Good Trip to New York

This second of back to back Bassmaster Elite Series events took place this past weekend at Lake Champlain. This massive lake in northern New York also stretches into Vermont and Quebec to give you a better idea of its geographic location. It is known as one of the top bass fishing destinations in North America for the numbers of bass in the lake and the scenery of the area. 
In all of my travels across the U.S. to fish these tournaments, this lake is more like Lake of the Woods and Rainy Lake than any other lake that I have visited. It has an excellent population of both largemouth and smallmouth bass and is always a favourite venue for southern anglers in the summer for them to get away from the brutal heat down south and enjoy some good fishing.
I had fished one tournament at Champlain prior to this event so I had a little bit of experience on the lake but that was in June when a lot of the bass were spawning so it was different fishing than we were faced with this time around.
On the first day of practice I found a few good schools of fish in deep water and spent a lot of my practice time expanding on that, finding as many places as I could that held fish. After the three day practice was finished, I had about 15 spots that had schools of smallmouths on them in 25-35 feet of water. I spent hours idling around looking for boulders on my electronics that were holding the fish.
Heading into the tournament I felt good about my chances to catch a bunch of nice fish and have a good finish. One thing about competitive bass fishing is you just never know how your day is going to go. I found it quite easy to run around in practice and find fish but things would be a different story in the tournament.
The first morning of the tournament, I fished my four or five best spots before I finally caught a bass. At lunch time I had three smaller fish and I needed to do something different or it was not going to go very well. I ended up moving to a shallow weed field and caught four good smallmouths on a topwater lure to survive day one with 17-2.
My morning on day two was even worse. I fished a few of my deeper spots and did not catch a bass. I then tried the spot I caught my fish at the first day followed by more shallower spots and still nothing. Finally I got up really shallow in three to five feet of water and saw a few bass swimming around. I ended up catching some nice ones on this spot and salvaged a tough morning increasing my day two weight to 18-5. It’s tough to change it up in the middle of a tournament day so I was pretty happy. It was by far the best recovery that I’ve ever had on a tournament day.
On the third day I decided to pass on the deep stuff and went straight to fishing shallow points and reefs. It turned out to be a good move because I caught fish all day and moved up the leader board with 19-7 to finish the tournament in 15th.
Overall it was a good trip to New York for me. I just missed getting into the top ten at both events but I made some money and earned some good points towards qualifying for next years Bassmaster classic. The Elite Series season resumes in mid-August at Lake St. Clair, Michigan for another smallmouth tournament before the last few tournaments take place back down south later in the fall.