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Champlain FLW Tour

Jay Yelas – Competition Wrapup
Friday, June 29, 2012

FLW Outdoors/Gary Mortenson
Photo: FLW Outdoors/Gary Mortenson

> Day 1: 5, 16-05
> Day 2: 5, 11-02
> Total = 10, 27-07 (78th place)

I didn't go back down south to where I fished (on day 1). I've fished 400 pro tournaments between B.A.S.S. and FLW, but I let my wife in Oregon talk me out of making that long run again in the wind and fishing a different area. It's lame, but true – I stayed up north instead of going down south. I guess I got what I deserved.

I practiced 1 day up north, where I finished 4th in the tournament 3 years ago, and concluded that wasn't happening. It wasn't happening today, either. The wind was a part of it.

I didn't have a lot on the line, so I guess I was easily swayed into not making the run. I already had (a Forrest Wood Cup berth) sewed up – that was a lot of it, too. If that wasn't the case I probably would've done what I did yesterday. I could've made a check, but I wasn't on the right pattern or spot to win it.

Yesterday I caught most of them on a frog, and today I threw a Berkley Gripper Jig with a Chigger Craw (trailer). The frog bite was pretty good in the milfoil and that was a lot of fun.

The real story here is Dudley – he's become another VanDam. The last 2 years he's really elevated his game big-time and that's reflected in his standing in the BassFan World Rankings.


Luke Clausen – Practice Recap
Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I tried some smallmouth fishing (on Tuesday), but it was pretty tough with the wind. I also found some largemouths on the north end, and to me, that seemed to be as good at Missisquoi as it was down at Ti. I still haven't decided where to go.

In the north you have the option of smallmouth, too, and a lot of tournaments have been won here with multi-species bags. Some days the largemouths are better and some days the smallmouths are better. I'd hate to waste an hour running down to Ti when they're biting just as good up here, so I'll probably end up fishing for both species.

At either end, it all comes down to the big bite. Fishing up north, you'll have to have a little bit of good fortune to get one of those 5-pound bites.

Jay Yelas - Practice Recap
Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I'm fishing for largemouths and I can catch them north or south. The fishing's better down south, but there will also be more pressure. It's so easy that there might be 50 guys who make that run and there won't be enough spots to go around. A lot of that will depend on the wind, but it could be crowded.

I've never made that run in a tournament and I'm tempted to do it just for the novelty of being able to say I've done it, but I feel like I can catch a similar bag up north. There's a few less big bites, though, and you'll have to grind and work hard. The fish down south have been post-spawn for awhile, whereas the northern fish may be just coming off the beds.

You can drag plastics, flip, fish topwater – it all works. It'll be a good tournament and you can catch them no matter where you are. It's Champlain in late June and the fishing is awesome. It'll take a bag in the upper-teens every day to win – that's what it's all about here.


Jay Yelas - Mid-Practice Report
Tuesday, June 26, 2012

FLW/Gary Mortenson
Photo: FLW/Gary Mortenson

The lake's fishing good. The water's about 3 or 4 feet lower than it was last fall and it seems to be mostly post-spawn. The largemouths seem to be doing better than the smallmouths, but that's what I almost always fish for. I don't chase the smallies too much – I have finished high on them in the past, but I like to fish for the largemouths.

I've spent 1 day up north and 1 day down south so far, and now I've got one more day to decide where I want to go. I think this should be a normal Champlain tournament with the weights about the same as they always are.

Luke Clausen – Mid-Practice Report
Tuesday, June 26, 2012

FLW/Brett Carlson
Photo: FLW/Brett Carlson

I've fished for largemouths the past couple of days, whereas in the past I spent a lot of time smallmouth fishing here. I've seen a lot of new water and done a lot of different things and it's been fun, but not too encouraging. I'm catching maybe 16 or 17 pounds a day and I don't feel great about that.

About 5 hours of fishing is all I can get if I run down to (Ticonderoga), and I don't feel comfortable about what I can do in that amount of time. It's incredible how many bites you can get, but I haven't caught any quality. I keep catching all 2 1/2-pounders and maybe a 3 now and than, but not the 4s and 5s. You have to have something fairly solid if you go down there because you can't scramble around – there isn't time to make a lot of adjustments. It's about a 70-mile run (one way) and weather's always a big factor.

Tomorrow I'm going to try some smallmouth fishing and see how that goes. Hopefully that turns out to be the answer.

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