...To improve skills as bass anglers through a fellowship of friendly exchange of bass catching techniques and to preserve the future of Bass Fishing through conservation, youth and public awareness.

Tournament Interview

Sacandaga Lake June 20, 2009


Bergen has 27,000 acre Lake to Themselves



            The Bergen Tournament Committee usually schedules a tournament in New York on the 3rd Saturday in June, the NY bass season opener. This year was no exception and with most NY clubs on Lake George, for a NYBF Nation event, we had Great Sacandaga Lake all to ourselves. Although finding larger smallies was difficult, the quantities of 1 ½ to 2 pounder’s were amazing! Whoever had the ability or the luck to find larger smallies or a largemouth or two, did well. I have never seen such weed growth on Sacandaga, nor did the club ever weigh in six largemouth bass. Perhaps like Lake George, the largemouth bass population may be on the increase? Still, one can waste valuable fishing time on most back water areas that look great.
            I pre-fished with Robert Curtis Thursday and Friday and we caught dozens of smallies on Pop R’s and 4 inch swim baits. Our best day was Thursday during non stop heavy rain. I have one LM spot and on Thursday, I connected with one but didn’t get it to the boat. Our Saturday game plan was to limit out on smallies and then visit the LM spot. Rob nailed 4 smallies before I caught my 1st bass. I was beginning to get bummed out until we tried an island that wasn’t touched on Thursday or Friday. Using Pop R’s, we both had our smallmouth limits by 9AM and finally visited the LM spot. Using brush hogs, I caught two and lost two. We made two runs and then left for more Island hopping. The swim bait bite was off on Saturday and the mid day Pop R bite was tough. We went back to the largemouth spot and I caught my largest bass and lost a bigger one. I also parked Rob on the front of my boat and gave him brush hogs and a proper hook. He finally nailed one with an hour to go. Local kids then started running two screaming remote control speed boats in our area and killed the action. I was fortunate to garnish 1st Place with 3 LM and 2 SM at 10-12.
            With no pre-fishing time and no sleep, Bill Vella relied on his old faithful Senko skills (and Pop R’s) to cull out a nice limit of smallies. With much experience on Sacandaga, Bill fished shallow and wherever he fished, old and new spots, he caught many fish. His best five went 10-3 and earned him 2nd Place. Bill and I want to acknowledge John Williams who drove a sleepy Bill and his rig to Sacandaga and back. Thanks John, you’re the MAN!
            John Ernest, who knows where to find larger smallies, always does well on Sacandaga and this was no exception. Like Billy, John used 4 inch Senkos and found his fish on rocky bottoms in water depths from 1 to 5 feet. He boated over 20 keepers and his top 5 went 10-1 for 3rd Place. His best tactic was to just dead stick the Senkos.
Big Jack Erdei, absent from Bergen’s first two tournaments, rebounded with a nice bag of bass that included one largemouth. At 9-12, Jack nailed 4th Place. Like Billy, Jack did not pre-fish and had no sleep. However his partner, John Hayden, did pre-fish and put Jack on fish all day. Using soft jerkbaits, Jack had an early limit and like John H, boated one largemouth bass by some sunken wood. Nice job Jack!
            Club veteran Pat Van Wettering pre-fished Wednesday to Friday and planned out a milk run for Saturday. He targeted rock walls in less than 5 feet of water and worked them with white spinnerbaits, Pop R’s and swim baits. His efforts were successful and he culled out a nice Sacandaga smallie bag totaling 9 pounds even.
            Doug Giachino took home lunker honors by one ounce with a nice 2-15 smallie caught on a Senko in shallow water.
            The Bergen Club wishes to thank the launch proprietor, the McMurray family, for their excellent facility and exceptional customer service! For only $5 per boat, they assisted with parking to the 10th degree. Family members guided us at every turn into their grounds and after parking, provided our drivers with a ride to the dock in a chauffeured golf cart! They even provided support during the weigh in and assisted with pulling the boats. Considering that we are use to paying exorbitant launch fees with no special service, the McMurray experience was a pleasant surprise. GREAT JOB and THANKS – we will be back.