8/2/12  Spiny Water Flea/Invasive Species Burnout.   New York and Vermont media folks have been wringing their hand with news of a spiny water flea invasion.  Politicians have even gotten in on the act with Vermont’s Sen. Patrick Leahy criticising New York officials for not taking quicker steps to close down the Champlain canal to the invasives.  Closing the canal seems a bit pointless now, for a short trip down the LaChute River from Lake George will apparently have these little vermicious knids swimming in Champlain in no time.

Like many anglers, I first encounted the fleas on a trip to Lake Ontario, where they annoyingly clung to downrigger cables and fishing lines in gelatinous little blobs.  Yup, the little buggers are a pain in the you-know-what, but they aren’t threating human life or anything.  Apparently they prey on zooplankton and can be a competitor with panfish and perch but they are well established in the Great Lakes and their impact on game fish species seems difficult to quantify.   It may not be the politically correct thing to admit, but after all the Henny Penny hype about alewives, white perch, zebra mussels and milfoil (not to mention Japanese knotweed, purple loosestrife, water chestnut, and the list goes on and on), I guess maybe I’m suffering some invasive species burnout.

7/28/12  Baits and Techniques – what’s hot and what’s not.  Smallmouth Topwater Bonanza.  Champlain smallmouth bass have been in summer mode for the past several weeks.  The feed has swung into high gear and bass have begun to aggressively feed on schools of baitfish.  During the next several weeks fisherman can experience the excitement of a topwater smallmouth bonanza. There is no more exciting action than to have a hungry smallmouth explode on your topwater bait. It’s like watching a scary movie just waiting for the villain to jump out from behind the next corner. With great anticipation you work bait over a weed patch knowing that any second a giant smallmouth is going to blast your lure. Ki- whoosh! It explodes and you about jump out of your skin.    You can read more here

7/27/12 recently published an interview with FLW Champlain Everstart winner J.T. Kenney.  Mr. Kenney reported fishing the Ticonderoga area and observers noted him fishing the mouth of the LaChute River, just south of the fort on the last day of the tournament.   Kenney was fishing a large swimbait, a Chatterbait-style lure with swimbait trailer, Texas rigged creature bait, and a frog.

Hinesburg, Vermont angler Bryan Labelle led the first two days of the tournament and finished a strong second, just 10 ounces behind Kenney.  Labelle was reported to have focused on largemouth in the north end of the lake, using a green pumpkin jig and Zoom speedcraw trailer.  You can read the BassFan article here.

7/1/12 Dudley wins FLW Tour Major.   Dudley brought an impressive final day sack of 20lbs to the scale today, beating Jacob Powroznik for the wire-to-wire win.  The biggest bag of the day and the second biggest bag of the tournament – 21lbs 9 ozs – belonged to one of the greatest anglers of all time – Roland Martin.   You can read the story here.  We will post links to the FLW and Bassfan articles as they become available next week.

6/30/12  David Dudley holds on to lead going into the final day.  Several anglers are within striking distance.  Legend Roland Martin is in 9th.   It is sure to be an exciting Sunday.   Check out the leaderboard.

6/29/12 David Dudley maintains a 3lb, 13 oz lead in the FLW Tour Major.  Mr. Dudley brought in an 18-15  sack, sixth best of the day.  Check out the leaderboard.

6/28/12  David Dudley has taken the first day lead at the FLW Tour Major with 24 pounds.  You can review the leaderboard here.   Video on the FLW website shows him fishing for largemouth at an undisclosed location on the north end of the lake.

6/28/12 FLW Pros Take Ten to Clean Up Plattsburgh Park.  WCAX News is reporting that about 20 FLW anglers pitched in to help clean up Waterhouse Park along the banks of the Saranac River. Thanks guys!

6/27/12  FLW Tour Prediction.  (Your guess is as good as ours, but what the heck.)  We think an angler fishing the north end of the lake will locate an out-of-the-way school of quality largemouth.  His winning weight over four days will be 82.5 pounds.  There it is.

Weigh-in for tomorrow and Friday will be at 2:30 p.m. at Dock Street Landing in Plattsburgh.  Weigh-in for  Saturday and Sunday will be at 4:00 p.m. at the Plattsburgh State Field House.  You can also check out the FLW Expo at the Field House on Saturday and Sunday from noon until 4:00 p.m.  More details are available at   Good luck to all the FLW pros and co-anglers.

6/26/12  Results have been posted for the Vermont Bass Federation Open out of Larrabees Point Access Area in Shoreham, Vermont.  You can review them by visiting the VBF’s website.  Congratulations to the top finishers

6/21/12  Tournament data. Those interested in seeing the results of some of this year’s bass tournaments can check out the results from the Northeast Team Bass tournament out of South Bay on June 10th.  Also available are the results from the Bassmaster Weekend Series tournament out of Plattsburg on June 16th. The fish in the winning sack in the Weekend Series tournament averaged 3.78lbs while those in the Northeast Team Bass tournament weighed 4.38lbs.  The fish in the winning Gordie Anderson Memorial (Plunder Bay) Open on June 9th averaged 4.23lbs.  This puts the average fish in the winning sacks for all three tournaments at 4.13lbs.   You can review our catch data from 15 years of FLW Champlain tournaments here.

Speaking of the FLW, the big boys of the FLW Tour will be on the lake this weekend as the official practice period for the FLW Tour Major on Lake Champlain opens on Sunday.   Champlain anglers should keep an eye out for some of their favorite bass anglers, including Jay Yelas, Larry Nixon, Stacey King, Jimmy Houston, and Scott and Roland Martin.   The practice period will run Sunday through Tuesday and the tournament will begin on Thursday, June 28th.  See what 2004 Forrest Wood Cup and 2006 Bassmaster Classic winner Luke Clausen has to say about this year’s Champlain event.

Also this Sunday is the Vermont Bass Federation Open running out of Larrabees Point Access Area in Shoreham, Vermont.  You can learn more about the VBF Open by visiting the Vermont Bass Federation website.  You can see the listing of this weekend’s tournaments here.

6/13/12  Another big weekend on the lake.   Father’s Day weekend is coming up and its time again for the annual LCI Father’s Day Fishing Derby – undoubtedly the lake’s biggest and most popular multi-species fishing tournament.  This marks the 31st year for the LCI.  Fishing in the LCI is a Father’s Day tradition for families all over the Northeast.  Also this weekend is the New York Bassmaster Weekend Series tournament, launching from the Dock Street ramp in Plattsburgh.  You can see all the upcoming bass tournaments on our tournaments page.

6/6/12  Big tournament weekend coming up.   Saturday June 9th, marks the kickoff of the bass tournament season on Lake Champlain with ten events scheduled around the lake.  You can see them listed on the 2012 Tournaments page. The weekend’s largest tournament is the Gordie Anderson Memorial Tournament, also known as the Plunder Bay Open.   The event launches at 6:00 a.m. on Saturday from the Plunder Bay Marina in Orwell, Vermont.  For more information about this popular open tournament, you can contact Bruce Holt  of Rutland County Bassmasters  at (802) 278-8147.  You can also visit Rutland County Bassmasters’ new website.   The weekend weather looks to be very favorable for fishing.  Good luck to all the tournament anglers out there.

5/19/12  Times They Are A-Changin’   “Come gather ’round people. Wherever you roam. And admit that the waters. Around you have grown (warmer).” –    Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan wasn’t thinking of bass fishing when he wrote these lyrics, but they fit southern Lake Champlain pretty well right now.  With this stretch of decent weather, temperatures have risen dramatically and we are leaving the early prespawn period.   From Laphams Bay to the Champlain Bridge, the water is between 63 and 69 degrees.  What does this mean for the fishing?   Pumpkinseed and bluegill are swimming the shallows in large schools.  Gar are cruising the backwaters.   Bass are tight to the bank and hitting agressively – several have redden tails, indicating they have begun fanning beds.   Yes – times they are a-changin’.

4/29/12  Champlain bass fishing in the national media.  Lake Champlain has been featured this month in a variety of national media outlets.  The April edition of FLW Bass Fishing magazine highlights Lake Champlain Smallies with Jason Ober.   The article describes techniques used by Ober during last June’s high water conditions in and around Treadwell Bay, St. Albans Bay and The Gut.   Lake Champlain is also featured on Scott Martin Challenge, broadcast this month on NBC Sports Network.  Filmed last September, FLW anglers Scott Martin and Brett Hite and BASS pros Ish Monroe and Pete Gluszek are featured fishing Missisquoi Bay, The Gut and other Champlain locations.  Bassmaster’s 100 Best Bass Lakes ranks Lake Champlain fifth among the nation’s top lakes.  What lakes did Champlain beat out?   How about Lake Amistad in Texas (no. 6), Clear Lake in California (no. 10),  and Toledo Bend in Louisiana (no. 15).   A pretty stout list, to say the least.

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