Belinda wins American Fishing Series event on Lake Champlain - Major League Fishing
Belinda wins American Fishing Series event on Lake Champlain
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Belinda wins American Fishing Series event on Lake Champlain

Sweeney wins co-angler title, $9,457
Image for Belinda wins American Fishing Series event on Lake Champlain
Making the long run to Champlain's south end paid off for pro winner Tom Belinda. Photo by David A. Brown. Angler: Tom Belinda.
July 17, 2010 • MLF • Press Releases

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – Pro Tom Belinda of Hollidaysburg, Pa., caught a five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the FLW American Fishing Series Northern Division tournament on Lake Champlain with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 55 pounds, 8 ounces. For his victory, Belinda earned $23,526 and a 198VX Ranger boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Yamaha outboard motor.

“The past two days I have been really concerned about this wind,” said Belinda. “I have been making the run up to Ticonderoga and the wind has made it really nasty. It was taking me over two hours to get there and then I was left with only two – three hours of fishing time, but I knew the fish were there and I knew there was no way to win if I didn’t take the gamble and make the run.

“All week I have been fishing with a custom bait my friend makes called a dirty jig swim jig; it is basically green pumpkin with blue flecks. The blue was really key; I saw the bass following the shad and the sunnies all had blue tails so I knew they would follow this jig. It has just been an incredible week and I am so happy to be here.”

Runding out the top five pros were:

2nd: Bill Spence, St. Albans, Vt., 15 bass, 55-6, $7,999

3rd: Pat Eichmann, Nancy, Ky., 15 bass, 55-2, $5,646

4th: David Wolak, Wake Forest, N.C., 15 bass, 53-2, $4,705

5th: Greg Pugh, Cullman, Ala., 15 bass, 51-14, $4,235

6th Matt Greenblatt, Tequesta, Fla., 15 bass, 50-13, $3,764

7th: Jason Knapp, Uniontown, Pa., 15 bass, 50-7, $3,294

8th: Dana Perrotte, Colchester, Vt., 15 bass, 50-2, $2,823

9th: John Voyles, Petersburg, Ind., 15 bass, 49-10, $2,353

10th:Joe Lucarelli, Center Harbor, N.H., 15 bass, 46-4, $1,882

Paul Noechel and David Wolak each caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Pro Division Thursday – a 6-pound, 1-ounce bass – that earned them the day’s Big Bass award of $136 each.

Robert Sweeney of Baltimore, Md., won the Co-angler Division and $9,457 cash, with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 44 pounds, 4 ounces.

I knew this fishery could produce big bags, but this is ridiculous, I am so excited,” said Sweeney. “I only fish one or two tournaments a year, last year I had the win at 1000 Islands I can’t wait to come back next year.”

Robert Sweeney caught five bass weighing 15-7 Thursday while fishing with pro Michael Yawgel of Cromwell, Conn., to open the tournament in 20th place. On Friday he added five more bass weighing 14 to make the top-10 cut in seventh place while fishing with pro Robert Vogelsang of Home Jessup, Md. Finally, on Saturday, he sealed the win with five bass weighing 14-13 while fishing with pro Dana Perrotte.

Rounding out the top five co-anglers were:

2nd: John Woodroof, Lynchburg, Va., 15 bass, 43-6, $3,783

3rd: Jeff Misaiko, Tolland, Conn., 15 bass, 42-13, $1,891

4th: Marty Gutzman, Deep River, Ontario, 15 bass, 41-13, $1,655

5th: Scott Shafer, Glenville, N.Y., 15 bass, 40-12, $1,419

6th Peter Wright, Eden, Vt., 15 bass, 38-13, $1,182

7th: Dave Kovack, Lancaster, Pa., 15 bass, 38-6, $946

8th: William Capwell, Macungie, Pa., 14 bass, 36-3, $851

9th: Larry Evans, Southpoint, Ohio, 13 bass, 36-1, $757

10th: Masahiro Yanase, Knoxville, Tenn., 12 bass, 34-3, $662

John Woodroof caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Friday – a 5-pound, 11-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s Big Bass award of $181.50.

The top pro and co-angler based on point standings from each of the FLW American Fishing Series divisions – Central, Northern, Southeast and Texas – will qualify for the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup. The top 50 pros and co-anglers from each division also qualify for the American Fishing Series Invitational on Wheeler Lake in Decatur, Ala., Nov. 4-6, with the winning pro and co-angler also advancing to the Forrest Wood Cup.

About FLW Outdoors

FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world offering anglers worldwide the opportunity to compete for millions over the course of 189 tournaments in 2010. FLW Outdoors has also taken fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing awarding the largest prizes in the history of fantasy sports. FLW Outdoors memberships are available featuring numerous benefits including Player’s Advantage. For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, browse or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit