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Plattsburgh Boasts Its Bass

Bobby Williams, a pro angler for the Bass Federation, glided in his boat in search for the bass that cultivated in the deep and shallow Lake Champlain waters. The water mirrored the sun as a bright glaze set upon the calm, flat surface. Two years ago, Williams decided to stick around after one of the annual New York Bass Federation, NYTBF collegiate tournaments. In three days, Williams caught over 100 fish. Under Champlain’s grayish-blue murky water live 81 different species of fish. Brook trout, lake trout, northern pike, pickerel, rainbow trout and landlocked salmon are among other fish that glide…

Bobby Williams, a pro angler for the Bass Federation, glided in his boat in search for the bass that cultivated in the deep and shallow Lake Champlain waters. The water mirrored the sun as a bright glaze set upon the calm, flat surface. Two years ago, Williams decided to stick around after one of the annual New York Bass Federation, NYTBF collegiate tournaments. In three days, Williams caught over 100 fish.

Under Champlain’s grayish-blue murky water live 81 different species of fish. Brook trout, lake trout, northern pike, pickerel, rainbow trout and landlocked salmon are among other fish that glide through Lake Champlain, but the one that has people coming from all over the world is the bass.

A boat, a lake, the skills and passion are all a professional angler needs to become the best and swiftest at catching the bass fish that inhabit the chilling Champlain water. Fishing on Lake Champlain allows people to fish in many different styles and techniques to catch different species that populate the lake, according to Williams. Knowing the combinations of bait, rod, and fish is essential.

This year the lake is used to host seven tournaments. The water will be filled with boats and anglers coming from all over the world to compete. These tournaments are like the minor leagues of professional bass fishing tournaments, says Alyssa Felio from the North Country Chamber of Commerce. Opening the tournament season is the ABA Weekend Series.

“The town and city understand the value that these fishermen bring to the community.”

Anglers push out into the waters June 13 to score the biggest fish they can catch. NY TBF follows right after June 14. On July 18, the Northern Bass Supply tournament comes into full effect, taking its turn at the lake looking for the best anglers of their bunch. In continuation, the largest of the group of tournaments, the Walmart BFL-Northeast, takes over the lake bringing in over 200 competitors. The two-day event begins July 30. The final event closing out the tournament season in Plattsburgh is the NY TBF Collegiate Cup Challenge Sept. 27 and the NY TBF Collegiate Cup Championships Oct. 17. The tournaments consist of anglers in two teams hitting the water at first light and not returning until eight hours later.

The competitors with the highest combined yield win. The prize depends on the number of boats out on the water. If there are 100 boats on the water, the prize money is approximately $5,000. Ben Wright, a career pro-angler who won the national’s cup for the TBF tournament in 2013, was born and raised in Saranac, New York. Wright entered club level after he graduated from Plattsburgh State in 2008. He now fishes all over the country, but he always finds himself back home fishing on Lake Champlain.

A blend of things makes the lake marketable: the quality of smallmouth and largemouth in the lake and the positive reception anglers receive. The tournaments bring character to the lake, Wright says. It’s like seeing the circus come to town, but instead of clowns, it’s anglers winning trophies that bring smiles to the faces in the crowd.

Issue 5: Summer/Fall 2015

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