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Tournament Interview

Candlewood LakeApril 30, 2008

         Cold breezy weather in the 30’s and a drop in water temps resulted in plenty of action with smaller buck bass. To the surprise of many, the hunt for the $1,000 six pound bass continues on Zoar (which produced a six-pounder the previous week). Except for two bass over 4 pounds, 108 Candlewood bass averaged a little over 1 ½ pounds each. The good news is, nobody skunked and all bass were released alive. Despite some last minute changes, Jason Mordhorst, Andy Karcich and Robert Burton did a great job in running their first tournament. Due to a dam pump malfunction, perhaps low water conditions are affecting the big bass fishery? No matter, it was great to have the entire lake to ourselves and the Wednesday Candlewood opener is here to stay.

         At high noon, John Ernest was struggling with two dinks in the boat. As his regular spots failed to produce, John then targeted points in new water with spider grubs, crankbaits and senkos. Fishing in 5 to 10 feet of water he caught 5 more bass late in the day. His lunker of the day largemouth at 4-9 was nailed on a senko. “Never give up John”, winding up with 3 smallies and 2 largemouth, took the season opener with 12-15.

         Our 2007 Angler of the Year, Pat Van Wettering, is off to another good start with a 10-11 limit. Like John, his 2nd Place finish also included 2 largemouth and 3 smallies and his pattern was to run the shore with jerkbaits in search of active bass. Pat caught over 20 keepers and was culling by 8:05 AM.

         John Hart, on the water for the first time this year, had a good day. Caught a few on an early spinnerbait bite then caught a few larger bass with senkos worked in 7 to 12 feet of water. John had over 12 keepers and lost a large smallie at 2:45 right across from the launch. John tried, but had no success with brush hogs, pig & jigs, swim baits and chatter baits. His 10 pound even limit included 1 largemouth and 4 smallmouth bass.

         Nailing down 4th Place with 9-12, Jason Mordhorst ripped points and rocky shores all day with a jerkbait. He nearly broke the bank with a monster largemouth that was missed at the boat. For the most part, Jason and his partner, Brian Mahoney, like everyone else, encountered mostly buck bass in 5 to 6 feet of water. Nevertheless, a good start for Jason and we wish him continued success in 2008.

         I basically fished two spots all day with the first rock wall area providing for a small limit by 10AM. Most of these bass were later culled at my second spot. Looking for the BIG BITE, I spent half the time throwing a deep diving spoon bill jerkbait off shore with no success. When I used the 4 foot diving jerkbait, I connected with smaller bass in 6 to 7 feet of water. All bass were caught by old submerged rocky boundary walls. I was happy to finish in the Top Five and narrowly edged out Mark Scocco who weighed in an honorable mention limit at 9-8.

         My observer partner, Johnny Geonatis, used a jerkbait that I loaned him and nailed the 3-5 observer lunker of the day. This bass was also caught off a rocky boundary wall. Congratulations to all the winners! Great to be back on the water in 08 with my Bergen buddies and I look forward to fishing with Robert Curtis on an always tough Zoar.

Nick Albano