PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. Sept. 15, 2011 – Walmart FLW pro Gary Yamamoto of Palestine, Texas, crossed the stage Thursday with a 5-bass limit weighing 24 pounds, 4 ounces to lead day one of the Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Champlain presented by Snickers Peanut Butter Squared. Yamamoto now holds a 1-pound, 12-ounce lead over Walmart FLW pro David Wolak of Wake Forest, N.C., who caught 5 bass weighing 22-8 in a tournament featuring 270 anglers from all across the country, and Canada.
“I was catching fish all day long,” said Walmart FLW pro Yamamoto. “I started the day by catching four small fish, my smallest fish of the day, 3-pounds, came very early. I threw back fish I wished I had caught in other tournaments. I believe the high water level has really helped me in this tournament.
“I am fishing with Senkos,” Yamamoto went on to say. “I found a pattern that is working for me and it really doesn’t matter where I fish. I am covering a lot of water targeting very specific things. There are some areas that I did not make it to today so I feel like I should be in good shape for tomorrow.
Although Yamamoto said there are both large- and smallmouth bass in the area he is fishing, today’s record breaking sack contained only largemouths. Weather conditions for tomorrow are predicted to be the complete opposite of today, sunny and very windy. Yamamoto doesn’t believe that conditions tomorrow will impact his fishing pattern other than he may have to allow more time getting to and from his spot.
Yamamoto’s sack set a new FLW Outdoors record for being the heaviest single day catch on Lake Champlain. The previous record was set back in 2007 when Guido Hibdon of Summer Beach, Mo., caught five bass for 23-0 pounds during an FLW Series event.
Rounding out the top 10 pros after day one on Lake Champlain are:
- 3rd: Arnie Lane, Lakeland, Fla., five bass, 21-5
- 4th: Daryl Biron, South Windsor, Conn., five bass, 21-4
- 5th: Bryan Schmitt, Deale, Md., five bass, 20-11
- 6th: Steve Kennedy, Auburn, Ala., five bass, 19-13
- 7th: Craig Dowling, Grant, Ala., five bass, 19-4
- 8th: Scott Canterbury, Springville, Ala., five bass, 19-3
- 9th: Joe Lucarelli, Center Harbor, N.H., five bass, 18-14
- 10th: Kyle Mabrey, McCalla, Ga., five bass, 18-13
Walmart FLW Pro Arnie Lane caught the Snickers® Big Bass weighing 6-1 on the pro side to win $500
Overall there were 658 bass weighing 1,914 pounds, 4 ounces caught by 135 pros Thursday. The catch included 129 five-bass limits.
Pros are competing for a top award of up to $125,000 this week plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of bass fishing. The top five anglers in the point standings from the four Walmart FLW Tour Open tournaments will qualify.
Greg Scott of Dearborn, Mich., leads the Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 18-8 followed by Christopher Hall of Clarks Summit, Pa., in second place with five bass weighing 16-11.
“I caught all smallmouth bass today,” said Scott, who was fishing with Harry Moore. “I caught three drop-shotting and two on a Carolina rig. We caught a lot of fish pretty early and then there was about a two hour lull before we started to catch bass again. We were fishing deep, about 18 to 21 feet.
“I am happy to be leading, but there is still a long way to go,” Scott added. “I had probably one of the toughest practices I’ve ever had on Champlain so we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers are:
- 3rd: Frank Divis Sr., Fayetteville, Ark., five bass, 16-7
- 4th: William Rogers, Hiram, Ga., five bass, 16-6
- 5th: Jeff Gengler, Fort Collins, Colo., five bass, 16-5
- 6th: Chad Billiot, Raceland, La., five bass, 16-4
- 6th: Casey Martin, Huntsville, Ala., five bass, 16-4
- 8th: Mark Banks, East Aurora, N.Y., five bass, 16-2
- 9th: William Wood, West Palm Beach, Fla., five bass, 15-12
- 10th: Jeff Barry South Royalton, Vt., five bass, 15-11
Gary Walker of Rutland, Mass., caught the Snickers® Big Bass weighing 5-14 in the co-angler division to win $250.
Overall there were 573 bass weighing 1,344 pounds, 15 ounces caught by 135 co-anglers Thursday. The catch included 98 five-bass limits.
Co-anglers are fishing for a top award of $25,000 this week plus valuable points that could help them qualify for the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup. The top five co-anglers in the point standings from the four Walmart FLW Tour Open tournaments will qualify.
Earlier in the day representatives from the City of Plattsburgh and New York DER held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of a new boat launch at Dock Street Landing. Mayor Donald Kasprzak thanked FLW Outdoors for the $5,000 donation that was given to the Fish America Foundation in 2001 that enabled a feasibility study to be done showing the need for the new launch.
“This boat launch is very important to the community,” said Mayor Kasprzak. “This boat launch is being utilized by everybody, not only for public but also for professional use, including our very good friends at FLW.”
Anglers will take off from Dock Street Landing located at 5 Dock Street in Plattsburgh at 6:30 each morning. Friday’s weigh-in will also be held at the marina beginning at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s final weigh-ins will be held at Walmart located at 25 Consumer Square in Plattsburgh beginning at 4 p.m.
Fans will be treated to the FLW Outdoors Expo at Walmart on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. prior to the final weigh-ins. The first 300 kids 14 and under on Sunday will receive a free rod and reel combo. The Expo includes Ranger boat simulators, the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and fans can learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public.
Coverage of the Lake Champlain tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS. “FLW Outdoors” will air Oct. 30 from 1 to 2 p.m. ET. “FLW Outdoors,” hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to more than 500 million households worldwide.
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ABOUT FLW OUTDOORS
FLW Outdoors is the best in fishing, on and off the water. Anglers worldwide can compete for millions over the course of 191 tournaments in 2011. FLW Outdoors has taken fishing mainstream with the world’s richest fantasy sports game, FLW Fantasy Fishing presented by Straight Talk, where competitors can play for free as well as sign up for Player’s Advantage to gain an edge. For more information about FLW Outdoors and FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FLWOutdoors.com orFantasyFishing.com.