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Greenwood Tournament

September 29, 2007

Going into this tournament, Pat Van Wettering had a lead of 8 points over Andy Karcich and 10 points over John Hayden.  While Pat still holds a lead – a slim 1 point lead – over Andy, the Angler of the Year contest now has four members in contention including Steve Rusert and John Hayden.  The Mohawk River tournament promises to be an exciting end to the 2007 Trail!

All week leading up to the club’s sixth tournament of the 2007 Trail, the winds were moderate and out of the south and the temperatures were in the mid to high 70s.  All that changed the day before the tournament when the winds shifted to the north and the temperatures dropped.  Saturday’s dawning brought strong northerly winds, bluebird skies and cooler temperatures. 

Locals have begun to call Greenwood, “Deadwood” and, based on Saturday’s results, the moniker still applies.  Twenty-seven club members brought in a total of only 51 fish or less than 2 fish per member.  Worse yet the average weight of the fish brought in were only 1 & ¼ pounds each!  A 4-pound, 6-ounce smallmouth tournament lunker, brought to the scales by John Hayden, does give some hope for the future of the lake, though.

Our top finishers were Richie Kalanz, Steve Rusert, Alvin Walters, Nick Albano and, for a fifth place tie, Rich Gerken and Andy Karcich.  We caught up with the top finishers and asked them what led to their success.

Richie (Special K) Kalanz copped his first win since the Sacandaga tournament in June 2004 by bringing in a limit that weighed 8-pounds, 12-ounces.  Richie tells me “I pre-fished on Saturday and moved around the whole lake.  I caught about 13 pounds that day.  I pre-fished again on Tuesday and I concentrated on the Northern Arm – mainly ‘because I fished with Steve Rusert.  On tournament day, I concentrated on the arm between the two bridges working the outside edge of the weed line and skipping under docks.  I ended up using 1 rod and one bait the whole day.  I caught so many fish that I culled up 3 times that day.”

Steve (Stinky) Rusert, always lurking near the top of the leader board and finishing in 2nd place, told me “My original plan was to work a morning topwater bite around the weed beds.  With the front that moved into the area and the strong winds out of the north, I gave up that plan and headed immediately for the docks in the Northern Arm.  Using a wacky-rigged senko (big surprise there!), we fished tight to the docks and concentrated on the less obvious spots such as an opening in a patch of floating weeds, skipping under narrow pontoons, etc.  I had the box full by 9:00 am and culled my first small fish at 10:00 am.  My kicker fish came in around 11:00 am and, as the fish came next to the boat, the worm hook popped out of its mouth!  Fortunately, Stacy was ready with the net (Steve says she’s the best netter he’s fished with – that is high praise, indeed) and saved the day with a perfect net job.”  Steve ended up weighing in five fish with a total weight of 8-pounds, 3-ounces.

Alvin Walters, with a limit of fish, came in third with a sack weighing 7-pounds even.  He relates, “I started out using an un-weighted tube, rigged Texas style, with a small split shot.  This allowed me to skip the tube up under docks as I figured most of the bass probably knew every Senko, and its part number, in the Yamamoto catalog.  My first bass came in on that rig.  My partner, John Williams, and I moved down to my favorite bank near Smallcraft and we put four more fish in the boat.  By then I had moved over to a 4” pumpkin power worm.  Later on we fished a rocky point being hit by the wind and boated another 2 fish”

Coming in with a 4th, place finish was our own Tournament Director, Nick Albano. Nick’s three fish weighed in at 5-pounds, 11-ounces and included a very nice 4-pound, 4-ounce smallmouth.  Nick says, “I had pre-fished one section of docks on the Tuesday before the tournament so I started there.  At about 9:00 am I hooked into a giant smallmouth in about 1’ of water.  All hell broke lose as the fish dove under a boat and then leaped several times before being expertly netted by the cool and calm Eddie Shickman.  This fish hit a 4” senko and it was sitting in a shady spot near the dock.”

With exactly 4-pounds, 8-ounces of fish in each of their bags, Andy (the Ice Cream Man) and Rich Gerken tied for 5th place.  Andy tells me “I caught 2 fish on a spinnerbait along a rocky and windblown bank and I caught the last fish, a nice 2 pound (+) smallie on a cabin creek which was hanging out on a rocky point in about 15’ of water.”  Rich related, “Saturday was a day of struggle but Louie and I kept plugging away.  We started down south working docks and but when I threw a spinnerbait on a windswept point we finally got some action.  Unfortunately, the 3-pound smallie that ate the spinnerbait spit it before I could get it in the boat.  We then cruised up to the northern arm and fished the docks.  With 1 & ½ hours to go I caught 4 fish using a brush hog wherever wind blown weed had collected around the dock.”