Fishing & Boating News

Vermont’s Judd Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Northeast Division Tournament on Lake Champlain

Co-angler Title Goes to Pennsylvania’s Fenstermaker

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

J.J. Judd of Saint Albans, VT, brought a 5-bass limit to the scale weighing 19 lbs, 14 oz, to win the Northeast Division tournament on Lake Champlain.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Jun 18, 2018 - PLATTSBURGH, N.Y.)

 Boater J.J. Judd of Saint Albans, Vermont, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 19 pounds, 14 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Northeast Division tournament on Lake Champlain. Judd earned $5,138 for his win.

Judd said he spent his day on a southern section of the main lake, and targeted smallmouths that were still spawning.

“I went to my five biggest ones that I had located and caught them,” said Judd, who notched his first career win in FLW competition. “I found fish in areas where they’ve spawned in the past, but with the water lower, they were surprisingly shallow. I think this is the tail-end of the spawn. A lot of the fish I found had been on beds for over two weeks and had lost quite a bit of weight.”

Judd said he fished a white Bass Pro Shops XPS Tender Tube with a ¼-ounce jighead on 10-pound-test P-Line fluorocarbon line.

“I throw white because I can see it well. I threw it in the bed and stared at it until I couldn’t see it, and that’s what told me it was in the fish’s mouth,” said Judd. “One of the big keys was my Costa sunglasses. On this lake, the green mirror finish helps me see really well.”

Around 10 a.m., Judd switched patterns and focused on postspawn smallmouth on the northern end of the lake in 18 to 20 feet of water with a 6-inch AYU-colored Roboworm Straight Tail Worm on a drop-shot rig.

“I fished near isolated boulders. I’d say 90 percent of the fish are done spawning up there. I culled up twice and went looking for a big largemouth to cap it off, but didn’t have any luck,” said Judd. “It was a tricky tournament to manage my fish. I’m fishing in the upcoming Costa (FLW Series) event this weekend and I didn’t want to burn too much, but I still wanted to do well.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
               1st:          J.J. Judd, Saint Albans, Vt., five bass, 19-14, $5,138
               2nd:         Alec Morrison, Peru, N.Y., five bass, 19-13, $2,469
               3rd:          Jason Stoddard, Saint Albans, Vt., five bass, 19-10, $1,646
               4th:          Perry Marvin, Peru, N.Y., five bass, 19-0, $1,152
               5th:          Charles Sim, Nepean, Ontario, Canada, five bass, 18-14, $1,388
               6th:          Ronald Penders Jr., Rochester, N.Y., five bass, 18-13, $864
               6th:          Jesse Spellicy, Gouverneur, N.Y., five bass, 18-13, $864
               8th:          Jason Shipton, Muncy, Pa., five bass, 18-11, $741
               9th:          Brett Carnright, Plattsburgh, N.Y., five bass, 18-10, $617
               9th:          Travis Manson, Conshohocken, Pa., five bass, 18-10, $617

Brian Squires of Schenectady, New York, brought a 5-pound, 5-ounce bass to the scale – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $745.

Mark Fenstermaker of Allentown, Pennsylvania, won the Co-angler Division and $2,436 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 17 pounds, 5 ounces.

The top 10 co-anglers were:
               1st:          Mark Fenstermaker, Allentown, Pa., five bass, 17-5, $2,436
               2nd:         Dylan Boyle, Coopersburg, Pa., five bass, 17-3, $1,218
               3rd:          William Ambler, Alderson, W. Va., five bass, 16-9, $1,014
               4th:          Henry McKee, Haddon Heights, N.J., five bass, 16-5, $618
               5th:          James Ohono, Bridgeton, N.J., five bass, 15-14, $487
               6th:          Craig Cleveland, Utica, N.Y., five bass, 15-10, $447
               7th:          Mike Urbania, Mentor, Ohio, five bass, 15-8, $365
               7th:          Chris Morrison, Columbia, Md., five bass, 15-8, $365
               7th:          Ryan Spaulding, North Bangor, N.Y., five bass, 15-8, $365
               10th:        Gordon Bocash, Woodstock, Conn., five bass, 15-7, $284

Wes Vyverberg of Rochester, New York, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division weighing in at 5 pounds, 7 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $367.

The T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Northeast Division tournament on Lake Champlain was hosted by the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau.
The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 11-13 BFL Regional Championship on Chesapeake Bay in North East, Maryland. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard.

The 2018 BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the BFL All-American. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.

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