On July 11th, the Bergen Bassmasters conducted their fourth points event of the season. The event was to be held on the Hudson River out of the Ulster launch ramp. It was expected that this tournament could put some distance between the frontrunners and the rest of the pack. Instead, the standings only became tighter as a number of the season's leaders had below normal finishes and a few more faces stepped into the winners circle. Gusty winds from the north countering a rising tide combined with heavy boat traffic to turn the river into a raging chop that pounded the anglers as they ran both north and south. With tough conditions, the bite was a tough one for all but a few anglers who were in the right places at the right times.
Fishing his first season as a boater, Jim Hallihan was paired with Steve Schilling. Steve knows the Hudson pretty well and turned Jim onto some submerged barges south of Rondout Creek. Spending much of the day there cost Jimmy quite a few lures that were claimed by the wood debris. However, a switch to the inside of the barges was the move that landed him his first Bergen Bassmasters victory. Jim fished blue fleck finesse worms around the barges to land four chunky bass weighing in at a whopping 13 pounds 4 ounces. Jim's creel included the 4 pound 9 ounce tournament lunker and another fish in the four pound range.
Once again, Brian Mahoney had to settle for the runner-up spot on the Hudson. He placed second to Nick Albano back in 1995. Brian weighed in a limit of five bass for a total of 11 pounds 13 ounces. He developed his pattern while pre-fishing the Thursday before. He started on main river points where he landed a fish on a Luhr Jensen Hot Lips crankbait. He also caught one fish on an owner Zip-n-Ziggy topwater bait fished around the mouth of a feeder creek. Brian's main spot however was a small area where a back bay entered the main river. There, he landed a few more bass on a 4" pumpkin/chartreuse power worm. His last fish was caught on a white Picasso spinnerbait. Limits are often tough to come by on the Hudson but Brian had his five fish by 11am and culled 3 more before the day ended.
Club President, Kirk Stober, is also known to do well on the Hudson quite often. He also pre-fished on the prior Thursday to develop his game plan. Kirk began south of the ramp, fishing main river points. He caught fish on a Picasso spinnerbait and a Tennessee Shad pattern Hot Lips crankbait. He added three more fish at the mouth of Rondout Creek using a 7" lizard and 7" worms. Kirk managed to catch his 10 pound 12 ounce limit by 9:30. At that point the tide switched and his bite turned off as he did not catch another keeper for the rest of the day.
Finishing fourth and fifth places were partners Bob Colon and Eric Lehmann. They concentrated on fishing culverts on the main river with 4" power worms. While the bite was quite slow at times, both anglers managed to bag five bass limits. Bob landed the larger fish and his limit weighed in at 9 pounds 6 ounces. Eric's five bass totaled 7 pounds 1 ounce. With another top five finish, Eric has moved into the first overall spot year-to-date.
The Hudson once again was stingy to most members as the 32 club members brought in only 61 bass for a total weight of 106 pounds 12 ounces. Top producing baits during the event seemed to be 4" worms, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits, especially for Jack Erdei who managed to land 2 keeper bass on one cast with his fire tiger crankbait.