The Columbus Bassmasters, Part 2

The Columbus (OH) Bassmasters have recently completed the middle portion of their tournament schedule with visits to Clear Fork Reservoir, Lake Erie, and Knox Lake.  The tournament standings are tightly bunched, with many members of the club still in contention for the point’s championship.

In early June, the club made its way to Clear Fork in Richland and Morrow Counties near Mansfield, Ohio.  The lake is nearly one thousand acres, and has a reputation as one of the best “big” bass and muskellunge lakes in Ohio.  In all, 16 members of the club fished the event and 15 of them weighed in a fish. The tourney was won by Ralph Ward who caught a limit of fish in excess of twelve pounds.  Ward was the only member of the club who got on a big fish bite.  Second place was taken by Scott Buzinski.  Buzinski was also able to catch a limit, but his topwater bite only produced six and three-quarters pounds.  Jim Goodwin finished in third place with four fish and just over six and a half pounds.  Other members of the club weighing in fish were: Rod Russell, Rob Doughty, Gary Shepherd, Dan Campbell, Bob Pharris, Eric Huber, Jay Bucci, Terry Hall, Will Presley, Jr., Dave Sprow, Greg Gayer, and Blaise Johnston.

The club next ventured to one of its two-day tournaments at Lake Erie.  The club usually arrives on Friday night, and stays at Bayshore Estates in Sandusky, Ohio for the weekend.  The club is permitted to trailer to any launch ramp it desires, but was required to weigh-in at the Huron River ramp. The first day of tournament action was marked by a sunny, nearly windless day on the lake.  The lake performs better on days where there is some wave and current action.  First place honors on the first day of the tourney go to Terry Hall who brought in 4 fish that weighed nearly nine pounds.  Second place was taken by Gary Shepherd whose three fish weighed almost eight pounds.  Third place was taken by Eric Huber who weighed in four largemouth bass and just over seven and a half pounds.  Other anglers weighing in fish on the first day included: Jay Bucci, Jim Goodwin, Dan Campbell, and Rob Doughty.

The second day of the tourney was marked by clear skies but more wind.  The increasing winds helped bring in more fish from the main lake.  First place went to Rod Russell, who weighed in a mixed bag of largemouth bass from East Harbor and smallmouth bass from the Bass Islands.  Russell’s limit weighed in at nearly 15 pounds.  Finishing just slightly behind in second place was Jay Bucci.  Bucci, weighing in a limit of smallmouth bass, finished just .29 pounds behind Russell.  Third place honors went to Bob Pharris, who weighed in 4 fish that weighed nearly fourteen pounds.  Pharris trailered to Lorain and caught smallmouth on the main lake.  Other club members who weighed in fish on the second day included: Travis Fleischer, Will Presley, Jr., Gary Shepherd, Eric Huber, Terry Hall, Rob Doughty, Rennie Holland, Dan Campbell, Tony Roy, and Jim Goodwin. 

The club recently visited Knox Lake for the first night tournament in club history.  The club usually spends August preparing for state tournament action, but voted last year to fish a night tourney.  Knox Lake is a small six-hundred acre lake north of Columbus that is managed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources as a quality largemouth bass fishery.  The lake carries an eighteen-inch slot limit, and everything less than eighteen inches must be returned to the lake unharmed immediately.  Though the thirteen members of the club reported success at catching fish, none of the competitors were able to land a fish over eighteen inches.

The club has three tournaments remaining on its 2006 schedule.  Special mention go out to Jim Goodwin, who will participate in his second straight State Qualifying Tournament on Indian Lake on the weekend of the 19th and 20th of August.  Good Luck Jim!!!  The club standings through the Knox Lake tournament are listed below. 

1.Rod Russell 433 points
2. Gary Shepherd 404 points
3. Dan Campbell 380 points
4. Eric Huber 367 points
5. Rob Doughty 352 points
6. Jay Bucci 326 points
7. Jim Goodwin 344 points
8. Will Presley, Jr. 300 points
9. Terry Hall 278 points
10. Dave Sprow 247 points
11. Scott Buzinski 245 points
12. Ralph Ward 207 points
13. Greg Gayer 188 points
14. Bob Pharris 184 points
15. Darren Adams 170 points
16. Travis Fleischer 151 points
17. Rennie Holland 147 points
18. Mark Starkey 118 points
19. Blaise Johnston 116 points
20. Tony Roy 71 points
21.Kevin Haas 25 points
21. Sean Wright 25 points

Eric Huber is a member of the Ultimate Bass editorial staff and the Columbus Bassmasters.  

Eric Huber (Warpath)

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