Ultimate Bass

Steve Lucarelli Wins Stren on Lake Champlain

Talk about a 1,2 punch, pro Steve Lucarelli of Meredith, N.H., caught a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday, Aug. 29, 2009 to win the Stren Series Northern Division tournament on Lake Champlain with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 57 pounds even. His son, Joe, took second. For his victory, Steve Lucarelli earned…

Talk about a 1,2 punch, pro Steve Lucarelli of Meredith, N.H., caught a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday, Aug. 29, 2009 to win the Stren Series Northern Division tournament on Lake Champlain with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 57 pounds even. His son, Joe, took second. For his victory, Steve Lucarelli earned $20,561 cash plus a 198VX Ranger powered by an Evinrude or Yamaha outboard and equipped with a Minn Kota trolling motor and Lowrance electronics.

“It’s just incredible to finish 1 and 2 with my son,” Lucarelli said. “I’ve always dreamed of a 1, 2 finish, however, as a parent you wish the kids finish first. Joe and I have been fishing together since he was 16 and we have always had a great deal of success.”

Although fishing the same lake neither father or son saw each other until weigh-in time which added to the excitement. Neither knew how the day would end, but the younger Lucarelli, in first place going into the final weigh-in, predicted a 1, 2 finish.

On the final day of fishing Steve found two hot spots that produced numerous three pound fish plus the winning big mouth bass that won the tournament for him. He started his day in a 28’ hole with a single rock in a field of nothing. When the bites went dry he decided to try shallower waters, 15’ – 18’, a mixed combination of weeds made all the difference. Steve used a Carolina Rig with Yamamoto Cut-Tail worms and 4” Senko lizards.

Rounding out the top five pros were Joe Lucarelli of Center Harbor, N.H., (15 bass, 55-13, $8,225); Donald Sheldrake of Sanford, Ontario, (15 bass, 54-15, $6,580); Jimmy Kennedy of Plainfield, Vt., (15 bass, 53-15, $5,757); and Terry Baksay of Easton, Conn., (15 bass, 53-1, $4,935).

Joe Lucarelli also caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Pro Division Thursday – a 6-pound, 4-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s Folgers Big Bass award of $335.

Tony Bushey of Champlain, N.Y., won the Co-angler Division and a 177TR Ranger boat and trailer, with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 47 pounds, 4 ounces.

“This is surreal,” said Bushey. “I felt my heart coming out of my chest while I was sitting in the hot seat watching.”

Fishing his home waters Bushey said was a real advantage, he got to fish “his” spot all three days of the tournament. On day one of fishing his pro-angler was struggling so turned to Bushey for advice on where to fish. On day two he got paired with hometown hero, Thomas Lavictoire, Jr. who knew the lake better than Bushey.

“He was a phenomenal partner and made all the difference in my success this weekend,” Bushey added.

Ironically on day three pro Donald Sheldrake knew the spot too and they were able to slam a couple of nice keepers.

Bushey caught five bass weighing 14-5 Thursday while fishing with pro Luke Shrader of Moorestown, N.J. to open the tournament in twenty-first place. On Friday he added five more bass weighing 17 to make the top-10 cut in seventh place while fishing with pro Thomas Lavictoire, Jr. of West Rutland, Vt. Finally, on Saturday, he sealed the win with five bass weighing 15-15 while fishing with Donald Sheldrake.

Rounding out the top five co-anglers were Micah Frazier of Newnan, Ga. (15 bass, 47-1, $3,414); James Schneider of Watervliet, N.Y. (15 bass, 46-8, $2,561); Edward Pecore of Plattsburgh, N.Y. (15 bass, 45-15, $2,134); and Terry Chapman of Stanley, N.C. (15 bass, 45-11, $1,920).

John Davis of Parham, Ontario, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Friday – a 5-pound, 10-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s Folgers Big Bass award of $167.

After four qualifying events are complete in each Stren Series division – Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western – the top 40 pros and 40 co-anglers based on the points standings from each division advance to the Stren Series Championship on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Ala., Nov. 5-7 for a shot at $150,000 in the Pro Division and $60,000 in the Co-angler Division. The top 10 pros and 10 co-anglers from each division will also qualify for the 2010 Walmart FLW Tour® and Walmart FLW Series®, bass fishing’s top professional circuits. The highest-finishing pro and co-angler from each division at the Stren Series Championship also qualify for the $2.5 million 2010 Forrest Wood Cup, where anglers will compete for the $1 million grand prize – the most lucrative award in bass fishing

In Stren Series competition, pros supply the boats, fish from the front deck against other pros and control boat movement. Co-anglers fish from the back deck and compete against other co-anglers. Every angler who receives weight credit in a tournament earns points that determine angler standings. Two hundred points are awarded to the winner, 199 points for second, 198 points for third, and so on. The full field competes on days one and two, with the top 10 pros and 10 co-anglers advancing to day three based on their two-day accumulated weight. Winners are determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all three days.

Total awards are based on a 200-boat field in every tournament.

FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. FLW Outdoors also is taking fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing, offering the largest awards possible in the history of fantasy sports, $10 million in cash and prizes. Sign up for Player’s Advantage for only $10 to get your edge and win.

For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player’s Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.



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