Walmart FLW Tour - FLW Tour Majors
Lake Champlain (June 28-July. 1, 2012)
PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – Vindication, redemption, revenge – call it what you want, but just call Christopher Hall the co-angler winner of the FLW Tour Major event on Lake Champlain.
A year ago, the Clarks Summit, Penn. competitor settled for a second-place finish at the same event. In the final round of the 2012 competition, Hall moved up from fourth place to first and forever notched his mark in the history of Lake Champlain tournaments.
Hall started off in 22nd place after weighing 14-8 on day one. He would add 14-15 a day later and close out his campaign on day three with a 16-pound, 9-ounce bag that pushed his total to an even 46 pounds and sealed his victory by a margin of 1-12.
On day three, Hall fished down at Ticonderoga with Alabama pro Blake Nick, whose trolling motor stopped working around mid-morning. Fortunately, Hall was able to entice enough bites to pull in the winning bag. He caught a couple of his fish on a jig, with a Jackall frog producing the rest.
COY Hensley takes second
Nick Hensley, of Cumming, Ga., 28-2 came up a little short in the tournament standings, but his performance on Champlain earned him the Co-Angler of the year title and a berth at the Forrest Wood Cup, set for Aug. 9-12 on Lake Lanier in Duluth/Gainesville, Ga.
On day three, Hensley fished a Gambler chatterbait and swim jig, both with Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper trailers, and caught his biggest bag of the event – 16-2 – and ended with a total weight of 44-4. While his pro fished matted vegetation, Hensley fired his baits off the back of the boat and aimed for scattered grass patches in open water.
"I was ripping the baits through the grass and the vibration of that Skinny Dipper triggers them to bite," he said.
Caldwell remains at third
Doug Caldwell, the mayor of Kane, Penn. held on to the third-place position from which he started the final round and ended with a three-day total of 43-7. Caldwell said he caught plenty of fish, but he struggled to find quality fish.
"I couldn't get a big bite today – all of my fish were the same size," he said. "I culled probably seven or eight times, but I was culling for a balance beam."
Marsh slips to fourth
Day-two leader Marc Marsh, of Prosperity, S.C. had a slower day today and ended up sliding back three spots to finish fourth with 43-5. Marsh caught his fish on Carolina rigs baited with pro blue neon Roboworm zipper worm and a green pumpkin Charlie's Worm.
"We were fishing a rocky ledge and I'd throw the Carolina rig up on top of the ledge and the fish were hitting when it would drop off the edge of the ledge," he said. "I used the Carolina rig because I wanted to feel the rocks. Most of my bites came right when I was about to get snagged in the rocks."
Glenn Babineau, of Mechanicville, N.Y. finished fifth with 42-15. Babineau improved his position by two spots.
Best of the rest
Rounding out the top-10 co-angler leaders at the FLW Tour Major event on Lake Champlain:
6th: Frank Divis Sr., of Fayetteville, Ark., 39-14
7th: Richard Peek, of Centre, Ala., 39-6
8th: James Schneider, of Watervliet, N.Y., 38-9
9th: Patrick Bone, of Cleveland, Ga., 38-2
10th: Jason Johnson, of Gainesville, Ga. 37-14