At halftime in the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Champlain, which is presented by General Tire, Scott Martin of Clewiston, Fla., has comfortably settled into the pole position going into the weekend. Martin is now the only pro to reach the 20-pound mark two days in row, giving him a total of 42 pounds, 5 ounces and a 3-pound, 9-ounce lead over Bryan Schmitt going into Saturday.
Martin, who already has two FLW Tour wins at Lake Champlain, is the model of composure when it comes to fishing on the New York-Vermont border. It’s as if the waters in Champlain were custom-made to suit his fishing styles.
Today Martin proved that he is not beholden only to his favorite offshore reef in the northern end of Champlain, which produced his win in 2009 and his day-one catch of 22 pounds, 5 ounces on Thursday. Though he did catch a few fish from the reef today, Martin says it largely dried up on him, forcing him to go to his back-up plan of sight-fishing for quality smallmouths.
The combination is working perfectly for him. His limit today consisted of two largemouths and three smallmouths.
“This lake is very special to me,” Martin says. “I have a lot of confidence when I fish here because it fits my strengths so well. I love sight-fishing for smallmouths, and I love fishing shallow cover in natural lakes for largemouths. When I come here I can do both. The first time I won here, I won sight-fishing smallmouths. The second time I won, I was fishing offshore stuff for largemouths. This time I’m fishing a blend of those two.
“The largemouths on the reef are not as strong as they were last time,” he continues. “So today I had to supplement my bag with a few smallmouths off the bed. My largemouth and smallmouth areas are about 15 to 20 minutes apart, so I can kind of bounce back and forth as needed.”
Another factor Martin is considering is the weather. In yesterday’s wind, he stuck more to the reef. Today was dead calm and slick, which prompted Martin to spend more time looking for smallies on beds.
“It’s good to have two patterns to go back and forth between depending on the weather,” Martin adds. “It gives me a few more options when the conditions change.”
Top 10 Pros
1. Scott Martin – Clewiston, Fla. – 42-05 (10)
2. Bryan Schmitt – Deale, Md. – 38-12 (10)
3. Chris Johnston – Peterborough, Ontario – 38-09 (10)
4. David Dudley – Lynchburg, Va. – 38-06 (10)
5. Cody Meyer – Auburn, Calif. – 37-01 (10)
6. Jason Meninger – Gainesville, Ga. – 36-09 (10)
7. Stetson Blaylock – Benton, Ark. – 36-07 (10)
8. Austin Felix – Eden Prairie, Minn. – 36-06 (10)
9. Shinichi Fukae – Palestine, Texas – 35-01 (10)
10. Andy Morgan – Dayton, Tenn. – 35-00 (10)
Takeoff: Days 1-4 at 6:30 a.m. ET, Plattsburgh City Marina, 5 Dock Street, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
Weigh-in: Days 1 and 2 at 2:30 p.m. ET, Plattsburgh City Marina; Days 3 and 4 at 4 p.m. ET, Crete Memorial Civic Center, 4 Beach Road (Hwy 9), Plattsburgh, N.Y.
Expo: Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m., Crete Memorial Civic Center