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Bergen Bassmaster’s
Hudson River Interview
October 10, 2009


Under scudding skies with the promise of rain and high winds, the Bergen club conducted its last tournament of the 2009 season.  The mighty Hudson has crushed the spirits of many a contender for the Angler of the Year prize and several of the competitors at the top of leader board wondered if it would do so again.  When the final tally was taken, one competitor, instead, crushed the Hudson and claimed his well-earned prize as Bergen’s top angler.

With a tie for 4th place, Andy Karcich and Bill Vella both brought a four fish bag to the scales and both had a final weight of 10 pounds, 12 ounces.  In the case of Vella, his Hudson performance guaranteed him the coveted boater’s spot on the 2010 New Jersey 6 man team.

Andy used white spinner baits on river points and around boat docks on the main river.  Billy used the very reliable fall technique of crank baiting and brought two in off points.  He also entered a creek and nabbed his other two fish using a jig in 4’ to 8’ of water around bulkheads.

Coming in 3rd was Wayne Wilken.  Wayne threw crankbaits (since I was a witness, I can tell you he did not burn ‘em!) around riprap and a very reliable suck hole.  He had the Mojo working and was able to cull one of his smaller fish with a catch on the shaky head technique.  At least four of our fish that day had the crankbait hook catch on the net with the fish on the outside of the net!  Amazingly, we did not lose any fish and they still came into the boat.  Wayne’s final 5-fish weight was 13 pounds, 5 ounces.

Our 2nd place finisher, Lance Cahoon, fishing with the always-quiet Eddie Schickman, concentrated on main river barges using a Fire Tiger crankbait and the Evolution jig in the PB&J color.  He said he also caught some more fish in Roundout Creek on the slack tide using a slow moving jig.  Lance brought a nice 5-fish limit of 13 pounds, 6 ounces to the scales.

Garnering Angler of the Year honors is not necessarily a case of winning as many tournaments as possible.  Our AOY winner this year is a case in point; he finished 8th, 4th, 5th, 9th, 7th, 2nd and, finally, 1st on the 2009 tournament trail.  What he did do is to bring a limit of fish to the scales in every single tournament and never finished outside the top 10.  Going into the final tournament, he had a reasonable but not insurmountable lead.  When all was said and done, he finished the year with an exclamation point.

Pat Van Wettering, our 2009 Angler of the year, weighed in the tournament-winning 5 fish limit of 16 pounds, 2 ounces.  Given the club’s experience on the Hudson over the years, his bag of smallies and large mouths was a sign that the Hudson is becoming the fishery of olden times.  Pat says that he concentrated on creeks by fishing a jig at the drop off around the docks in the 7’ to 12’ depth.  His jig color was PB&J.  The last few hours of the day, Pat focused on a sinkhole and, throwing a white spinner bait with white blades, he was able to cull up.  Congratulations to Pat for an outstanding tournament but, even more, for an outstanding 2009 season.