PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (Aug. 1) — With the long summer break in the Bassmaster Elite Series schedule finally drawing to a close, pro angler David Walker took to the water a week before the next Elite event at the Northern Open No. 2 on Lake Champlain.
The Cabela’s/GEICO For Your Boat Elite angler started off the tournament with a solid first day, bringing in a full limit of five fish weighing 14 pounds, 14 ounces, a nice stringer that gave him plenty of local knowledge.
“We’re up here on Lake Champlain and it’s really a famous fishery for a couple reasons,” Walker said. “One reason is for the amount of fish in it, both large and small mouth. The other reason is for how rough the water can get. It’s an extremely big lake, Great Lake-style, and it’s big enough to support sea monster life. You come up here and expect a couple things to happen: One is to catch fish, and the other is to probably get roughed up a little bit.
“For me, I got both. I got a lot of fish and just got plain beat up. I was running 75 miles one way, and in a bass boat that’s not bad to do when it’s calm. When it’s rough, we’re talking about a couple hours of not just driving into waves but dodging them as well. You’re always trying to maneuver through them. It’s sort of like what the motocross guys do on a dirt track, you’re just jumping waves instead. After a couple hours of battling those conditions, you’ve really had enough.”
While waters were a bit calmer today on Lake Champlain, Walker didn’t fare as well when he weighed in for the second day of competition, bringing in two fish at 5 pounds, 14 ounces. His total two-day weight for the tournament was 20 pounds, 12 ounces, leaving him outside the final cut mark.
“I made the same 75-mile run today but saw very few other boats compared to the first day,” Walker said. “I think after the beating so many of the other anglers took yesterday, they opted out of that game plan. I wanted to go back though because I felt like that is where I needed to be to catch a big stringer to win the tournament. That’s what the Bassmaster Open tournaments are all about, winning.
“There’s a cliché about swinging for the fences, and while most people just throw that out there, I find it to not really be true. But in this case, I went to where I knew I had the best chance of catching the biggest fish. It wasn’t where I caught the most fish but I knew historically that that was the best place to be. I just plain struck out today, but it happens.”
Walker will continue to put in some valuable fishing time before the next Bassmaster Elite tournament, Aug. 7-10, on the Delaware River in Philadelphia.
Cabela’s/GEICO For Your Boat angler David Walker caught 20 pounds, 12 ounces of fish over two days of action at the Northern Open No. 2.