Shinichi Fukae of Palestine, Texas, caught a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win $49,349 in the FLW Series Eastern Division tournament on Lake Champlain with a four-day catch of 20 bass weighing 73-12.
The catch gave him the win by a mere 5-ounces over Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, S.C., who caught a total of 20 bass weighing 73-7 and earned $19,740.
“I just fish,” said Fukae, who was looking for pay back after a 5th place at Lake Champlain in 2006 and 6th in 2008. “I drop-shot all week with a shad shape worm.
“Today, I almost broke the camera guy,” replied Fukae when asked about the high winds that affected Lake Champlain today. “Waves were really bad, I lost two fishing poles.”
Fukae opened the tournament in 12th place Wednesday with five bass weighing 18-12 that he caught on a drop-shot while fishing the Inland Sea. On Thursday he added another five bass weighing 18-12 to jump into third place. He then caught five bass weighing 17-13 on Friday to make the crucial top-five cut in second place. On Saturday he sealed his victory using the same drop-shot with a shad shape worm that had worked for him all week.
When asked about his weigh marks, Fukae indicated that he had 980 on Lake Champlain; however, he only used 15 of those spots for this tournament. Fishing suspended fish in 30 – 40 feet of water he indicated that he was looking for bait fish that resembled shad.
Rounding out the top-five pros are:
3rd: Jason Ober, Johnstown, Pa., 20 bass, 70-10, $14,805 4th: Andy Montgomery, Blacksburg, S.C., 20 bass, 70-1, $9,870 5th: David Wolak, Wake Forest, N.C., 20 bass, 66-9, $8,883
The remaining pro anglers in the top-10 were:
6th: Michael Wolfenden, Warwick, R.I., 15 bass, 52-14, $8,389 7th: Jim Gildea, Weston, Mass., 15 bass, 51-12, $7,896 8th: Jason Knapp, Uniontown, Pa., 15 bass, 51-1, $7,402 9th: Scott Parker, Londonderry, N.H., 15 bass, 50-11, $6,909 10th: Lancen Halbert, Enoree, S.C., 15 bass, 50-7, $6,415
A complete list of results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Overall there were 25 bass weighing 77 pounds, 15 ounces caught by 5 pros Saturday. The catch included five, five-bass limits.
Christopher Hall of Clarks Summit, Pa., won the Co-angler Division and a Ranger 177TR with a 90 horsepower Evinrude or Yamaha outboard motor Friday with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 47 pounds, 7 ounces followed by Tony Bushey of Champlain, N.Y., in second place with 15 bass weighing 47-7 worth $4,918.
FLW pro Fukae and co-angler Bushey each won a $1000 gift card as part of the Cabela’s Angler Cash program. Beginning in 2010, Cabela’s is offering pro and co-anglers the opportunity to register and win a $1000 gift card for being the highest qualified finisher in each division at all FLW Series events, making the stakes even higher in an already rich award package. Anglers can visit FLWOutdoors.com for a complete list of rules and to register.
In FLW Series competition, anglers and co-anglers are also vying for valuable points that could help them qualify for the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing.
The Lake Champlain event was the third of four Eastern Division tournaments that will be held in 2010. The final FLW Series Eastern Division tournament will be held Sept. 15-18 on Lake Chickamauga in Chattanooga, Tenn. The event will be hosted by the Greater Chattanooga Sports Committee and boats will launch from Chester Frost Park in Hixson, Tenn.
Coverage of the Lake Champlain tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS. “FLW Outdoors”, will air Oct. 24 from 12:30 to 1:30 ET. “FLW Outdoors,” hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to approximately 500 million households worldwide.
ABOUT FLW OUTDOORS FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world offering anglers worldwide the opportunity to compete for millions over the course of 189 tournaments in 2010. FLW Outdoors has also taken fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing awarding the largest prizes in the history of fantasy sports. FLW Outdoors memberships are available featuring numerous benefits including Player’s Advantage. For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FantasyFishing.com. FLWOutdoors.com