The TBF state championship was held on Oneida Lake the first weekend in October.  Oneida Lake is located just north of Syracuse New York.  Bass Hounds team members Brad Bressler and Derek Severns qualified and fished the event.  Brad fished on the boater’s side while Derek fished the co-anglers division.  There were 130 anglers signed up to fish this event, where only the top 12 would make the PA state team.  This truly is an all or nothing event.

The week prior to the event, Brad and Derek spent the day’s pre fishing the lake, exploring new areas and doing their best to locate the fish.  Oneida can produce big bags of both largemouth and small mouth bass.  Under normal conditions it would take a mixed bag to win this event.  Knowing this made the practice period a little difficult.  The guys got on a top water frog bite early in the week; they thought it would be the ticket to the largemouth that Oneida has to offer.  The smallmouth proved to be a bit tougher to locate.  That time of year the cold fronts move through and shut down the fishing.  It affects both the shallow and deep bits.

As the event started Friday morning, Brad headed right to his large mouth spots and began to frog.  He got a few fish early but not the big ones he had caught in practice; he moved out deeper but could not get bit.  He ended the day with 3 fish and was in 25th place on the angler side.  Derek pulled a boater that was on some small mouth in the morning that were coming up onto a flat to feed.  He was catching fish on jerk baits, tubes and top water lures.  It wasn’t until around 10 that Derek got his first bite.  By noon Derek has landed 3 fish and his boater hadn’t landed a fish.  He asked his boater to move up the lake to a stretch that he had caught them on before and his boater agreed.  Upon arriving at the spot, Derek landed 4 more keeper small mouth, thus filling out his limit and culling a few fish.  All of his bites came on a green pumpkin zoom centipede.  Derek ended day one in sixth place on the co angler side, right where he needed to be. Friday night turned out to be the coldest night of the week.  It made the last day of competition very, very hard.  Derek went out and caught two fish for around 7 and ½ pounds.  He finished the tournament in 11th place just 2 pounds away from making the team.  Brad had a few small keepers that didn’t make any difference in his placing.  Both guys left the tournament a little disappointed, but that is fishing.  “Close but no cigar”, is the old saying and as was true here.

We can’t say enough about our 2011 team and team sponsors, the support from everyone has made this possible.  Valvoline Oil, Metal Menders, Strauss Automotive, Bowser Collision Center, Poor Boys Baits, Fishpittsburgh.com and Nervous Waters, have all been behind us 100% and without them we would not be out there.  Thank you to everyone and we are looking forward to a great 2012 season.

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