Flats play early on Champlain

Anglers don’t like to talk about “flat” productivity, unless you twist the semantics and talk about productivity on a flat.

We’re seeing some of this early on Day 1 of the Bassmaster Elite at Lake Champlain, as several anglers, started their day on a big flat off the Rouses Point area, north of takeoff, on the New York side. Here, fish roam in wolf packs and chase schools of perch in about 5 to 15 feet of water

Among the group was Clark Wendlandt, who placed eighth at last week’s Elite on the St. Lawrence River. With the morning starting with nearly flat calm conditions, Wendlandt threw a topwater, which produced a 3-pounder around 7:30 — and a large pike that had Bassmaster LIVE host Mark Zona dreaming of a fish fry.

Drew Benton, who had fished his way into the (unofficial) top 10 by 8:15, was also targeting the flat and catching fish on soft plastics. His analysis: Find the sweet spots.

“If you find the taller grass, or you find a little rock (structure), they’ll be a pile of them,” Benton said.