Largemouth, Smallmouth Expected to Hit the Scales

What’s at stake:  $322,021 in total prize money, plus 25 berths into the CITGO Bassmaster Open Championship. The top five boaters at the Open Championship will earn berths into the CITGO Bassmaster Classic.  

The Pros Said It  

“Right now, it’s like fishing a whole new lake. The water temperature is 74 degrees and the fish are all still on their summer pattern. I don’t think they’ll be quite as schooled up (like 2003), which means you’ll have to hunt for them a lot more.” – Art Ferguson, CITGO Bassmaster Open winner on Oneida Lake in 2003, 40, St Clair Shores, Mich.  

“The water is a lot cleaner and the grass is deeper (than 2003) so the fish are scattered. I can catch one or two on one spot instead of 20 like before. I think the guys are going to have to move around a lot to catch the fish ... somebody’s going to have to hunt down a big one.” – Kenyon Hill, 41, Norman, Okla.  

“Bottom line: Anytime we get into the northeast in the fall, the fishing’s awesome. The fish are beginning the fall feed where they eat like crazy and get fat before winter. You can catch fish anywhere, but you’re trying to be real selective on the caliber fish you’re catching. (The lake) is going to have a pattern to catch a limit quick and then go for some bigger bites.” – Michael Iaconelli, 33, Woodbury Heights, N.J.  

“I’ve been searching new water and leaving some of my old spots alone because I’m pretty confident I can go back (to them) and do all right. Depending on what I find the next two days, I’m going to do a milk run. Just run from one spot to the next using search baits, unless I a find spot that’s really holding a lot of fish. ” – Eric Barker, 35, East Syracuse, N.Y.    

The Strategy  

Ferguson: Ferguson is looking for rock piles and grass beds using his Lowrance GPS system. He is drop shoting Senkos and working mizmo tubes on a provider jighead inside and outside grass edges along the bottom.  

Hill: Hill is fishing along grass lines trying to catch a limit of smallmouth between 12-14 pounds and then adjusting his strategy to hunt down largemouth. He’s covering a lot of water using a Carolina Rig and watermelon Zoom! Super Fluke.  

Iaconelli: Iaconelli’s putting his trolling motor on high, covering a lot of water and using search lures and power fishing to identify some key areas. He’s making about 2,000 casts a day using Berkley vanish flour carbon line because the water is extremely clear and he’s looking for areas where the fish are moving for the fall feed.  

Barker: Barker is looking for a reaction bite using search baits in 10-13 feet of water. He’s using a variety of lures including jerkbaits, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, tubes and jigs. Once he gets a strike, he’ll slow down his fishing to evaluate the area is like and figure out what the fish are biting.  

Location and Field CITGO Bassmaster Northern Open            Oneida Lake Brewerton, NY Sep. 15-17, 2005  

Field Cut to 50 after Day 2

Launch 9400 Bartell Rd. Brewerton, N.Y. 13029         6:30 a.m.

Weigh-in 9400 Bartell Rd. Brewerton, N.Y. 13029 2:30 p.m.    

Previous BASS events
2003 New York CITGO Northern Bassmaster Open      

       Previous winners on lake
32.9, Art Ferguson, 2003

Heaviest winning sack
32.9, Art Ferguson, 2003

Lowest winning sack
32.9, Art Ferguson, 2003    

Weather Temperature 85 degrees

Lake Level 371 feet  

CITGO Bassmaster Northern Open Points Leaders   1. Frank Scalish         Ohio          557   2. Ed Allen              Ohio          545   3. Mike Desforges        Canada        544   4. Paul Hirosky          Pa.           540   5. Rodney Sorrell        N.C.          538   6. David Smith           Okla.         521   7. Ryan Hawthorne        Conn.         497   8. Art Ferguson III      Mich.         486   9. Rick Morris           Va.           483  10. Lawren Wetzel         Canada        466  10. Bill Lowen            Ohio          466  10. Steven Clapper        Ohio          466  

CITGO Bassmaster Open Schedule

Central Open Division May 5-7           Sam Rayburn             Jasper, Texas Sept. 29-Oct. 1   Lake Norfork            Mountain Home, Ark. Nov. 10-12        Red River               Natchitoches , La.  

Northern Open Division July 14-16        Lake Erie               Sandusky, Ohio Aug. 11-13        Lake Champlain          Plattsburgh, NY. Sept. 15-17       Oneida Lake             Syracuse, NY  

Southern Open Division June 23-25        West Point Lake         Lanett, Ala. Sept. 22-24       Lake Guntersville       Guntersville, Ala. Oct. 27-29        Lake Tohopekliga        Kissimmee, Fla.  

Western Open Division May 26-28         California Delta WaterwayBethel Island, Calif. Oct. 13-15        Clear Lake              Lakeport, Calif. Nov. 17-19        Lake Shasta             Shasta Lake, Calif.  

Local sponsors: Syracuse Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce.  

Bassmaster Northern Open sponsors: CITGO Petroleum Corp., Toyota, Busch Beer, Purolator, Triton Boats, Mercury Marine, Berkley, Lowrance Electronics, MotorGuide, Bass Pro Shops and Cialis (tadalafil).  

BASS is the worldwide authority on bass fishing, sanctioning more than 20,000 events through the BASS Federation annually. Guided by its mission to serve all fishing fans, BASS sets the standard for credibility, professionalism, sportsmanship and conservation, as it has for nearly 40 years.  

  BASS stages bass fishing tournaments for every skill level and culminates with the CITGO Bassmaster Classic. Through its clubs, youth programs, aquatic resource advocacy, magazine publishing and multimedia platforms, BASS offers the industry's widest array of services and support to its nearly 550,000 members. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla. 

  For more information, contact BASS Communications at (407) 566-2208 or visit