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Lake Mahopac Interview

Bill Vella Wins All Nighter at Mahopac!

The Bergen Bassmasters conducted their annual night tournament on July 19-20th at Lake Mahopac. The club was returning to the lake after a 5 year absence and hopes were high for some big weights to come to the scales. Unfortunately, the bite was off and although a few anglers managed to find some fish, most anglers found it a long a difficult night.

Bill Vella continues his excellent season and charges into first place overall by winning the Mahopac event with a five bass limit weighing in at 16 pounds 12 ounces, including 4 largemouth and 1 smallmouth. Bill caught two fish early then struggled, as most did, for the rest of the night. As the sun began to rise, Bill caught fire and finished out his limit of quality fish. Bill's winning pattern involved fishing Senkos around scattered rocks and boulders in less than 5' of water.

Second place was won by club rookie, but Mahopac veteran, John "Woody" Glaser. Woody, fishing as a non-boater, used a variety of bottom bouncing baits including a worm, Senko, and grubs to catch his limit. His 2 largemouth and 3 smallmouth weighed in at 13 pounds even.

Placing third was another non-boater, Alan Goldman, who weighed in 11 pounds 7 ounces with five fish. Alan claims to have caught his fish on five different baits and was simply "one here and one there" throughout the 11 hour event.

Mark Scocco placed fourth with 11 pounds even. He caught his fish before midnight using a Senko fished around docks and a Ledgebuster spinnerbait fished along a shallow boulder flat in 3-4' of water. Mark's weight surprised him as low but went unquestioned until he returned home that morning when he found a two pound plus bass still in his livewell. That explained the weight difference between his scale and the club's and was a mistake that cost him two places in the event. Remember to always count your fish AFTER they're in the bag!

Rounding out the top five was Nick Albano whose four bass weighed in at 9 pounds 6 ounces. Nick caught two bass before nightfall on a crankbait before the bite shut off for him through the night. In the morning, Nick returned to the crankbait to boat two more bass fishing rocky drop-off's in 6-12' of water.

The lunker in the event was a 4 pound 4 ounce largemouth caught by Terry Eckel on a Senko and the top observer in the event was Robert Burton with his 3 pound 8 ounce smallmouth.

In all, only 4 limits were caught for a total of 65 bass and 160 pounds 9 ounces. For an 11 hour night event, most anglers were disappointed but were too tired by the time the morning rolled around to say anything about it. The next event will be held at the Connecticut River, a place known to be a tough fishery and many feel that could be the heartbreaker tournament of the year.

All contents created 2002 by Mark B. Scocco.