PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — A day after plowing through thick grass far south of the Elite Series blast-off with Shaw Grigsby, co-angler Marc Lampier could hardly contain his excitement when his Day Two pro Jason Quinn told the Burlington, Vt., angler that they were going smallmouth fishing.
"His eyes lit up and he said 'I can do that,' " Quinn said after Lampier took the co-angler lead heading into the final day of competition with 28 pounds, 2 ounces, a total that would have come within an ounce of making the cut on the professional side.
No one-trick pony, Lampier weighed in 14-7 worth of largemouths out of the Ticonderoga grass beds on Day One, but nearly duplicated it with the brown fish on Day Two.
Having fished Lake Champlain an average of 50 times a year — Burlington sits on the shore of Lake Champlain across from Plattsburgh — the contract cable business owner found it hard to keep quiet when it came to fishing the Vermont side of the lake for smallmouths.
"I probably fish just as much for largemouths, but I do love to fish for smallmouths," Lampier said. "One of the funniest things of today was when we pulled up to a spot today that my buddies get on me about because I fish it so much. The fishing there was slow but they were all good fish."
Lampier takes a 3-1 lead into Saturday's final day of co-angler competition.
George Fiorille, a Bass Pro Shops Promotions Manager for their Auburn, N.Y., location, sits in second place. Fishing with Kotaro Kiriyama on Day Two, Fiorille experienced a change of fortune from Thursday's 11-2 bag.
"Day One was a trip south to fish 60-pound braid in slop. Today was fishing north of here with 6-pound test deep," Fiorille said of his drop shot pattern which netted him 13-15 pounds. "We were fishing anywhere from 20 to 40 feet."
Fiorille finished eighth at this venue last year, having led it after Day Two.
"Hopefully I can finish a little better this year," he said.
Joel Etheredge, a member of the co-angler "Dirty Dozen" — a group of men who help ferry BASS's collection of trucks and boats from site to site — fished with pro Britt Myers on Friday and they made the long run south to the largemouth-filled waters of the Ticonderoga area.
"I got beat to death today and I'll be extremely sore when all of this over," said Etheredge, who has a win and a second place in co-angler competition.
Fishing a weightless Senko among the milfoil and hydrilla, Etheredge "caught lots of fish. I'll be fishing smallmouths with a dropshot tomorrow, but I like my chances."