Top 10 Baits from Lake Champlain - Major League Fishing

Top 10 Baits from Lake Champlain

What to throw in July for smallmouths and largemouths
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July 22, 2019 • Jody White and Charles Waldorf • Toyota Series

As usual, the fishing on Lake Champlain was great. Pros and co-anglers alike loaded the boat with smallmouths and largemouths each day of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event, and they did it with a wide array of techniques. If you’re wondering what to throw up north when there are green and brown fish on the table in the early summer, you could hardly go wrong with anything the pros in the top 10 used. 

Bryan Thrift’s winning pattern

Top 10 patterns 

Complete results


Bryan Thrift

1. Bryan Thrift caught a couple fish on a topwater and a small swimbait, but his bread and butter was either the 4-inch or 5.5-inch Damiki Stinger in green pumpkin and watermelon candy. Thrift rigged the 5.5-inch on a Texas rig with a 1/4-ounce weight. He put the 4-inch version to work on a Neko rig with a 1/8-ounce weight and a 3/0 Berkley Fusion19 Finesse Wide Gap hook. 


Edward Levin

2. A YUM YUMbrella Flash Mob Jr. with Reaction Innovations Skinny Dippers and Little Dippers (in white trash with one perch-colored swimbait) did the smallmouth work for Edward Levin. For largemouths, Levin flipped a green pumpkin tube on a 3/8-ounce Texas rig. 


Scott Dobson

3. Fishing only for smallmouths, Scott Dobson caught most of his bigger fish on a Megabass Vision 110+1 in a purple and yellow color and a white and orange color. He also used a prism gill-colored Duo Realis Spinbait 80, a drop-shot with a 4-inch Damiki Stinger and caught his biggest fish on an Evergreen SB 125.


Brandt Tumberg

4. Targeting largemouths, Brandt Tumberg leaned on a Strike King Sexy Dawg and a punch rig with a 1 1/4-ounce weight and a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver


Kurt Mitchell

5. Kurt Mitchell made the trek to Ticonderoga on days one and three, but elected to stay up north on the second day. He used a whole slew of baits to make it happen, including a Strike King Rage Craw, a Deps Buster K frog, a 1/2-ounce Dirty Jigs HP Flipping Jig with a Rage Craw trailer and a 1/2-ounce Z-Man ChatterBait Jack Hammer with either a Yamamoto Zako or Keitech Swing Impact FAT for the trailer. 


Jason Bacon

6. Going for both green and brown fish, Jason Bacon flipped and pitched a 1-ounce Strike King Tour Grade Tungsten Slither Rig with a Strike King Rodent on day one. On subsequent days, he worked in a Ned rig and a Strike King Tour Grade Skipping Jig with a Strike King Rage Bug for a trailer. 


Wayne Vaughan

7. Targeting almost all smallies, Wayne Vaughan put a drop-shot with a wacky-rigged 4-inch Yamamoto Senko to work for the most part. He also added in a Ned rig, a tube and a shad-colored Megabass Vision 110 jerkbait. 


Joesph (Joe) Wood

8. Joe Wood ran to Ticonderoga on days one and two for largemouths and then fished up north on the final day for largemouths, as well. Down south, he used a 5-inch Yamamoto Senko on a 1/8-ounce Texas rig, flipped a 1-ounce weight with a Missile Baits D Bomb and wound a 3/8-ounce Strike King Hack Attack Heavy Cover Swim Jig. Up north, he turned to a 1/2-ounce Keitech Model 1 jig with a Zoom Ultra Vibe Speed Craw as a trailer. 


Casey Smith

9. Smallmouths were the ticket to success for Casey Smith, and he got it done with a Lucky Craft Slender Pointer 112, a 3.3-inch Keitech Swing Impact FAT and a Duo Realis Spinbait 80 in either grass minnow or ayu. 


Ron Nelson

10. Finishing 10th in his quest to win three Costa FLW Series events in a row on Champlain, Ron Nelson flipped some, tossed a Heddon Super Spook, a jerkbait with some purple in it (that he got from a guy in a hotel parking lot) and a drop-shot with a YUM Warning Shot that one of his co-anglers gave him.