Baumgardner Still Leads Stren Series Bass Fishing Tournament on Lake Champlain
PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (July 18, 2008) - Pro Chris Baumgardner of Gastonia, N.C., caught a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 10 ounces Friday to capture his lead in the Stren Series Northern Division bass fishing tournament on Lake Champlain. With a three-day catch of 15 bass weighing 57-12, he holds an 11-ounce lead over his closest competitor heading into the final day of competition.
Rounding out the top five pros are Jason Ober of Johnstown, Pa. (15 bass, 57-01); Atsushi Nakahigashi of Chester, Va. (15 bass, 52-09); Pete Gluszek of Franklinville, N.J. (15 bass, 49-02); and John Voyles of Petersburg, Ind. (15 bass, 47-04).
Also clearing the top 10 cut weight of 39 pounds, 12 ounces in the Pro Division are Michael Iaconelli of Runnemede, N.J.; Gregg Seal of Eldred, Pa.; Brian Gates of Mendon, Vt.; Scott Lakey of Augusta, Mich.; and Chad Pipkens of Holt, Mich.
George Lambeth of Thomasville, N.C., earned $243 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 5-pound, 7-ounce bass.
Overall there were 659 bass weighing 1,557 pounds, 14 ounces caught by 151 pros Friday. The catch included 117 five-bass limits.
Pros are competing for as much as $65,000, including a 198VX Ranger powered by Evinrude or Yamaha if contingency guidelines are met, and valuable points toward qualifying for the $1 million Stren Series Championship in Branson, Mo., Nov. 5-8 for a shot at $140,000. After four qualifying events are complete in each of the circuit's five divisions, the top 40 pros from each division will advance to the championship. The highest-finishing pro from each division at the championship will also earn a spot in the $2 million 2009 Forrest Wood Cup.
Chris Girouard of Epsom, N.H., and Thomas Shafer of Pine City, N.Y., lead the Co-angler Division in the chase for a top award of $35,000, including a 198VX Ranger if contingency guidelines are met, thanks to three-day totals of 15 bass weighing 42-09.
"We were on the north end of the lake, and they weren't biting the tubes today, so I went to a spinnerbait," Girouard said. "The morning was pretty windy, but the wind died down, and the lake was pretty calm for the most part."
Girouard said he threw spinnerbaits over the grass in 14 feet of water to catch his limit today.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Ryan Bowman of Seneca, S.C. (15 bass, 39-13); Moo Bae of West Friendship, Md. (15 bass, 39-07); and Marc Wagy of Dewitt, Va. (15 bass, 38-10).
Also clearing the top 10 cut weight of 36 pounds, 8 ounces in the Co-angler Division are David Roberts of Sunderland, Mass.; Micah Frazier of Newnan, Ga.; Chris Adams of Rutland, Vt.; Michael Sweeney of Attleboro, Mass.; and Jeff Zeisner of Avro, Ontario.
Scott Wilson of Boyds, Md., earned $125 for the Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 5-pound, 15-ounce bass.
Overall there were 587 bass weighing 1,324 pounds, 5 ounces caught by 151 co-anglers Friday. The catch included 90 five-bass limits.
The top 40 co-anglers from each Stren Series division will also advance to the championship, where they will fish for as much as $70,000. The highest-finishing co-angler from each division at the championship will then advance to the 2009 Forrest Wood Cup.
Anglers will take off at 6:30 Saturday morning from Dock Street Landing located at 5 Dock St. in Plattsburgh, N.Y. Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at the Crete Memorial Civic Center located on Route 9 N. Beach Road in Plattsburgh, N.Y., beginning at 4 p.m. The takeoff and weigh-in are free and open to the public.
Stren Series tournaments are four-day events consisting of two rounds. The entire field competes Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. At the conclusion of Friday's weigh-in, the field is cut to the top 10 pros and co-anglers based on the heaviest three-day accumulated weights. These anglers continue competition Saturday, with the winners determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all four days.