Skinny water specialist Seve Rusert topped the Bergen Bassmasters
New York opener held on Great Sacandaga, June 18th 2005.

Fishing conditions were overcast in the morning giving way to slowly clearing skies by afternoon and the wind was on and off all day. Water temperatures varied greatly with the low 60’s in some areas and up to the low 70’s in others. In a lake where largemouth are rare, anglers enjoyed catching feisty, acrobatic smallmouth using a great variety of lures and methods. The first 15 places all had limits and all 24 anglers brought in at least one fish to the scales.

Steve Rusert weighed in 10.12 oz. in his victory on Great Sacandaga. Steve figured out the winning pattern pre-fishing on Friday. He went to check out his shoreline were he had previous successes in the past only to find it unfishable because of the high winds and pounding waves. That’s when the chicken-shit went to find some protective coves and more fishable water. Steve says he always starts out fishing shallow and works deeper if he has to. After catching several quality fish in shallow flooded brush he figured out that these had to be spawning fish. Tournament day Steve fine tuned his pattern to only fishing shallow brush forming points and fishing around the base of the roots. Fish were caught on senkos, tubes, creature baits, sammy, pop-R, or just about anything he threw. Steve said “Things worked out well, it was so easy we didn’t break a sweat.”

Jack Erdei was Steves partner and enjoyed similar successes using a super fluke for most of his fish. His weedless fluke was perfect for fishing the shallow docks, rocks, and bushes that were all producing fish for him. By 12:00 0’clock he had his limit and was able to cull three times during the day to up his limit to 10.09 oz. good enough for second place.

Andrew Karcich weighed in 10.01 oz. by fishing rocky points in about 3-10 ft. of water. A few fish {four} came on a spitting image but the majority of his fish came by dragging an avocado tube very slow. Andy moved around a lot fishing areas both north and south often returning to productive spots that paid off earlier. He had his limit by 8:30 and was able to cull four fish, “I probably caught about 14 or 15 keepers though out the day.”

Rich Kalanz tried to repeat last years win by bringing in 9.11 oz., just one pound and two ounces out of first place, but it was good enough for 4th place. Rich would fish the same south eastern shoreline points that paid off so well last year. He was using a smoke blk. Fleck Bass Pro Shops mega tube in 12 ft. of water on steep rocky points. He caught his 12 keepers by fishing extremely slow and was able to cull three fish. Rich lost a 3 lb. smallie because he never got a good hook set on the fish, he turned around to look at another boat coming in {Nick} when the fish hit. Kalanz said “That fish cost me the tournament, but that’s okay I love this place and had a great time.”

Alvin Walters, who came in 5th place with 9.09 oz., also relied on successful spots that paid off in the past. Alvin caught four keepers in the south end fishing a deep drop then moved north and caught three more. Alvin was casting shallow and dragging a tube down to 12-18 ft. making sure to fish as slow as possible. He was using the same tube Rich was using and credits him for some of his success “Rich gave me some of the tubes he was using, he gave me five baits and I still had two left at the end of the tournament.”

Alan Goldman caught the lunker for the day, the 3.09 oz smallie hit a tube bait in about 6 ft. of water.

By Kirk Stober

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