Cioppa Leads On Champlain - Major League Fishing

Cioppa Leads On Champlain

Deep largemouths key big bag
Image for Cioppa Leads On Champlain
David Cioppa leads the pack with 22-13. Photo by D. W. Reed II. Angler: David Cioppa.
July 30, 2015 • Jody White • Toyota Series

David Cioppa of Hopkinton, Mass., brought 22 pounds, 13 ounces to the scale late in the weigh-in to grab the lead on the first day of the Rayovac FLW Series event presented by Plano on Lake Champlain. Though Cioppa caught them big, he is only a few ounces ahead of Florida pro Glenn Brown, and Keystone Light pro Chad Grigsby is hot on the heels of both leaders.

While plenty of pros successfully made the long run south for largemouths, despite rough water conditions, Cioppa ran east into the Inland Sea in search of smallmouths to start his day. He quickly made the call that his first stop was a bust, but the second place he hit paid big dividends in a somewhat surprising way when he started catching largemouths.

“I pulled up to a little rock pile I had marked in 30 feet,” says Cioppa. “I caught all those largemouths out of 27 to 30 feet of water. It was absolutely incredible. I’ve caught largemouths there before, but mostly a lot of smallies. This time, as soon as I pulled up they [the largemouths] were going crazy.”

Cioppa says that his key bait was a football jig. He dragged it into the rock pile and aggressively popped it off the rocks to trigger his bites.

“I had an awesome co-angler today,” adds Cioppa. “Ben [Wright] was unbelievable. It was pretty choppy in the morning, and we really worked as a team. He was great with the net.”

Cioppa left them biting and only caught about 10 bass off his key rock pile. He says he still feels confident about his chances even if the magic spot doesn’t produce tomorrow.

“My smallies panned out today, too,” adds an excited Cioppa. “Two of my smallmouth spots were good today, and my co-angler caught some nice ones on one of them. Based on my practice, if the sun comes out tomorrow I could back today up with 20 pounds of smallmouths.”


Top 10 pros

1. David Cioppa – Hopkinton, Mass. – 22-13 (5)

2. Glenn Browne – Ocala, Fla. – 22-09 (5)

3. Chad Grigsby – Maple Grove, Minn. – 21-10 (5)

4. Otis Darnell – Linden, Va. – 20-02 (5)

5. Derick Olson – Honey Brook, Pa. – 19-1 (5)

6. Chris Novack – Mansfield Center, Conn. – 18-12 (5)

7. Gerald Spohrer – Gonzales, La. – 18-02 (5)

8. Joe Lucarelli – Center Harbor, N.H. – 17-09 (5)

8. Joel Richardson – Kernersville, N.C. – 17-09 (5)

10. Shaun Brown – Slippery Rock, Pa. – 17-08 (5)

10. Jeffrey Ware – Warrenton, Va. – 17-08 (5)

Complete results


Shafer Nabs Co-angler Lead

Scott Shafer of Glenville, N.Y., brought 17 pounds, 15 ounces to the scale to lead the extremely tight co-angler field into day two.

“We caught a bunch,” says Shafer, who fished with pro Pete Gluszek. “I caught them all day and upgraded all day long.”

Shafer brought four largemouths and one smallmouth back to the dock, and he mixed it up with a Yamamoto Senko, a jig and a variety of flipping baits throughout the day.

“I ended up with a bunch of largemouths today, but I hope I stay north tomorrow,” finishes Shafer. “I’m more comfortable fishing for smallmouths.”


Top 10 co-anglers

1. Scott Shafer – Glenville, N.Y. – 17-15 (5)

2. Wil Dieffenbauch – Morgantown, W.Va. – 17-08 (5)

3. Shawn O’Malley – Oswego, Ill. – 17-05 (5)

4. Barton Vanleuvan – Mooers, N.Y. – 17-00 (5)

5. Shane Love – Crooksville, Ohio – 16-06 (5)

6. Jason Lane, Schenectady, N.Y. – 16-04 (5)

7. Jeremy Seamans – Dracut, Mass. – 16-02 (5)

7. Brett Walker – Kansas City, Mo. – 16-02 (5)

9. Keith Ruley – Lexington, Va. – 16-01 (5)

10. Andy Dick – Wilmington, Del. – 16-00 (5)