PLATTSBURGH — Tom Lavictoire Jr. of West Rutland, Vt., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to win the EverStart Series Northern Division event on Lake Champlain with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 43 pounds, 15 ounces. For his victory, Lavictoire Jr. earned $34,915.
Despite leading the first two days of the EverStart with limits of largemouth flipped up from the Ticonderoga grass, Lavictoire felt that it was about to slip away from him late on day three. “Today was really a grind,” said Lavictoire. “The wind and the mud came into four of my five places down around Ticonderoga, and I caught fewer fish today than I did any other day of the tournament.”
His last bite might have made the difference between winning and second place. “On the very last fish of the day I was in the middle of saying a prayer when it bit and it was a 4-pounder.”
Lavictoire said he was flipping ½-ounce jigs and tubes for the majority of the tournament on 40-pound-test PowerPro line, but that it was a late-in-the-game adjustment that sealed the deal. “I felt like the bait wasn’t getting to the bottom with the wind, so I put on a heavier weight so I could feel the bottom better and that heavier weight got me two quality fish I don’t think I would have caught if I hadn’t changed up.”
A Champlain veteran, Lavictoire was committed to fishing on the south end all three days. “I’ve got 150 places I can fish in Ticonderoga. I practiced in ‘Ti’ for two and a half days and found I could consistently catch 17 to 19 pounds a day, so I just put my head down and went for it.”
Darrin Schwenkbeck from Keeseville finished the tournament in seventh place.