Jersey offshore - Major League Fishing
Jersey offshore
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Jersey offshore

Zapf and Voss stay deep to maintain Ramapo's lead at Northern Regional
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Another limit catch kept Ramapo College's Jeff Voss and Joseph Zapf on top with a 5 1/2-pound lead. Photo by David A. Brown. Anglers: Jeffrey Voss, Joseph Zapf.
September 2, 2011 • David A. Brown • Abu Garcia College Fishing

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – They’re young, they’re fabulous, they’re the pride of New Jersey, they’re… No, look, enough with Snooki and “The Situation” – we’re talking about Jeff Voss and Joseph Zapf, the Ramapo College duo that just extended their lead in the FLW National Guard College Fishing Series Northern Regional Championship on Sayers Lake.

After topping the field with an impressive first-day weight of 12-10, Voss and Zapf sacked up the only limit of day two, added 9 pounds, 4 ounces and built a 5-pound, 8-ounce margin as they head intoJoseph Zapf hoists a nice smallmouth as his Ramapo College fishing partner Jeff Voss looks on.  Saturday’s finale with a total weight of 21-14.

Like day one, the leaders kept their bait specifics vague, but Voss said that he and his partner started the day by splitting bait duties – one with reaction lures, the other with plastics on the bottom.

“Yesterday, it was more reaction baits, but today, it was a little slower and on the bottom with plastics,” Voss said. “We definitely whittled it down to one tactic and it just panned out and we started pounding on them.

“We have four spots we’re running to and we catch a fish to see how big it is. Normally, with smallmouth, if you catch one, they’re all about the same size. So we go look until we find the right size Fifth-place Bob Rieder and Charles Danza applaud their Ramapo College teammates Joseph Zapf Jeff Voss. and normally, there will be more with it.”

The leaders said they fished both ends of the lake – near the dam and Bald Eagle Creek – where smallies are most likely to roam. They’re targeting isolated rock structure in 12-14 feet.

“We have some offshore spots and we’re fishing really slowly,” Zapf said. “We just have to wait for the timing and once the fish are there, they’re there and we can catch a lot in a hurry. We caught more fish, but the size wasn’t there. We were catching a lot of fish and we know there are more there for tomorrow. Yesterday, we caught maybe six or seven keepers. Today we caught probably 15.”

Voss and Zapf caught fish throughout the day. They had a limit by 9 a.m. and had their day’s weight by 11:30.

Fairmont holding at second

Fairmont State University’s Wil Dieffenbauch and Brent Dodrill entered day two in second place afterAlthough their day-two weight was half of what they caught on day one, Fairmont State catching a day-one limit of 10-14. Today’s slower bite dropped their productivity to half their first day’s weight, but their 3-fish bag of 5-8 gave them a two-day total of 16-6 and kept them in the No. 2 spot.

“We mixed it up a little bit today,” Dieffenbauch said. “We caught two smallmouths by fishing soft plastics slowly offshore and then we went up flipping and I caught a largemouth flipping in really shallow water. We just had to do whatever it took to get a couple of fish.”

Dieffenbauch said their offshore spots were shallower than those they fished on day one. Yesterday, they worked 15-plus feet, while today found them fishing in 12-14.

Virginia Tech takes third

Two largemouth and one smallmouth gave Carson Rejzer and Wyatt Blevins what they needed to secure their final-round berth.Wyatt Blevins and Carson Rejzer, of Virginia Tech caught three keepers for 3-15 and held steady in their third-place position with two-day total of 12-12. Rejzer said he knew they’d have their work cut out for them.

“I predicted yesterday that it would be a lot tougher today and it was,” he said. “We really struggled. We have 20 of the best anglers in College Fishing out here and a lot of teams struggled.”

The Virginia Tech anglers entered the day intending to target largemouth. This they did until about midday, when they decided a change was in order.

“We have a spot up in Bald Eagle Creek that’s primarily smallmouth and we ran up there today and caught one of our keepers,” Rejzer said. “We broke off two others that could have been nice ones – we never saw them.”

Christopher Newport improves to fourth

Ryan Ingalls and Derek Berhalter of Christopher Newport gained a notch from fifth place to fourth onRyan Ingalls shows off a 3-pounder for fourth-place Christopher Newport. day two after catching two fish that weighed four pounds and pushed their total to 11-6. One of those fish – a largemouth of nearly 3 pounds – had two college anglers holding their breath.

“I was fishing a wacky-rigged stickbait right outside the grass and the fish buried itself in the grass,” Ingalls said. “I was fishing (the bait) on 8-pound test line and I was scared to death that it was going to break. But I finally got it free and it took about two pounds of grass with it so I thought it was a bigger fish than it actually was.”

Berhalter said that in today’s tougher conditions, going with subtle finesse presentations was his team’s strategy. The anglers spent their entire day north of the Highway 26 Bridge.

Ramapo #2 slips to fifth

Day one was an oddity, but today, Charles Danza and Bob Rieder made Ramapo’s double dose of top-Ramapo College bass club president Bob Rieder looks on as his partner Charles Danza pulls a pair of bass from his bag.5 representation a reality by securing their final-round berth with a fifth place total of 11-4.

Danza said today’s slow bite forced them to change up from the shaky heads they threw on day one. Today, they used finesse baits to target suspending fish in 5-10 feet.

Rieder, the Ramapo bass club’s founder and president said that joining their first-place teammates in the Regional Championship finale is thrilling beyond description.

“It’s amazing – it’s a great opportunity to have one of our teams in the top-5, let alone two,” he said. “Having two teams here just doubles the fun.”

Zapf agreed and said that he and Voss were pulling for Danza and Rieder. “We were praying for them today – we were really hoping that they would make it (to the finale). With two teams in the top-5, we couldn’t ask for a better tournament.”

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 leaders at the Northern College Regional Championship:Brothers Dan Infurna and Patrick Infurna moved Castleton State College up from 14th place to 8th on day two.

6th: Benjamin Tawney and Justin Lonchar, of Slippery Rock University, 8-5

7th: Ben Dziwulski and Jeff Bumgarner, of NC State University, 6-6

8th: Dan Infurna and Patrick Infurna, of Castleton State College, 5-14

9th: Jacob Kupselaitis and Joshua DiPaulo, of UNC-Wilmington, 5-6

10th: Tyler Berger and Kyle Feucht, of Ohio State, 5-3

Day three of FLW National Guard College Fishing Series action continues at Saturday’s takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7:00 a.m. (Eastern Time) at Bald Eagle State Park, Hunters Run East Ramp located at 149 Main Park Road in Howard, Pa.