Submitted by: Nick Angiulo
Candlewood Lake is unknown to much of the bass fishing community outside of the Northeast. However, those of us lucky enough to live in proximity to the lake know it is one of the premier lakes in the country for catching mixed bags of largemouth and smallmouth bass. It is for that reason that the New Jersey Bass Federation (NJBF) re-turned to the lake on June 17 and 18 for a two-day event. As with all NJBF two-day events, the first prizes in both the Boater and Co-Angler Division were enhanced to $2,500 and $1,750, respectively, and the points awarded were multiplied by 1.5 times. With that in mind, 48 anglers took to the waters in mostly overcast conditions on both days and found the fishing good for both numbers and size.
The Boater Division was dominated by Bill Selawsky, Jr. Selawsky, Jr., a member of the Essex County Bassmasters came to the scales on Day 1 with the largest limit of the entire event, 17.86 pounds, to establish a one-pound lead and never looked back. His Day 1 weight included two five pound large-mouth, with the larger fish, a 5.19 pounder, taking the Boater Division lunker. His Day 2 limit pushed his overall weight to 32.95 pounds, enough to win the Boater Division by over three pounds. For the victory, Sel-awsky, Jr. received the Boater Division guar-anteed first prize of $2,500 and an additional $150 for his Boater Division lunker.
Finishing second was Selawsky’s club-mate, John McAloney. McAloney showed that consistency pays off in multi-day events as he posted weights of 14.67 pounds on Day 1 and 15.25 pounds on Day 2. His two-day total of 29.92 pounds took the second spot by almost three quarters of a pound over the third place angler. McAloney received $925 for second place.
The third place Boater Division finisher took a different path. Nick Angiulo, of the Big D Valley Bassmasters, was mired in 15TH place after Day 1 with only 12.18 pounds. However, he produced the largest limit of Day 2 weighing 17.01 pounds, rocketing him up to the third place spot in the Boater Div-ision. For that finish, Angiulo received $495.
The Co-Angler Division was a highly com-petitive affair, but at the end of Day 2, the most consistent angler easily captured the top spot.
The first-time NJBF Co-Angler winner, Brian Snowman, a member of the Quickfire Bassmasters, posted two of the largest limits each day to capture the Co-Angler first prize by over four pounds. Snowman started with a solid Day 1 limit of 13.75 pounds, placing him just out of the top spot. However, when added to his Day 2 limit of 14.21 pounds, his 27.96 pounds easily eclipsed all of the other anglers in that Division. For the victory, Snowman received the guaranteed Co-Angler first prize of $1,750.
Finishing a distant second place was Ben Dain, a TBF Affiliate. Dain was leading aft-er his Day 1 limit of 13.79 pounds but could only manage 9.99 pounds on Day 2. Never-theless, Dain’s overall weight of 23.78 pounds was enough to capture the second place prize of $725.