Four tour-level winners are among the Top 5 in the standings at the Lake Champlain Bassmaster Northern Open with 1 day to go. The lone exception in that quintet is leader Scott Siller, who'll attempt to nail down a wire-to-wire victory on Saturday.
Siller, a policeman from Milwaukee, Wis., boxed 19-02 on day 2 to give him a 39-02 total. He has a 1-02 edge over FLW Tour standout Shinichi Fukae.
“Yesterday was a really awesome day after the weigh-in to be on the top of a Bassmaster leaderboard,” Siller said. “It was like a birthday all day long, so I almost didn’t want today to come around.”
“(Friday) was a tough day. I had a couple of fish I wished I could have culled out.”
He caught two keeper bass early on a jig, but when he couldn’t get any more bites, he switched to a square-bill crankbait. On the second cast with the plug, he caught a 5-pounder.
“I stuck with that for a while and then went back to the jig; I just mixed it up a bit to try to figure out what would trigger the fish to bite."
Siller didn’t throw the square-bill in practice.
“I am not a big crankbait fisherman, but the conditions and the cover and structure I was fishing pointed toward a crankbait."
Fukae caught 19-03 on day 2 to move up two places to 2nd. Former tour pro and longtime Champlain ace Dave Wolak was 3rd, followed by Mike Iaconelli and Aaron Martens.
Here are the totals for the 12 competitors who advanced to the final day:
1. Scott Siller: 39-02
2. Shinichi Fukae: 38-00
3. Dave Wolak: 37-02
4. Mike Iaconelli: 36-15
5. Aaron Martens: 36-02
6. Sam George: 35-10
7. Chris Daves: 35-08
8. Jordan Lee: 34-08
9. Micah Frazier: 34-04
10. Ott DeFoe: 34-03
11. Kotaro Kiriyama: 34-02
12. Sean Wilkes: 33-14