The Bergen Bassamsters brought a close to their millenium with a tournament on Greenwood
Lake on October 9th. Although conditions had been difficult leading up to the event, a few
members had done well in practice. Some anglers optimistic as this event would finalize the year-
end standings. No place was set in stone as the top boater, top non-boater, first overall, top six
and top 12 positions were all still up for grabs.
Jim Hallihan captured his second ever Bergen victory by bringing in a big bag of bass weighing a total of 13 pounds 2 ounces. Jims limit consisted of 4 largemouth and 1 smallmouth. Two largemouth over 4 pounds each had anchored his catch. He caught a total of 6 bass, managing his limit by 11:30am. Although one fell for a crankbait, the others were all caught on a pumpkin/green Senko. All of Jims fish were caught off of docks in 1-2 of water. He concentrated on two main spots; one area along the west shore mid-lake and the other in the southeast section of the lake.
Steve Rusert had the most success catching around 15 keepers during the day. He culled three times up to a final total of 12 pounds 15 ounces. After failing to catch fish early on topwaters and spinerbaits, Steve worked in owards shore eventually picking up his first fish off a rockpile in about 2 of water. He then concentrated on fishing the backs of docks along the bank in 1-2 depths. Steve fished a smoke/silver Senko and caught his limit by 11am. He covered large areas of shoreline in the southern half of the lake along both the east and west shorelines. After winning the last event on Saratoga and placing second here, Steve moved himself solidly into the first alternates spot. Had it not been for a tough first tournament on Candlewood, Steves 49 pounds in 1999 would have him challenging for the top spot overall.
Last years top angler, Mark Scocco solidified his spot in this years top six by placing third at Greenwood. Marks four bass totaled 9 pounds 10 ounces. Although he struggled early on, he managed his first bass at 10:30 on a wacky worm fished around shallow weed clumps. Resorting to his back-up plan was the change that enabled Mark to land three more bass caught on a neon shad spinnerbait around unmarked stumps in 5-7 of water. He caught his last three bass between 11:30 and 12:30 including one over four pounds to anchor his creel.
Bill Vella brings home his first Bergen paycheck by bringing in one of only 4 limits in the event. Shallow water fishing is Bills style and he fished his strength to catch 6 keepers and lose a few more. His final limit weight totaled 9 pounds 8 ounces. He had two good practice days and decided to concentrate around shallow concrete docks. Although one fish was caught near the north arm, the rest of Bills fish were caught all along the east shoreline on pumpkin/green Senkos.
Capping of the season with back-to-back top five finishes was Elliott Liardo. Although he only had three bass, Elliott caught the 5 pound 5 ounce tournament lunker bringing his total weight up to 9 pounds 7 ounces. The lunker was caught early, around 8:30am, on an all white Picasso spinnerbait fished around docks in 6 of water. Elliotts two other fish were caught on the hot bait of 1999, the Senko. Elliotts choice of color was smoke.
When the standings were tabulated, Nick Albano made the charge to finish first overall as the Angler of the Year. Andy Karcichs one bass at Greenwood was enough to vault him into the Non- Boater Angler of the Year spot. Although the positions changed, the top six remained as is consisting of Nick Albano, Andy Karcich, Joe Willemsen, Mark Scocco, Frank Freguletti, and Eric Lehmann. While it was a difficult year for most and the weights were not quite as expected, there were many suprises and a good balance of winners at this years events. In fact, at least 20 different anglers will be receiveing plaques at theis years awards dinner. A sign of the balance and skill level of the fishermen in this club. As the saying goes, on any given day...