Excited about catching smallmouth

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Scott Martin, 62nd, 16-11
Andy Crawford

Scott Martin, 62nd, 16-11

This is an exciting, invigorating time of the year for me. The Bassmaster Elite Series is winding down, so it’s critically important for me to turn in my best performances in the last two events. with those final events taking place on Lake Champlain this week and the St. Lawrence River next week, I have to admit I have a little more pep in my step. 

For me, there’s something special about fishing new water and fishing new sites. I particularly enjoy catching smallmouth because I don’t get a chance to do that very often. That, alone, is enough to get me excited about fishing the final two events.

My practice went well, and I can say it was fun. This is such a beautiful lake that it’s just an enjoyable experience to fish here.

I will say that I approached practice differently by consciously avoiding familiar places. Everywhere I’m fishing is stuff I’ve never fished before. I basically redid the whole lake.

I’ve had success on Champlain in the past, but during those events, most of my stuff was spawn related. This time around, I approached Champlain like a new lake. The spawn is pretty much over, and it’s a little later than I prefer, so I just took a fresh approach. 

I figured Id try a different approach this time, so I didn’t fish history at all. I didn’t want to waste a lot of time by getting into areas where they’re postspawn.

The great thing about Champlain is its diversity. You have an incredibly broad range of deep and shallow habitat you can fish, plus the lake’s healthy populations of big largemouth and smallmouth give you a lot of options.

I’m planning to include both in my game plan. If I had to guess, I’d say it’ll take a mixed bag to do well.

From what I saw in practice, is that it appears the entire lake is in play. It looked like the fish are biting everywhere because everybody seemed to be spread out. Of course, that could change during competition days, but it’s good to know that you probably could get bit just about anywhere. 

One thing’s for sure, I really need to catch ‘em this week and next to make sure I remain in the cut for next year’s Bassmaster Classic. Fishing that event was the central motivation for me coming back to B.A.S.S., and I am super excited to have the opportunity to fulfill this dream.

Honestly, I just want to have fun and try to win one of these last two tournaments. It would be nice to be able to pull off something special on Champlain. This lake has been very good to me, but it’s different this time around. 

I really don’t know what to expect this week, because it could go a lot of different ways. That being said, the opportunity to catch a lot of big smallmouth provides a ton of enthusiasm and motivation.

I like catching smallmouth, and I’m going to be around a lot of them this week and next, so I plan on taking advantage of that opportunity.