Shinichi Fukae Takes the Lead as the Field is Cut to Top 50

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Gusty winds and pouring rain on  Day 2 of the CITGO Bassmaster Northern Open on Oneida Lake didn’t stop Japanese angler Shinichi Fukae from pulling a limit of 15 pounds, 8 ounces of smallmouth bass to overtake first place in the three-day event.  

“Today was very tough … I hate the wind,” said Fukae, with his wife’s help translating. “The water was muddy and it scattered the fish. I spent my time (fishing) at an 8-foot ledge almost all day.”  

Fukae fished the south shore using Yamamoto tubes. He looked for the shallow bite in the morning, gradually moving towards the lake’s center. He had four fish at 3 p.m. and caught another two in the last hour.  

Two-time CITGO Bassmaster Classic qualifier and professional angler Chris Daves of Hopewell, Va., pulled in a five-fish limit of 14 pounds, 12 ounces, bringing his total to 30-5 and trailing Fukae by less than 1 pound. Daves was targeting schooling fish near small rock piles and weedy humps.  

Current Bassmaster Northern Open points leader Frank Scalish of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, was the biggest mover of the day, jumping from 40th to third with a whopping 16 pounds, 4 ounces of smallmouth bass and bringing his total to 29-1.  

“It was ironic about the place today,” said Scalish. “I went to this spot in practice and caught 25 bass, but none bigger than a pound and a half. Today I went back and they were all much bigger.”  

Due to the constant wind gusts, Scalish burned out his trolling motor battery early in the day. To maintain his positioning, he used a drift sock and ran parallel to the banks fishing around weedy humps and boulders.  

Syracuse local Randy Yager finished in fourth with a total of 28-7 and Joey Rodrigues of Danbury, Conn., rounded out the top five with total of 28 pounds.  

Non-boater Peter Dirado of Holland, N.Y. took over the lead with a total weight of 25-5. He was followed by Johnson City, N.Y. resident Don McCarver with 24-6 and Steven Brinster from Highland Lakes, N.J. with 23-12.  

The top 50 boaters and non-boaters advance to compete on Day 3 tomorrow.  

Also on Saturday, the Salt City Bassmasters will host a CastingKids competition for youngsters ages 7-10 and 11-14 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Oneida Shores Park.  

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