadcast, with live in-the-boat streaming, airs Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. with hosts Travis Moran and Peter T. READ MORE »


Thliveros Brings it Home

Nick Thliveros led after day two on Okeechobee and after weighing his lowest weight of the week, he was able to seal the deal for his first Costa FLW Series win as a pro. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 2

Fishing as a whole is still tough on the Big O, but there was definitely an improvement today – especially for the guys at the top of the leaderboard. READ MORE »


Thliveros in Charge on Okeechobee

Nick Thliveros is one day away from taking the title in the Costa FLW Series event on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 1

Things are tough on Okeechobee, but these pros cracked some of the code to wrangle solid catches. READ MORE »


Roder Out Front on Big O

Okeechobee is normally the place of dreams. This week, however, it isn’t quite living up to its reputation. Day one of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event on the Big O saw plenty of fish, though the quality bites were hard to come by. Troy Roder of Brookeland, Texas, set the pace early with a 19-pound, 15-ounce limit to grab the lead in the season opener – presented by Power-Pole – with a lead of over 4 pounds heading into Friday. READ MORE »


Anderson Tops on Tough Okeechobee

David Anderson of Fort Myers, Florida, caught five bass Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 1 ounce, to win the 2019 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Gator Division opener on Lake Okeechobee. For his win, Anderson earned $4,479.  READ MORE »


Pitt Wins Again on Toledo Bend

Local angler Cody Pitt of Many, La., caught five bass Saturday weighing 24 pounds, 5 ounces, to win the 2019 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Cowboy Division opener on Toledo Bend Reservoir presented by Navionics. Pitt earned $6,349 for his efforts.  READ MORE »


Bolton Hangs On

With a 17-pound, 6-ounce bag on day four of the FLW Tour opener on Sam Rayburn, which was presented by Polaris, the 24-year Tour veteran did something he’s been within ounces of doing so many times before: He won. He won his first Tour event, and he did it despite a handful of tremendous anglers — including standout rookie Nick LeBrun and the best angler on the planet, Bryan Thrift — breathing down his neck in a furious effort to outpace the Benton, Ky., pro. READ MORE »