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

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Lake Champlain Day 2 Coverage

Lake Champlain Day 2 Coverage
Scott Martin

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Scott Martin Day 1 Leader Story

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1:45 p.m. - Join FLW at the day-two weigh-in via FLW Live

Things are wrapping up here at Lake Champlain on the second day of competition. It looks like Scott Martin and Chris Johnston will set the pace going into the weekend, but there were many, many fish caught today and only so many reporters on this massive pond that there could be a new contendor who emerges today that slipped by the media team.

Weigh-in begins at 2:30 p.m. ET, and a lot will happen today. FLW will crown a Co-angler of the Year champion and award five FLW Tour Invitational berths to the top five co-anglers. We'll probably recognize a Rookie of the Year. And there just might be a final ruling on Angler of the Year.

There's too much to miss, so join in by watching FLW Live.

 

Austin Felix

1:15 p.m. - Seeing isn't catching

"I can see them, but I can't catch them."

It's the common theme we've heard from a lot of the anglers today, particularly from the guys in that 15- to 17-pound range who need another kicker or two to have a shot at the top 20.

The fish are cruising in the shallows, yet the clear water and slick conditions make it a challenge to fool them into biting.

 

Stetson Blaylock

Chris Johnston

1 p.m. - Smallmouths or largemouths?

Some have hinted that smallmouths can produce a 20-pound bag, but that hasn't happened yet. Typically, it takes a mixed bag or an all-largemouth bag to crack 20 this time of year.

There are plenty of both in the shallows and out deep. Some are spawners; others not.

As the previous post mentioned, the spawning pattern is stronger than many guys originally anticipated, but overall throughout the ranks, it's the postspawn bite that's been best - or a combination of spawn and postspawn.

Overall, the pros are cracking them today. There'll be a whole bunch of 15- to 18-pound limits at weigh-in today.

Plus, the weather in Plattsburgh right now is beautiful. Sunny skies, light winds and rising temps have the locals out in numbers, enjoying the lake and the local beaches. Combine that scene with good fishing and you have a fantastic FLW Tour finale.

We'll check in with another update or two between now and the start of weigh-in at 2:30 p.m. Be sure to check out FLW Live too.

 

Scott Martin

12:30 p.m. - The smallmouth spawn is on today

Scott Martin was down on the smallmouth spawn during practice. He knew it was happening, but didn't think it could win, or at least didn't want to admit it to the media. He's come around on it today. Martin says there's a 20-pound bag out there strictly by sight-fishing smallies. The media team reports that a lot of postspawn smallmouths are up cruising shallow flats, and quite a few pros are looking at both largemouths and smallmouths on beds.

Interestingly, Chris Johnston reported that there were enough big largemouths up shallow to produce a 20-pound bag by sight-fishing too. The quality and quantity of big bass in this lake are so impressive.

 

Scott Martin

11:45 a.m. - Martin surges ahead

A pair of fat smallmouths caught off beds helped Scott Martin cull up to right around 20 pounds. He's on pace to hold his lead going into the weekend, but Chris Johnston won't be far behind. Johnston recently landed a 3 3/4-pound fish that boosted him up into the upper teens. There are other fish around him, visible in the clear water, and he's doing what he can to get htem to bite.

McMillan, Meninger, Blaylock, Cox, Meyer, Felix and Neal all have mid- to upper teen limits, but none will likely be able to catch Martin and Johnston today without a major upgrade.

 

Scott Martin

11 a.m. - Johnston scores again, but several others are on his heels

Tactics among the top anglers are about the same as yesterday - a mixed bag of offshore dragging, flipping, topwater and sight-fishing. However, sight-fishing seems to be producing some of the better quality fish, both largemouths and smallmouths.

Chris Johnston has culled up to 15 pounds, but he says he can see 23 pounds. The fish are cruising, and he's patiently trying to make them bite. Those fish are game changers in so many ways if he can get them to bite or if they lock on beds.

Elsewhere, Jason Meninger has 17 pounds and is in good shape to make the cut. Scott Martin has bounced around to a couple of spots now. He unsuccessfully worked one on a bed and has abandoned his best spot from yesterday. 

 

10:30 a.m. - A few weight estimates

While we haven't checked in with the entire top 20, we can provide estimates for a good number of yesterday's top finishers, plus a few others.

Scott Martin – 16

Chris Johnston – 13 1/2

Alex Davis – 8 1/2

Cody Meyer – 16 1/2

David Dudley – 14

Blake Nick – 5

Brandon McMillan – 15

Jason Johnson – 12 1/2

Jacob Wheeler – 13

Stetson Blaylock – 17

Zack Birge – 13

 

10 a.m. - Martin back in front

After spending an hour or so on the bank, Scott Martin returned to the offshore spot that he's been sharing with David Dudley and quickly landed two keepers. He's up to 16 pounds and has regained the lead by a couple pounds.

 

Cody Meyer

Cody Meyer

9 a.m. - Cody Meyer has joined the leaders at the top

It's been a good morning for Cody Meyer. He's catching quality smallmouths at will and is culling 3-pounders. He has about 16 1/2 pounds now, which puts him about dead even with Martin and Johnston for the lead.

This morning Meyer said he was somewhat surprised at catching 18-14 yesterday. He didn't think he was on that kind of weight. What a pleasant surprise, huh?

 

VIDEO: Lake Champlain day 1 highlights

 

8:45 a.m. - Dudley, Martin have left the spot

The spot must have lost some of its magic, because both Dudley and Martin have left it. Surely they'll come back and try it again later, but right now it's ice cold.

Martin did manage to fill his limit on the bank and now has about 13 1/2 pounds He and Chris Johnston are now neck and neck for the lead.

 

8:30 a.m. - Chris Johnston takes the lead

Ontario pro Chris Johnston is the unofficial tournament leader. He's got a limit of about 13 1/2 pounds. Day-one leader Scott Martin has four keepers for around 8 pounds. Johnston caught some smallies this morning and is now hunting largemouths. The fish are roaming, so he's just fan-casting a large flat.

 

8:20 a.m. - "Wow, not even the pike are chasing this morning."

The quote above is from David Dudley. In the previous post here, we mentioned how Dudley believes the spot he's been sharing with Scott Martin could put them first and second in the standings. He probably still stands by that statement. It's just a bit off this morning. He's still stuck on two keepers. Perhaps the fish in this clear lake don't like these slick, sunny conditions.

As for the pike bite, it's still on in Alex Davis' area. He's got a special glove just for handling all the pike he's been catching.

 

8 a.m. - Dudley, Martin sharing the key spot

David Dudley and Scott Martin are once again camped on the sweet spot that produced their big limits yesterday. It's also a spot they've both fished in the past with good success.

They've mostly been able to keep other anglers off the spot. Dudley told one of FLW's reporters that he believes that if he and Martin can have the spot to share and no one else comes in, they could end up first and second in the standings today. It's that good, apparently.

The spot is about 150 yards long, and the only other angler who's been on it today is Curtis Richardson, who fished it yesterday too, though he didn't start on it right away this morning. Richardson had a quick limit yesterday but is fishless so far today.

Right now, Martin has four keepers. Dudley has two.

 

VIDEO: Watch Chris Johnston catch a 21-pound mixed bag on day one at Lake Champlain

 

Cory Johnston

7 a.m. - Morgan has a chance to lock up AOY

Depending on how his closest competitors finish today, Andy Morgan just might lock up his third career Angler of the Year title today on Lake Champlain. According to a couple of sources, Morgan admitted last night that he was a bit nervous about his prospects of winning. There are fish on Champlain that are almost always willing to bite, but sometimes the bigger bass just don't cooperate. Morgan knows this.

Plus, the weights are stacked so tight through the top 50 places that he knows he could easily drop in the standings, and someone like Jeff Sprague, Stetson Blaylock or Jacob Wheeler could overtake his lead.

Oh, and there's Chris Johnston, who sits in second place in the tournament, eighth in AOY. Johnston has ground to make up in the AOY points race, but if he makes the top 10 and Morgan falls about 25 spots, Johnston could win the whole thing.

It's going to be an interesting day today on the water. Yesterday, several pros reported that the smallmouths just weren't biting like normal. This morning, a few guys were optimistic that the bite would improve; others not so much. A lot of spawning bass were caught yesterday too. Have the good ones been picked through? Are more spawners on the way? If the answer to the latter question is yes, then this week will be a good one for sight-fishermen. The air temperature is supposed to increase daily, and there's a lot of sunshine in the forecast.

Champlain is a beautiful place, and with beautiful weather it's just that much better. If you're around northern Vermont or New York, swing on out to weigh-in at 2:30 p.m. ET. Or check out FLW Live to watch the weigh-in and see if we crown an AOY champion today.

 

Conditions

Current temperature: 54 degrees

Forecast high: 80 degrees

Sky: clear; sunny

Precipitation: zero percent chance

Wind: E at 5 mph

 

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  headline-story  2016-06-23-lake-champlain 

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