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John Ernest captures his Second Victory of the Year

      At the Mahopac bass factory, the Bergen Bassmaster’s experienced heavy traffic, both with parking and on the water. With sunny skies, warm temps and a light breeze, by mid morning, the pleasure boaters were out in full force. Despite these conditions the Bergen club produced some nice limits with the top five weights in the teens. Water temps hovered around 76 to 78 degrees; the spawn was over and the bass were back on the feed. Unlike Zoar, quite a few quality bass exceeding 4 pounds were weighed in. As there were no easy tactics or patterns, successful anglers had to work hard for their limits. Aggressive bass on the feed were spread out.

     John Ernest, who did not pre-fish, was still able to find a few heavier largemouth bass and culled out a nice winning weight of 15 pounds 7 ounces. John found his fish by chunk rocks in 5 to 12 feet depths. He basically used two lures, a Senko and a Pop R. As the winner of two of three events, John is on a roll and we wish him continued success during the NJBF Team Tournament on Champlain.

     Back in the saddle is Scott Mitchell who weighed in a hefty bag containing 4 LMB and 1 SMB totaling 14 pounds 13 ounces. Scott pre-fished one day and nailed most of his bass on a Senko worked in 6 to 8 feet of water. For his 2nd place finish, Scott caught a total of 10 keepers and concentrated on fishing humps and rocky ledges. Nice going Scott, glad to have you back on the Bergen Trail.

     Fishing alone, Kirk Stober, a Mahopac veteran, had a good day in breaking the 14 pound mark. With a very good knowledge of the lake, Kirk did not pre-fish and culled out a nice 14-3 limit. Using a Pop R, he found his 3rd Place bass in shallow water rocky areas. Kirk’s bag included 4 LMB and 1 SMB.

     Bill Vella, who pre-fished with Nick, had good success with Pop R’s, Sammy’s and Senkos. Also, unless my stats are incorrect, each of the Top Four anglers, including Billy, weighed in 4 largemouths and 1 smallie. Billy found his initial fish in shallow open water, but culled out most of his bass by fishing docks. His nice 13 pound 1 ounce bag garnished 4th Place. Billy boated around 10 keepers all day.  

     For 5th Place, Nick Albano weighed in 5 smallies at 13 pounds even. All bass, except for one 4-4 smallie, were caught on old G-Finish Pop R’s worked in fairly shallow water off shore.  The large smallie was caught on a crankbait worked in a 10 foot deep rocky area. What was most unusual about the Pop R bite was the fact that most action occurred in bright sunlight, in the middle of the day with heavy boat traffic. No doubt these bass were feeding on schooling sawbellies (alewife).

     Lunker honors go out to John Hayden who bagged a huge 4 pound 11 ounce smallmouth bass. To catch this bass, John skipped a Senko way under a dock. As on Greenwood Lake last year, looks like John Hayden has a knack for finding big smallies. Nice going, John!

     This was a tough event for tournament director Jason Mordhorst to manage. With parking and other issues, Jason, assisted by Andy Karcich, Jack Erdei, John Giordano, Renato Santos and Robert Burton, did not lose his cool and successfully handled all problems in a calm manner. Thank you, Jason! It is now off to the Hudson and then to Greenwood for Bergen’s 8th annual Open Night Tournament.

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