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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Martin erases Guntersville memory

Co-angler champion Casey Martin holds up his two biggest bass from day three on Lake Champlain.

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. - Back in February, Casey Martin held a 6-pound lead at the EverStart Series Southeast Division event on Guntersville, his home lake. He could almost taste a breakthrough victory but his pattern faltered on the final day as he finished third.

But Martin's tale goes much further back. Approximately a year ago the 30-year-old was laid off from his engineering job. With his severance package, he decided he'd give competitive bass angling a try. While he fishes the EverStarts and BFLs as a pro, he competes on the Walmart FLW Tour as a co-angler.
Co-angler Casey Martin celebrates after winning the FLW Tour event on Lake Champlain.
But that same feeling came back this afternoon on Lake Champlain. With only a 2-pound lead, Martin knew he'd have to catch them on the final day. And he knew it was going to be much more difficult fishing with Gary Yamamoto, who was precisely targeting docks for largemouths.

"Gary was fishing very slowly around docks on this flat, so I decided to pick up a ChatterBait with a Zoom Speed Craw and throw towards the middle of the flat in like 3 to 5 feet of water," Martin said.

While it sounds unorthodox, it worked to the tune of 15 pounds, 7 ounces - giving Martin 49-9 total and nearly a 4-pound margin of victory.

"I caught three smallmouths right away and then my fourth fish was a 4 1/2-pounder. But then it really slowed down and I was beginning to wonder if I let another one slip away. It feels like I'm always one bite away, but then I culled a couple in the afternoon and was able to close it out."

Martin's heaviest stringer of the tournament came on day two while fishing with Jason Christie. The two were For winning the FLW Tour event on Lake Champlain, co-angler Casey Martin earned $20,000. flipping grass and the Huntsville, Ala., native said his 1/2-ounce Omega flipping jig was the key to his success.

"For a stretch there yesterday were catching them one right after the other. But last night I still didn't think I had a chance to win because of the way Gary was fishing. To finally do it, it's a lot of pressure off."

Martin's first-place check is worth $20,000. And depending on the status of an impending meeting, he may or may not fish the final Open of the season on his home lake.

"I have a job interview coming up on Tuesday. To be honest, I don't know if I'll take it or if I'll keep fishing."

Hall narrowly misses back-to-back Champlain wins

Christopher Hall won the 2010 FLW Series event on Champlain as a co-angler and many thought he'd Second-place co-angler Christopher Hall holds up his two biggest bass from day three on Lake Champlain.win again this year. That's because he drew his old team partner, David Wolak, on the tournament's first and third days. While that certainly contributed to his success, Hall has proven he's quite the fisherman.

"I'm not a local, but I love to fish Lake Champlain," said the Clarks Summit, Pa., native. "I've been there, done that. I like to let the scales do the talking."

And they did. On day one, Hall caught 16-11 with Wolak. On day two he managed 15-10 and today he caught 13 pounds, 6 ounces.

For second place and a total weight of 45 pounds, 11 ounces, Hall, earned $6,715.

Scott retains third

Dearborn, Mich., co-angler Greg Scott caught a nice limit Saturday that weighed 13 pounds, 15 ounces. The day-one leader finished the tournament with a total weight of 42 pounds, 14 ounces.

As a veteran smallmouth angler who calls Erie and St. Clair home, Scott was right at home this week drop-shotting and Carolina rigging.

His third-place finish earned him $4,465.

Schumacher, Divis round out top five

Fourth place and $3,565 went to Richard Schumacher of Newtown, Conn., with a combined weight of 38 pounds, 7 ounces. Schumacher's day-three catch of five bass weighed 11 pounds, 3 ounces.

Veteran co-angler Frank Divis of Fayetteville, Ark., finished fifth with a three-day total of 37 pounds, 6 ounces. His five-bass limit Saturday weighed 11 pounds, 5 ounces - moving him up from 11th place. He earned $2,665.

Rest of the best

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

6th: Philip Jarabeck of Lynchburg, Va., 37-4, $2,215
7th: Mark Banks of East Aurora, N.Y., 36-3, $1,765
8th: Jeff Gengler of Fort Collins, Colo., 35-9, $1,585
9th: Carl Hunter of Snellville, Ga., 35-0, $1,495
10th: William Wood of West Palm Beach, Fla., 35-0, $1,405

Tags: brett-carlson  co-angler-headline  2011-09-15-lake-champlain 

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