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Tournament Interview

Candlewood Night August 8/9, 2009


Big Bags Set Bergen Night Record

      Whoever was close to feeding bass connected with some huge smallies Saturday night. Bergen’s annual all-night point’s event at 303-15 shattered any previous night tournament weight and was second to Candlewoods 4/29/09 all time Bergen record of 327-14. If you factor in the fact that 31 guys fished on 4/29 but only 26 on 8/8, the 4/29 event averaged 10.57 while this Saturday’s night event averaged a whopping 11.69 pounds per angler! Although many four pound plus smallies were weighed in, no one broke the magic 5 pound mark. Smallies outnumbered largemouth by 2 to 1 and the biggest bag contained nothing but brown fish.
John Hayden, who pre-fished with Bill Vella, weighed in 5 big smallies totaling 18 pounds 4 ounces for the win. John slow rolled spinnerbaits with a white trailer in around 10 foot of water and thanks his partner, observer Rich Piedra, for some excellent net work. With his outstanding catch, John moves up from 5th Place to 2nd and is only one point off the pace for Angler of the Year. As a footnote, with 18-04, John edges out John Ernest for the all time Bergen 5 bass heaviest catch record (John E had 18-03).
Mark Scocco, who decided to leave his boat at home, fished as a non boater and nailed four huge 4 pounders. With a decline in baitfish activity after 2AM, Mark had to settle for a 5th small largemouth. His bag weighed 17-4 and garnished 2nd Place. I fished with Mark and he caught all of his fish on senkos, Pop R’s and spinnerbaits. Unlike John H who edged out John E for the 5 bass record, Mark Scocco destroyed the 5 bass non-boater record with his 17-04. The previous record was 16-4 caught by Wayne Wilken last year on the Mohawk
Another excellent angler, John Hart, pre-fished with his dad and had a great night with a Jitterbug. Fishing in an area loaded with feeding bass, John culled all night long and ended up with 16-3 and 3rd Place! Nice going John!
Tournament Director Jason Mordhorst fished an area without much baitfish activity and worked hard for 8 bites on spinnerbaits. His top five bass had good size and totaled 15-13 for 4th Place. Like John Hayden, Jason’s bag included 5 smallies and these chunks broke six spinnerbaits.
Club veteran, Scott Mitchell enjoys another Bergen tournament with a mixed bag totaling 15-9 for 5th Place. Scotty covered a lot of water using spinnerbaits and a Keitech jig & craw. He fished the jig in deep water and ended up with around 13 keepers. Without alewife action, Scott decided to fish deeper than most anglers and was quite successful.
John Ernest avoided a super bad night by landing the tournament lunker, a 5-2 largemouth bass. Fishing not far from the launch, John nailed the lunker in shallow water on a senko at 4:30AM.
Jason and company ran a safe and well managed tournament and as far as I know, there were no issues with the many marine police boats on the lake. I was stopped for a routine safety check at 1AM and passed with no problem. They even checked the gauge on my fire extinguisher. Next up – the Classic at Lake Champlain and competitive teams will be drafted on August 20th. After that, the battle for Angler of the Year continues at Crescent Pool on September 12th. If you want to make reservations at the Ramada Inn (formerly the Holiday Inn Express), the number is 518-783-6162. If you stayed there last year, Gerard will give you the same rate.