A return to the Winners
Circle for Greg Trass at Saratoga Lake
On Saturday, October 3rd,
with hurricane Joaquin raging off the Atlantic coast, the Bergen Bassmasters
battled strong, gusty, Northeast winds that turned the wide open Saratoga
Lake into a mini-ocean.
Frothy waves built across the lake hammered the
southern shores making the usual dock pattern rather difficult and
essentially cut the fishable areas of the lake in half.
Despite the turbulent conditions, the lake once
again produced a large number of limits as well as a couple of decent fish
and, as is often the case, those anglers having a kicker would rise to the
tops of the leaderboard.
After returning to the club last
year and now fishing as a non-boater, Greg Trass returned to the “winners
circle” at Saratoga lake with his limit of bass weighing in at 11.31 pounds.
His catch was anchored by the 4.40 pound lunker
His winning tactics centered around fishing
jigs around weeds and docks.
Greg captured his 7th
club victory and first as a non-boater and in consideration of his
multi-year absence from the club, has to have the record now for longest
time between club wins.
His last 1st
place finish was all the back on April 26th,
1997 when he won Candlewood with 18 pounds – that’s 18 years, 5 months, and
Nailing down his first top finish
in Bergen and essentially wrapping up the Rookie of the Year title was
Fishing as a non-boater and paired with the
current top ranked angler, Vern Gatson, Justin strung together the only
other double digit weight.
His 11.30 pound limit fell
just 1/100ths of a pound short of the winner
and was also anchored by a fish close to 4 oounds. Justin fished the windy
southern section and caught around 12 keepers on a Keitech Swing Impact and
on spinnerbaist fished around the docks.
John Ernest placed in back to
back events with his 3rd
place finish at Saratoga.
He caught a respectable 9.63 pound limit at
He had found fish rather easily on Friday in practice,
catching about 14+ pounds flipping while his partner, Broce McConchie put on
a clinic with spinnerbaist and Rico’s.
On Saturday, John found the bite much tougher.
John used an assortment of baits including 3”
and 4” senkos and spinnerbaits to catch about 14 keepers.
Mark Scocco placed 4th
for his third straight top five finish.
Mark’s primary areas in the southern part of
the lake were all blown up and essentially unfishable and he struggled
throughout the day to string together his five bass limit that weighed in at
After catching only 1 fish off his better
docks, mark moved out to the offshore grassbeds fishing a spinnerbait.
Weeding through a half dozen shorts, he finally
nailed his limit in the final 30 minutes.
the top five with a 9.03 pound limit was Bill Vella.
Bill also caught loads of fish in practice but
mixed things up a bit for his catch on Saturday.
Flipping senkos around any shallow patch of
weeds produced the majority of Bill’s fish on the day.
He caught loads of cookie cutter” pound and a
half” fish and unfortunately dropped a nice one early in the day that would
have really helped.
The 25 anglers managed 15 limits
and 100 bass total for just over 176 pounds.
Heading into the final tournament, Vern Gatson
holds only a 4 point lead over Mark Scocco (who isn’t fishing the Hudson)
for Angler of the Year.
John Hart is still close enough that Vern needs
to catch fish at the Hudson.
The top rider has John Willimas with only a 1
point lead over Greg Trass,and Bruce only 4 points back. A handful of guys
are still in contention for a top six spots despite two spots already being
lockedup by Vern and Mark.
It should make for an exciting finish!.