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Saratoga Lake Interview

Mitchell Charges into 1st with Back to Back Wins!

After Hurricane Isabel forced the club to delay it's Saratoga Lake tournament, the event was held the following week on September 27th. Meanwhile, another hurricane, Juan, was brewing off the coast of Canada bring steady south winds up to 25mph so it must have simply been destined that the club fish a windy Saratoga. With the tournament season quickly winding down, a number of anglers were looking to position themselves heading into the final tournament.

One of those anglers was Scott Mitchell. Scott has worked hard this season in an effort to capture his first ever Angler of the Year title. He has been known as one of the best club fishermen who has not won the award and he's hoping to put that to rest. After winning the Connecticut River event, Scott charged into first place overall by taking back-to-back victories. Scott braved the winds in the southern part of the main lake to catch 12 pounds 5 ounces. While he quickly caught his limit before the winds picked up, he stayed on them and caught fish all day long. His bait of choice was a green/pumpkin Senko but the key was the pattern. Scott fished in skinny water, only 2-3 feet deep and sight fished for cruising bass.

Second place was claimed by Elliott Liardo with 11 pounds 14 ounces. Elliott put his practice time in, pre-fishing the lake 3 times. He started off quickly catching a few fish on buzzbaits and then switched to his main pattern of fishing brush hogs along deep weedlines. He concentrated on the 15 foot depth contour where the weed edges seem to end.

Like the top two finishers, Pat Van Wettering also concentrated in the southern part of the lake and he too was fishing Brush Hogs along the deep weedlines in 13-15 feet. He also landed a few fish on spinnerbaits over the grass. Pat's 11 pound 7 ounce limit was good enough for third place in the event and also included the tournament lunker at 3 pounds 11 ounces.

Fourth place was taken by Andy Karcich who is continuing an excellent season. Andy's 10 pound 9 ounce limit, caught fishing in the boat with the winner, Scott Mitchell. Andy's high finish also helped him lock down yet another Angler of the Year Non-Boater award, amazingly with one tournament remaining. Other club non-boaters will be glad to Andy fishing out of his new Skeeter as a boater next year!

Capping off the top five is John Ernest who, even after missing an event, is still challenging for a top 12 overall spot. John's fifth place finish was solidified with his double-digit weight of 10 pounds even ans was caught in between running up and down the lake and back into the creek.

Rich Kalanz receives honorable mention for placing sixth with 9 pounds 7 ounces. His good finishes in the last two events also have Richie looking to close out the year in the top twelve.

The unusually small field of only 23 club members managed 14 limits and totals of 93 bass and 167 pounds 13 ounces. The final event, the Hudson River, is often a heartbreaker and this year may be no different with tight races for Angler of the Year, the Top Six and the coveted Top Twelve to qualify for next season's Top Gun Championship Shootout.

All contents created 2003 by Mark B. Scocco.