June is a fantastic month to be on Lake Champlain, as the FLW Tour pros showcased at last week’s season finale, which was presented by T-H Marine. Smallmouths were spawning all over the place, but the winning pattern was catching postspawn largemouths down at Ticonderoga.
Regardless of where pros fished, they all caught a ton of bass, and they did it with a variety of finesse and power tackle. Here’s what the top 10 used.
1. Tournament winner Casey Scanlon “junked it up” with a variety of baits and tactics. He fished rock and milfoil with a 3/8-ounce chartreuse and white Z-Man ChatterBait with a white soft jerkbait trailer, fished rock and lighter grass with a Luck-E-Strike Series 3 (green copper shad) square-bill crankbait with Hayabusa TBL 930 trebles, Texas-rigged a Luck-E-Strike Pow Stik with either a 3/16- or 1/4-ounce Bass Pros Shops tungsten weight and a 4/0 Hayabusa FPP Straight Hook, flipped a black and blue Bass Pros Shops tube, and targeted pencil reeds and dollar pads with a Trophy Bass Company 1/2-ounce Trophy Swim Jig.
2. Eric Jackson fished a ditch coming out of a backwater area using a sexy shad Strike King Tour Grade Swim Jig with a white Strike King Rage Menace Grub trailer and a Strike King Ocho rigged weightless Texas-style on a Trokar 3/0 worm hook.
3. Adding to his FLW Tour record for most top 10s, Bryan Thrift caught his fish with a shad-colored walking topwater bait, a Texas-rigged 5-inch watermelon candy Damiki Stinger and a 4-inch Tennessee shad Damiki Armor Shad.
4. Chris Brasher sought out dirty water that reminded him of lakes near his Texas home and caught his fish at Ti using a 6th Sense Crush 50X square-bill crankbait, a Yamamoto Senko either wacky- or Texas-rigged, and a black and blue Black Angel Lures Swim Jig.
5. A key area with spawning alewives produced most of Hensley Powell’s weight. He used a chartreuse and white 3/8-ounce Z-Man Evergreen ChatterBait Jack Hammer with a white ice Zoom Swimmin’ Fluke Jr. trailer. When the bite slowed, he tossed a 5-inch Trixster Custom Baits soft stick bait. The only other tactic Powell tried was throwing the ChatterBait or a chrome/blue Strike King Sexy Dawg for smallmouths up north once he returned to the takeoff area.
6. Daryl Biron fished at Ti and very slowly picked apart wood and milfoil with a wacky-rigged homemade soft stick bait in green pumpkin with purple and green flake.
7. En route to winning the 2019 FLW Tour Angler of the Year title, David Dudley caught spawning smallmouths with a straight-tail worm on a Ned head and a craw bait.
8. To catch spawning smallmouths, AJ Slegona used a 3-inch green pumpkin or black wacky-rigged Yamamoto Senko on a drop-shot rig with a WOO! Tungsten weight. He also mixed in a 3.3-inch Keitech Swing Impact FAT on the beds and tossed a spinnerbait a bit in the wind.
9. Tyler Stewart flipped trees and brush on the main lake near Ti with a V&M J-Bug in watermelon red Texas-rigged with a 3/8-ounce weight. He also fished a culvert and bridge under a railroad bed with the J-Bug and a 6th Sense Crush square-bill crankbait in chartreuse and blue.
10. Texas pro Tom Redington fished milfoil with a junebug red Berkley PowerBait Power Hawg Texas-rigged with a 3/8-ounce weight and a Texas-rigged junebug Berkley PowerBait MaxScent The General with either a 1/8- or 3/8-ounce weight.