This is the hottest news off the FLW pro bass tour Thursday:
Written for FLW by Curtis Niedermier
Impressive is the best way to describe the collective day-one performance by the pros competing in this week’s FLW Tour event presented by T-H Marine at Lake Champlain. The top 13 all caught 19 pounds or better, the top 25 weighed at least 18 and the top 38 caught at least 17.
Most impressive of them all on day one was West Monroe Louisiana’s Tyler Stewart, who’s competing in his first-ever tournament on the big natural lake that straddles the New York-Vermont border. Stewart weighed in a five-bass limit worth 22 pounds, 3 ounces, which is by all means stout on Lake Champlain.
He’s one of a number of pros who spent the day targeting largemouths in order to get over that 18-pound mark, but he had one bonus smallmouth in his bag today, too.
“I had about 21 pounds probably, and I was on my way back, and I stopped and threw a Keitech around and ended up catching some smallmouth that culled one of my smaller largemouths,” Stewart says. “I was actually just planning on going all in on largemouth, but I had a little extra time, so when I got back I messed around with that and ended up making a cull, which was pretty crucial.”
Stewart says he didn’t have much company in his primary area today. His most notable challenge was a yacht wake that he hit on the way to his starting place. The impact resulted in a busted front graph and some damage to his Power-Pole bracket.
The damage not only cost Stewart a little time, but it made him question whether he ought to stay closer to the ramp in Plattsburgh. Thankfully, Stewart trudged on and ended up getting into decent action pretty quickly.
With a flipping stick in his hand, Stewart caught most of his limit by 10:30, replaced a 2-pounder with a 4-pounder around 11, and then left his largemouth waters alone the rest of the day.
Even without that bonus smallie, he knew he already had a good enough limit to be in contention. There was no reason to wear out his best water.
“In practice I wasn’t getting many bites at all – just quality – so I really didn’t want to catch anything that I might need tomorrow,” Stewart adds. “I only have a couple small areas, so that’s basically what I’m doing; just flipping them up in pretty shallow water.”
You can keep up with Tyler and all the results and photos from the tournament at: