Lake Champlain set for Costa FLW Series Northern opener
Published By OutdoorsFIRST Media Published June 13, 2018
More than 400 pros and co-anglers are set to open the Northern Division next week, June 21-23, at the Costa FLW Series at Lake Champlain presented by Power-Pole. The tournament, hosted by the City of Plattsburgh and the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau, is the first regular-season event scheduled in the FLW Series Northern Division. The event will feature anglers competing for a top award of up to $95,000, including a brand new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.
"We're hitting Champlain very close to when we did last year, and I expect that it will fish very similarly," said FLW Tour pro Chris Johnston, who has four top-10 finishes on Lake Champlain in FLW competition. "There are a lot of shallow fish - a lot of smallmouth on beds right now. The only problem with that is that there are quite a few local tournaments happening before this one, so a large majority of those fish will have already been caught. Lake Champlain never fishes badly, though, and we're going to see a lot of nice fish
caught in this event."
A key decision for tournament anglers competing on Lake Champlain is always the choice to fish the grassy and stained headwaters filled with largemouth down south at Ticonderoga, the rocky midsection loaded with smallmouth or the clear waters with rock, grass and both species of bass at the north end. Johnston predicts that the majority of tournament competitors will stay north.
"Ticonderoga has been fishing a little tough the past few years, so I think I think around 90-percent of the field will stay north," Johnston said. "However, it's tough to compete with the largemouth down there. If a guy can figure out the largemouth there, you can't compete with it."
Johnston said that he predicts the three-day winner will likely have a mixed bag of both smallmouth and largemouth each day.
"Last year it took 18 pounds a day to win," Johnston said. "I think it'll be very similar to that again this year. Maybe even a little more. I'll guess that the winner of this tournament will likely have right around 56 pounds."
Anglers will take off and weigh-in at the Plattsburgh City Marina, located at 5 Dock St., in Plattsburgh. Takeoff will be held at 6 a.m. EDT each day of competition and weigh-ins will start at 2 p.m. All takeoffs and weigh-ins are free to attend and open to the public.
In Costa FLW Series regular-season competition, payouts are based on the number of participants competing in the event. At Lake Champlain pros will fish for a top prize of $95,000, including a brand new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard if Ranger Cup qualified. Co-anglers will cast for a brand new Ranger Z175 boat with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard, and $5,000 if Ranger Cup qualified.
The Costa FLW Series consists of five U.S. divisions - Central, Northern, Southeastern, Southwestern and Western - along with the International division. Each U.S. division consists of three regular-season tournaments with competitors vying for valuable points that could earn them the opportunity to compete in the season-ending Costa FLW Series Championship. The 2018 Costa FLW Series Championship is being held Nov. 1-3 on Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Alabama, and is hosted by the Marshall County Convention and Visitors Bureau.