|Place||Angler||Fish||LM||SM||Released||Total Weight (Oz)||Points||Picture Available|
|18||Richard Logan Jr||2||1||1||2||3.04||23||X|
|28||Richard Logan Sr||1||1||0||1||1.06||13|
Dinkfest at Lake Zoar – a fluke for Mark and Mark
The Bergen Bassmasters tournament season continued with their second event of the year held on May 16th at Lake Zoar. Despite Bill’s 6 pounder there at our last event held 2 years ago, Zoar is typically known to produce loads of small fish. Anglers practicing on the lake reported catching upwards of 50 bass in a single day with merely a few small keepers in the bunch. Managing to locate a few ”better than average 12 inch fish” would be key to rising above the field. Upon blastoff, the skies opened up and like our 1st event on Candlewood, the club was soaked with a steady downpour lasting the first few hours of the tournament.
Like practice the week before, Mark Scocco was one of those with big numbers of small fish but in the tournament, he managed to find 8 or 9 solid keepers among the 60 or so bass he caught on Saturday including a pair of 3 pounders to anchor his total winning weight of 9 pounds 11 ounces. He caught nearly all of his fish on either a Lobina Rico popper fished slowly in shallow rocky areas or else a super fluke junior fished around wood cover. He reported raising quite a few finicky fish that wouldn’t eat the fluke but multiple casts to the same fish finally coaxed his 3 pound largemouth into biting. The win was Mark’s 12th club victory.
Tournament Director, Mark Filippini also practices the week before and he too caught loads of small fish so he anticipate it would be a challenge to find a limit of keepers. On tournament day, Mark had a strategy going in and believes he was aided by the dark and rainy conditions. Mark also used a fluke targeting sloping banks in hopes of enticing a few larger fish to bite. He was rewarded by quickly catching two good fish including the tournament lunker, a 4 pound 1 ounce largemouth. He also caught another fish on a tube which he believes may have been on a bed. In total, Mark’s limit weighed in at an even 9 pounds for second place.
Continuing where he left off at Candlewood by once again placing in the top 5 was Vern Gatson with an 8 pound 15 ounce limit. Vern admits that’s not that familiar with Zoar and so he opted for a pretty basic pattern that he hoped would produce a few keepers. He slowly fished wacky-rigged 4” Senkos around docks in the central part of the lake. Off to a great start in his hunt for his first Angler of the Year title, Vern now sits atop the club’s year to date standings.
Capturing his first club top 5 finish in only is 2nd Bergen tournament was rookie Nathan James. Fishing with Mark Filippini, Nathan opted to use a different tact and go down to the fish by fishing a Senko around spawning areas around docks. Like many others, Nathan did well while the rain was coming down but noticed that once it stopped, the fish seemed to back off and the bite subsided. His 8 pound 9 ounce limit was tops for all non-boaters and 4th place overall.
John Hayden rounded out the top five finishers with his 8 pound 3 ounce limit. As an excellent finesse fisherman, John fished his strengths to tough out a limit of 3 largemouth and 2 smallmouth bass. He targeted rocky points with small spider grubs and added a hefty smallmouth caught under a dock.
As a whole, the club did find the bite challenging as only 9 anglers out of 30 managed to string together a 5 bass limit and many of the bass weighed in were scrawny, barely weighing even a pound. Despite the low numbers, anglers still reported catching many, many short bass in the 8-10” range.
One additional note in that we had a lower than normal boater turnout and the club extends special thanks to observers Sean Combs and Paul Giachino for stepping up and fishing with us using their boats for Zoar.