Brandon Lester was in 4th place after Day 1 at Lake Champlain the last time the Elite Series was here in 2017. It's an unusual statistical occurrence, but of the top 10 anglers on Day 1, only Lester remained in the top 10 in the final standings of that event, which was shortened to three days due to high winds.
That points to the volatility you'll see in the standings over the next four days of the Bassmaster Elite at Lake Champlain, where almost everyone will have a five-bass limit and one big bass can make all the difference on a daily basis. And it might also be an indication of the Tennessee angler's comfort on Lake Champlain. Well, part of Lake Champlain, anyway.
"The northern end of Lake Champlain is my favorite part of any lake in the whole country," Lester said yesterday. "I just like the way it sets up. You can fish shallow or you can get offshore. And anytime you find something that you think ought to have fish on it, 90 percent of the time it does."
"The bass have read the memo here," Lester added with a laugh. "They don't do that everywhere."
Lester noted that he isn't exactly a seasoned Champlain bass angler. This is only his third tournament here. He finished 4th in an Eastern Open at Champlain in 2018. But he likes everything he's seen so far. This week's practice was no exception.
"The smallmouth seem to be biting pretty good," Lester said. "I don't think you can win with all smallmouth. There will be a lot of good 15-, 16-, 17-pound limits of smallmouth, then you're trying to find that big largemouth."