Archive for category Cancilla’s Fishing Blog



Want to fish tournaments during the week with little to no boat traffic? Mid Week Bass Buddies is the club for you. The club fishes 7-8 tournaments per year. Every event is on a Wednesday and begins at safe light for a duration of 8 hours. All state and tournament regulations and rules apply. The entry fee for each event is $80 per team and the money will be 100% paid out at the conclusion of the tournament. Each event will have a 5 fish limit with a size restriction that will be determined by state regulations.

2016 Tentative Schedule

May 18th – Tygart Lake
June 8th – Cheat Lake
June 29th – Southside 3 Rivers
July 13th – Conneaut Lake
July 27th – Monaca Ohio River
August 10th – Shenago
August 24th – Allegheny River Freeport Pool
September 7th – Allegheny River East Brady or Templeton Pool

For more information about the club or to sign up for the tournaments please contact Hank Lach (412-897-6165) or Ron Taylor (412-716-3756)


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YRBA – Cross Creek

Sunday marked the first tournament of the Yough River Bass Association. It was held at Cross Creek Lake. We had 19 teams battling it out as we looked for valuable points towards team of the year, prize money and bragging rights.

Jon and I started the day hoping for a solid finish to defend our run of 3 straight team of the year titles. I was unable to practice for the event, but Jon got down 1 morning to practice and found a stretch that had a fair amount of fish on it. Much like both of my previous tournament we decided we were going to grind that area all day. It paid off because we caught over 20 bass and landed 4 keepers that went 9.79lbs. That doesn’t sound very good, but on this day it was enough to win the tournament. All of our fish came pitching or dragging soft plastics or jigs. We gained a 50 points and lead the team of the year standings heading into the Pymatuning events where we will try to keep the momentum going.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with Yough River Bass Association (YRBA), here is a break down of the club and how it works. Annual membership is $50 per adult or $30 per junior angler. Junior anglers are considered 15 or under as they go by the fish commission rules for fishing license. Once a junior member is paid on the team you take any junior member from either adult members house without another membership fee. Each single day tournament costs $50 and 2 day events cost $100 to fish. Single day tournaments are worth 50 points to win and the 2 day events are worth 50 points per day, but the money is combined for a larger payout. At the end of the year the top 10 teams in point standings fish in the club championship which is a free entry with a high payout. Membership includes a free T-Shirt and you and a guest can come to the end of year/kickoff banquet. The payouts are based on the $50 entry fee. $20 goes to first place, $10 goes to second place, $5 goes towards third place, $5 goes towards lunker, and $10 goes to the end of the year championship. The same break down applies to the 2 day events, but the amounts double. In my opinion this club has a great group of guys, goes to great fisheries, and give you a great opportunity to compete with low team fees.



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Another Good Finish

KBBC MoraineThe second Keystone Bass Buddy Event (KBBC) was held this past Saturday on Lake Arthur. Dad and I came in with the points lead because we won the first event. We were just hoping not to give up any ground and get another top 10 finish. The ice had been off for a week and the water was much warmer than I had expected but the fish still were not eating actively.

Friday I had practice from 6:00 until 1:30 and decided that I would do more scanning, temperature reading, and checking water conditions than actually fishing. After searching for a while I decided that I would fish certain area and see if I could get bit on soft plastics so that I could not hook the fish. People are thinking to themselves isn’t that the point of fishing to catch the fish. My answer is not the day before the tournament. All I need to know is that they are in the area and I will come back the next day and work the area hard. Needless to say I found a really good area that I was getting a bunch of hits and 2 other areas that I felt I could get 1 or 2 keepers from.

Tournament day we went straight to my good area. We fished that area until 1:30 and never caught a keeper bass. The only fish we were able to catch were a few short bass and 3 large stripers. We made a move and caught 2 keepers in my secondary spot. Had we been smart we probably should have worked the area back and forth trying to get more, but my head got in the way and we went to my other spot to finish out the day and never caught another fish. When we got back to check-in we were shocked to hear that everyone had struggle except for a couple of guys. Our two keepers ended up weighing 4.79lbs and would give us an eighth place finish. That good finish also allowed us to put a little more distance in the team of the year race standings. Now we have a 9 point lead heading into 2 events at our favorite lake to fish. With any amount of luck we will add to our points lead.

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Raystown 1After fishing the Keystone Bass Buddy Circuit (KBBC) on and off for 12 years, my dad and I have won our first event. I am not surprised that we have won an event because we have been really close in the past couple years. What I am surprised about is where the tournament took place. For years we have been lucky to catch 1 or 2 keepers at Raystown Lake. This year we were able to catch 12 keepers which allowed us to cull 6 times! That may not be the most shocking part of this story. What most people will be shocked by is that we were only able to catch 2 keepers in practice on back to back casts, in two days of fishing!

All through practice we search spots we new, spots we have hit in the past, and spots that looked like we should have fish. As most fisherman do we made a lot of our decisions based on the water temperature and clarity. What we had found was that the river end of the lake was much warmer while the dam end had better clarity. What did we decide? Let’s fish the middle and compromise both factors slightly. The decision really paid off as the water was 46 degrees and we could see about 3′.

Raystown 2On tournament day we ran to the only spot we caught a keeper in practice and sat there all day. Now we had worked up and down a stretch of water that probably totaled about 1/4 mile but all of our fish came off very specific spots. Each time we hit one of them we would catch another fish. Go back to the same spots and catch another one. It was a classic case of maximize your fishing time and besides we have nothing else to run to.

This win puts us into the KBBC classic and is a great start to the seven event season. I am looking forward to the rest of the year and pushing for our first points title. Good luck to everyone this weekend at Lake Arthur.

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Fishing Kickoff Event


Field & Stream Hosting 2015 Fishing Kickoff Event


One-day event filled with activities including clinics, in-store promotions, contests and more for fishing enthusiasts being held at Washington & Cranberry stores 


WHO: Field & Stream is hosting a full-day event, filled with activities and providing expert instruction to help get anglers ready for their favorite time of year. There will also be a number of conservation groups on-site to share how they are working to make a difference in the local fishing community.


WHAT: Made for media event where customers can refine and learn new skills, enter to win great prizes, and participate in games geared for the family.


Highlights include:

–          11:00 am: “Wild Goose Chase” – A family designed scavenger hunt with trivia which will run throughout the entire day

–          12:30 pm: Introduction to Fly Fishing (Clinic)

–          1:00 pm: Design Your Own Lure (Youth Workshop)

–          1:30 pm: Lure Selection and Tactics (Clinic)

–          2:30 pm: Baitcasting (Clinic)

–          3:30 pm: Reel Maintenance (Clinic)

–          4:30 pm: Trout Tips and Techniques (Clinic)


Gift cards from $5 – $250 will be offered to the first 100 people in line. The first 25 people will also be rewarded with a Berkley Bucket of Powerbait ($25 value).


*Media are encouraged to reach out to the appropriate contacts (listed below) who can assist camera crews, coordinate and interviews and provide additional information


For more information visit:


WHEN: Sunday, March 29, 2015 | 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.


WHERE: Field & Stream:

1000 Cranberry Square | Cranberry Township, PA 16066

Old Mill Shopping Center | 60 Old Mill Blvd. | Washington, PA 15301

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Great Start

As you probably know the Keystone Bass Buddy Circuit held its annual kickoff meeting this past Sunday. I went to the meeting with an open mind because so many people have taken positions within the KBBC staff. In my opinion, the future looks very bright. Joe Dugas new chairman has really stepped up and help organize a great kickoff meeting that was extremely informative. Not to take anything away from anyone that has had that position in the past, but this seem to be the best run most organized meeting that shared the most information. New tournament director Mike Kopelic has also taken steps that most guys have been asking for years to make the changes. It seems like this year is just the start of an overhaul of how the operations are handled and allowing the anglers to have more of a voice in the process.

This year a lot of the sponsor are returning and several new sponsors are starting a relationship with the Keystone Bass Buddy Circuit. As an angler of the circuit I would like to thank them. Without the sponsors this circuit would not be possible. Finally, I am very excited that the Keystone Bass Buddy Circuit is now a member of the B.A.S.S. Team Tournament Trail. This should bring more participation to the circuit and help move our circuit in the right direction. Again, great job gentlemen!

For more information click Keystone Bass Buddy Circuit.




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KBBC Kickoff

I just wanted to send out a friendly reminder that this Sunday @ 12:00 pm the Keystone Bass Buddy Circuit will be holding its annual kickoff meeting. The location is the West Deer Fire Hall #2 and is open to the public. There are a significant amount of changes to the circuit this year and they will all be addressed at the meeting. As always lunch will be served and sponsor prizes will be given out. For more information and directions visit the Keystone Bass Buddy Circuit website. I hope to see everyone there.



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Thoughts & Prayers

My thoughts and prayers go out to the Genter family. Deb Genter passed away yesterday after a long battle with cancer. Those in the local bass fishing community know Rob & Deb because they have been involved for years. Deb will be missed by all that knew her. Below is the arrangement information for the viewing and funeral.

As far as I know the arrangements are as follows:

Calling Hours 2-4pm and 6-9pm on Tuesday February 10th, 2015 at the Higgins Funeral Home in Tidioute, Pa.

Funeral is Wednesday Feb 11th at 11am at the Tidioute Presbyterian Church in Tidioute.

Call Walt Stover if you have questions at 814 664 3933.

Donations can be made out to Terri Fike (Deb’s Sister), 59 Jefferson St. Tidioute, Pa 16351


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Strike King

KVD 1.5Anyone that has fished with me before knows I carry a box loaded with Strike King crankbaits. In particular, there will be many KVD 1.5 crankbaits. This has quickly became one of my favorite lures to fish around stumps and weedlines. I have been using these lures since Kevin Vandam won the Bassmaster Classic on the Louisiana Detla using them. The lures have held up great throughout the years and I have caught many fish on them.

This past fall before a tournament I bought 6 KVD 1.5 in 2 different colors. When I got there to practice I made three casts with the first one out of the package and the lip broke off. A little surprised because this has never happened to be with a strike king lure. When happened next really surprised me. In the next hour I broke 2 more lips off and put the rest in the box for the next day. The next morning was the tournament and I broke 2 more of them. Now I am sure you are reading this thinking I was cranking into stumps, rip rap or bridge piers. The truth is that I was fishing a weedline and I never slap my lures off the water when there are weeds on them. To say the least I was very disappointed.

The next week I wrote Strike King an email stating what had happened to with their lures and if they had changed anything that could make them weaker. Through conversation with several people showed great concern at their lures failure. This may have surprised me more than the lures breaking. Those people did not know me at all yet believed what I told them about how the lures broke and how often I had used them before without a problem. It is for this reason and this reason alone that I will continue to use KVD 1.5. They are great lures and the company stands by the product. When our conversations had ended they had asked me to ship them back to them to analize. In return they sent me replacement lures in the colors I desired. I am not telling you that so you contact Strike King to try and get free lures if you have broken ones. I wrote this because I am showing how a great company stands behind its product even for the weekend angler.

This experience has opened my eyes to how companies can work with fishermen to better their product. I will not hesitate to contact companies in the future if I am having problems or see flaws that could make the product better. It will not be for free items, but for the common good of fishermen everywhere that may buy the same tackle or equipment.



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How to Pick the Right Fishing Rod

I have been told for a long time that I need to use this brand of rod, reel, lure, color, boat and anything else that can be used for fishing. For most people they may not be able to tell the difference between a good rod and a bad rod. To me there is non such thing as a bad piece of fishing equipment if it gets people on the water. However, there is a difference in quality and technique preference. I am going to explain how to pick the right rod for your situation based on several factors.

First, you need to know who is using the rod. Are you someone or are you buying for someone that fishes a lot, occasionally, or 1 to 2 times per year? Is the rod for a beginner or a novice? If the fisherman is a child or not would play a major role in what kind of rod I purchased. Like I previously stated, I believe the most important thing is to be able to go fishing and if that means going and buying a $30 rod/reel combo then that is what should be done. My recommendations for children is to look at the line of Shakespeare kids fishing combos. They are great for beginners and are easy on the budget. Your budget should always drive the quality of rod should purchase or how many you purchase.

Next, I examine the target species we are looking to catch. You don’t need to have a ocean surf fishing rod to catch panfish. Length, weight, reel type, type of eyes and action are just a few options that you have to considered. There are many options out there that can determine how you will view the quality of your rod. Often times people buy a rod with expectations, but never use the rod for the intended use or target a species that it will not be able to handle.

Once you determine who you are buying the rod and what species that will be targeted, you will need to figure out the type of lures that are going to be used. There are many rods that are good for more than one application. However, I have rods that I will only use for one technique. Which sounds crazy to someone outside the competitive fishing world, but most competitive anglers only use 1 rod for 1 technique for a few reasons. First, the rod is typically built with a certain technique in mind. Second, the settings in the reel don’t need to be changed. Third a comfort level with technique and rod can be developed.

Now for my suggestions about which rods to buy. I already gave my suggestion for children. My suggestion to everyone is to look at the line of Abu Garcia fishing rods. The Vengeance model is only $50 and the line spans to the Villian model which is $180. There are several levels in between. My favorite model of Abu Garcia fishing rods is the Veracity. Fenwick fishing rods are probably my favorite brand that I have ever used. They combine the feel, durability, and cost efficiency that I look for. If I were to only have one spinning rod in my boat it would be a 6′-9″ Fenwick Smallmouth Series. It is good for every bass technique I have tried to use it for and doesn’t cost as much as more expensive rod with the same sensitivity.

Hopefully, this article will help you make a better informed decision on which rod to buy. If there are any questions make a comment and I will try to answer whatever question you have.

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