COLCHESTER, Vt. — Fishing on home waters can be a curse for some anglers, but the first two days on Lake Champlain have been a blessing for Vermont’s Skip Sjobeck.
After catching a heavyweight limit yesterday to move into second place of the B.A.S.S. Federation Eastern Divisional, the local angler took over the lead today with a 17-9 bag that included a 5-1 smallmouth. Fishing pressure from another tournament caused him to change locations, but he still had enough spots to finish with another heavy bag and a two-day total of 36 pounds, 3 ounces.
“I just slowed down today,” Sjobeck said. “I caught three fish on an XZone (Lures) Slammer with a drop shot and the other two were on a Carolina rig (with a plastic lizard). I’m just grinding it all day and it is taking all day to upgrade my fish.”
Sjobeck has set a pace of catching 15 pounds a day and so far is staying ahead of it.
“I struggled this morning. I went to where I ended yesterday where my co(-angler) and I caught three or four 4-pound class fish, but in that area were about 20 wrapped boats,” he said.
He still caught fish there but the smallmouth were all less than 2 pounds so Sjobeck decided to move.
“I started hitting stuff I hit yesterday and everywhere we went we were still catching only 2-pounders so it wasn’t looking very good and at 10 o’clock I had about 10 pounds,” he said. “So I hit some new stuff and caught the 5 (pounder) on a spot that I knew about yesterday but never went there.”
A swimbait produced for Sjobeck yesterday but a change in the water color caused him to rely on the drop shot more and switch to the Carolina-rigged lizard.
“The water is getting pretty dirty and green, so I wanted more tail action (from the lizard),” he said.
Sjobeck is the top angler on his Vermont team, which puts him in good position to qualify for the Federation Nation Championship (FNC).
Other state and province leaders vying for berths in the FNC are Maine’s George Cooper; Bob Jeffrey of Connecticut; John Diaco, New Hampshire; Ed Robak, Massachusetts; Jamie Hartman, New York; John Scholl, Ontario, Canada; and Andrew MacColl, Rhode Island.
Connecticut continues to lead the team competition with 308 pounds, 3 ounces, followed by New York (277-2) and Vermont (274-15).