Saturday the 12th of January brought on the first leg of VTSportsman Tournament series. This series has grown over the years and each event gets bigger and better thanks to the great effort put forth by Scott Blair and James Vladyka.
The first event was originally scheduled for Dillenbach bay but lack of ice forced the directors to move it to a safer location, Mallets Bay in Colchester Vermont. Along with a location change there was also a slight rule change. Fishermen were now fishing for 12 fish, only Bluegill and Pumpkinseed as opposed to the normal 6 fish, 3 crappie 3 bluegill/sunfish. Word on the street was that the big seed bite was good early in the week but high fishing pressure caused them to scatter making them very difficult to fish on tournament day.
49 Fishermen were greeted by standing water on top of 6-7 inches of ice. Fishing was slow to say the least, that is until you put away your electronics. The weeds were so think in the bay that it was literally impossible to use your electronics in every hole. We fished in about 10 feet of water and 6 feet of that was thick weeds. It didn’t take long for the seasoned fishermen to put away the electronics and just fish. The big fish were also hard to come by. Most anglers found success jigging close to the bottom, but getting to the bottom was tough to do. Heavier Tungsten jigs seemed to allow you to get the jig through the weeds and to the fish. Once you found a hole that produced some fish, no matter what size, it was in your best interest to sit them out.
Fish weights varied as anglers had a tough time changing their ways. Here are the results of the top five and big fish.
2013 Vermont Sportsman Hardwater Tournament Series
Stop One: Mallets Bay, Colchester VT
Position Name Weight (lbs) Points
1 Andrew Robinson 6.25 625
2 Ricky Doyle 5.93 593
3 Steve Bannon 5.87 587
4 Andy Silovich 5.83 583
5 Sonny Mingo 5.80 580
Big Fish: Cindy Doyle 0.87 lbs (Pumpkin Seed)
Total Weight: 140.4 Pounds
Average Fish Size: 5.7 Ounces/ 0.36 Pounds
Total 12 Fish Limits: 28
Average Weight of 12 Fish limit: 4.41 Pounds
Average Weight of Fish: 5.88 Ounces/ 0.27 Pounds
Largest 12 Fish Limit: 6.25 Pounds
Average Weight of Fish: 8.3 Ounces/ 0.52 Pounds
Smallest 12 Fish Limit: 2.15 Pounds
Average Weight of Fish: 2.86 Ounces/0.17 Pounds
This is what a tournament day looks like when cramped on a small fishable area with an even smaller school of fish!
This was one of the first times that either of us caught a crappie and it disappointed us.