Twin Lakes Report
VanWettering Claims the Win on Twin!
The Bergen Bassmasters kicked off their 1998 tournament season with an event on Twin Lakes in Connecticut on May 2nd, 1998. Although the day started out as a wet one, the skies cleared and the sun came out. The extremely clear water presented the 34 members with a challenge but the bass were active if an angler could find them. The water temperature had risen nearly 5 degrees to 58-59 since the week before and many patterns developed in pre-fishing had to be adjusted.
Pat VanWettering, had not fished the full circuit last year but he plans to do so in 1998, especially after his fantastic start. Pat claimed his first win since 1994 by weighing in a six bass limit for 14 pounds 11 ounces. Pat had a strong practice and stuck with his pattern for the entire 8 hours. Although he had caught only 6 bass throughout the day, Pat was confident with the quality of fish that he was catching. Pat's shallow water pattern came from a spot on East Twin Lake where he landed 4 bass on a spinnerbait and two bass fell for a 6" Slug-Go.
Greg Trass, a perennial top finisher in the first event of each year, once again landed a top 3 finish by placing 2nd at Twin Lakes with a limit of largemouth bass weighing in at a total of 13 pounds 2 ounces. Greg fished a shallow water grass pattern on East Twin Lake where Jersey Riggs were among the baits that he used to target his fish. Once again, Greg is off to a fast start in the race for Angler of the Year.
Steve Rusert and Elliott Liardo tied for third place, each with 11 pounds 12 ounces. After his best year in 1997, Steve Rusert is picking up where he left off by weighing in a limit of bass. After catching one fish on East Twin, Steve gambled and went to the smaller West Twin Lake. It proved to be a good decision as Steve went on to land 15 keepers during the day by fishing a small weedy area that was 3-4 feet deep and adjacent to a slight dropoff. He used a combination of Jersey Riggs and small plastic worms. Elliott arrived at his 11 pound 12 ounce total a different way. He went for quality fish and wound up with the tournament lunker of 6 pounds, 4 ounces along with two other 3 pounders. For the second straight year, the first tournament has produced a fish to break the 6 pound lunker pool. Elliott stayed on the eastern half of East Twin Lake and landed the lunker bass around midday along a rocky ledge around 6' deep. It was caught on a spider grub. His other two bass each fell for a husky jerk.
Returning club veteran, Eric Lehmann once again places in the top five by landing 5 nice fish, including 2 smallmouth and 3 largemouth for a total weight of 11 pounds even. Eric utilized his strengths by fishing his confidence bait, a four inch black power worm. Eric concentrated on fishing extremely shallow water in East Twin Lake. Eric stated that the deepest water that he caught any fish from was only 2'. The clear water forced longer casts since the bass in that shallow were extremely spooky.
In total the 34 club members weighed in 60 bass including 56 largemouth and 4 smallies for a combined weight of 128 pounds 10 ounces. The showing was our best yet at Twin Lakes. With an average fish of over 2 pounds, a winning weight over 14 pounds, and a lunker over 6 pounds, this event turned out to be one of the best in recent years. Perhaps this is a sign that the Bergen Bassmasters are in for an excellent season.
All contents created 1996 by Mark B. Scocco. Contributing editor: Nick Albano