After Day 1 of the Bassmaster Eastern Open #3, it was apparent that the green fish wanted to make a statement. The luscious grass beds of Ticonderoga, over 70+ miles south of Plattsburgh, have always been a favorite of the anglers, but in recent years, it has been the northern "mix" bag to come out on top.
At the 2014 Bass Pro Shops Northern Open, Shin Fukae brought a 3-day total of 56 pounds, 13 ounces to the scale. Fukae brought a mixed bag to the scales each day usually anchored by a few key northern largemouths. Before that, day 2 leader Scott Siller had amassed 39 pounds, 2 ounces of largemouths from "Ti" but was unable to seal the deal on the final day due to increased pressure on his areas down south. Fukae had his spots to himself. In 2015, Glenn Brown won the 3-day FLW Costa Series event fishing at Ticonderoga with 63 pounds, 8 ounces. In 2016, it was Bryan Schmitt who keyed in on the northern section of the lake and also brought in a mixed bag of smallmouths and largemouths at the B.A.S.S. Open.
Bobby Lane smashed 21 pounds, 13 ounces on day by fishing "more central" on Lake Champlain. Local angler Bryan Labelle also opted not to make the run to TI and covered lots of water with reaction type baits for his 2nd place 21 pound, 8 ounce limit. 3rd place angler Chris Molineaux fished one small area in the Ticonderoga area for his 21 pound stringer, including a 4 pound "bonus" smallmouth. He went to work and had his weight in 45 minutes and left his area alone.
Ticonderoga certainly has the population of big bass to win a 3-day event, but in recent years, the variety of water an angler can fish in the north end comes out on top. So far in 2018, the largemouths have been showing up throughout the year and the smallmouths have been on the move and not as consistent as anglers would like. That could explain why Bobby Lane and Bryan Labelle, both excellent smallmouth anglers, each weighed in 5 green fish from the North end. Ticonderoga certainly has pumped out several winners over the years, but it seems like it is either good or bad, and changes each year. Will this be a year that an angler running 140 miles round trip can sustain success for 3 days?