Lake Champlain to host four-day bass tournament

PLATTSBURGH Anglers will take to the water next week as the $10 million Wal-mart FLW Series visits Lake Champlain for the series third BP Eastern Division tournament of the season. The tournament which will be held from Wednesday, Sept. 10, through Saturday, Sept. 13 will feature as many as 400 top bass anglers from across the country, Canada and even as far away as Japan, casting for top awards of $125,000 in the Pro Division and $25,000 in the Co-angler Division. Team BP pro Guido Hibdon of Sunrise Beach, Mo., who won the FLW Series Eastern Division tournament last year on Lake Champlain, is one of many looking forward to the event. I think its going to be a little different this year, just because the water is going to be higher theyve had a lot of rain, Hibdon said in a recent statement.Theyre still going to catch the devil out of them, thats for sure. I talked to a guy who lives up there, and he said the smallmouth are bigger, and there are more of them than there were last year, so itll definitely be a good tournament. Hibdon said it would be difficult to predict what weight it would take to make the Top 10 cut, but he expects it to be heavy 18 pounds or more per day. The weights will depend on how the weather ends up being; thats always a factor up there. It will determine whether you will be able to get to the fish or not, Hibdon said. He added that he expects to see anglers using a variety of baits and techniques to catch their bass, including drop-shots, tube baits and topwater baits. Therell be a certain amount of fish caught on a jig, he said. If I have anything to do with it, there will be a lot of them caught on a jig. The tournament will take off each morning from the landing on Dock Street at 6:30 a.m. Weigh-ins will be held at the marina Wednesday, Thursday and Friday beginning at 3 p.m. The final weigh-in Saturday will be held at Trinity Park, located next to City Hall, beginning at 4 p.m. According to information provided by FLW, the entire field competes for the first three days of events. Co-angler winners are determined on day three, based on the heaviest accumulated three-day weight. The top 10 professionals continue competition on day four, and the winner is determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all four days. In FLW Series competition, pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day, with pros supplying the boat, controlling boat movement and competing against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back deck against other co-anglers. The total purse for the Lake Champlain tournament is $1 million including $10,000 through 50th place and $2,000 through 75th place in the Pro Division. Ultimately, all anglers in the tournament will also be competing for valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the BP East-National Guard West Fish-Off and a shot at advancing to the $2 million, 2009 Forrest Wood Cup, where the winning pro will earn as much as $1 million the sports biggest award. The Lake Champlain FLW Series tournament will be broadcast to 81 million Fox Sports Net subscribers across the country as part of the FLW Outdoors television program airing Sunday, Nov. 9. That sort of exposure for the region is invaluable, said City Mayor Donald M. Kasprzak. Were very fortunate that the FLW and the networks in general feel very comfortable in coming to our region and participating in these national fishing tournaments, said Kasprzak. We welcome these events with open arms and we hope to continue with these wonderful relationships with the FLW, ESPN, Bassmasters and Fox Sports to promote the entire region. We will do everything from my offices perspective to continue to assist these folks in any way we can. In addition to the tournament, a Family Fun Zone will be held for children prior to Saturdays weigh-in from 12-4 p.m. at Wal-Mart on State Route 3. Activities include a trout pond, a Ranger boat simulator and assorted fishing-themed games. Activities will be free and open to the public. For more information about the upcoming FLW Series tournament, visit www.flwoutdoors.com.

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