Final Major of Walmart FLW Tour Season Set for Lake Champlain


The Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Champlain presented by Chevy will visit Plattsburgh, N.Y., June 28-July 1 for the final major of its 17th season. Hosted by the City of Plattsburgh and the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau, the tournament will feature the world’s best bass pros and co-anglers casting for top awards up to $125,000 cash in the Pro Division and up to $25,000 cash in the Co-angler Division.

“This is going to be wide open, really,” said Chevy pro Luke Clausen of Spokane, Wash. “The largemouth there are a force to be reckoned with. There’s a really good chance the tournament will be won on largemouth most likely down south. It will all depend on the weather.

“The smallmouth are always biting up there,” Clausen added. “It’s going to be a big post-spawn feed. The problem is that they may not have the weight to them. That will depend on how recent they got off the beds and if they’ve put the weight back on or not.”

The 2004 Forrest Wood Cup champion said anglers will target largemouth during the event by flipping a jig or using a Chatterbait or soft plastic frog as well as a number of other power-fishing techniques. Successful techniques for smallmouth will include Carolina rigs, drop-shot rigs and the traditional deep-water summertime soft-plastic tube. Clausen added the largemouth will be haunting grass flats while smallmouth will be moved out deeper after the spawn. Clausen said that Champlain holds healthy populations of both largemouth and smallmouth, and the two species can often be found in close proximity to each other.

“The only exception is Ticonderoga,” Clausen said. “It’s pretty much exclusively largemouth down there. You can catch a few smallmouth down there, but not a tremendous amount of fish.”

Clausen predicts the winning angler will rely on limits of largemouth and said that it could take 77 to 78 pounds over the four days to take the title at Lake Champlain.

“This is probably the best time of the year to fish for largemouth at Champlain,” Clausen said. “June’s hard to beat for largemouth fishing. They spawn a little bit earlier and put the weight back on a little quicker, so the largemouth will weigh a bit more than the same length smallmouth.

“(The anglers) love Champlain because the fishing is so good up there,” Clausen added.

In FLW Tour competition, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing. This year’s Cup will be in Duluth/Gainesville, Ga., Aug. 9-12 on Lake Lanier and anglers could win as much as $500,000 – the sport’s biggest award. Anglers are also vying for the prestigious 2012 Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year presented by Kellogg’s title that will be determined by the most points accumulated over the six Tour Majors.

Anglers will take off from Dock Street Landing located at 5 Dock St. in Plattsburgh, N.Y., at 6:30 a.m. each morning. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-ins will be held at Dock Street Landing beginning at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s final weigh-ins will be held at the Plattsburgh State Field House located at 167 Rugar St. in Plattsburgh beginning at 4 p.m.

Fans will be treated to the FLW Expo at the Plattsburgh State Field House on Saturday and Sunday from noon-4 p.m. prior to the final weigh-ins. 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. On Sunday the first 300 children 14 and under who are accompanied by an adult will receive a free rod and reel combo. Also on Sunday one lucky fishing fan will win a Can-Am ATV. Both giveaways are courtesy of Fox 44, the Press Republican and WOKO. The ATV giveaway is free to enter but the winner must be present at the conclusion of Sunday’s final weigh-in to win.

As part of the FLW Tour’s community outreach initiative, FLW will be working in conjunction with the City of Plattsburgh and the Saranac River Trail to participate in a riverbank cleanup and education event at Waterhouse Park. The Saranac River Trail is a planned 17-mile greenway that provides opportunities for safe, non-motorized transportation and recreation through the city of Plattsburgh, excellent sites for appreciating nature, as well as access for fishing, kayaking and canoeing. FLW anglers will be on hand June 27 from 9-11 a.m. for the cleanup and education project.

Coverage of the Lake Champlain tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network when “FLW” airs Aug. 26 from 1 – 2 p.m. ET. “FLW” is hosted by Jason Harper and is broadcast to more than 559 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.

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