Bass8 Image BERGEN

Twin Lakes Interview

Vella Captures Opener in Record Breaking Style!

The 2003 tournament season began with an event on Twin Lakes on April 26th. Many felt that this would be the event where the six-pound pool would be broken, however ideas on the winning weight varied among anglers who had pre-fished. Water temps in the mid 40's forced anglers to slow down and the drizzly rain throughout the day worsened the conditions.

To not disappoint, Bill Vella anchored his winning catch of 12 pounds 2 ounces with a behemoth 6 pound 14 ounce largemouth. The huge fish fell for a brown Senko and was caught in West Twin around 9:30am. Bill's fish shattered not only the six pound lunker pool but also the club record for heaviest bass. Bill concentrated on west Twin after seeing numerous large bass cruising the shallow while pre-fishing. Being an excellent shallow water fisherman, Bill utilized numerous baits to catch his four keepers. Along with the Senko, he also landed bass on a camo power worm, smoke Gitzit, and a rainbow trout pattern jerkbait. Bill claimed there really was no pattern, he just fished hard and worked for all four of his fish. The victory was Bill's first club win and has him out to a quick jump in the Angler of the Year race.

The runner up in the event was perennial top finisher, Scott Mitchell. Scott successfully located a cluster of bass while pre-fishing on Friday. Starting in that location, he quickly managed his limit of bass early in the event by targeting deeper weedlines with a blue-back Lucky craft pointer jerkbait. The trick for Scott was to fish very slow with long pauses in between ripping the bait. He also fished the lure on 6 pound test to allow the bait to get deeper. Scott's limit weighed in at 10 pounds 5 ounces.

Placing third was Kirk Stober with four nice bass totaling 10 pounds 1 ounce. Often one to go against the grain, Kirk passed on ripping jerkbaits in favor of his trusty Luhr Jensen crankbait. Kirk also located his fish while pre-fishing Thursday and concentrated on rocky drop-off areas. Kirk said the bass where slamming the bait just as it came over the drop-off. He caught 3 fish very early and managed one more by late morning but the bite died after that preventing him from getting his limit.

Finishing fourth was Eric Lehmann with four bass, including one smallmouth, that totaled 9 pounds 10 ounces. Eric also fished very slowly, using a new Rapala counter balanced jerkbait. He twitched the bait around rocks and weeded over areas focusing on water three to eight feet deep.

Rounding out the top five was the top non-boater in the event, Bob Murphy. Bob fished on West Twin Lake for the majority of the day and amassed a limit of bass weighing in at 8 pounds two ounces. Bob's great start on Twin has him out to a slight lead in the race for the top non-boater.

Despite the cold water, many bassmasters keyed in to the successful pattern of slowly ripping jerkbaits over the weeds in 6-8 feet of water. In total, the 35 club members weighed in 72 bass for 144 pounds 10 ounces.

The top observer in the event was Ray Zalenty with his 2 pound 1 ounce largemouth.

All contents created 2002 by Mark B. Scocco.