...To improve skills as bass anglers through a fellowship of friendly exchange of bass catching techniques and to preserve the future of Bass Fishing through conservation, youth and public awareness.

Candlewood Night Tournament

July 21, 2007

With great anticipation, the club looked forward to our first night tournament on Candie since John Ernest weighed in a big sack back in July ’04.  Everyone expected to see our 6-pound pool won at this one but, while many good fish were weighed in, no one claimed the prize of over $1,100.00.  Twenty-five of our members brought fish to the scales with eight limits weighed in.  Many of our members report that way too many fish came unbuttoned, too.  The night was cool, but not cold, with a moon to light at least ½ of our time on the water.  A return visit to Candlewood at night would be extremely popular with the membership, I’m sure.

Our first place finisher, and no stranger to the top five, was Jayson Mordhorst.  Jayson tells me that his formula for success was to throw that old reliable Midnight Special spinnerbait.  He tells me that he was so into the fish that he ended up losing way more fish than the 14-pound, 11-ounce limit he brought to the scales.

Coming in second was our seasoned long-time member Rich GerkenRich is making quite a charge this year with a 5th place tie and a 2nd place under his belt.  He tells me that:  I fished a pattern of shallow rocky areas. We know that crawfish are active at night and that bass love to eat them. Therefore, I used homemade jigs with large trailers and big rattles to catch my five bass. I only got six keeper bites, but fortunately, they were quality fish. My best fish, a 4 pounder, came in the 1st 10 min. of fishing.”  Overall, Rich weighed in 12-pounds, 12 ounces.


Alvin Walters, with a five fish limit weighing in at 12-pounds, 9-ounces, finished in 3rd place.  I hope to get to interview Alvin in the near future.

Our 4th place finisher, John Ernest, had hoped to best his 18-pound, 3-ounce winning weight from his strong night back in July of 2004.  He ended up this tournament with a very respectable 12-pounds 5-ounces.  John, as all of us Bergenites know, is very reserved and shy, but I was able to drag the following out of him:  “It all started when I was a young boy living in the woods with a poor family that I learned to fish to feed the family... Well that is a story for another time. 


I started out in the New Milford arm fishing a weed point before the sun set. I was using a sweet Beaver on the weed edge sitting in 16' of water. I get a hit on the lift and set the hook. I don't get enough metal in her and she jumps twice and comes unbuttoned. That smallie would have gone over 4 pounds. An hour later in the dark, I get another chance with the Beaver. I set the hook and it is fish on. I land that one and it goes 4 pounds. We work the area for a long time with a couple of hits but no hook-ups. As we pull away on the trolling motor, Alan G throws the jitterbug by a rock and lands a 4-7 smallie. From there on, we work our way down the bank sitting in 12 to 15' of water and throw just about everything and pick a fish here and there. There was plenty of baitfish around us the whole night but nothing busting through them. We finally see a bass bust bait and we throw everything to it but no takers. I pick up the chatter bait and on the first cast bang another smallie. We continue to fish back and forth along the shore throwing senkos, chatter baits jitterbugs and everything else. I am thowing a senko in shallow water and get a hit, set the hook and its fish on and it’s a good one. We put the light on the line and find that the line is over a rope with a 2+-pound largie on the other end. I try to lift the fish over and as it clears the water, I break the line.”

With another good bag of fish 4 to be exact, Pat Van Wettering weighed in a sack of 11-pounds 5-ounces.  Pat is a very consistent angler and absolutely loves to throw the spinnerbait.  He told me that he caught two of his keepers on a black buzzbait, and two more on a black spinnerbait. All of his fish were shallow and he just ran the banks.