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

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ROY Update: Lake Chickamauga

ROY Update: Lake Chickamauga
Miles Burghoff

We didn’t bother with an update on the Polaris FLW Tour Rookie of the Year race after the fifth stop of the FLW Tour season at Cherokee Lake. At that point, Miles "Sonar" Burghoff had the overall lead in the AOY standings and a 108-point lead for ROY. It looked like it was locked up.

That’s no longer the case. Fellow rookies Bradford Beavers and Ron Nelson are less than 40 points behind Burghoff, meaning the young pro will need to catch ’em at the season finale at Lake Champlain to win the title that had looked like it was his all along. If he does, Burghoff will take home the trophy and a Polaris Sportsman 570. If he doesn’t, Beavers or Nelson might be able to sneak up on him and steal the title at the buzzer.

Here’s a look at the three contenders for the title.

Complete standings

 

Miles Burghoff

Miles Burghoff – 971 points

Finishing 117th at Chickamauga dropped Burghoff out of the Angler of the Year race and back into the ROY race. After finishing 46th or better in every other Tour event, Chickamauga was essentially the only time all season that the rookie has stubbed his toe, and it was his worst finish ever in a multi-day tournament. Now he needs to prove he can come back strong at Champlain.

Burghoff doesn’t need to do too much to lock up the title. He leads Beavers by 31 points, so making the day-three top-30 cut would do it. Even a finish in the 40s might get the job done.

Burghoff has fished Champlain for Bassmaster Opens twice before, in 2014 and 2018, and he finished 41st or better both times. Of course, both those events were held in the late summer, as opposed to the late spring. The Champlain he’ll see this time around isn’t going to be the same as the one he’s got experience on. Even so, he ought to be able to adjust, and maintaining his average should safely lock the award away.

 

Bradford Beavers

Bradford Beavers – 940 points

We’ve been looking forward to Beavers’ debut on Tour for a while now, and his year so far has more than lived up to the promise he showed in the Costa FLW Series and the FLW Cup. Finishing 121st at Sam Rayburn was an awful start to the year, but since then, Beavers has rolled, finishing 54th at Lake Toho and then banking a pair of top-10 finishes at Seminole and Grand Lake. Now, with one to go, Beavers is just 31 points off the ROY lead and basically locked into the FLW Cup.

After winning the Costa FLW Series event on Santee Cooper and then making the cut in the Tour event on Chickamauga, Beavers is heading up to Champlain with a lot of momentum. He may need it all, because it’s going to be his first-ever trip there.

The South Carolina rookie has shown himself to be more than adaptable through the years, and he’s got a real affinity for grass fishing, but Champlain is a lot of water to figure out in a few days. If he does figure it out and Burghoff stumbles a little, Beavers will have accomplished something awfully impressive.

 

Ron Nelson

Ron Nelson – 932 points

In much the same way Scott Martin is lurking in the AOY race, Nelson is circling like a shark in the ROY race. Just 39 points back, Nelson has fished four Costa FLW Series events on Champlain. Two were in mid-July, and he finished 62nd and 36th. The others were in June of 2017 and 2018, and Nelson won them both. He’s one of the favorites at the finale.

On Tour, Nelson has turned it on recently, knocking out a 16th-place showing at Cherokee, and earning his first top 10 and leading day three at Chickamauga. That surge has pushed him from a solid rookie season into range of ROY.

Having fished the Northern Division of the Costa FLW Series for five years and never finished outside of the top 10 in AOY, Nelson has more Northern experience than Beavers and Burghoff combined. He’s undoubtedly got a big advantage in history and comfort up north over the rookies ahead of him. However, finishing 120th at Sam Rayburn and 74th at Grand Lake is going to require some heroics to overcome, and he’s gonna need a little help from the leaders. But, it’s not inconceivable that Nelson could end up fishing on Sunday with an ROY and a win on the line.

 

Here’s how the top 10 rookies sit in the overall AOY standings:

10. Miles Burghoff – 971 points

13. Bradford Beavers – 940 points

15. Ron Nelson – 932 points

28. Wade Strelic – 857 points

31. Dakota Ebare – 844 points

32. Joel Willert – 844 points

37. Tyler Woolcott – 830 points

39. Ryan Salzman – 826 points

41. Dickey Newberry – 821 points

44. Nick LeBrun – 807 points

Complete standings

Tags: miles-burghoff  -sonar  -bradford-beavers  -ron-nelson  jody-white  post-tournament  2019-05-02-lake-chickamauga 

Top 10 Baits from Lake Champlain

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As usual, the fishing on Lake Champlain was great. Pros and co-anglers alike loaded the boat with smallmouths and largemouths each day of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event, and they did it with a wide array of techniques. If you’re wondering what to throw up north when there are green and brown fish on the table in the early summer, you could hardly go wrong with anything the pros in the top 10 used.  READ MORE »

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Champlain Midday Update – Day 3

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Thrift All the Way on Champlain

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One of the windier tournament days in recent memory did a lot to reshape the leaderboard of the Costa FLW Series event on Lake Champlain. The run south to Ticonderoga was not impossible, but the wind up north kept a lot of pros from effectively fishing their best stuff. That made weights drop pretty much across the board on day two. READ MORE »

Thrift Still Ahead on Champlain

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Day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on Champlain featured a bunch of wind and a lot of turnover on the leaderboard. Though he struggled to replicate his massive day-one success, Bryan Thrift still managed 16 pounds, 6 ounces for a 38-12 total to retain the lead. Behind him, Scott Dobson rose from ninth to second with a robust bag of smallmouths worth 18-10 for a 37-14 total. READ MORE »

Champlain Midday Update – Day 2

Champlain Midday Update – Day 2

Day two of the Costa FLW Series event presented by Polaris on Lake Champlain is going to be quite a swing from day one. Typically turnover in the standings is common on Champlain because the weights stay so tight, but today’s turnover is going to have a lot to do with the weather. READ MORE »

Champlain Midday Update – Day 1

Champlain Midday Update – Day 1

Takeoff was a little blustery, but overall, it’s been a perfect start to the Costa FLW Series event on Lake Champlain. The event is the kickoff of the Northern Division, which is presented by Gajo Baits, and the tournament itself is presented by Polaris. READ MORE »

Lake Champlain Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Lake Champlain Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Last year, every event in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division, which is presented by Gajo Baits, was won entirely with smallmouth bass. This season, the kickoff event on Champlain, which is presented by Polaris, looks destined to involve some largemouths. Everyone in the top five weighed green ones on day one, though somewhat surprisingly, the south end down by Ticonderoga didn’t play an overwhelming role, as only three of the top 10 anglers made the long run southward. READ MORE »

Go-Time Again on Champlain

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Each of the last three years have seen the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits kick off on Champlain. This tournament, which is presented by Polaris, should offer great fishing like usual, but the dominant pattern certainly won’t be spawning smallmouths. Instead, it could be a largemouth slugfest, as the fishing has continued to prove strong on the south end of the lake. READ MORE »

Thrift Takes Command on Champlain

Thrift Takes Command on Champlain

Less than three weeks removed from a third-place finish on Lake Champlain in the FLW Tour’s 2019 season finale, Bryan Thrift hauled 22 pounds, 6 ounces of green fish to the weigh-in stage to take the day one lead in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division opener, which is presented by Polaris. In second, Brandt Tumberg weighed 21-10, and Joe Wood is just an ounce behind him with 21-9 for third.  READ MORE »

Check-in Time: Brian Latimer 

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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 Brian Latimer.  READ MORE »

Summertime on Champlain

Summertime on Champlain

For three years running now, the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits has kicked off on Lake Champlain. The tournament, which is presented by Polaris, should offer great fishing like usual, but it’s going to be far different than the last two FLW Series tilts on the big Northern lake. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Champlain

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June is a fantastic month to be on Lake Champlain, as the FLW Tour pros showcased at last week’s season finale, which was presented by T-H Marine. Smallmouths were spawning all over the place, but the winning pattern was catching postspawn largemouths down at Ticonderoga. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Champlain

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Lake Champlain is the kind of fishery that forces pros to make difficult decisions about where to go and what color of bass to target. This time around, in the FLW Tour 2019 finale, which was presented by T-H Marine, on the big Northern fishery, the decision was more interesting because there were spawning smallmouths everywhere up north, but the forecast was favorable for making the long run south to Ticonderoga to catch largemouths. READ MORE »

Nelson Wins ROY

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Ron Nelson blanked on the first day of his first FLW Tour event. Then he got things on track – so on track that he finished the season ninth overall in the standings and above every other rookie to earn the Polaris FLW Tour Rookie of the Year award. Winning ROY is typically a career-setting accomplishment, and to go with the hardware Nelson will also receive a Polaris Sportsman® 570 ATV. READ MORE »

Exploring Champlain with Strelic

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Nelson Wraps Champlain Practice

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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 »