Adams claims Champlain Bass Series, Empire Challenge


Chris Adams

Shrewsbury angler earns $5,000 for win, leads series points race

Vermont tournament bass angler Chris Adams recently won the third stop of the 2015 Champlain Bass Series, the Empire Challenge, weighing an 18.22-pound five-fish limit of bass that bested 26 other top tournament anglers from the Vermont, New York and New Hampshire area.

Adams, who also won the opening event of the 2015 Champlain Bass Series–the Malletts Bay Melee–earned $5,000 for his victory and now leads the Angler of the Year points race going into the last of four tournaments held this season.

“The Empire Challenge was one of the smoothest tournament days I’ve ever had in terms of things going as planned, and my execution,” said Adams. “I spent three full days on the water in advance of the tournament scouting for productive areas, and admittedly struggled to find quality fish for much of that time. However, toward the end of practice, I eventually located three or four spots holding tournament-caliber fish. Luckily, all of those areas produced during the tournament and I was able to come out on top.”

Adams fished a range of areas both north and south of the Champlain Bridge, targeting a mix of smallmouth and largemouth bass around both shallow and deep-water cover.

“I started the day with a run south to a few largemouth spots and caught two bass early that weighed just under four and five pounds each,” said Adams. “Having a great start like that allowed me to relax and get into a groove. I finished my limit on a smallmouth spot which produced a couple of three pound fish, as well as one fish over four pounds. Though I didn’t know it at the time, I had the winning catch in the boat by 9 a.m. That is pretty rare in tournament fishing, and I feel extremely fortunate to have had the day I had.”

Finishing in second place was Mike Smith of St. Albans, followed by Jon Case of West Swanton. The final event of the 2015 Champlain Bass Series is set for early October out of Ticonderoga, N.Y.

Adams finished second overall in the series’ 2014 Angler of the Year standings on the strength of multiple top finishes—including a win at the 2014 South Bay Shootout.

Adams, 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.

For more information results, standings, pictures visit

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