Fristik Pulls Out A Big Win On Lake Oneida
BREWERTON, N.Y. – Henry J. Fristik came from behind with a big bag on the final day to win the Boater Division of the American Bass Anglers Open Series, Presented by Caymas Boats, 2-day Area 9 Championship, held Sept. 24-25, 2022, on Oneida Lake.
Fristik from Blandford, Mass. finished the event with a perfect 2-day 10 bass limit for 40.26 pounds. That gave him a 4.03-pound average and a victory by slightly more than one pound.
On the first day, Fristik held second among the 22 boaters. He caught his 5-bass daily tournament limit for 19.96 pounds, the fourth-largest single-day sack of the tournament. He anchored that bag with a 4.31-pound kicker. On the second day, Fristik came on strong, landing 20.30 pounds, the third largest single-day sack of the event.
“I threw an Alabama Rig the entire time,” the new champ reported. “I knew that at this time of year, I’d get into the top five that way. I had one spot that worked well for me in the past and the fish were stacked up there. I caught 21 fish in that spot on the first day. On the second day, I unloaded on them. I had a limit and started culling by 8:15 a.m.”
Jody D. White from Shaftsbury, Vt. held a slim lead on opening day, but dropped to second on Day 2. He finished with a 10-bass limit going 39.04 pounds. White landed 20.86 pounds on the first day, the second largest single-day sack brought to the scales. He capped that catch with a 4.63-pounder. On the second day, White brought in another limit for 18.18 pounds.
“I fished all over the lake except for the far eastern end,” White detailed. “I caught my fish on an umbrella rig or a Carolina rig in nine to 12 feet of water. I had about three bass in the box by 11 a.m. both days and caught more later in the day.”
Ted Peck from Stone Ridge, N.Y. finished third with 10 bass at 38.06 pounds. He also landed the biggest bass caught by a boater at five pounds. Peck sat in fifth place on Day 1 with 16.54 pounds. On the final day, Peck pulled in 21.52 pounds, the heaviest single-day sack caught in the event. His 5-pounder anchored that bag.
“I was fishing the far end of the lake and caught the big one on an Alabama Rig in 10 feet of water at about 9 a.m.” Peck recalled. “The fish were leaving deep water and coming shallow. We caught wave after wave after wave of fish. We caught 40 fish on the final day. We had an awesome trip.”
Occupying fourth place throughout the event, John Paul Pelletier from Castleton, N.Y. landed 10 keepers for 36.63 pounds. On the first day, Pelletier found five bass for 18.69 pounds with a 4.49-pound kicker. On Day 2, he brought in five more for 17.94 pounds, including a 4.91-pounder, the second largest bass caught by any boater.
Rounding out the top five boaters, Brett G. Carnright from Plattsburgh, N.Y. finished with 10 bass going 35.94 pounds. On Day 1, he held third place with 19.37 pounds including a 4.54-pound kicker. He landed 16.57 pounds on the final day.
In the Co-Angler Division, Chuck J. Vacant of Penn Yan, N.Y. brought in two consecutive 3-bass daily division limits for 24.75 pounds. Vacant beat his nearest competitor by more than seven pounds and finished with a 2.47-pound average.
Vacant led both days. On the first day, he found three keepers at 11.69 pounds with a 4.25-pounder kicker. On the second day, Vacant upped his game and brought in 13.06 pounds, the largest single-day sack caught by a co-angler in the tournament. He topped that bag with a 4.92-pounder, the third largest bass weighed by any co-angler.
“We fished the mid-lake area and dragged a Carolina rig tipped with a green pumpkin creature bait through 10 feet of water,” Vacant advised. “That’s how I caught all my fish.”
Taking second place for the co-anglers, Matt B. Belmore from Indian Lake, N.Y. held that position both days. He finished with a perfect 2-day limit of six bass going 17.52 pounds.
Just 1.6 ounces off the lead, Belmore held second on Day 1 with 11.59 pounds. He capped that catch with a 4.90-pounder, the largest bass weighed on the first day of the tournament. He added 5.93 pounds on the final day.
“I chucked a 3/8-ounce clear-gray and green flake spinnerbait for two days,” Belmore reported. “That’s all I did. We fished both ends of the lake. On the second day, we went to the other end and had no bites. We came back up within a mile of the marina and caught all my fish.”
In third for the co-anglers, Jack F. Adams from Wynantskill, N.Y. brought in four keepers for 15.95 pounds. He caught two fish each day, landing 6.31 pounds on the first day to hold sixth place. He found 9.64 pounds on the second day with a 4.73-pound kicker to move up three slots.
Todd M. Holmes of Pike, N.Y. stayed in fourth place for the co-anglers throughout the event. He landed a total of five bass going 15.33 pounds. On Day 1, he found a 3-bass daily division limit for 10.64 pounds with a 3.81-pound kicker. On the second day, Holmes caught two bass at 4.69 pounds.
Finishing in fifth for the co-anglers, Andrew R. Pruitt of Utica, N.Y. brought in four keepers for 14.91 pounds with one 4.36-pounder. Pruitt held seventh place on the first day with two bass at 5.99 pounds including a 3.51-pound kicker. On the final day, he found 8.92 pounds.
Rudy J. Staab from Roxbury, N.Y. finished eighth among the co-anglers with three bass going 11.85 pounds. One fish weighed 5.01 pounds, giving Staab the tournament lunker title by just 0.01 pounds.
“I caught the big bass on an Alabama Rig down past the island,” Staab said. “We fished there earlier and then left the spot for a while. When we came back, the big one was the first fish I caught.”
The New York Division 23 anglers launched at Oneida Shores Park in Brewerton, N.Y. For more information about this tournament, call Tournament Director Jeff Randall at (256) 777-6152.
American Bass Anglers is sponsored by Caymas Boats, Mercury Marine, T-H Marine, Garmin Electronics, Power Pole, Lucas Oil, RT Outdoors, Sportsman Card, Optima Batteries, Hotel Planner.com, and LurePartsOnline.com.
About American Bass Anglers: American Bass Anglers is committed to providing low-cost, close-to-home tournaments for the weekend angler and, at the same time, offering each competitor an upward path for individual angler progression.
For more information about American Bass Anglers, the Open Series, the American Fishing Tour, the American Couples Series, the annual Military Team Bass Tournament, and the Top 150 Solo Tour, all presented by Caymas Boats, visit www.americanbassanglers.com or call (256) 232-0406
This story was written by ABA staff writer John N. Felsher. To submit articles of interest email email@example.com.
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