The Bergen Bassmasters concluded their 2001 tournament season with an event on the challenging Hudson River on October 13th. After a successful event on the Hudson last year, the Hudson returned to form by providing difficult fishing for most of the anglers. With a few races still to be decided, a lot was up for grabs in the final event.
In the final event of last season, Kirk Stober captured the win on the Hudson with an impressive bag weighing over 17 pounds. With this year's catches down, Kirk still managed to bring in a huge bag for the Hudson by weighing in a 15 pounds 1 ounce limit. His total eclipsed the second place finisher by nearly 5 pounds and third place by over 8 pounds! Using crystal craw patterned Luhr Jensen Hot Lips and Brush Baby crankbaits, Kirk fished the Saugerties area, catching a total of 7 keepers, most of which were quality fish. With his 2nd win of the season, Kirk solidified his top 6 finish overall for 2001.
Rebounding after a tough Greenwood was Mark Scocco. Mark caught the only other limit of the event and weighed in 10 pounds 3 ounces. Amazingly, Mark was also using a crystal craw Luhr Jensen Hot Lips crankbait. Struggling early, Mark concentrated on confidence areas around Catskill. At 11:30 he landed his first keeper, then proceeded to catch 2 more on the next 3 casts and finish his limit off of one spot within the hour. Hitting a few more points, Mark culled 3 more fish for a total of 8 keepers.
By taking third place at the Hudson, Nick Albano put pressure on John Ernest as he challenged for the top angler spot. Nick concentrated in the Rondout Area and also fished crankbaits to catch 4 keepers totaling 6 pounds 7 ounces. John, however only needed points based on catching a single fish to lock up the Angler of the Year Title for the second consecutive year, a feat never before accomplished in the club. John managed two small keepers, enough to claim the top spot in the club for 2001.
In a fourth place tie were Bill Vella and Steve Schilling. Bill capped off an excellent 2001 season by placing at the Hudson and locking up 4th place overall in the club. His four bass at the Hudson totaled 6 pounds 2 ounces. Steve managed the same total but with two chunky Hudson largemouth. Steve's top five at the Hudson was enough for him to capture the title of Non-Boater Angler of the Year, edging out Andy Karcich, last year's winner, by only 1 point.
The lunker in the event was caught by observer and 2002 member, Bob Benjamin. His 5 pound 8 ounce largemouth enters the record books at the largest lunker recorded in a Bergen event on the Hudson. Let's see if he can keep it up as a member next year.
In total, the 22 club anglers brought 44 fish to the scales for 88 pounds 8 ounces.