UPCOMING EVENT: FLW Tour - 2019 - Lake Champlain

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Nelson goes back-to-back on Champlain

Nelson goes back-to-back on Champlain
Ron Nelson

In 2017, Ron Nelson of Berrien Springs, Mich., won the Costa FLW Series Northern Division opener on Lake Champlain with 54 pounds, 9 ounces and a mix of largemouths and smallmouths. Today, Nelson won the 2018 season opener, which was presented by Power-Pole, this time with 15 healthy bedding smallmouths for a total of 60 pounds even.

After weighing five smallies on the final day for 19-8, Nelson edged out Brett Carnright for the title by 8 ounces. Nelson’s third Costa FLW Series win earns him $51,700 and a Ranger Z518 with a 200-hp outboard.

Winning co-angler pattern  

Top 10 patterns 

Top 10 baits 

Complete results

Winning with all smallmouths on Champlain is pretty unheard of in a multi-day tournament. It happens, but seemingly only once a decade or so. This week, Nelson sincerely tried to catch largemouths, and almost weighed in a couple, but in the end he went all brown.

“I had the same strategy as last time,” says Nelson. “These fish are so easy to catch. They gave me a lot of window to take my co-angler fishing and try to find a big largemouth. I just did not see the largemouths I saw last time. The water quality was not the same. It seemed dirtier this year; it just seemed off. I knew that a 4-pounder was a great fish no matter what it was, but I also knew I couldn’t catch a 5-plus smallmouth. I could have a real shot at catching a 5-plus largemouth.”

Nelson lost a big largemouth on day one that would have probably given him the lead right then. As it was, he triumphed over a pile of locals with slightly heftier bedding smallies.

“I learned pretty quick that you’d find quality fish in any section you went to. It was just a matter of learning a given section and putting time in,” says Nelson, who mostly fished the main lake around the Gut (the passage between Grand Isle and South Hero).  

A lot of the field spent time with their heads buried in a bathyscope, searching for smallies or eyeing them up while bed-fishing. Nelson bucked that trend to a degree.

“I found them all with my eyes, and I’d just catch them to see what they weighed,” says Nelson, who caught less than 10 smallmouths each day. “My Flogger [bathyscope] got shipped to me during practice, and I just started playing with it and couldn’t tell the size of the fish. I had a few fish where I’d catch them and then I could catch them again next pitch. Time-wise, I wanted to know exactly what I was putting time into. I didn’t want to flog them and think it was a 3 1/2-pounder and have it end up being a 3-pounder.”

Nelson tried to look for deeper beds, and he caught his smallies in 5 to 10 feet on a Poor Boy’s Erie Darter (watermelon gold) and a Reaction Innovations Smallie Beaver rigged on a 1/4- or 3/16-ounce darter head. When he fished for largemouths, Nelson targeted reeds, grass and docks with a Yamamoto Senko and a jig.

On day one Nelson lost a big largemouth around 11 a.m. On day three, he worked a 4-2 smallmouth for hours, even getting it to bite a topwater at one point. Had he caught either of those fish, he might have coasted to the victory. As it was, he had to climb from second and sweat it out.

“It’s really special. It really is,” says Nelson of the win. “I thought I was beat, to be honest with you. I thought he [Carnright] fished really hard and had a big advantage, but however the chips fall they fall, and it’s a blessing. You fish for fun, and to win twice is really cool.”

 

Top 10 pros   

1. Ron Nelson – Berrien Springs, Mich. – 60-0 (15) – $51,700 and a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower outboard

2. Brett Carnright – Plattsburgh, N.Y. – 59-8 (15) – $20,500

3. Austin Felix – Eden Prairie, Minn. – 59-1 (15) – $14,600

4. Chris Johnston – Peterborough, Ont. – 58-1 (15) – $12,500

5. Chris Adams – Shrewsbury, Vt.  – 57-3 (15) – $11,500

6. Ryan Latinville – Plattsburgh, N.Y. – 57-0 (15) – $9,250

7. JJ Judd – Saint Albans, Vt. – 56-11 (15) – $8,000

8. Cory Johnston – Cavan, Ont. – 55-11 (15) – $7,300

9. Joseph Wood – Westport, Mass. – 54-7 (15) – $6,000

10. Bradley Dortch – Atmore, Ala. – 49-8 (15) – $4,500

Complete results

 

Tags: jody-white  headline-story  2018-06-21-lake-champlain 

Scouting for Smallies with Felix

Scouting for Smallies with Felix

Over the years, a lot of anglers have established impressive records on Lake Champlain, but few have done it as quickly and authoritatively as Austin Felix. READ MORE »

Get to Know Lake Champlain

Get to Know Lake Champlain

Lake Champlain is a giant of a lake. It stretches 100-plus miles from its beginning down south at Whitehall, N.Y., and runs all the way up to the Canadian border between the Green Mountains of Vermont and the Adirondacks in New York. Though the competitors aren’t allowed to venture into Canada, there is still plenty for anglers to break down for the final event of the 2019 FLW Tour season. READ MORE »

Cicero and Snyder Win World Finals

Cicero and Snyder Win World Finals

Anthony Cicero IV and Dakota Snyder went right to their spot, locked up a big limit early and about six and a half hours later, brought what would be the winning sack of 16 pounds, 6 ounces to McFarland Park where the Elizabethtown High School duo won the 10th Annual High School Fishing World Finals. READ MORE »

World Finals Midday Update - Day 4

World Finals Midday Update - Day 4

Pickwick is big lake, but even this 53-mile long TVA reservoir gets weary and the first half of the day told a tale of occasional opportunity, but a lot of waiting and hoping as 31 teams competed in the final day of the 10th annual High School Fishing World Finals. READ MORE »

Check-in Time: Buddy Gross

Check-in Time: Buddy Gross

From time to time, FLW checks in with its anglers to find out what they’ve been up to, what they’re listening to, who they’re following and where they’re heading while out on the tournament trail. This week, we caught up with Buddy Gross.  READ MORE »

Northlake Christian Wins By An Ounce

Northlake Christian Wins By An Ounce

Northlake Christian High School’s Christopher Capdeboscq and Sam Acosta weighed 9 pounds, 7 ounces (three fish) on the final day to win the High School Fishing National Championship on Pickwick Lake. With a three-day total weight of 35-12, Capdeboscq and Acosta had just a 1-ounce margin over the second-place team of Colin McCullough and Justin Hamlin who tallied 35-11 for Cedar Bluff High School. READ MORE »

High School Midday Update - Day 3

High School Midday Update - Day 3

Timing is typically the key to success on most TVA reservoirs and Pickwick Lake seems to be dishing out the lessons during day three of the High School Fishing National Championship, held in conjunction with the 10th Annual High School Fishing World Finals.  READ MORE »

High School Midday Update – Day 2

High School Midday Update – Day 2

Pickwick showed off its impressive diversity during day two of the High School Fishing National Championship, which is held in conjunction with the High School Fishing World Finals. End-to-end, this Tennessee River reservoir stretches about 53 miles, and, while the offshore ledge game gets most of the attention, anglers were also leveraging the lake's many other fishable features. READ MORE »

Northlake Christian Takes the Lead

Northlake Christian Takes the Lead

Weights are stacked tight atop the standings of the 2019 High School Fishing National Championship on Pickwick Lake. Moving into the lead position is the Northlake Christian team of Christopher Capdeboscq and Sam Acosta, who added 12 pounds, 14 ounces today for a two-day total of 26-5. Will Daniels and Kade Suratt added an impressive three-bass limit worth 15-12 today to move up one spot and into the lead in the High School Fishing World Finals. READ MORE »

Check-in Time: David Williams 

Check-in Time: David Williams 

From time to time, FLW checks in with its anglers to find out what they’ve been up to, what they’re listening to, who they’re following and where they’re heading while out on the tournament trail. This week, we caught up with David Williams. READ MORE »

Bedford, Brown Lead at Pickwick

Bedford, Brown Lead at Pickwick

Weighing in a three-fish limit of bass that averaged more than 4 1/2 pounds apiece has JD Bedford and Walker Brown of Lawrence County High School in the driver’s seat at the 2019 High School Fishing National Championship on Pickwick Lake. Keegan Fort and Clayton Page lead the High School Fishing World Finals with a three-fish limit worth 14 pounds, 5 ounces. READ MORE »

High School Midday Update – Day 1

High School Midday Update – Day 1

Some things on Pickwick Lake were as expected, but some were less so during day one of the dual High School Fishing National Championship and High School Fishing World Finals. Predictably, offshore patterns seem to be dominating the day, particularly traditional ledge scenarios below the Natchez Trace Bridge. Crankbaits, jigs, swimbaits and big worms were the common presentations. READ MORE »

Samo Wins at Wolf River Chain

Samo Wins at Wolf River Chain

Curtis Samo of Rochelle, Illinois, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament on the Wolf River Chain of Lakes with five bass weighing 15 pounds even. For his win, Samo took home $5,794. READ MORE »

Weekend Sweep for Robertson

Weekend Sweep for Robertson

Matt Robertson of Kuttawa, Kentucky, swept the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) LBL Division this weekend after winning back-to-back tournaments on Kentucky and Barkley lakes presented by Navionics, the first on Saturday and then again on Sunday. For his wins, Robertson earned a total of $7,842. READ MORE »

Sentore Downsizes for Chesapeake W

Sentore Downsizes for Chesapeake W

Michael Sentore of Gloucester City, New Jersey, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Northeast Division tournament presented by Gajo Baits on the Chesapeake Bay Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds even. For his finish, Sentore netted $3,362. READ MORE »

Sullivan Frogs on Ross Barnett

Sullivan Frogs on Ross Barnett

Corey Sullivan of Brandon, Mississippi, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mississippi Division tournament on Ross Barnett Reservoir Saturday after catching five bass weighing 17 pounds, 5 ounces. For his win, Sullivan pocketed $3,377. READ MORE »

Review: LIVETARGET Tennessee Craw

Review: LIVETARGET Tennessee Craw

With the number of great crankbaits on the market or discontinued and still in high-demand, new crankbaits have to be pretty good to earn a space in a tacklebox. While I wouldn’t say the LIVETARGET Tennessee Craw is a surefire classic, after a few days of fishing it, I know I’ll be throwing it a lot more. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 3

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 3

Kris Wilson did everything he could this morning to put away this tournament before anyone had a chance to make a run at him. The Montgomery, Texas, pro returned to the spot where he started the first two days and boxed up a pair of 5-pounders. The leader has camped on his spot basically all morning, and now we estimate he's culled up to about 18 pounds. Wilson came into today with a lead of more than 4 1/2 pounds over second-place pro Josh Bensema, and a much greater margin over everyone else, so that limit is huge and likely has him on course for a wire-to-wire victory in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. READ MORE »

Wilson Wins Big on Rayburn

Wilson Wins Big on Rayburn

Kris Wilson pounded out another big limit – 24 pounds, 1 ounce – to win the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury at Sam Rayburn Reservoir by a margin of 13 pounds, 15 ounces. His three-day total was 72-8.  READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 2

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 2

In terms of fish caught, tournament leader Kris Wilson had a tougher morning today than on day one. But a behemoth bass that will probably push the 8-pound mark has him in prime position to maintain his lead in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. READ MORE »