Top 10 Baits from Lake Champlain
How the pros tempted smallmouths and largemouths on the Northern gem
June 26, 2017
• Jody White and Charles Waldorf
Unlike some years, smallmouths dominated in the Costa FLW Series event presented by Power-Pole on Lake Champlain. Sure, Ron Nelson won with a mix of largemouths and smallmouths, but nobody in the top 10 was making the run to Ticonderoga (traditional largemouth waters), and the vast majority of the weight that hit the scale this week was brown. Smallmouths played so well because so many were spawning, and many of the largemouths were caught off beds as well. That’s reflected strongly in the bait choices most of the pros made.
Ron Nelson’s winning pattern
Daniel Weaver’s winning co-angler pattern
Top 10 patterns
1. Ron Nelson got the win with a Poor Boy’s Erie Darter and a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver on small stand-up jigheads as well as a wacky-rigged 4-inch Yamamoto Senko.
2. Chris Adams did the bedding smallmouth thing and says he used a swimbait, a drop-shot, a craw and a tube. He elected to hold up an X Zone Slammer on a drop-shot for a photo.
3. Thomas Lavictoire Jr. fished for smallmouths as well and says a Jackall Crosstail Shad on a drop-shot and a Zoom UV Speed Craw on a light Texas rig did his damage.
4. Following up his top 10 in the FLW Tour on the Potomac River, Chris Johnston booked another high finish with a Jackall Crosstail Shad on a drop-shot as well as a Punisher Jig and a Yamamoto Senko.
5. Brett Carnright earned his first FLW top 10 with a drop-shot and Berkley PowerBait Pro Twitchtail Minnow and a weightless Yamamoto Senko.
6. Shayne McFarlin exclusively caught spawning smallmouths. His key tools were a 3.5-inch Keitech Swing Impact (sight flash) on a drop-shot and a 3.8-inch Keitech Swing Impact FAT on a 3/8-ounce 2K Jigs Power Lock Ball Jig that was painted chartreuse.
7. Neil Farlow came down from Canada and picked up a top 10 largely on the back of a drop-shot Jackall Crosstail Shad.
8. Local Ryan Latinville says he sight-fished with a Gene Larew Punch Out Craw in white and Bama bug and also flipped it on the back of a jig.
9. Scott Dobson sight-fished with a Nemesis Baits Goby and a Provider Tackle Performance Series Tube and caught postspawn smallmouths with a Lucky Craft Pointer 100 and DUO Realis Spinbait 90.
10. Finishing 10th, Rob LaMoy used a 3-inch Keitech Swing Impact (sight flash) on a drop-shot and a 3.3-inch green pumpkin Keitech Swing Impact FAT on a 1/4-ounce jighead.