The Ogdensburg-based Northern New York Bassmasters Club II made the most of a “tough bite” while two members of the Rochester Bassmasters Club landed individual honors in the first day of the New York State BASS Federations Club Team Championship on Saturday.
The tournament is being hosted by the Greater Ogdensburg Chamber of Commerce at the Ed Dobisky Community Center and Municipal Arena.
Led by Brad Paradis’s 19.73-pound bag, the NNY Bassmasters took the team lead at 98.15 pounds with Rochester standing second at 89.21 pounds.
Rounding out the top five teams of the first day were: Crown City 86.68 pounds, Port City 70.88 pounds and Thousand Islands 69.31.
Today’s concluding action will see the anglers leave the boat launch area at 4-6 a.m. and begin weighing fish in at 2 p.m. at the Ogdensburg Greenbelt park.
The Rochester squad was led by Mark Harold (21.39 pounds) and Jim Bianchi (21.26 pounds) who finished one-two in the individual standings. Bianchi also earned first-day honors with a 5.97-pound smallmouth.
“It was a tough bite. I went to spot after spot which had been producing all summer and we just didn’t get anything,” said Paradis who anchored his bag with a 4.69 smallmouth.
“I only caught seven fish all day. I don’t know if it was the weather but the cold front most likely didn’t help.”
The NNY squad built its lead through balance as Doug Kirkbride landed 18.24 pounds with a 5.14 pounder, Corey Palmer finished at 17.55 pounds with a 4.78 big fish, Chuck Roach finished at 16.91 pounds, James Moore came in with 15.47 pounds and Fred Morrill entered 10.25 pounds.
Along with two 21-pound bags the Rochester team also featured 17.01 pounds from David Livingston.
The first day leader Mark Harold of Rochester, a nonboater, credited his boater after an outstanding day.
“We decided to go to my spots in the morning and I had 20 pounds by 8 a.m. I caught 15-20 fish and the he caught over 17 pounds,” said Harold.
“He deserves a lot of credit. He had to run the trolling motor and fight the current. I just had to sit back and fish.”
His Rochester teammate, Jim Bianchi, said he caught fish all day and felt his team still has a shot at winning the team title.
“Being local I don’t expect them (NNY Bassmasters) to falter tomorrow,” said Bianchi.
“But the fish are so big here, so anything can happen. It is still wide open.”