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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Lavictoire victorious

Lavictoire victorious
After three days of long runs to Ticonderoga, Thomas Lavictoire Jr captured his first EverStart victory.

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. - During the long run from the Ticonderoga region of southern Lake Champlain back to the EverStart Northern Division tournament site at Plattsburgh, N.Y., Thomas Lavictoire Jr. had the worst feeling that he had blown his 2-day lead. He was wrong.

Stepping to the scale, with a pair of FLW Tour studs - Frosted Flakes pro Dave Lefebre and Keystone Light pro Chad Grigsby - currently sitting in first and second, Lavictoire seemed to be staring down his own personal David-and-Goliath scenario.

"If it's meant to be, it's meant to be," said the Vermont pro. "But this is the most nervous bag of fish I'veThomas Lavictoire Jr reacts to the announcement of his victory on Lake Champlain. ever weighed."

After unloading four solid bass, Lavictoire proudly hoisted a 5-pound kicker, but quickly recessed into a trepidation that seemed hopeful for the best, yet prepared for the worst. With Lefebre tallying 51 pounds, 14 ounces, Lavictoire was clearly unsure of what was about to happen, but when Tournament Director Ron Lappin announced his winning weight of 53-1 the usually even-keeled Lavictoire was clearly overcome with emotion borne from the enormity of what he had just accomplished.

"This isn't going to sink in for a while," he slowly began. "For me, the money's great - everybody needs $35,000 (the top prize), but I'll tell you what, just to win against these guys - I don't know what to say. They're Tour pros; they're the best at what they do. I'm just a guy who goes fishing every now and then."

Although he worried that his day-three catch was not enough for the win, Thomas Lavictoire Jr still pulled out the victory.Each day of the event, Lavictoire made the long, grueling run to and from Ticonderoga to fish the fertile grass beds at the lake's narrow lower end. Champlain boasts healthy populations of largemouth and smallmouth bass, but Ti, as it's known offers the best shot at the hefty largemouth that typically win summer events.

Day one saw nearly flat calm conditions making the Ti run downright pleasant. Days two and three, however, brought strong winds and Champlain showed her cranky side, as 4- to 5-foot waves made for bone-jarring rides. Nevertheless, Lavictoire soldiered on and put in his diligent best. But after weighing 20-4 on the first day and 18-2 on the second, he managed only 14-11 in the final round. This, he worried, had torpedoed his hopes.

"It takes a lot of guts to go down there and back every day," Lavictoire said. "When I rode home today,A jig and a tube were the productive baits for top pro Thomas Lavictoire Jr. in my mind I had lost this tournament. I don't know what happened. It was divine intervention."

Lavictoire said he caught all of his bass by power fishing a black/blue jig and a black with a black/blue Chompers trailer and a green pumpkin/purple flake Bass Pro Shops Magnum Flipping Tube on a 5/0 Gamakatsu wide gap hook. Arming himself with a stout rod and 40-pound braid, he fished with a take-no-prisoners mentality.

"I was just (beating) on 'em - no net," he said. "I was just (slinging) 4-pounders, 5-pouners right over the side of the boat - just get out of my way."

Lefebre rises to second

Frosted Flakes pro Dave Lefebre earned second place by committing to Ticonderoga.Lefebre was the most consistent top-10 finisher, with daily weights of 17-13, 17-7 and 16-10. Also running to Ti, he got off to a frustrating start on day one, when falling water pulled fish off the shallow spot he had identified in practice. After trying to force the issue for a couple of hours, he pulled out to the deeper grass and his day came together well.

On day two, he went right to the deeper grass, where he caught his fish by flipping a Kinami D Bug and cranking the new Storm Arashi Square 3. The latter produced most of his limit fish for days two and three, as the bait's tight action helped attract bites in the muddy water.

"With the wind blowing, this bait really turned on," Lefebre said. "When that wind starts blowing, they get up on the bank and you can really catch them on it. It vibrates really hard and it has a self-tuning lip. Even though Storm baits run true right out of the package, a lot of times, the eyes get bent while they're sitting in a tackle box. But this Arashi Square 3 has a floating line tie."

Lefebre said that his schedule allowed him only two practice days, so he split the time between the lake's north and south ends. The latter wasn't the only game in town, but calm day-one conditions eliminated the need for a coin toss. Securing a good first-round sack compelled him to return for two more days.

"I spent one practice day down at Ti and almost wrote it off because I didn't really do that great," Lefebre said. "I actually did better up north, but when you get no wind, I just feel like you gotta go to Ti. So I made the run, even though I had better fish up north."

Grigsby goes to third

Grigsby joined the Ti parade and caught a 14-pound, 3-ounce bag that gave him a third-place total of Keystone Light pro  Chad Grigsby caught his fish on a Texas-rigged Senko.49-15. The pro from Maple Grove, Minn. said the experience was largely therapeutic, following his FLW Tour season.

"It's been fun - other than the boat ride," Grigsby said. "It's been a while since I've had fun fishing. I had a couple of bad tournaments and I didn't really have a great season, but it's a lot of fun to come up here."

Grigsby was also fishing the southern grass but he also worked a semi-protected area he located toward the end of day two. He caught most of his fish on a Texas-rigged Senko fitted with a 5/0 Strike King Hack Attack flipping hook and a 3/8-ounce tungsten weight.

Targeting specific holes in the grass was Grigsby's strategy.

Wood rises to fourth

Fourth-place pro  Joseph Wood caught the heaviest bag of day three - 17-2.Continuing his path of improvement, Joseph Wood, of Westport, Mass. pulled out all the stops on day three by catching 17-2 - his biggest sack of the tournament and the heaviest of day three. Wood placed 26th on day one with 15-10, improved to fifth a day later by sacking up 16-1 and finished in fourth place with a three-day total of 48-13.

"That's what happens when you put in a month of practice," Wood said. "I guess you're able to find enough fish so when it's blowing like it was yesterday and there's 5-footers out there, you have areas you can run to."

Wood caught most of his fish on a dropshot with a green pumpkin Yamamoto Shad Shape Worm, but he also used a Carolina rig and a spinnerbait.

Wolack jumps into to fifth

Dave Wolak, of Wake Forest, N.C., spent the first two days in the 10th place spot, but apparently heAfter starting the final round in 10th place, Ranger pro  David Wolak improved to fifth. didn't like the view because day three found him making a big jump to fifth. Wolak posted weights of 16-15, 14-3 and 16-7 for a tournament total of 47-9.

"The lake was fishing a little bit tougher than usual because it's mid-summer and we had some inclement weather," Wolak observed."But today I had nowhere to go but up so I just relaxed and fished pretty good."

Wolak fished the lake's north end and caught a mixed bag of largemouth and smallmouth on Dave's Tournament Tackle jigs with Culprit trailers and swimbaits.

Best of the rest

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

6th: Aaron Hastings, of Middletown, Md., 46-13
7th: Darrin Schwenkbeck, of Keeseville, N.Y., 46-9
8th: Bryan Labelle, of Hinesburg, Vt., 46-9
9th: Rob Digh, of Denver, N.C., 44-10
10th: Todd Brunelle, of Milton, Vt., 39-5

Tags: david-a-brown  headline-story  2013-07-18-lake-champlain 

Matlock Flips Bushes for Title

Matlock Flips Bushes for Title

Tyler Matlock of Omaha, Arkansas, caught 11 pounds, 9 ounces of bass Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Arkie Division tournament on Greers Ferry Lake. For his efforts, Matlock took home $3,205. READ MORE »

Quaintance Makes it Two on Pickwick

Quaintance Makes it Two on Pickwick

Chris Quaintance of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mississippi Division tournament on Pickwick Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 21 pounds, 5 ounces. Quaintance netted $4,119 for his victory. READ MORE »

Laufenberg Claims Mighty Miss Title

Laufenberg Claims Mighty Miss Title

Cade Laufenberg of Goodview, Minnesota, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division opener on the Mississippi River at La Crosse presented by Navionics with five bass weighing 16 pounds, 7 ounces. For his day on the water, Laufenberg pocketed $4,355. READ MORE »

Chico Wins on Clear

Chico Wins on Clear

The Chico State University duo of Carson Leber of Dixon, California, and Chad Sweitzer of Chico, California, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Clear Lake presented by Costa Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory earned the Wildcats’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Sales Earns Top Spot on Cherokee

Sales Earns Top Spot on Cherokee

Hunter Sales of Blaine, Tennessee, caught five bass Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Volunteer Division event on Lake Cherokee. Sales earned $3,455 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Burger Smashes 23-9 on Chesapeake Bay

Burger Smashes 23-9 on Chesapeake Bay

Jason Burger of Bridgeton, New Jersey, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Northeast Division opener on the Chesapeake Bay presented by Navionics Saturday with five bass weighing 23 pounds, 9 ounces. For his efforts, Burger pocketed $4,000. READ MORE »

Boehle Runs Shad Spawn, Points for W

Boehle Runs Shad Spawn, Points for W

Adam Boehle of Warrenton, Missouri, caught five bass Saturday weighing 20 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Lake of the Ozarks. Boehle pocketed $4,938 for his win in the event presented by Navionics and 250 points in the Ozark Division presented by Bassing Bob standings. The winner of the division’s Angler of the Year title after five tournaments will win $3,000. READ MORE »

Allman Wins on Wylie

Allman Wins on Wylie

Mike Allman of York, South Carolina, caught five bass Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 7 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) South Carolina Division event on Lake Wylie. Allman earned $2,500 for his efforts. READ MORE »

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 »

Lake County Drops 23-9 on Clear Lake

Lake County Drops 23-9 on Clear Lake

The Lake County High School Fishing Club duo of Cooper Goff and Nathan Phillips, both of Kelseyville, California, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 23 pounds, 9 ounces to win the 2019 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Clear Lake Open. 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 »