Walker Wins Weather-Shortened Tackle Warehouse Invitational At Lake Champlain - The Fisherman

Walker Wins Weather-Shortened Tackle Warehouse Invitational At Lake Champlain

It wasn’t a total shock when the final day of the Tackle Warehouse Invitational on Lake Champlain was called off. With heavy winds at takeoff and more in the forecast, it was setting up to be a nasty day on the lake. With a 2-pound margin on his competition, Springville, Alabama pro Jacob Walker hoisted the trophy in the parking lot at the Plattsburgh City Marina around 8 a.m.

With a two-day total of 42 pounds, 5 ounces, Walker caught over 21 pounds each day of the event to win handily. In second, pro Nick Hatfield of Greeneville, Tennessee, had 40-5, and local favorite Alec Morrison of Peru, NY weighed 40-4 for third. Walker pocketed $80,000 and locked up a trip to REDCREST 2025 in his home state of Alabama for netting his first MLF win.

Well-schooled with a jig and a minnow, Walker was a first-timer to Champlain, but he was in his element as far as the fishing goes. Perhaps the biggest thing that set him apart was his location. Walker fished in the Alburg Passage where he fished with little competition. “The first day of practice, I wanted to try to find some spawners to get an idea of what stage the fish were in,” he said. “I was running through the Alburg Pass, and the wind was blowing, and it was a little calmer in there. I pulled over and I cruised down the bank for 15 minutes and saw probably 30 empty beds. I had a feeling that those fish had probably spawned before we got there – I knew they couldn’t be far. I trolled out there, off the flat into that channel. As I trolled out, I saw a smallmouth sitting on that break – made a cast, and it was a 3-1/2-pounder. I could tell by how she acted, there had to be a lot of them around, to be so aggressive and eat so easily.” Walker could have cranked his Mercury to leave. Instead, he trolled and looked at the screen. The rest is history. Throwing a 5- or 6-inch Deps Sakamata Shad in the sliver shiner color on mostly a 3/16-ounce Owner Range Rollerhead, Walker whooped up on the bass every day he went fishing.”

The top 10 pros at the Tackle Warehouse Invitational Stop 5 on Lake Champlain Presented by 7 Brew finished:

1st:        Jacob Walker, Springville, Ala., 10 bass, 42-5, $115,000
2nd:       Nick Hatfield, Greeneville, Tenn., 10 bass, 40-5, $50,000
3rd:       Alec Morrison, Peru, N.Y., 10 bass, 40-4, $20,000
4th:        Kurt Mitchell, Milford, Del., 10 bass, 39-1, $18,000
5th:        Matt Becker, Ten Mile, Tenn., 10 bass, 38-11, $17,000
6th:        Drew Gill, Mount Carmel, Ill., 10 bass, 38-11, $16,000
7th:        Brody Campbell, Oxford, Ohio, 10 bass, 38-2, $15,000
8th:        Spencer Shuffield, Hot Springs, Ark., 10 bass, 38-1, $14,000
9th:        Hunter Eubanks, Landrum, S.C., 10 bass, 37-14, $13,000
10th:     Jake Lawrence, Buchanan, Tenn., 10 bass, 37-12, $12,000



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