By Jack Danchak
HIGHLAND LAKE August 30, 2002 The Sullivan County Bass Association fished its 11th bass tournament of the year on Highland Lake this past Monday evening. At the 6 p.m. launch time there were quite a few sunbathers and swimmers at Pete Fincks Sand Beach Bar and Restaurant and a few waterskiers on the lake.
As the sun began to set in the west, everyone disappeared and we had the lake to ourselves. Speaking of a sunset, this evening was one to behold. The cloud coverage and the many colors of red, pink, blue, purple and white were just magnificent and it was surely a post-card picture sunset.
After five hours of competitive bass fishing, at weigh-in the Bass Association members brought 37 bass to the scale for total weight of 53 lbs., 15 oz. Andy Parsons of North Branch won the tourney with a limit of five bass for 7 lbs., 12 oz. Andy said he was using a 7-inch Floatin-worm in chewin gum pink color to catch three bass and a white double-bladed spinnerbait to catch the other two. Andy is currently in sixth place in the standings for the year with 30 bass for 56 lbs., 6 oz.
Mike Paciga of Jeffersonville took second place honors by catching a limit of five bass for 7 lbs., 9 oz. and his heaviest bass tipped the scale at 2 lbs., 15 oz. Mike said he caught all his bass on a 6-inch black-colored worm. Mike is currently in fifth place in the standings with 36 bass for 61 pounds.
Butch Stungis of Bethel took third place with a limit of five bass for 6 lbs., 6 oz. Butch said he used a worm, a tube jig and a buzzbait to catch his fish. Butch is currently in third place in the standings with 38 bass for 61 lbs., 13 oz.
Jack Danchak took fourth place with three bass for 6 lbs., 4 oz. including the lunker bass of the tourney, a 3 lbs., 11 oz. largemouth. Jack said he used a worm and a floating from to catch his bass. He is currently in second place in the standings with 32 bass for 62 lbs., 11 oz.
Bill Danchak of Bethel took fifth place with four bass for 5 lbs., 15 oz. Bill said he used a worm and a buzzbait to catch his fish. Bills catch has put him in first place in the standings with 38 bass for 64 lbs., 13 oz.
The boat with the heaviest weight went to Andy Parson and Jody Hunt, they caught seven bass for total weight of 9 lbs., 15 oz.
After 11 tournaments, the Bass Association members have caught 398 bass for 700 lbs., 13 oz. They are 95 bass and 168 lbs. ahead of last year at this same time. Bill Danchak is the new leader with 64 lbs., 13 oz., Andy Parsons is leading with the lunker largemouth for the year, 7 lb., 2 oz. and Mike Paciga has the heaviest smallmouth, 3 lb., 14 oz.
This is the tightest and closest race for first place the Bass Association has had in quite a few years. Anyone of the top six contenders have a chance to become the Associations 2002 Angler of the Year.
The Bass Association will not be fishing next Monday, September 2, which is Labor Day. They will take a week off and come back on Monday, September 9 on Lake Huntington.
The top ten in the standings after 11 tournaments are:
Bill Danchak 64.13
Jack Danchak 62.11
Butch Stungis 61.13
Gary Davitt 61.8
Mike Paciga 61.0
Andy Parsons 56.6
Keith Manzolillo 44.12
Jim Blackwell 44.4
Chet Stungis Sr. 40.3
Frank DiCostanzo 36.12
Happy 33rd Birthday Billy, love mom and dad.