Who says "Good Guys Finish Last"?
The FLW's Good Samaritan, Dave Lefebre
By Mickey Maynard
The FLW Stren Series Northeast Division tournament wrapped up a busy professional bass fishing season for the city of Plattsburgh, and for Lake Champlain in 2006. NASCAR and Ranger sponsored fisherman Pete Gluszek of Franklinville, New Jersey won the event on the professional side, while Tim George of Kittanning, Pennsylvania won the co-angler competition. Another fisherman, Dave Lefebre of Union City Pennsylvania, who is sponsored by Keebler, wound up in eighth place in the tournament overall, and clinched the Stren Northeastern Division standings race on his birthday, the third day of the contest. The accomplishment of coming out on top in a tournament field of 120 anglers certainly deserves a tip of the hat, but it was Dave Lefebre’s saga however that captured the essence of what the family oriented FLW really stands for.
Back in June, when the first professional catch-and-release bass fishing contest took place on Lake Champlain, Lefebre was competing among the very best of professional bass fishing’s elite in an FLW Tour event. He had a rather abysmal showing in the spring affair but his proficiency improved greatly over the summer months and he managed to come out on top of the Stren Series Northeast Division earning over $33,000, and making the most of a sluggish start. It was his good will and character that stood out the most during that spring visit making Lefebre a true winner even then. In an example of compassion that took place on a spring day on Lake Champlain, Lefebre selflessly came to the aid of a local angler, fishing along with his young son, who was having motor trouble as a very serious thunderstorm approached.
Mickey Lafountain and his son Josh had been fishing at a popular hot spot at Chazy Landing, New York on that fateful day back in June. As the skies grew dark Lafountain attempted in vain to start his outboard motor. Dave Lefebre had been fishing in the area along with a partner and noticed the father and son anglers struggling. Strong winds were building out of the west, threatening to push the local’s floundering vessel toward the Vermont shores. The professional, who is known by tournament organizers and fellow competitors as the “Good Samaritan” truly lived up to his reputation on that dire occasion. Lefebre and his co-angler pulled up along side the Lafountain’s older model center consol as the weather conditions rapidly eroded. Together, the men began to promptly go through the elimination process to determine just what the mechanical problem was. Mickey could see the fear beginning to build in his son’s eyes as lightening flashed from the sky. They were unable to quickly determine the problem with the motor at that juncture and Mickey didn’t want to put the professionals at risk either, so he soon explained to Lefebre and his friend that he knew a nearby landowner and he could use his trolling motor to get to shore and call for assistance if need be. Still concerned for the welfare of the two, Lefebre entrusted the two, otherwise complete strangers, with some costly sets of rain gear, asking only that they return the clothing to their lodging location on Point Au Roche once they made it safely to their vehicle. Mickey agreed and slowly limped to shore fighting the ever-increasing winds as Lefebre and his partner stood by. Once the Lafountains were safely tucked up against the shoreline the Keebler pro and his co-angler set off toward their destination. The story ended happily as Lafountain was able to eventually get his big motor started and he and his son were returned unharmed to the boat launch. Of course the rain gear was returned right away and a valuable example of good will and compassion was imprinted in the mind of a young child and his father.
Dave Lefebre’s amazing success in this year’s FLW Stren Series can surely be credited to his knowledge and expertise in the bass fishing realm. His turnabout on the bass fishing trail however just might have been the result of one good deed witnessed by a much higher authority. What goes around certainly comes around, especially for kindhearted bass fishermen on Lake Champlain.
Dave Lefebre and Josh Lafountain (right) were reunited when Josh and his younger brother Jake attended the FLW Stren Series Top Ten weigh-in.
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