PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – Tom Lavictoire Jr. of West Rutland, Vt., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to win the EverStart Series Northern Division event on Lake Champlain with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 43 pounds, 15 ounces. For his victory, Lavictoire Jr. earned $34,915.
Despite leading the first two days of the EverStart with limits of largemouth flipped up from the Ticonderoga grass, Lavictoire felt that it was about to slip away from him late on day three. “Today was really a grind,” said Lavictoire. “The wind and the mud came into four of my five places down around Ticonderoga, and I caught fewer fish today than I did any other day of the tournament.”
His last bite might have made the difference between winning and second place. “On the very last fish of the day I was in the middle of saying a prayer when it bit and it was a 4-pounder.”
Lavictoire said he was flipping ½-ounce jigs and tubes for the majority of the tournament on 40-pound-test PowerPro line, but that it was a late-in-the-game adjustment that sealed the deal. “I felt like the bait wasn’t getting to the bottom with the wind, so I put on a heavier weight so I could feel the bottom better and that heavier weight got me two quality fish I don’t think I would have caught if I hadn’t changed up.”
A Champlain veteran, Lavictoire was committed to fishing on the south end all three days. “I’ve got 150 places I can fish in Ticonderoga. I practiced in ‘Ti’ for two and a half days and found I could consistently catch 17 to 19 pounds a day, so I just put my head down and went for it.”
The top 10 pros on Lake Champlain were:
1st: Thomas Lavictoire Jr., West Rutland, Vt., fifteen bass, 53-1, $34,915
2nd: Frosted Flakes pro Dave Lefebre, Erie, Pa., fifteen bass, 51-14, $13,093
3rd: Keystone Light pro Chad Grigsby, Maple Grove, Minn., fifteen bass, 49-15, $8,729
4th: Joseph Wood, Westport, Mass., fifteen bass, 48-13, $7,856
5th: David Wolak, Wake Forest, N.C., fifteen bass, 47-9, $6,983
6th: Aaron Hastings, Middletown, Md., fifteen bass, 46-13, $6,110
7th: Darrin Schwenkbeck, Keeseville, N.Y., fifteen bass, 46-9, $5,237
8th: Bryan Labelle, Hinesburg, Vt., fifteen bass, 46-9, $4,364
9th: Rob Digh, Denver, N.C., fifteen bass, 44-10, $3,491
10th: Todd Brunelle, Milton, Vt., fifteen bass, 39-5, $2,619
Complete results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Chris Blanc caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division Thursday – a 6-pound, 1-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s EverStart Series Big Bass award of $250.
Robert Giannini of Rochester, Massachusets, won the co-angler division and a Ranger Z117 with an Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 43-15 pounds, 15 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers on Lake Champlain were:
1st: Robert Giannini, Rochester, Mass., fifteen bass, 43-15, Ranger Z117 with a 90 HP Mercury or Evinrude outboard + Ranger Cup $5,000
2nd: Bryan New, Belmont, N.C., fifteen bass, 41-15, $4,513
3rd: Scott Schafer, Glennville, N.Y., fifteen bass, 41-13, $3,611
4th: Lenny Baird, Stafford, Va., fifteen bass, 39-11, $3,159
5th: Dick Gum, Woodbridge, Va., fifteen bass, 39-8, $2,708
6th: Edward Jaskolski, Dudley, Mass., fifteen bass, 38-14, $2,257
7th: Jason Bezio, Plattsburgh, N.Y., fifteen bass, 36-15, $1,805
8th: Frank Miller, West Nanticoke, Pa., fifteen bass, 36-10, $1,354
9th: Darren Carlson, Penfield, Pa., fifteen bass, 31-3, $903
10th: Andy Dick, Wilmington, Del., fifteen bass, 30-15, $722
Gary Walker caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division Thursday – a 5-pound, 5-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s EverStart Series Big Bass award of $166.
The EverStart Series consists of five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of four tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the Strike King Angler of the Year title, which allows them to fish the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup.
The next EverStart Series Northern Division tournament will be Sept. 12-Sept. 14 at the Chesapeake Bay in North East, Md., and is hosted by the Cecil County Tourism Office.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWOutdoors.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow FLW on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWOutdoors.