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Mixed Results at Zoar

      The Bergen Bassmaster’s visited an always tough Zoar on May 31st. Weather conditions were cloudy with variable wind. Expected thunderstorms never materialized and basically, the fishing conditions seemed excellent. With the riverine lake water being pulled off and on throughout the day, fishing results were mixed. While some guys limited out, most anglers had a hard time in finding keepers. 

      As my pre-fishing trip was called off, I relied on two plans, fish a stretch where I caught bass before and go with a tip by my good friend, Joey B. First I hit the shore to the left of the launch and with baitfish busting all over, I started with a Pop R. My first bass was the 4-13 largemouth. In this area, I also caught a nice smallmouth on a crankbait. My partner, Robert Curtis and I then simply went with the Joey B pattern and worked as much sunken wood as possible. With a baby brush hog, I caught over 15 keepers and was able to cull out my best Zoar weight ever (10-3). No doubt Detective Robert will be buying some brush hogs for Champlain.

      Stacy Zhelesnik duplicates her excellent 2nd place BASS win on Neely Henry with a 2nd place Bergen win on Zoar. Fishing with Bergen veteran, Kirk Stober, Stacy did not land a keeper until 12 noon. She then nailed a hefty kicker largemouth on a pig & jig. After that, Stacy caught 5 more keepers on a 4 inch Kamakazee rigged wacky style. Stacy’s total weight was 9-8, nice going!

      Mark Scocco was the only Top Five finalist who pre-fished Zoar and in fact did much better pre-fishing. Fortunately, he was able to adapt to changing weather and water conditions and boated 8 keepers to cull out a nice limit at 8-7. For his 3rd place win, Mark used his 4 inch sluggo’s and had his limit by 9:30. Off to a good Bergen start, Mark may just have to fish the whole Bergen trail.

      Off to another good Bergen start is our new Tournament Director, Jason Mordhorst. Like me, Jason started off with Pop R’s. He then utilized a Zulu and caught approximately 15 keeper size bass. Although he just could not find that one kicker bass, Jason’s limit at 7-8 was good enough for 4th Place.

      Fishing with his dad John Sr., John Hart was the only angler I know of who had some success with spinnerbaits. In taking 5th Place, the 2006 Angler of the Year also utilized his bag of senko tricks to cull out a nice limit at 7-4. John was able to change his plans and will now be fishing Mahopac.

      Although this was a tough tournament, for Zoar, overall results were better than normal. Only one angler skunked and 9 limits were weighed in. If you dislike one pound cookie cutter keepers, then get ready for bigger bass on Mahopac. Smallies at Mahopac average 2 to 3 pounds and I predict a winning weight of 15 to 17 pounds. Don’t rule out a five pound $1,000 lunker.

Nick Albano