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BASSMASTERS

Candlewood Lake Interview




Steve Rusert Wins Candlewood Lake!

The Bergen Bassmasters continued their 2003 season with a June 21st tournament on Candlewood Lake. Most fish were coming out of the post-spawn phase and moving into summer patterns and the bassmasters keyed on these patterns to load up with 144 fish for a total of 246 pounds 12 ounces. The standings were taking shape and a few anglers were starting to put some distance from the pack heading into Candlewood. After the final results were tallied, that gap would close.
Last year's Angler of the Year, Steve Rusert, started the season off slowly but rebounded in a big way by taking first place at Candlewood. His huge five bass limit of 16 pounds 8 ounces would move him up nine places in the standings, back into the top 12 and positioning him for a run at the top six. Steve concentrated on rocks and weeds with Senkos and his limit included a five pound 2 ounce largemouth that would tie for the lunker honors for the day.
Second place was taken by Jim Hallihan, who moves into the top 10 with eyes on a top six overall finish. Jim did not pre-fish but concentrated on his confidence areas. He landed two fish early in the new Milford arm on senkos in 4-5' of water between weedlines and rocky banks, a textbook post spawn pattern. He then headed south and landed four more bass off of docks in Echo Bay, also with a Senko. Jim's limit weighed in at 13 pounds even and had Jim eyeing first place until Steve came along.
Elliott Liardo has been a consistent producer on Candlewood and this time around, he would weigh in a nice limit at 12 pounds, 14 ounces. Without much success with a topwater, Elliott switched to a 4" power worm to land his first few fish before switching to a white crankbait for a few more bass. In true sportsmanlike fashion, Elliott assisted Brian Mahoney, whose trolling motor was down, by tying their boats together and pulling Brian along the banks behind him as he fished. That allowed Brian to continue fishing, although he had to watch as Elliott boated bass after bass. Elliott said that pulling Brian around actually helped to slow him down as he normally fishes too fast anyway. Kudos to Elliott for his sportsmanship to a fellow club angler.
Placing fourth was Doug Giachino with a limit weighing 12 pounds two ounces and including the other half of the tie for lunker, a 5 pound 2 ounce bass. Doug fished very confidently on his usual areas on Candlewood and claims that this time, the fish were there. He concentrated in the Sherman arm and utilized a number of baits including a 4" power worm, Senko, and a jig. His fish came mostly off rocky areas but were found slightly off the banks, just off the drops. Again, this textbook post-spawn pattern produced some nice fish for Doug who is off to a great start after three events this year.
Rounding out the top five was Kirk Stober, who is also challenging for a top six spot. His limit weighed 11 pounds 7 ounces and included 1 largemouth and 4 nice smallies. With his top finish here, Kirk brought himself back into the Angler of the Year race. He concentrated in the Sherman arm around points and deeper weedlines, stating the key was to fish very slow. His primary baits were a chug bug, Tango Dancer, and Senkos.
The top observers were John Giordano and Rich Piedra who each brought in a 2 pound 4 ounce bass.

All contents created 2003 by Mark B. Scocco.