Jacob Walker Powers Through Wind to Takes Early Day 1 Lead at Lake Champlain

Lake Champlain kicks out 12 limits in excess of 19 Pounds on windy day of fishing

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (June 15, 2024) –So far, so good at Tackle Warehouse Invitational Stop 5 Presented by 7 Brew  on Lake Champlain. Day 1 of the event was windy, so much that few ventured very far south of Malletts Bay, but the results showed that the bass on Champlain are alive and well. Though the smallmouth spawn was not as major a factor as it theoretically should be, the pros proved that there are plenty of ways to catch a bass. Notably, though not the case for the leader, quite a few largemouth hit the scale. With good weather for a run to Ticonderoga in the forecast for tomorrow, those numbers could increase tomorrow.

In the lead, pro Jacob Walker of Springville, Alabama, sacked up 21 pounds, 4 ounces, fishing for exclusively smallmouth. Behind him, Milford, Delaware’s Kurt Mitchell and Aspen Martin  of White, Georgia, both crossed into 20-pound territory, and nine others caught something in the 19-pound range. So, the rest of the way looks like a horse race.

The full field of 150 anglers will conclude the two-day opening round on Sunday, with only the top 30 pros based on their two-day cumulative weight advancing to Championship Sunday. The three-day tournament, hosted by the City of Plattsburgh and the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau, features a roster of 150 anglers competing for a top prize of up to $115,000 and an invitation to compete at REDCREST 2025.

Raised on flipping a jig in Alabama, Walker is no slouch with forward-facing sonar, and he made it work to perfection today. Beaming up a big limit quickly, Walker looked like a local in his first trip to Champlain.

“It was very fun,” said Walker. “I caught a lot of big bass and I’m ready to go catch more big bass tomorrow.”

According to Walker, practice was good, but 21 pounds wasn’t on the menu – things really went well today.

“I was confident that I could catch 18 pounds today. I didn’t really fish my areas super hard, but I knew I could catch at least 18, which, I would have been happy with,” he said. “I was fortunate today to catch the bigger than average fish – hopefully tomorrow it’s like that again. I don’t think 20 pounds will be a problem, and I know I can catch 18. I can survive tomorrow for sure.”

Fishing without too much competition around, Walker has been able to trigger fish to bite consistently, which not everyone can say.

“A bigger bait, a bigger profile, is part of it,” he said. “And I think I’m just around the right quality. They just weigh a little bit more than the average in the couple areas I’m fishing.”

With calmer water and live cameras with all the leaders, we’ll have a much better read on trends tomorrow. Today, the fishing was a blast, and Champlain appears to be living up to the hype as usual.

The top 20 pros after Day 1 on Lake Champlain are:

1st:        Jacob Walker, Springville, Ala., five bass, 21-4
2nd:       Kurt Mitchell, Milford, Del., five bass, 20-7
3rd:       Aspen Martin, White, Ga., five bass, 20-2
4th:        Alec Morrison, Peru, N.Y., five bass, 19-14
5th:        Troy Stokes, Trenton, Mich., five bass, 19-7
5th:        Kyle Cortiana, Broken Arrow, Okla., five bass, 19-7
5th:        Nick LeBrun, Bossier City, La., five bass, 19-7
5th:        Brett Carnright, Plattsburgh, N.Y., five bass, 19-7
9th:        Evan Barnes, Dardanelle, Ark., five bass, 19-6
9th:        Jack Daniel Williams, Kingsport, Tenn., five bass, 19-6
11th:     Ryan Latinville, Plattsburgh, N.Y., five bass, 19-3
12th:     Nick Hatfield, Greeneville, Tenn., five bass, 19-2
13th:     Flint Davis, Leesburg, Ga., five bass, 18-15
14th:     Colby Miller, Elmer, La., five bass, 18-14
14th:     Ken Thompson, Roaring Springs, Pa., five bass, 18-14
16th:     Hunter Eubanks, Landrum, S.C., five bass, 18-12
16th:     Chad Mrazek, Montgomery, Texas, five bass, 18-12
18th:     Jason Carpenter, Castle Pines, Colo., five bass, 18-11
18th:     Spencer Shuffield, Hot Springs, Ark., five bass, 18-11
18th:     Britt Myers, Jr., Lake Wylie, S.C., five bass, 18-11
18th:     Mitchell Robinson, Landrum, S.C., five bass, 18-11

Complete results for the entire field can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Mitchell earned the Day 1 $1,000 Berkley Big Bass award Saturday with a largemouth bass that weighed in at 5 pounds, 4 ounces.

Overall, there were 701 bass weighing 2,233 pounds even ounces caught by 143 pros Saturday. The catch included 136 five-bass limits.

In Tackle Warehouse Invitational competition, the full field of 150 anglers compete in the two-day opening round on Saturday and Sunday in a five-fish, weigh-in format. Only the top 30 pros, based on their two-day cumulative weight, advance to the final round on Championship Monday, where they will compete for the grand prize of up to $115,000. The winner of the Tackle Warehouse Invitational Stop 5 at Lake Champlain Presented by 7 Brew will be determined by the heaviest three-day cumulative weight and will receive an invitation to compete at REDCREST 2025 on Lake Guntersville in Huntsville, Alabama.

Anglers will launch at 6:30 a.m. ET each day from the Plattsburgh City Marina, located at 5 Dock St. in Plattsburgh. Weigh-ins will also be held at the marina and will begin at 2:30 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend all launch and weigh-in events and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLFNOW!® live stream and coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

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