Lake Champlain FLW Tour
Jay Yelas – Competition Wrapup
Friday, June 24, 2016
> Day 1: 5, 14-15
> Day 2: 5, 12-15
> Total = 10, 27-14 (110th place)
It was a fitting end to the worst year of my career. Yesterday could've been a lot better than it was. I was about the last boat out and normally I don't care much about the draw, but this time I had one specific little spot on a rock pile where I wanted to start and when I got there two boats were on it. I watched one guy (Chris Johnston) catch 21 pounds right in front of me. I had to fall back on my secondary stuff to catch 15 pounds.
I went back to that place where I'd wanted to start today, but nobody caught anything.
I was fishing up north in Missisquoi Bay, fishing the milfoil for largemouths primarily. I had three or four really good rock piles. One of them is the place that (David Dudley and Scott Martin) are fishing, and it's just amazing how that spot keeps producing. It's the same place where Dudley won last time and Scott won in '09.
I was trying the same pattern in the same area, but I wasn't on their rock pile. I had other stuff that was good, but it wasn't good enough. Today they wouldn't bite anything except a weightless Senko. Yesterday when the wind blew a little I could catch them on a Texas-rigged (Yamamoto) Flappin' Hawg or a jig.
It could've turned out a lot better if I'd had a better boat number yesterday. It's funny how your fate can hinge on something so seemingly insignificant.
Nothing went my way and I didn't get the breaks I needed. I kind of wish I'd fished for smallmouth all week because they're so much fun and there's a ton of them being caught.
Jay Yelas – Practice Summary
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
It's been a fun time and there's lots of fish, but it seems like it's not quite as good as last time we were here. But at the same time, you're still going to have to have a good bag to do well, probably like 14 pounds a day to get a check and 16 1/2 to make the cut, or something like that. It'll probably be a couple pounds less than last time on both of those.
Largemouth and smallmouth are both in play. I have a hunch that smallmouth are going to win this tournament even though I'm going to fish for largemouth primarily. There's still some smaller fish on the beds, but the good post-spawn bite hasn't really kicked in yet. It's like they're coming off the beds in the last 2 to 3 weeks and they're not biting really good yet. But weights will be tight like they always are, with everybody stacked together.
The weather's going to be good and I think it's going to be a fun tournament. The Top 20 will probably be half and half, largemouth and smallmouth, and guys will be doing different things. That's the beauty of Champlain.
Jay Yelas – Mid-Practice Report
Monday, June 20, 2016
The water's about 2 1/2 feet below full pool. It seems like the fish are post-spawn – there's a few little fish on beds, but not many. Every now and then in June the spawn can be a factor, but sight-fishing won't play much of a role in this one.
The fishing's not that good for Champlain. They seem to be in the post-spawn funk they go into before they start biting good. A lot of guys thought it was going to be like the last time we were here (in 2012), when you could go out and get 30 frog bites in practice. You can get lots of bites, but the good fish are hard to come by right now. The 3-pounders are at a premium.
I've tried for both largemouths and smallmouths over the past 2 days and you can catch a pretty decent limit of either one, but it's hard to catch any over 3 pounds. I've caught a couple of 3 1/2-pounders in 2 days and what you need are five of those. There's still a lot of stuff I haven't tried, like maybe some deeper smallmouth patterns might be working. I'll try some of that tomorrow.
Some guys will do well on the largemouths down in Ticonderoga like they always do. It's always interesting here because about half the time it's won on largemouths and the other half on smallmouths. It's a place that's a lot of fun because you can get bites from rock bass, pickerel and all kinds of stuff. You can go through lots of soft plastics in a day, that's for sure.