Oct 20, Catskill, NY…  NY The Bass Federation (NYTBF) kicked off their 2013 tournament campaign with an early bird event on the Hudson River where valuable Angler of the Year (AOY) and Ranger Cup points were at stake. The Hudson continues to challenge tournament anglers looking to exceed the 15” minimum length limit for bass, but as it is with many tough fisheries a few anglers will always figure it out and this event was no exception. As the river temperatures cool into the high 50s the bass turn on the feedbag and if you can find them these river smallmouth genuinely come to life; here’s a quick recap of how the winners caught their fish.

Boater Division:

Winning the boater division and 100 AOY points is Randy Phelan with a weight of 15.00 lbs. and a 3.03 lb. fish that split the lunker pool with Bobby Williams. Phelan used a variety of crank baits targeting rocky banks and hard bottom areas adjacent to creek mouths. Phelan complimented his crank bait pattern with tubes and reports catching 15-20 fish before reaching his winning weight.

NYTBF Vice President Bobby Williams continued his hot streak with another second place finish on the strength of a 14.30 lb. limit and his 3.03 lb. lunker that secured his half of the lunker pool. Williams reports this was his first tournament on the Hudson River in over 15 years and as the day progressed he was quickly reminded what an important role the tide plays. Williams fished hard the first three hours of the event North of Dutchman’s Landing but boated no keeper fish so he made his way south to the Esopus Creek area where he located a sink hole and quickly boated four smallmouths on four casts.

To catch his fish, Williams employed a homemade 3/8 oz. jig that he dressed with a double skirt (Green Pumpkin, Chartreuse & Orange) to give it bulk and for the trailer he used a Zoom Speed Craw (Green Pumpkin). Williams followed the tide north from Esopus Creek to Stockport extending his jig bite and he mixed in a double willow leaf spinnerbait to catch three solid limits with just two short fish over the course of the day. As the highest finishing Ranger owner, Williams also won the Ranger Cup bonus money.

Rounding out the top four boaters were Mr. Russet in third place with a weight of 6.00 lbs. and George Yund with 5.10 lbs.

Co-Angler Division: NYTBF President Ben Wright captured 1st place with a four fish weighing 9.10 lbs. Wright reports using 3/8 oz. spinnerbait, a Damiki Hydra Evolution on a 3/8 oz. jig, a wacky rigged Senko (Green Pumpkin) and a KVD 1.5 square bill (Sexy Shad) to catch his fish. Wright reports his boater targeted hard bottom areas and rocky shorelines the majority of the day.

Second place went to Jesse Bezio with a weight of 4.70 lbs. and rounding out the top four were Mr. Tallada with 3.2 lbs. and Brett Carnright with 2.35 lbs.


Berkley Chevy, Evinrude, Minnkota, Humminbird, Lowrance, National Guard, Ranger Boats, Solar Bat, FLW outdoors, Cabelas Angler Cash, The Bass University, Temple Fork Outfitter Rods and Keitech.


For additional information on NYTBF tournaments contact Ben Wright at 518.593.5681 or bwright@cvph.org