The 2020 New Jersey Bass Federation tournament season was anything but normal, with the pandemic making things challenging on many levels.

While the Federation did have to cancel its annual open buddy event, it managed to hold its usual 3 point events with modifications, due to an early-season postponement. Nevertheless, the coveted Angler of the Year prizes in both the Boater and Co-Angler Divisions went down to literally the final anglers at the final weigh-in.


Capturing his first-ever Boater Division Angler of the Year was Donny Diggs of the Quickfire Bassmasters. Diggs was remarkably consistent through all three events. Starting on the Northern Chesapeake, Diggs posted a fourth place finish. He followed that up with a seventh-place finish on Lake Hopatcong. He sealed the deal on the Delaware River where he finished a close second.

Second place in the Boater Division, only four points behind Diggs was Manny Cruz of the United Bass Anglers. The highlight of his season was his impressive victory at the Northern Chesapeake Bay event.

Just behind Cruz in third place was Derick Olson of the Quickfire Bassmasters. Olson’s best finish was his victory in the season’s last event on the Delaware River.


The saying “It ain’t over until the fat lady sings” held true in the Co-Angler Division as no less than 5 anglers were in position to take the Co-Angler of the Year award going into the Delaware River event.

When the dust settled in this battle of attrition, the Big D Valley Bassmasters’ Joe Venuto came out on top. Venuto started his season with a fourth place finish on the Northern Chesapeake Bay, followed by a fifth place finish on Lake Hopatcong. Saving the best for last, while other Co-Anglers faltered, Venuto finished in second place on the Delaware River to catapult his way to the top of the standings.

Just behind in second position was Joe Sodora of the Blazin Bass chapter. Sodora was also consistent in all three events, posting sixth, fourth and fourth-place finishes, respectively.

Third place Co-Angler was Mike Wotanowski of the Warren County Bassmasters. Wotanowski posted a victory on the Northern Chesapeake Bay and a second place on Lake Hopatcong


The Boater Division Rookie of the Year was Dave Williams of the Quickfire Bassmasters who finished in eighth place overall in that Division.

The Co-Angler Division Rookie of the Year was Mason Bell of the Big D Valley Bassmasters who finished in fourth place in that Division.

Attached are the overall results by Division for all anglers.


We would like to sincerely thank all who participated during this difficult time.