Pro Scott Martin of Clewiston, Florida, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 5 ounces to take the lead after Day One of the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Champlain presented by General Tire.
Martin targeted areas on the northern end of Champlain, catching a limit consisting entirely of largemouth bass to lead the field of 160 anglers in the four-day tournament that features top bass-fishing anglers from around the world competing for a top cash award of up to $125,000.
Canadian angler Chris Johnston of Peterborough, Ontario, is in second place with 21-2, while Alex Davis of Albertville, Alabama, is in third place with 19-13.
Martin, who won the coveted Angler of the Year title last season, is seeking his third career win at Lake Champlain in FLW Tour competition. He won previously in 2004 and 2009 visits and has earned more than $450,000 on Champlain in his 17-year professional career.
“This lake has been good to me over the years and I had a really good day again today,” said Martin. “I caught them off of five different areas and bounced around a bit. I’m doing something a little different than I usually do here bait wise, and it played a big part today.”
Martin said that he mixed it up and caught fish on four different baits, but wasn’t ready to divulge any specifics. He said that he caught around 15 fish throughout the day.
“I’m not catching a ton of fish, but they are very healthy,” Martin said. “They are fat and don’t look beat up. I had 17 pounds in my livewell by mid-morning. The different lure seemed to be getting bit better than everything else.
“It’s hard to say what is going to happen tomorrow,” Martin continued. “I didn’t have to share any of the areas that I was fishing today, so I hope I’ll be able to do the same tomorrow. There are a lot of fish up there and I think I might have something special figured out.”
The top 10 pros after Day One on Lake Champlain are:
1st: Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., five bass, 22-5
2nd: Chris Johnston, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, five bass, 21-2
3rd: Alex Davis, Albertville, Ala., five bass, 19-13
3rd: David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., five bass, 19-13
5th: Blake Nick, Adger, Ala., five bass, 19-3
6th: Jason Meninger, Gainesville, Ga., five bass, 19-2
7th: Cody Meyer, Auburn, Calif., five bass, 18-14
8th: Curtis Richardson, Belleville, Ontario, Canada, five bass, 18-12
9th: Mark Rose, West Memphis, Ark., five bass, 18-9
10th: Michael Wooley, Collierville, Tenn., five bass, 18-6
For a full list of results visit FLWFishing.com.
Johnston weighed in a 5-pound, 13-ounce largemouth to win the Big Bass Award on the pro side Thursday and the $500 prize.
Overall there were 794 bass weighing 2,334 pounds, 12 ounces caught by 159 pros Thursday. The catch included 156 five-bass limits.
Al Gagliarducci of West Suffield, Connecticut, leads the co-angler division with five bass weighing 18 pounds even, followed by Rex Jaeger of Hamilton, Ohio, in second place with five bass weighing 16 pounds, 9 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers after Day One on Lake Champlain are:
1st: Al Gagliarducci, West Suffield, Conn., five bass, 18-0
2nd: Rex Jaeger, Hamilton, Ohio, five bass, 16-9
3rd: David Hudson, Jasper, Ala., five bass, 16-1
4th: Gary Haraguchi, Redding, Calif., five bass, 15-15
5th: Logan Thomas, Calvert City, Ky., five bass, 15-13
6th: Anthony Goggins, Auburn, Ala., five bass, 15-12
7th: Lee Black, Danville, Ala., five bass, 15-6
8th: Darren Heavner, Fort Worth, Texas, five bass, 15-3
9th: James Ciferni, Hammond, N.Y., five bass, 15-2
10th: Chuck Kavros, Grass Valley, Calif., five bass, 15-1
Goggins earned the Big Bass Award on the co-angler side Thursday with a bass weighing 4 pounds, 10 ounces to win the $250 prize.
Overall there were 708 bass weighing 1,685 pounds, 6 ounces caught by 154 co-anglers Thursday. The catch included 125 five-bass limits.