TAMANDL IS ‘THE MANDL’ AT MERRILL CREEK
Merrill Creek Reservoir | May 2, 2021 | Harmony Township, NJ | Sunny, Cloudy, Windy, Rain & 60 degrees
Always a popular early-season stop for the club, Mother Nature threw a curveball at the anglers with varying conditions throughout the day. With forecasted temperatures in the 70s, many in the field were caught off guard with the intermittent rain in the morning and unforgiving wind in the afternoon.
But, at the end of the day, it was a two-horse race between one angler and one co-angler. Zach Tamandl pieced together the puzzle and wrangled up a limit of five smallmouth for 16lbs to win his first tournament of 2021. The victory was a much-needed bounce back for Tamandl after a disappointing showing at Nockamixon and catapults him into first place in the Angler of the Year race. Tamandl’s kicker, a 4.75lb bronzeback, was the day’s lunker and put a little extra cash in the new homeowner’s pocket.
Co-angler Rudy Pohl earned his second consecutive top five finish of the season with another strong showing. Pohl weighed in three smallmouth and one largemouth for 15.81lbs to claim second place honors. The HOA veteran has been on fire in the early stages of the season and has a stronghold in the points race as he seeks his first Co-Angler of the Year title.
On paper, it would appear as if Tamandl and Pohl were fishing a different lake than the rest of the 17 anglers in the field as weights dropped off precipitously. Max Moses, 7.88lbs., took third while Tamandl’s co-angler, Phil Stevens, 7.31lb, was just outside of the money in fourth place. John Palmer, Pohl’s boater, rounded out the top five with 6.38lbs.
The club continues its New Jersey swing at Lake Hopatcong on May 23. It will be the second of three consecutive paper tournaments.
christie kicks off 2021 with landslide victory
Lake Nockamixon | April 11, 2021 | Haycock Township, PA | Rain & 60 degrees
It rained. Then it rained some more. Finally, it rained again. But, despite the deluge, the Hawghunters of Allentown opened up its 2021 club tournament season in historic fashion at Lake Nockamixon.
Veteran angler and returning member Brian Christie dropped a massive four fish limit of 18.94lbs. on the scales to run away his his first victory of 2021. Christie’s bag was anchored by the day’s lunker, a 5.87lb. Nockasaurus, which he caught with less than 10 minutes remaining. The incredible bag left anglers astounded at weigh in, despite a strong overall showing from the field.
Runner up and reigning Angler of the Year, Frank Messa, missed Christie’s weigh in and his jaw just about hit the ground when he learned what Christie caught. His valiant limit of 11.19lbs earned him second place and valuable AOY points as he seeks to defend his title. Jon Hardenberg took third place with the day’s third limit of 10.60lbs. Co-Anglers Rudy Pohl, 7.79lbs, and Evan Rehrig, 7.54lbs., rounded out the top five.
Out of the field of 19 anglers, 14 anglers brought fish to the scale, including three over five pounds, two over four pounds and three weighing more than three pounds. This was the first time the club opened its season at Lake Nockamixon in recent memory and the Bucks County waterway, described by one angler as “Little Cayuga” did not disappoint.
The Hawghunters club tournament series continues on May 2 at Merrill Creek for the club’s first of three consecutive paper tournaments. The New Jersey reservoir has routinely proved that it can produce solid weights in the spring and should make for another slugfest.