UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Lake Mead


Lake Champlain Day 3 Coverage

Stetson Blaylock

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2:15 p.m. - The Ti crew is heading back, final hour counting down

We're in the final hour of day-three competition on Champlain. All the anglers who ran down to Ti have started to make the trip back north. The rest of the top 20 are either camped on their money spots, hoping for one last kicker, or bouncing around feverishly to try and run into a willing fish.

It was a steady day of fish catching for most pros, though weights might be a hair lower today. That's good for fishing fans though, because the weights should end up really tight going into tomorrow's final round.

You can watch the weigh-in live at 4 p.m. on FLW Live. In the meantime, check out some of the 145 photos (and counting) in the day-three on-the-water gallery.


VIDEO: Scott Martin midday update


Jacob Wheeler

1:45 p.m. - Afternoon story lines: current, calm and fishing pressure

Champlain being what the fish factory that it is, there are about a dozen patterns in play right now, and all are working to some extent. Yet, a few additional critical details have emerged.

Pressure - For starters, the fishing pressure in a few areas has started to take its toll. Terry Bolton, for instance, says he's weighed in two good largemouths each day, but the spot where he caught them has dried up. Bryan Schmitt has caught several largemouths in one of his key spots, yet the quality fish like he caught yesterday haven't shown up.

Current - The current flowing from the Inland Sea through the Gut and through Carry Bay has picked up. The extra flow can turn on the bite on weed edges and other areas in those narrows, and a few anglers in the field have fished that pattern previously. It could provide a good afternoon bite.

Calm - The lake has really slicked off in the last hour or so. Sight-fishermen will appreciate the change, and the shallow topwater bite, especially around mats with a frog, will benefit from the sunshine too.


Austin Felix

1:15 p.m. - Weight estimates for the entire top 20

Austin Felix – 17 1/4

Chris Johnston – 14 1/4

Terry Bolton – 13 1/4

Shin Fukae – 17

David Dudley – 17

Jason Johnson – 13 1/2

Braxton Setzer – 14

Clark Wendlandt – 15

Wesley Strader – 16

Curtis Richardson – 12 1/2

Cody Meyer – 14

Bryan Thrift – 16

Jason Meninger – 16

Scott Canterbury – 11

Jacob Wheeler – 15 1/2

Bryan Schmitt – 14

Andy Morgan – 14 1/2

Stetson Blaylock – 12

Scott Martin – 16 3/4

Mike Kernan – 13


David Dudley

12:45 p.m. - The hunt for kickers is on

Scott Martin has returned to his best area from earlier in the week and is hoping to pluck a kicker or two and put this tournament out of reach. Chris Johnston is doing the same. He's at the spot that produced his day-one kicker.

The offshore bite seems to have slowed down quite a bit today. Or maybe the shallow bite has just gotten really, really good. Several pros are flipping and frogging grass mats, and the sight bite is still keeping pace. It looks like the spawn could hold out through the remainder of the tournament.


VIDEO: David Dudley day-three update


12 p.m. - Strader surges ahead with largemouths

Wesley Strader has managed to replace several of his smallmouth keepers with bigger largemouths. We're getting conflicting reports on how much weight he has, but let's call it 16 pounds. His bites have been pretty frequent.

Morgan and Schmitt are on the largemouth game right now too. They're chucking frogs and angling for a big bite or two. Schmitt got his big bite yesterday. If he gets it today he could stay within range of Martin.

Dudley has landed a couple of largemouths recently. He just hasn't found enough quality bites to cull out any of his previous keepers.

At this point, many of the top 20 are in that mid-teens weight range that is about the max for all-smallmouth limits. It's time to change to targeting green and go hunting for kickers. We'll keep you posted on how it goes.


Jason Meninger

11:30 a.m. - Martin, Dudley, Meninger and Schmitt are making it interesting

It's a fishing free-for-all out on Champlain. Everybody is catching fish and culling out quality keepers. So far, David Dudley sets the pace on day three with 17 pounds, but Scott Martin has overcome mechanical problems to piece together a 16 1/2-pound limit. Bryan Schmitt sits at 14 pounds, but is really just a pound away from threatening Martin's lead. And Jason Meninger has 16 pounds from down in Ti - all largemouths.

The sight-fishing bite and topwater seem to be the key patterns during the midday period. Big smallmouths are anchoring most of the big limits, but don't rule out an afternoon largemouth bite down south.


Bryan Schmitt

10:45 a.m. - Weight estimates

Austin Felix – 16 3/4

Chris Johnston – 14

Terry Bolton – 11 3/4

Shin Fukae – 15 1/2

David Dudley – 16

Jason Johnson – 11 1/2

Braxton Setzer – 12 1/2

Clark Wendlandt – 15

Wesley Strader – 14 3/4

Curtis Richardson – 11 1/2

Cody Meyer – 11

Bryan Thrift – 16

Jason Meninger – 15

Scott Canterbury – 6

Jacob Wheeler – 13 1/4

Bryan Schmitt – 12 1/2

Andy Morgan – 11 1/2

Stetson Blaylock – 5

Scott Martin – 13 1/4

Mike Kernan – 13


10:20 a.m. - Schmitt has the momentum

Just as fast as Scott Martin got back in the game, Bryan Schmitt has put together his own charge. He's landed four keepers in the last 25 minutes and is now culling. He's at 12 pounds. Schmitt is around some really big hawgs down south, and he has all his water to himself. If he can locate some bigger fish he'll put himself in position to catch Morgan tomorrow.


10:00 a.m. - Here comes Scott Martin

Fishing in a borrowed boat after mechanical issues temporarily halted his day, Scott Martin is wasting little time getting back in the fight. He quickly landed three keepers that are all 3 pounds or better. He's currently sight-fishing, since his reef didn't produce for him this morning.

Martin seems to be pretty dialed in. Good luck to the competition trying to catch him this week.


Cody Meyer


Braxton Setzer

9:40 a.m. - It's a slugfest

The leaders have left the door open thus far. Martin is still stuck on zero but is back fishing. Schmitt has just one small keeper. But behind them, four pros have already topped 15 pounds: Austin Felix, David Dudley, Shin Fukae and Bryan Thrift. Chris Johnston has 14 pounds.

There's still a good mix of techniques and lures being used, from hair jigs, Senkos, drop-shots and flipping baits to jerkbaits, topwater and more. About everything is in play today.


Shin Fukae

9 a.m. - Dudley and Felix are making a move

A quick Scott Martin update: He changed boats and, per the rules, had to go back through boat check. That's done, and Martin is heading to smallie waters.

Behind him are David Dudley and Austin Felix, both looking to steal away the lead. Dudley has about 16 pounds. Felix is stuck at 15 1/2 and has been for a little while.

The largemouth bite hasn't been as good as the smallmouth bite this morning, but overall it's been a mixed-bag deal today. There's a steady breeze and sunny skies. Protected areas are good for the sight-fishermen, but in the wind it's a little tougher.


VIDEO: Day 2 highlights


Chris Johnston

8:30 a.m. - Early weight estimations

There've been so many Twitter updates already this morning that it'd probably help to list all the weight estimates at once. We don't have reports on everyone yet, but here goes:

Scott Martin – 0

Austin Felix – 15 1/2

Chris Johnston – 12

Terry Bolton – 9

Shin Fukae – 14 1/2

David Dudley – 15

Jason Johnson – 8 1/2

Braxton Setzer – 8 1/2

Clark Wendlandt – 12

Wesley Strader – 9

Curtis Richardson – 11 1/2

Cody Meyer – 4 1/2

Bryan Thrift – 12

Jason Meninger – 8

Scott Canterbury – 4

Jacob Wheeler – 4

Bryan Schmitt – 2

Andy Morgan – 2


8 a.m. - The action is fast on Champlain

If you're not following the Twitter feed this morning, do yourself a favor and go check it out. The fish-catch reports are coming in too fast to even keep up. Guys are pounding on them.

Of note is that Scott Martin is having a mechanical issue that's threatening to shut him down. We'll monitor the situation and update later.

Austin Felix has had the best morning so far. He's got four keepers for 14 pounds. Dudley also has 14, but he has a limit. Felix is on slightly better fish.

There's a light chop on the water that's going to make sight-fishing tough in some areas. Still, the smallmouths are biting, and most of the anglers with multiple early keepers are smallmouth fishing.

Three anglers went south out of takeoff this morning: Andy Morgan, Bryan Schmitt and Jason Meninger. The rest are hanging around the north end.


VIDEO: Scott Martin hammers 20 pounds on day two at Champlain


Scott Martin

7 a.m. - Get ready for a smashfest

There aren't too many secrets out on Lake Champlain this week. Everyone is catching fish, and all of the top 20 pros who launched this morning at Plattsburgh City Marina pretty much understand what the fish are doing. What separates them is the ability to get cruising clear-water bass to bite and the ability to locate big largemouths.

Today could be a showdown between tournament leader Scott Martin, who relied on a mixed bag of largemouths and smallmouths yesterday, and current runner-up Bryan Schmitt, who's running down to Ticonderoga to target big largemouths. He caught 21 pounds yesterday.



Temperature at takeoff: 55 degrees

Forecast high: 86 degrees

Sky: clear; sunny

Precipitation: zero percent chance this morning, with increasing probability this afternoon

Wind: ESE at 1 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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