FLW Tour standout Shinichi Fukae earned his first B.A.S.S. victory on Saturday as he won the Lake Champlain Bassmaster Northern Open out of Plattsburgh, N.Y. His final-day bag, which weighed 18-13, gave him a 3-day total of 56-13.
The victory fulfills Fukae’s dream of fishing a Bassmaster Classic since he will earn a berth in the 2015 event to be held at Lake Hartwell in South Carolina if he competes in the final Northern Open.
“I’ll be happy when I fish the Bassmaster Classic,” he said.
Latham, N.Y., angler Sean Wilkes caught the heaviest bag of the tournament to finish in 2nd place with 54-15. He caught his limit of largemouth flipping a black and blue 1/2-ounce jig in shallow grass.
“That was my Plan D. My first plan was to fish a grassbed that had fish all over it, but when I got down there I wasn’t catching them,” Wilkes said. “I found out that one of the locals had ripped apart the grass before I got there. So I went to Plan B and that didn’t work out. Plan C didn’t work out either. Plan D was actually my kicker plan.”
Wisconsin policeman Scott Siller, who'd led after each of the first 2 days, managed just 11-11 today and finished 8th.
Full details of Fukae's winning pattern will be published soon.
Here are the final totals for the Top 12:
1. Shinichi Fukae: 56-13
2. Sean Wilkes: 54-15
3. Mike Iaconelli: 53-08
4. Sam George: 52-03
5. Micah Frazier: 52-00
6. Jordan Lee: 51-11
7. Dave Wolak; 50-15
8. Scott Siller: 50-13
9. Chris Daves: 48-10
10. Kotaro Kiriyama: 48-02
11. Aaron Martens: 47-06
12. Ott DeFoe: 45-08