UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Potomac River

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

The bane of Champlain

The bane of Champlain
Lake Champlain may have dipped below flood level, but lingering high water will play a big role in this week's EverStart tournament.

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. - Sandbags, water lines well above lawnmower level and a lot of displaced chipmunks - that's the scene on Lake Champlain. The area has officially fallen below the 100-foot flood level, but anglers fishing the EverStart Series Northern Division event will have to deal with a lot of lake.

Snow melt, combined with historic spring rains, had swollen the lake straddling the New York-Vermont border, and both sides saw disastrous flooding, which temporarily closed roads, halted ferry services and pushed water well into tree lines. The emergency has mostly subsided. However, Champlain will show anglers a much different scenario than they've seen in years past. This means an interesting mix of challenges and opportunities.

"Lake Champlain's fishing totally different than what we typically see (in June)," said Pennsylvania proAnglers make their way through boat check on the morning of day one. Jason Ober. "The fish are really spread out, but I still think you're going to see big bags of fish brought in. I believe that if you're in the right place at the right time, that's going to be the deal."

West Virginia pro Paul Noechel agreed, adding: "This lake is still (several) feet over normal level, and the water clarity is different than what we're used to here. The fish aren't schooled up like they were this time last year, so I think you're going to see everyone moving around a lot."

Reports indicate that the lake's bass are in varying stages of their spawning cycle from pre- to postspawn. Ober said most of the largemouths he found in practice appeared to be spawned out, but the smallies were fat and sassy.

"A smallmouth that would normally go 2 pounds is about 2 ¾ (pounds) right now, and that extra three-quarters can really add up," Ober said.

Wacky-rigged Senkos will be one of the more common baits for pros and co-anglers on Lake Champlain.The usual mix of plastics - dropshots, tubes and wacky-rigged Senkos - will occupy most of Ober's day, but he'll occasionally use a Zoom Fluke as a search bait. Rigging a stinger hook - facing opposite to his lead hook - helps him stick short-striking fish.

Noechel said he'll start with a topwater plug and keep it handy throughout the day, as cloudy skies could extend the bait's viability. He'll also employ a tube and a dropshot, but when the wind picks up later in day, he'll throw a spinnerbait.

Pennsylvania pro Randy Yalnall said he could only catch small fish under 2 pounds in practice, but he has a game plan for leveraging current lake conditions to his benefit. Yarnall suspects that a lot of fish followed the rising water into flooded shoreline cover, mostly pencil reeds and other vegetation. He's hoping to score big by pitching tubes and other plastics to the fish.

"I know they're in there," Yarnall said. "I could see them (in practice). But they're spooky, so I have toPennsylvania pro Randy Yarnall will be looking for big bites in flooded weeds. keep my distance, pitch up in there and just keep working them. I have a whole day to catch five fish, and there are some quality fish in there."

Today's forecast for cloudy skies and afternoon rains will virtually eliminate the sight-fishing game. Moreover, big winds will whip the lake by midday, so anglers who make long runs will burn more time on the throttle.

Noechel said that despite the lake's conditions, he's expecting to see good catches. He estimates that it will take 17 to 18 pounds a day to make the top-10 cut for day three. Considering Champlain's reputation for quality smallmouths and largemouths, it's likely that the top anglers will weigh mixed bags of green and brown fish.

Logistics

Paul Noechel will start day one with a topwater and probably switch to a spinnerbait later in the morning.Anglers will take off from Plattsburgh Boat Basin located at 5 Dock Street in Plattsburgh, N.Y., at 6 each morning. Thursday and Friday's weigh-ins will also be held at the marina beginning at 2 p.m. daily. Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at the Walmart located at 25 Consumer Square in Plattsburgh starting at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Pros will fish for a top award of $35,000 plus a 198VX Ranger boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Co-anglers will cast for a top award consisting of a Ranger 177TR with 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $5,000 if Ranger Cup guidelines are met.

The EverStart Series consists of five divisions - Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of four tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the Strike King Angler of the Year title along with $5,000 for the pro and $2,000 for the co-angler. The top 40 pros and co-anglers from each respective division will qualify for the EverStart Series Championship that will be held on Kentucky Lake in Buchanan, Tenn., Oct. 27-30.Cloudy skies at takeoff foretold the rainy conditions likely for later in the day.

The EverStart Series tournament on Lake Champlain is being hosted by the City of Plattsburgh.

Thursday's conditions

Sunrise: 5:37 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 63 degrees
Expected high temperature: 72 degrees
Wind: SE at 10-15 mph
Humidity: 84 percent
Day's outlook: cloudy, showers and thunderstorms

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2011-06-23-lake-champlain 

Top 10 Patterns from Clear Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Clear Lake

An unwavering commitment to one fish-laden area enabled Kyle Grover to earn his first Costa FLW Series win with a three-day total of 66 pounds, 13 ounces at the Western Division event at Clear Lake. The tournament was presented by Ranger Boaters and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Clear Lake

Top 10 Baits from Clear Lake

Even though cold, windy and rainy conditions challenged the field throughout the event, Clear Lake still showed the caliber of fish that swim in it during the second stop of the Costa FLW Series Western Division season, which was presented by Ranger Boats.   READ MORE »

Huntze Closes Door for Co-angler W

Huntze Closes Door for Co-angler W

Logan Huntze, the youngest competitor in the co-angler field, showed that age is just a number, as the 19-year-old earned a convincing Clear Lake victory at the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats by amassing a three-day total of 57 pounds, 15 ounces. READ MORE »

Grover Grabs Clear Lake Title

Grover Grabs Clear Lake Title

Clear Lake is always a fun place to fish, but wind, rain and cooler temperatures made things tough for the second stop of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats, and the famed fishery wasn't as kind as it can be with many pros struggling as the week went on. Kyle Grover, on the other hand, only got better as the tournament progressed. READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 3

After taking a brutal pounding from the strong winds of day two, the top-10 pros and co-anglers in the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats are taking advantage of Clear Lake’s calmer final round conditions. A steady light rain began around 10 a.m., but without yesterday’s white caps, the lake’s allowing easy runs to wherever anglers want to fish. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

Drop-shotting tules was the main pattern for Uribe and knowing how to reach the fish made all the difference. Adjusting to the conditions was definitely key on day two, and no doubt the rest of the top pros had to go with the flow to stay in sight of the title. READ MORE »

Uribe in Charge on Clear Lake

Uribe in Charge on Clear Lake

When weather woes nixed Joe Uribe Jr.’s initial objective, the resilient angler from Surprise, Ariz., refocused his effort and sacked up a limit of 19 pounds, 5 ounces to take over the lead on day two of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina with a total weight of 41-13. READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Clear Lake was in a foul, foul mood this morning for the second day’s launch of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. Absent was the drizzly rain of yesterday, but the tradeoff was a 15- to 20-mph northwest wind that turned the lake into a washing machine. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 1

Lane Olson of Forest Grove, Ore., benefitted from a double dose of Clear Lake kickers when he found the right set of docks in a major spawning bay. Finesse baits did the trick up shallow for the day one leader at the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats. Other slow presentations served his brief offshore work. Handling the day’s weather challenges was a big part of Olson’s success.  Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

Big Bags Coming on Rainy Clear Lake

Big Bags Coming on Rainy Clear Lake

One of the gems of California bass fishing might have its luster muted by the week’s weather, but Clear Lake will likely still provide plenty of opportunity for anglers competing in this week’s Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina.  READ MORE »

Olson Out in Front at Clear Lake

Olson Out in Front at Clear Lake

Lane Olson of Forest Grove, Ore., was able to separate himself from the pack on day one of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats with a five-bass limit weighing 25 pounds. One of four anglers to crack 20 pounds, Olson leads second-place pro Joe Uribe Jr. by 2 1/2 pounds. The rest of the top 20 are packed together with just a few pounds separating them.  READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 1

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 1

The weather system pushing through northern California brought dreary, drizzly conditions interspersed with occasional steady spells of light rain for day one of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. The sun made only a few peeking appearances, but there were several bright spots in the morning’s activity. READ MORE »

Everything on the Table at Table Rock

Everything on the Table at Table Rock

Stop No. 2 of the Costa FLW Series Central Division, which is presented by Power-Pole and hosted by Explore Branson, is primed to be an all-out show. It seems like the lake’s entire population of bass is rushing to the bank to spawn, with all three species willing to eat a vast array of offerings. The only question: Will Mother Nature play nice? READ MORE »

Tougher but Still Santee Cooper

Tougher but Still Santee Cooper

The Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division finale began this morning at Santee Cooper, where even though fishing has been tough, everyone expects to see mega-bags brought to weigh-in. The bass are nearly done spawning, but a strong shad spawn in the mornings offers real potential. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Kentucky Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Kentucky Lake

Power-fishing tactics with spinnerbaits, jigs, Texas rigs and ChatterBaits on prespawn cover and structure dominated the top 10 at Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley in April. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Kentucky Lake

Top 10 Baits from Kentucky Lake

April is transition time in the Tennessee Valley, when bass make their push from prespawn staging areas toward spawning grounds. They set up on rocky banks, shallow points and any kind of wood cover near shore in areas adjacent to spawning pockets. As we saw at the Costa FLW Series Central Division opener presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, some of the best baits for catching bass this time of year are old-school springtime classics: spinnerbaits, jigs, shallow-running crankbaits and Texas rigs. Add in vibrating jigs and wobble-head jigs, and you have about all you need. READ MORE »

Co-angler Bickers Wins by Ounces

Co-angler Bickers Wins by Ounces

One fish is unlikely to win a three-day tournament, but the right one can help an angler dig out of a hole. Just ask co-angler Troy Bickers, who rebounded from the dreaded day-one goose egg to go worst-to-first in the Costa FLW Series Central Division opener presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake with a winning weight of 20 pounds, 14 ounces. READ MORE »

Morris Closes it Out on Barkley

Morris Closes it Out on Barkley

With just two fish in the bag, Jake Morris was noticeably nervous at the final weigh-in of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake. Fortunately for him, he didn’t need either one of them, as Morris caught enough the first two days to top the next closest finisher. Catching 5-12 today punctuated the wire-to-wire victory for Morris, who brought in 44-2 in three days. He caught almost every fish on a spinnerbait from one key stretch on Lake Barkley. READ MORE »

Kentucky Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Kentucky Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Question marks are about the only certainty for day three of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake, as the top 10 pros scattered and left us lean on details on a day where changing weather could see changing fortunes. After two dreary days of cloudy, dim conditions, the final round brought lots of the bright, sunny stuff that pushes fish tighter to cover and makes them easier to target. Also, considerably more warmth may very well put the giddy-up on seasonal progression. No one’s getting too crazy with visions of heavy bed-fishing, but accelerated prespawn movement is certainly possible. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Kentucky Lake – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Kentucky Lake – Day 2

Spinnerbaits, crankbaits and vibrating jigs fished on rocky staging areas has been the primary pattern for catching big prespawn largemouth bass on Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley at the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Lawrence. READ MORE »