Dobson dominates day-two competition on Lake Ontario - Major League Fishing

Dobson dominates day-two competition on Lake Ontario

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Pro Scott Dobson of Waterford, Mich., shows off part of his 18-pound, 6-ounce catch. Dobson finished in first place after the second day of competition after recording a two-day catch of 37 pounds, 1 ounce. Photo by Gary Mortenson. Angler: Scott Dobson.
July 26, 2001 • Gary Mortenson • Archives

Michigan natives grab top three spots in Pro Division, Kazmierczak clobbers co-angler field for second consecutive day

CLAYTON, N.Y. – Overcoming myriad boat problems, gusting winds, heady competition from some of the nation’s premier anglers and tendonitis in his arm, Scott Dobson of Waterford, Mich., turned in the largest stringer of the day to gain the top spot in the Pro Division heading into the semifinal round of the $185,000 EverStart tour event on Lake Ontario. Although Dobson ultimately prevailed, he said it was one of the most difficult days of fishing of his entire career.

“I’ve had boat problems all week and I was really worried about today. I tried to find someone to lend me a boat, but who was going to lend me a boat when there are 4-foot waves out there,” said Dobson, who jumped from second to first place at the end of today’s contest. “I was battling tendonitis in my arm and the weather was an even bigger obstacle. It was really ugly out there. The rivers were nasty. The bays were nasty. The waves were coming up my sleeves. But somehow, everything seemed to work out in the end.”

Despite today’s setbacks, it appears that things are looking up for the Michigan native.

“My friend is going to lend me a boat tomorrow and as long as it stays sunny, I should have a pretty good day tomorrow,” said Dobson, who will continue to target smallmouth bass with tube baits and jerkbaits. “I have three good spots that should produce for the remainder of the tournament. Right now, I just need to get some food in my stomach and get a good night’s rest. And hopefully, everything will work out for me tomorrow.”

Dobson ultimately finished with the largest stringer of the day, landing an 18-pound, 6-ounce limit by 10 a.m. The catch brought his two-day total to a whopping 37 pounds, 1 ounce.

Living the Vida Loca

Kevin Vida of Clare, Mich., finished the day in second place after registering a 17-pound, 10-ounce stringer. Vida, who agreed that the weather conditions were atrocious, believes he has what it takes to make it to the finals.

“The weather was easily my toughest obstacle today. All of my runs were brutal,” said Vida, who turned in a two-day catch of 34 pounds, 12 ounces despite winds gusting into the mid-20 mph range. “But overall, I’m feeling pretty good. I haven’t burned out my fishing spots and I think I have a good chance to advance. I knew coming in that I could catch between 13 and 17 pounds of fish every day. So I’m pretty confident right now. But not overconfident.”

On the strength of a two-day catch of 34 pounds, 9 ounces, Neil Vandebiezen of Portage, Mich., grabbed third place in the Pro Division. Vandebiezen’s performance ensured that Michigan natives would comprise the top three spots in the standings heading into the semifinals.

Jimmi Leuthner of Vernon, Vt., took over fourth place with a two-day catch of 34 pounds, 3 ounces. Rounding out the top five was Koby Kreiger of Osceola, Ind., with a two-day catch of 33 pounds, 7 ounces.

Jack Gifford of Woodstock, Conn., won the day’s Big Bass award after landing a 5-pound bass. Gifford, who survived the top-30 cut by finishing in 27th place, won $750 for his efforts.

Kazmierczak puts on fishing clinic in Co-Angler Division

Turning in the largest stringers in the Co-Angler Division on both days of the tournament, Rick Kazmierczak continued his stranglehold on first place heading into the semifinal round. Although that was an accomplishment in-and-of-itself, Kazmierczak had a few other reasons to be pleased with his all-around performance to date. Not only was he fishing in the first EverStart tournament of his career, but he was also forced to go fishing for largemouth bass today, despite his penchant and aptitude for smallmouth bass.

“It feels awesome,” said Kazmierczak of his first-place finish. “I’ve had two great partners and two great days of bass fishing. To tell you the truth, I was really shocked I did so well fishing for largemouth bass. I thought I was going to have some problems today.”

However, a quick start was enough to overcome his fears.

“After 15 minutes, I really started catching them,” said Kazmierczak, who landed a 16-pound, 13-ounce stringer today. “It was on from there. I had a limit by 8:30 a.m. It was sweet.”

Kazmierczak, a native of Orchard Park, N.Y., said that the tournament has exceeded his wildest expectations so far.

“I came here thinking I wasn’t even going to get a check, let alone make it to the semifinals” said Kazmierczak, who recorded a stellar two-day catch of 34 pounds, 1 ounce. “I really thought I was going to be back home working on Friday. I’m just ecstatic.”

Although there is a lot on the line during tomorrow’s competition, Kazmierczak said he is going to take it one step at a time.

“Tomorrow, I’m just going to go fishing,” he said. “I never expected this. And I’m going to enjoy every minute of it.”

Best of the rest

Franklin Collins of Huntington, W.V., finished the day in second place after recording a two-day catch of 27 pounds, 12 ounces. James Richardson, Jr., of Cincinnati, Ohio, took the third spot with a total catch of 23 pounds, 14 ounces.

Rounding out the top five were James Liechty (fourth place) of Fort Wayne, Ind., with a total catch of 23 pounds, 6 ounces; and Dwight Ameling (fifth) of Fremont, Ind., with a catch of 23 pounds, 1 ounce.

Judy Israel of Clewiston, Fla., and John Ax of Lexington, Va., tied for the Big Bass award of the day with identical bass of 4 pounds, 12 ounces. Israel, who advanced to the semifinal round in 23rd place and Ax, who finished in 108th place, shared $250 prize money for their catch.

Tomorrow’s competition for both divisions resumes at 5:30 a.m. at the French Creek Marina located at 250 Wahl Street in Clayton, N.Y.

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