The best professional bass anglers from all over the world began their four-day battle for a top cash award of up to $125,000 at the Walmart FLW Tour Major on Lake Champlain presented by Chevy on Thursday. Just a few short weeks after an incredible event on Kentucky Lake, the pros were anticipating a hot bite at the popular angler destination. Lake Champlain didn’t disappoint them.
Castrol pro David Dudley of Lynchburg, Va., who went into the Champlain event with a one-point lead in the FLW Tour Angler of the Year race, weighed a five-bass limit for 24 pounds even to take the early lead in the tournament. Dudley now holds a 3-pound, 4-ounce lead overWalmart pro George Cochran of Hot Springs, Ark., and Snapple pro Jacob Powroznik of Prince George, Va., who both caught five bass weighing 20-12.
“They were biting,” Dudley said. “It’s Lake Champlain in June. They bite.
“The lake was calm,” Dudley added. “It’s Lake Champlain. You can go anywhere and do anything you want to do.”
Dudley remained quiet about techniques he used during the first day of competition, but he did report he caught close to 30 keepers during the course of the day, 25 of which were keepers. When asked for his plan of attack on the second day, Dudley was quick to say he planned to repeat the plan he executed on day one.
The top 10 pros after day one on Lake Champlain are:
1st: Castrol pro David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., five bass, 24-0
2nd: Walmart pro George Cochran, Hot Springs, Ark., five bass, 20-12
2nd: Snapple pro Jacob Powroznik, Prince George, Va., five bass, 20-12
4th: Chad Morgenthaler, Coulterville, Ill., five bass, 20-5
5th: Shad Schenck, Waynetown, Ind., five bass, 19-11
6th: Blake Nick, Adger, Ala., five bass, 19-10
7th: Goodwill pro Chad Grigsby, Maple Grove, Minn., five bass, 19-7
8th: Koby Kreiger, Okeechobee, Fla., five bass, 19-2
9th: Micah Frazier, Newnan, Ga., five bass, 19-1
10th: Shane Long, Springfield, Mo., five bass, 19-0
10th: Spencer Shuffield, Bismarck, Ark., five bass, 19-0
Dudley and Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tenn., shared Thursday’s big bass honors with a pair of bass weighing 6-0 on the pro side to split $500.
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 35 anglers in the point standings from the six Walmart FLW Tour Major tournaments will qualify. 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. In his final bid of the season for Angler of the Year points, Dudley holds a one-point lead over Jim Moynagh of Carver, Minn.
Daniel Ferguson of Durham, N.C., leads the Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 18-3 followed by Robin Roystan of Bath, N.H., in second place with five bass weighing 17-14.
The top 10 co-anglers are:
1st: Daniel Ferguson, Durham, N.C., five bass, 18-3
2nd: Robin Roystan, Bath, N.H., five bass, 17-14
3rd: Glenn Babineau, Mechanicville, N.Y., five bass, 17-0
4th: Grant Holderman, Augusta, Kan., five bass, 16-8
5th: Josh Smith, Hamilton, Ohio, five bass, 16-7
6th: Rick Etherton, Friendsville, Tenn., five bass, 15-15
7th: Mike McDonald, Randleman, N.C., five bass, 15-13
8th: John Kite, Festus, Mo., five bass, 15-12
9th: Marc Marsh, Prosperity, S.C., five bass, 15-10
10th: George Miller, Springfield, Penn., five bass, 15-9
Roystan caught Thursday’s big bass weighing 5-8 in the co-angler division to win $250.
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 presented by Walmart. The top 35 co-anglers in the point standings from the six Walmart FLW Tour Major tournaments will qualify.
Anglers will take off from Dock Street Landing located at 5 Dock St. in Plattsburgh, N.Y., at 6:30 a.m. each morning. Friday’s weigh-in 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.
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.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWOutdoors.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.
Image courtesy FLW Outdoors