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It’s Wayne’s World on the Mohawk

      Another Great Bergen tournament season comes to an end with a crazy finish on the Mohawk River at Crescent Pool. This had to the weirdest tournament that I ever took part in. Before I get to the interviews, here are just a few of the strange happenings of the weekend (I am sure that there are more).

·         My pre-fishing partner, Doug Giachino’, snagged a rod and reel in good condition and when he got it in the boat, he reeled in a yellow perch. He gave the outfit, with the fish, to a bank fisherman.

·         Noted for small bass and plenty of them, the Mohawk this time produced few bass but a good number of giants. Scott Mitchell boated a legitimate 6-3 largemouth while pre-fishing. In the tournament, this bass would have cracked the six pound jackpot.

·         At the blast off and during the tournament, it sounded like the entire area was a war zone. Duck hunters were positioned at almost every 1000 feet and they weren’t too happy with our presence.

      Fishing as a non boater with Eric Lehmann, Wayne Wilken scored his first Bergen win by a landslide. The U.S. Customs Agent took no prisoners with a mixed bag of big smallies and largemouth totaling16-4. For the Mohawk, this is an incredible limit. It’s also the largest point tournament bag of the year. Wayne nailed his fish in a few feet of water close to lock #7. He used Keitech jigs and swim baits worked around isolated clumps of weeds. At 11AM Wayne nailed the 4-15 lunker LMB of the day in 3 feet of water and culled a few fish throughout the day. NICE GOING Wayne!!

      To cover his gas money for his new truck, John Hart took 2nd with an impressive limit totaling 10-10 John was struggling early on and did not land a keeper until late morning. Despite other anglers having poor results in the same Marina, John got his soft plastic and jig pattern going and within a short time span, boated a nice limit Fishing solo, John is commended for catching the only other double digit limit in the tournament. Nice Job John and good luck with the new truck!

      For numbers of keepers, club Veteran Andy Karcich was outfished by his partner, Stacy Zhelesnik. Andy however boated 5 chunky keepers at 9-01 and took home 3rd place. Andy was the only angler I know of who nailed all of his fish on spinnerbaits. He did not fish far from the launch and worked his spinnerbaits in weedy water 3 to 5 feet deep. The best action was by scarce sunken timber. With his good finish, Andy once again makes the Bergen Top Six.

      Wayne’s partner, Eric Lehmann, did not cull, but boated a nice limit at 8-10. Working the same water as Wayne, Eric caught 3 bass on Senkos and 2 on Kietech jigs. Besides netting all of Wayne’s fish, with a 4th place finish, Eric had a good day in his own right. Good Job!

      John Hayden was the only boater to lock up above to the west. Targeting smallies and with no angling competition, John banged out a decent limit totaling 8-8. His main pattern was to use shallow and medium depth crankbaits in open water. Smallies were concentrated in a few areas and were actively chasing baitfish up to the surface over deep water. John pre-fished the area on Friday and his efforts were rewarded with a good 5th place showing.

      Honorable mention goes out to “Never Give Up” Bill Vella. With Angler of the Year on the line, Bill nailed his 4th bass with a few minutes to go. This one bass gave him a few more points and clinched his 2nd AOY finish. Congratulations Bill, you earned it!! Also, nice going to the Top Six of 2008 – Bill Vella, Nick Albano, Andy Karcich, Scott Mitchell, John Ernest and Jason Mordhorst.