Costa FLW Series Northern Division set to open 2017 season on Lake Champlain
Published By OutdoorsFIRST Media Published June 14, 2017
As many as 400 pros and co-anglers are set to compete in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event at Lake Champlain, June 22-24. The tournament, which is presented by Power-Pole, is the first of three regular-season events scheduled in the FLW Series Northern Division. Pros will be competing for a top award of up to $46,000 in cash and a new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard.
"I was able to get out on Lake Champlain for a few days last week and the lake is fishing pretty good," said Power-Pole pro Cory Johnston of Cavan, Ontario, the reigning two-time FLW Series Northern Division Angler of the Year. "The largemouth seemed to be in a bit of a funk, but they were probably spawning and just weren't biting very well. In this tournament we are definitely going to see fish in all three phases of the spawn."
For FLW anglers that compete on Lake Champlain, the major decision is always whether to fish on the north end of the lake or make the long run to the Ticonderoga area on the southern end. Johnston said that he expects that decision will be the key factor to success in this event.
"Champlain is so great because you can really get away from everybody - it's such a big body of water that you don't have to fish in a crowd," Johnston said. "Somebody is always going to make the run down to Ti and catch them real good. When I was there it wasn't on fire by any means, but that can definitely change in a hurry. I think that there will be at least three boats in the top 10 that are fishing down in Ti.
"The key baits are going to be pretty typical Lake Champlain," Johnston continued. "Guys are going to be flipping a jig and throwing moving baits down in Ti and when they're up north they're going to catch them drop-shotting, throwing a tube, reaction baits and jerkbaits. I'll be throwing a Jackall Rhythm Wave and flipping a jig for the most part."
Johnston said that he thinks the winner will likely weigh in a three-day total right around 57 pounds.
"There are lots of smallmouth to be had, but I don't think you can catch three big days of smallmouth," Johnston went on to say. "You're going to have to find and mix in some largemouth. I'm planning on fishing for largemouth - if I can find them."
Anglers will take off from the Plattsburgh City Marina, located at 5 Dock St., in Plattsburgh, at 6:30 a.m. EDT each day. Weigh-ins will be held at the marina each day beginning at 2:30 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public. The event is hosted by the City of Plattsburgh and the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau.
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 as much as $46,000 and a Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard if Ranger Cup qualified. Co-anglers will cast for a Ranger Z175 boat with a 90-horsepower Evinrude outboard, and an additional $5,000 if Ranger Cup qualified.
The Costa FLW Series consists of five U.S. divisions - Central, Northern, Southeastern, Southwestern and Western. Each division consists of three tournaments with competitors vying for valuable points that could earn them the opportunity to fish in the Costa FLW Series Championship. The 2017 Costa FLW Series Championship is being held Nov. 2-4 on Kentucky Lake in Paris, Tennessee.