Adams with two bass from his winning catch at the Champlain Bass Series Malletts Bay Melee held, June 28.
Local tournament bass angler Chris Adams of Shrewsbury, Vt., opened the third annual Champlain Bass Series tournament season with a win at the Malletts Bay Melee on June 28, weighing a 17.74 pound five fish limit of bass that bested 26 other top tournament anglers from Vermont, New York and New Hampshire.
Adams, who also won the opening event of the 2014 Champlain Bass Series – the South Bay Shootout – and finished second overall in the series’ Angler of the Year standings, earned $5,000 for his victory and now leads the points race going into the second of four tournaments this season.
Finishing in second place was Tom LaVictoire, Jr. of West Rutland, followed by Jason Stoddard of St. Albans in third.
The remaining tournaments are set for mid-July out of West Swanton, Vt.; late-August out of Port Henry, N.Y.; and early October out of Ticonderoga, N.Y.
Adams attributed his success to several long pre-tournament practice days.
“I spent three really long days on the water, daylight until dark, scouting areas throughout the lake for quality fish,” said Adams. “I struggled through much of practice, finding only schools of smaller fish and battling strong winds. However, I kept at it and eventually found a few key areas which held bigger fish, fish in the 3.5 to 4.25-pound range. Luckily, I was able to catch a few of those bigger fish on tournament day, which is critical to finishing high in any tournament on Champlain.”
Adams credited his sponsors and his family for enabling him to fish competitively this year.
“I absolutely would not be able to compete in many of the tournaments in our area if it weren’t for the support I’ve gotten from my family and Turner Piping & Refrigeration, along with my other great supporters,” said Adams. “Tournament fishing can be challenging both financially and logistically, so having a quality support team is critical and I’m very fortunate to have amazing people and organizations behind me.”
Adams, age 29, is a second-generation bass angler, following in the footsteps of his father Don, currently a U.S. Coast Guard-certified fishing guide based in Rutland. Adams’ tournament record includes dozens of wins and top finishes in tournaments at the local, regional and national levels.