Lake Champlain

August 7, 2017 Scott Cooke

Stop #1 of the FLW Northern Costa Series and I couldn’t have been more excited.  Anticipation of travelling to my favorite lake filled my thoughts.  Fully expecting to get my fill of sight fishing for smallmouth bass I was ready to get up there.  I believe everyone has experienced a trip where you were fully expecting something and it turned out to be something totally different.  I have personally experienced this many times and nothing will burst your bubble quicker.  My first 2 days of practice were spent primarily looking for spawning bass.  Unfortunately, I was unable to locate enough to warrant that as my primary pattern so I had to resort to fishing for them.  I was fairly confident that I could still catch a good bag so I wasn’t totally discouraged that I was unable to find the bedding fish.

Day 1 was a day filled with panic.  I traveled about 20 miles south to an area that had never been to and did not practice.  Let me tell you this was not a great idea.  Even though I only spent about an hour searching, it ended up taking away about 2.5 hours of my day.  The rest of the day was spent looking for that quick bite that I thought I needed and could find.  Well it didn’t turn out so well.  I ended the day with 4 fish.  Lake Champlain is a lake that it would be more difficult to not catch a limit than it would be to catch a limit.  Needless to say, it was a total disaster.  I don’t usually get too angry with myself because I usually end a bad day either stating that I did all that I could or that I learned something.  In this case it was neither.

At the conclusion of the weigh-in I was very surprised to find out that the majority of the field had found spawning fish.  I guess I should say upset rather than surprised.  It turns out that the fish in the southern and northern part of the lake were spawned out and the mid-lake fish were in full spawn.  Being such deep lake the shallower waters to the north and south had warmed up much quicker than the mid lake area.

Day 2 was spent primarily doing what I should have done on Day 1.  Just go fishing.  The pressure was off because I had already ruined any chances of grasping a respectable finish.  I ended up catching most of weight throwing a Zara Spook One Knocker (Bone Color).  There isn’t a much better bite than catching smallmouth bass on a top water bait.  I did catch quite of few on the drop shot but the bigger fish were hitting up top.  I ended day 2 with just over 13 lbs.

This was definitely a tournament that I would love to have a do-over.  Too bad they don’t have mulligans in bass fishing.