May 25


Submitted by: Nick Angiulo
The New Jersey Bass Federation’s first point event of its 2017 tournament season scheduled for May 21, 2017, could have been epic. Nowhere else in the Northeastern region is the potential to break 25 pounds in a day more likely than the vast brackish river systems that make up the Northern Chesapeake Bay (also known colloquially as the Susquehanna Flats), However, coming into the event, the reported catches were unusually low, most likely due to the recent wide fluctuations in air and water temperatures that had many of the fish in the system in a bit of a funk. With warmer weather coming into the event, the 60 participating anglers were hopeful for a slugfest. While the slug- fest never materialized as the fishing was a grind, the event produced one of the closer three-way finishes in recent point tournament history.

Boater Division
Winning first place in the Boater Division by less than five ounces was Jason Orecchio of the Quickfire Bassmasters. Orecchio brought five fish to the scales that weighed 17.77 pounds, including something relatively uncommon for this portion of the system, smallmouth bass. Regardless, all of Orecchio’s fish were in the three to four- pound range which provided his just enough weight to hold off the second place finisher. Ore chio’s was rewarded for his Boater Division victory with the guaranteed minimum first prize of $2,000.

Finishing a close second was Manny Cruz. Cruz, a member of the United Bass Anglers, also broke the 17-pound mark with five fish for 17.48 pounds. Cruz, who has not fished Federation point events for the past few years marked his return to the competition in a big way. For second place, Cruz received $1,000.

The third place Boater Division finisher also broke the 17-pound mark, with 17.05 pounds. Brian Calloway, of the Big D Valley Bassmasters, brought that weight to the scales which placed him just above the fourth place finisher and earned him the third place $775 Boater Division prize.

With all the bigger fish weighed in at the top of the Boater Division, it was a slight surprise that the lunker fish for the Division was not caught by one of the top finishers. Rather, the lunker winning 5.31 pound largemouth was caught by Keith Kurpicki of the Warren County Bassmasters. He received $125 for his Boater Division winning lunker.

Co-Angler Division
The Co-Angler Division was a grind as many anglers found the larger 15-inch fish needed reluctant to bite. Regardless, several anglers weighed in solid fish and the winning Co-Angler brought in three fish weighing 8.91 pounds, enough to win the Division by nearly one and one-half pounds.
The Co-Angler winner, Donny Diggs, fishing as a member of the Quickfire Bass- masters, not only had the winning overall weight, he also had the Co-Angler Division winning 5.11 pound largemouth. For the victory, Diggs received the minimum guaranteed one-day Co-Angler first prize of $1,250. He also received an additional $100 for his Co-Angler Division lunker.

Finishing a relatively distant second place was Diggs’ Quickfire club mate, Mike Wotanowski. Wotanowski only managed two keeper-sized fish on the day but his 7.48 pounds was enough to capture the second place prize of $425.

The third place Co-Angler, Kevin Collins, a TBF Affiliate, also brought two fish to the scales, weighing 7.06 pounds. Collins received $250.


Miscellaneous Notes
1. Only five anglers brought five fish limits to the scales and 90 fish totaling over 295 pounds were weighed in. The per fish average weight was an impressive 3.28 pounds. All fish were released alive.
2. As winners of the event, Jason Orecchio and Donny Diggs are eligible to compete at New Jersey’s District 15 2017 TBF National Semi-Final event so long as they compete in the remaining two Federation events.
3. By virtue of being the highest placing eligible Ranger Boat owner in the event, Mike Rinaldi will receive $250 in Ranger Cup bonus money.

May 25


Submitted by: Nick Angiulo

The annual New Jersey Bass Federation’s Team Tournament pits the top six anglers from each participating New Jersey Bass Fed- eration club against one another in a two-day, cumulative weight event, and the event routinely brings New Jersey’s best bass anglers out to compete. Aside from the team portion of the event, where the top four teams received cash prizes, the top five individuals received cash prizes and the top five anglers in each division (Boater/Co-Angler) qualified to advance to the 2017 District 15 TBF National Semi-Final.

The May 18 and 19, 2017 installment was marked by firsts. This event, held under unseasonably hot conditions, produced first time winners in both the team and individual portions. Aside from the weather, the biggest challenge facing the participants was the unusually stingy biting bigger fish that live in the Northern Chesapeake Bay and its numerous rivers, creeks and tributaries. Blame could be most likely attributed to the tremendously varying early spring whether which left the fish in limbo between pre- and post-spawn. Regardless, many anglers found and caught numerous 15-inch plus bass to make the event an over- all success.
Team Portion

This year’s winning team, the Big D Valley Bassmasters, has been to every Team Tournament since it became eligible as a club in 2001. According to Nick Angiulo, its only remaining founding member, the club has come close on several occasions to winning the event but had just fallen short. Not this season! Rather, this year’s team put together an impressive performance leading from wire-to-wire marked by each angler from the squad catching at least one fish
each day, a feat that proved uncommonly difficult in this event. Moreover, the club nearly made it a sweep of all the top prizes as its top Boater, Ryan McGinty, with 33.26 pounds, just barely missed taking first overall and the club’s top Co-Angler, Kevin Kelly, with 25.69 pounds, was the top overall Co-Angler. The club’s Day 1 weight of 56.69 pounds gave it an 11-pound lead over its nearest competitors. While that sounds like a safe margin, in a body of water with so many big fish, no lead is safe. Evidence of that is the fact that two fish over six pounds (including Kevin Kelly’s 6.81 pounder) and seven other fish over five pounds were weighed in on Day 1. Rather than rest on its laurels, the squad put together an even more solid Day 2, improving their daily weight to 62.01 pounds for an overall total of 118.70 pounds and a nearly 13-pound victory. Aside from McGinty and Kelly, the team comprised of the following members: Nick Angiulo – 19.95 pounds; Glenn Savino – 15.89 pounds; Dexter Marshall – 13.01 pounds; and Bruce Stearn – 10.90 pounds.

Standing l/r – Bruce Stearn, Nick Angiulo, Glenn Savino, Dexter Marshall. Kneeling l/r – Ryan McGinty, Kevin Kell

According to Angiulo, who has fished in every one of the last 17 Team Tournaments, he is sure that the club’s other founding member and longtime Federation Board Member, Bruce Stovall, who passed away a few years ago, is somewhere looking down with pride and a wide smile on his face.

Taking second place was the Quickfire Bassmasters with 105.98 pounds. The team was led by Federation Executive Officer Jason Orecchio with 33.21 pounds. He was followed by Donny Diggs with 22.90 pounds, Brian Calloway with 22.58 pounds, Dan Schoneveld with 11.73 pounds, Brian Snow- man with 9.91 pounds and Matt Stark with 6.05 pounds. Finishing in third place was the Blazin Bass chapter with 91.36 pounds. This team was led by overall winner and Federation President Mike Keller with 33.76 pounds. He was followed by Darren Pincus with 24.48 pounds, Dan McGarry with 17.05 pounds, Sean Loll with 8.95 pounds, Art Vitale with 5.55 pounds and Joe Fleischman with 2.37 pounds.

Mike Keller with two solid fish

Individual Portion

Taking over the challenge of being the Federation President is a formidable task. To be able to do that and continue to fish at a high level is truly impressive. That’s exactly what this year’s overall individual winner of the event has done. New 2017 Federation President, Mike Keller, put together two consecutive consistent days to win the individual side of the Team Tournament for the first time. Keller’s amazing consistency gave him a very slim 0.50-pound margin of victory. On Day 1, Keller posted a 16.84-pound limit, placing him in fifth place almost two pounds off the lead. However, his nearly identical 16.92-pound Day 2 limit was enough to overtake those ahead of him and win the individual side of the event.

As mentioned above, the Day 1 leader, Ryan McGinty, fell just short as he never could catch his fifth fish on Day 2 which would have given him the victory.
Below are the top five individual finishers who received cash prizes: 1ST – Mike Keller – Blazin Bass – 33.76 lbs. 2ND – Ryan McGinty – Big D – 33.26 lbs. 3RD – Dan Goykhman – East Coast – 33.22 lbs. 4TH – Jason Orecchio – Quickfire – 33.21 lbs. 5TH – Kevin Kelly – Big D – 25.69 lbs.

Top three finishers l/r – Dan Goykhman; Mike Keller; Ryan McGinty

Additionally, the top five anglers in each division (Boater/Co-Angler) qualified to ad- vance to the 2017 District 15 TBF National Semi-Final. Those individuals are as follows:

Boater Division Co-Angler Division Mike Keller Kevin Kelly Ryan McGinty Donny Diggs Dan Goykhman Greg Trass Jason Orecchio Mike Lee John Erickson Frank Garcia

Tournament Notes
While this event did not produce the large weights that are possible on the Northern Chesapeake Bay in the spring, the results were nonetheless impressive. In this regard, the 61 anglers weighed in 242 fish over the two days. The total weight for the event was 822 pounds, with a hefty per fish average of 3.39 pounds.
Special thanks to all the anglers who volunteered to help the Tournament Staff before, during and after the event. It is sincerely appreciated.

May 23

Susquehanna Team Tournament

May 17


Tournament Procedures & Pairings for the Northern Chesapeake tournament May 21


May 04

Team Tournament Procedures – Flats

Team Tournament Procedures – 2017 Team Tournament – Flats

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