PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – Who knows? Maybe Robert Giannini does believe that the third time's the charm, but apparently he just didn't want to wait that long to win an EverStart tournament. That explains why in his first EverStart entry, the co-angler from Rochester, Mass. emerged victorious at this Northern Division event on Lake Champlain.
Giannini grabbed the early lead on day one with 16 pounds, 8 ounces – his biggest sack of the event. He'd extend his lead a day later with 13-3 and the shut the door in the final round with a 14-4 limit and a tournament total of 43-15.
The first two days, Giannini caught his fish on dropshots, but today, he was paired with pro winner Tom Lavictoire Jr., who fished the grass beds of Ticonderoga, so the dropshot deal had minimal relevance. In the final round, Giannini flipped a Texas-rigged green pumpkin Gambler craw.
"I was just going from weed bed, to weed bed," he said. "I'd just pitch the bait, look for it to move, take it out and do it again – just as many pitches as I could make."
The first two days brought lots of sunshine, which positioned bass close to cover. By contrast, today's dim skies had the fish scattered.
"With the overcast skies, they didn’t set up today; they were moving," Giannini said.
New moves up to second
On day one, Bryan New, of Belmont, N.C. found himself in a 4-way tie for 34th place. He made a big move up to fifth place on day two with a limit of 13-15 and continued his climb on day three by catching 15-8 and finishing second with 41-15.
New used a variety of Charlie's Worms baits in dropshot, flipping, Carolina rig and shaky head presentations. He also used a Brian's Bee crankbait and a Shane's Baits Nasty Nine Finesse Rig with Charlie's Worms Zipper Dipper swimbaits.
In the final round, he caught his fish on a Carolina rig with a Charlie's Worms Brush Buster, a dropshot with the Lil Bo and the Finesse Rig.
"Today, we mainly fished blow-throughs," New said. "Where the boat would be sitting would be 3-4 feet and right in front of the boat, it would be 25. It was just a narrow cut with a flat on each side. I caught some up on the flat and some out in the channel."
Jig puts Shafer in third
Scott Shafer, of Glenville, N.Y., caught the heaviest co-angler bag of day three – a 15-9 effort that lifted him from seventh place to third with a tournament total of 41-13, just two ounces behind New.
Shafer said he caught all of his fish on a ½-ounce green pumpkin jig. Fortuitous pairings, he said, allowed him to fish his strength.
"What got me here to (the final round) was that I got paired with good guys who were fishing the same style I was," he said.
Baird and Gum take fourth, fifth
Lenny Baird, of Stafford, Va., caught 14-1 on day three and moved up to fourth place from 10th with 39-11. Trailing by three ounces, Dick Gum, of Woodbridge, Va. dropped one notch and finished fifth with 39-8.
Best of the rest
Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers leaders at the EverStart Series Lake Champlain event:
6th: Edward Jaskolski, of Dudley, Ma., 38-14
7th: Jason Bezio, of Plattsburgh, N.Y., 36-15
8th: Frank Miller, of West. Nanticoke, Pa., 36-10
9th: Darren Carlson, of Penfield, Pa., 31-3
10th: Andy Dick, of Wilmington, Del., 30-15