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


Lake Champlain Top 5 Patterns Day 1

Blake Nick

Smallmouths or largemouths?

That’s the ubiquitous question every time the Walmart FLW Tour visits Lake Champlain. And on day one of the 2016 Tour finale on Champlain, which is presented by General Tire, that question again toyed with anglers’ tournament strategies.

From the looks of the day-one top five, both species are represented, with the advantage given to largemouths. Scott Martin holds the early lead with an all-largemouth catch of 22 pounds, 5 ounces. Behind him, there are two mixed bags and then two more all-largemouth bags.

Here is the breakdown of the second through fifth place standings:

Complete results


Chris Johnston

2. Chris Johnston – Peterborough, Ontario – 21-02

Chris Johnston might be a smallmouth hound from Canada, but it was a 5-pound, 13-ounce largemouth that anchored his 21-pound, 2-ounce catch on day one to put him in second place and also earn him big bass honors of the day.

In all, Johnston weighed in three largemouths and two smallmouths.

“I started the day catching smallmouths off beds that I had marked in practice,” Johnston says. “I caught about 15 pounds of smallmouths in the first hour and then went looking for largemouths to cull up.

“Both species are still spawning a little bit,” Johnston says. “After I caught the smallmouths off beds, I caught two largemouths off beds as well. Then I started running a bunch of small largemouth spots. They are tiny areas, but if I get a bite it’s usually a good one, and that’s where the big largemouth came from.”


Alex Davis

3. Alex Davis – Albertville, Ala. – 19-13

Alex Davis tied for the third-place spot with 19 pounds, 13 ounces, a catch consisting of three largemouths and two smallmouths.

“I thought I had this place figured out,” Davis laughs. “I had a largemouth place and a smallmouth place. I started at the largemouth place this morning and caught smallmouths. Then I went to my deeper smallmouth place and caught largemouths. That should tell you what I know about Lake Champlain.”

Davis’ “best” smallmouth area is in 8 to 9 feet. It’s where he caught several smallmouths in practice. When he fished it today, it produced three largemouths between 4 and 5 pounds.

“I don’t get it, but I’m not going to argue with it,” Davis says.


David Dudley

3. David Dudley – Lynchburg, Va. – 19-13

Tied with Davis in third place is David Dudley, who weighed all largemouths for 19 pounds, 13 ounces.

Like tournament leader Scott Martin, Dudley is fishing up north in an area that he is familiar with from a previous Champlain win in 2012.

“I’m just running around, throwing different baits at different stuff,” Dudley says. “I caught some on a ChatterBait, some flipping, some on a drop-shot. I’m hitting a lot of places with several different baits.”


Blake Nick

5. Blake Nick – Adger, Ala. – 19-03

Blake Nick weighed in all largemouths for 19 pounds, 3 ounces to round out the top five on day one.

For those wondering if Ticonderoga played a role in the top of the leaderboard today, Nick is the “Ti” representative in the top five. He finished third by fishing far to the south in 2012 when Dudley won and went back to the same area today.

“I love it down there,” Nick says. “I’m committed to it. I fished each day of practice there. I’d run down there even if I knew I would only get one hour to fish. It fits the way I like to fish, and I just feel comfortable down there.

“The bite is not as widespread as it was several years ago,” he adds. “But there are fewer people running down there, so it kind of evens out. I had what I weighed in by lunchtime today, and I hope things go that well tomorrow.”


Complete results


Top 10 Pros

1. Scott Martin – Clewiston, Fla. – 22-05 (5)

2. Chris Johnston – Peterborough, Ontario – 21-02 (5)

3. Alex Davis – Albertville, Ala. – 19-13 (5)

3. David Dudley – Lynchburg, Va. – 19-13 (5)

5. Blake Nick – Adger, Ala. – 19-03 (5)

6. Jason Meninger – Gainesville, Ga. – 19-02 (5)

7. Cody Meyer – Auburn, Calif. – 18-14 (5)

8. Curtis Richardson – Belleville, Ontario – 18-12 (5)

9. Mark Rose – West Memphis, Ark. – 18-09 (5)

10. Michael Wooley – Collierville, Tenn. – 18-06 (5)


Tournament Details

Takeoff: Days 1-4 at 6:30 a.m. ET, Plattsburgh City Marina, 5 Dock Street, Plattsburgh, N.Y.

Weigh-in: Days 1 and 2 at 2:30 p.m. ET, Plattsburgh City Marina; Days 3 and 4 at 4 p.m. ET, Crete Memorial Civic Center, 4 Beach Road (Hwy 9), Plattsburgh, N.Y.

Expo: Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m., Crete Memorial Civic Center

Tags: lake-champlain  scott-martin  rob-newell  headline-story  2016-06-23-lake-champlain 


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