Fifteen anglers of the Mohawk Valley Anglers Club held their bass tournament at Cossayuna Lake, and the fishing was good.
The winning team of Bart Metzold (Schenectady) and Ed Lebron (Rotterdam) weighed in five bass totaling 15.47 pounds and received $380. Second-place cash of $240 went to the Scotia team of Chris Colin and Todd Keenan with five bass totaling 14.21 pounds. The Rotterdam team of Tim Squires and Reed Poulton took third place with 13 pounds worth $180, and $70 for their 4.14 lunker bass. Also, with 13 pounds was Schenectady anglers Garry Rosenbarker and Mitch Monini. Squires and Poulton had no bass better than the 4.14 pounder, and received $40.
Meanwhile, the Mohawk Masters Singleman launched out of Schoharie Creek into the Mohawk River. First place and $300 went to Burnt Hills angler Tom Barnes with five bass totaling 15.03 pounds. He also had the tournament lunker — a 4.08-pound smallie worth another $70. Larry Andrews (Alplaus) was second with 11.14 pounds for $170, and finishing third was Tim Squires (Rotterdam) with 4.08 pounds for $70.
The Capital District Bassmasters traveled to Lake Champlain and launched out of Ticonderoga. As one of the two “non-boaters,” I fished in the back of the boat. In this tournament, I was fishing with Mike Slowikowski (Ballston Spa). Mike had fished this area the week before and had found a few spots. He proved it to me at our first spot when he hooked up with three nice largemouth, and shortly thereafter two more, completing his legal limit. It was a while after when I caught my first, second and third keepers.
For the next few hours, I caught a few bass, but they were under the legal 12-inch size. It wasn’t until we moved back to within several hundred yards from where we launched that I caught No. 4 — and, with only 15 minutes left before the end of the tournament, I hooked and landed my fifth fish.
At the weigh-in, Mike’s fish weighed in at 14.35 pounds and mine at 11.61, and we finished first and second. Third place went to Dave Beemer (Averill Park) who weighed in 11.31 pounds, which included the tournament lunker — a 4.12 pound largemouth.
All money winnings and trophies are given at the end-of-the-year banquet. Right now, we have nine members — six boaters and three back-boaters.
We are not a big money club, but we sure do have fun.
BIG BUCKS FISHING
Here in New York, there are many levels of weekend bass.
Some tournaments are offering three-figure and even four-figure payoffs. I have fished them for many years and had fun doing them. These are not “make-a-living” events, but they are fun and I recommend you give it a try.
But the big bucks are in the Bassmaster tournament, with payouts that seem to continue to get bigger. One example is Oklahoma pro bass Edwin Evers; in his last 13 tournaments, he has won a total of $493,600 and has career earnings over $3 million.
SKIP FOR BASS
Recently, more and more of those who catch fish for a living are catching bass where the sun doesn’t shine – under docks.
A good example is pro bass angler Chris Zaldain (Texas). He does his skipping with a 6- and 8-inch Magdraft Freestyle swimbait. It comes with a 7/0 hook with a screw in lock keeper and small, hammered willow-leaf underspin blade. He has found that the seven-foot baitcasting rod and reel filled with 20-pound test fluorocarbon is best.
Chris has fished 93 pro tournaments and has earned a total of $712,280. It works in New York; he finished third in Cayuga Lake and ninth in St. Lawrence lakes this year.
Give it a try. First, pick out the shady spot and you want to skim the surface. If you are 30 feet from the target, you want your swimbait to hit the surface half the distance where you think the fish is. He suggests that you practice a bit until you can get that across the surface.
I am working on it now myself.