When you fish out of Buffalo, N.Y., you don't have to make a major run. Trophy-class smallmouths live a few hundred yards from the launch. But there's no denying the power of the unmolested fish that lie 60 miles away along the south shore of Erie near the Pennsylvania border.

Kota Kiriyama won a Buffalo Bassmaster Elite Series stop with a long run

to Barcelona. Edwin Evers won the following year's Buffalo stop with a long run to Dunkirk. And local pro Larry Mazur won last week's Erie Northern EverStart with a run to Barcelona.

It marked the first major win for Mazur, who's kicked around the triple-A and regional level for more than a decade. And as a Ranger owner, it delivered a new Ranger boat in addition to the $26,000 1st-place prize. It was by far the most significant victory of his career.

"It's incredible," he told BassFan. "I'm still on cloud 9. It's been a long time coming, but I'll tell you, I prepared for everything to break and everything to go wrong in that rough water I was covered. I had a spare trolling motor, two extra transducers on the trolling motor, two graphs on the front of my boat, I duct-taped the seams of my cowling I had everything covered."

In addition to such preparation, here are the rest of the details behind Mazur's winning pattern.

Practice

Mazur, a phone and data technician, lives in Lancaster, which is a suburb of Buffalo. His primary area near Barcelona is one he's fished for years, but the fish traditionally don't show up there until the tail end of July, he said.

He first saw the fish start to arrive in late July of this year, but they weren't stacked up yet. Then, over the first weekend of August, he saw them stacked, and he knew to leave them alone at that point.

"Then, on the Saturday before the tournament, I went down there and launched at 5:00 a.m. before anybody got there," he noted. "I put the trolling motor down, graphed the area and didn't fish at all. I marked what I call lasagna layers and layers of fish. Once I found that, I knew it was the mother lode it was on."

Over the following practice days, he worked the Buffalo area to prepare for rough water and the possibility he couldn't make his run. He found several areas new to him with good fish.

Competition

> Day 1: 5, 20-04
> Day 2: 5, 24-03
> Day 3: 5, 20-01 (15, 64-08)

Mazur was able to make the Barcelona run each of the 3 days.

The first day, he was done fishing in 2 hours. He might have stayed longer, but conditions began to turn rough and he wanted to get back safely (it took him 3 hours to make the 60-mile return). He might have had more weight, but a 2 1/2-pounder died in his box and he felt it would be against tournament rules to cull a dead fish.

Day 2 was slick-calm so he knew he'd have more time. He made a mid-run stop at Sturgeon Point and boxed a 15-pound limit, then trekked to Barcelona and had 24 pounds by 9:30.

Day 3 was different. For one, a Bassmaster Weekend Series event launched out of Barcelona and several boats were on his primary area "watchers" he called them. Regardless, he moved into the pack and quickly saw the fish weren't there.

"The fish in that area don't usually get there until the sun starts to come up like 8:30 or 9:00," he said. "I got there at 7:30. I went through with the trolling motor and it was like a desert. There wasn't a fish to be marked. When I saw that, I knew they'd be on the break about 300 yards away, where the water goes from 52 to 60 or 70 (feet).

"I put the trolling motor on high, went over there, dropped down and caught 45 fish."

Winning Pattern Notes

"It was the full moon 7 days before and because the fish were feeding at night, a lot of people couldn't get bit after 10:00," Mazur noted. "I think my fish were feeding at night, then pulling out to that structure to hang out the rest of the day."

He dropshotted 70 feet of water, except for day 3 when he fished the break. He also caught several walleyes, also relating to bottom.

"It was just isolated structure in the middle of nowhere," he added.

Winning Gear Notes

> Dropshot gear: 6'6" medium-action G. Loomis GLX SJR782 rod, Daiwa Steez spinning reel, 6- and 8-pound Berkley Trilene 100% fluorocarbon, 1/0 Gamakatsu splitshot/dropshot hook, 3/4-ounce homemade pencil weight (20" drop), Poor Boys Darter (cotton candy early, goldie in later morning).

> He said the smooth drag on the Daiwa Steez was critical. "You don't want a drag that surges, so there's no stress on the line. To land these fish, I set the hook and the big fish come almost immediately to the top. Then they turn and go down. As they do that, I loosen the drag and let them start running. I don't reel. I just let them tire themselves out."

> He fizzed each of his fish immediately through the side and used 50 pounds of ice each day in the livewell.

> About how he cushioned his trolling motor for the runs, he said: "I use a MotorGuide and I put a towel underneath the head, then strap it down with two bungees, a Rod Saver and a Ram mount."

The Bottom Line

  • Main factor in his success "I think it was preparing for the rough water in case something broke and having backup stuff. When you fish a tournament of this caliber your stuff has to work. Also, not panicking on the final day. When the boats were there and the fish weren't, I didn't panic. I made it just like a regular day of fishing and thought, 'Well, if they're not here, they have to be over there.' I just went fishing."

  • Performance edge "My Lowrance HDS-8 electronics, and also my Ranger boat and Yamaha with a five-blade prop. I had no problems."

    Notable

    > Mazur's sponsored by Buffalo Marble & Granite, Vic's Sports Center (Kent, Ohio), Ranger and Yamaha.

    > He said he does have hopes to fish at the tour level. But at this point, it would take a major sponsor to do it.

    Much of the tackle referenced above is available at the BassFan Store. To browse the selection, click here.



    Final Standings

    > Field = 100 boats

    1. Lawrence Mazur -- Lancaster, Ny -- 5, 20-04 -- 5, 24-03 -- 5, 20-01 -- 15, 64-08 -- $26,722

    2. Gaspare Costabile -- Niagara Falls, On -- 5, 22-02 -- 5, 22-11 -- 5, 17-03 -- 15, 62-00 -- $9,162

    3. Simon Frost -- St. Catharines, On -- 5, 22-05 -- 5, 18-14 -- 5, 17-12 -- 15, 58-15 -- $7,635

    4. Mike Desforges -- Burlington, On -- 5, 16-14 -- 5, 20-12 -- 5, 17-02 -- 15, 54-12 -- $6,871

    5. John Voyles -- Petersburg, In -- 5, 21-08 -- 5, 20-08 -- 5, 12-09 -- 15, 54-09 -- $6,108

    6. Barry Pringle -- Welland, On -- 5, 19-07 -- 5, 17-05 -- 5, 17-12 -- 15, 54-08 -- $5,344

    7. Brad Brodnicki -- Amherst, Ny -- 5, 22-05 -- 5, 14-01 -- 5, 16-02 -- 15, 52-08 -- $4,581

    8. Bob Izumi -- Milton, On -- 5, 17-01 -- 5, 19-05 -- 5, 14-07 -- 15, 50-13 -- $3,817

    9. Chris Johnston -- Peterborough, On -- 5, 18-06 -- 5, 19-01 -- 5, 11-06 -- 15, 48-13 -- $3,054

    10. John Murray -- Phoenix, Az -- 5, 21-02 -- 5, 16-02 -- 4, 7-09 -- 14, 44-13 -- $2,290

    The following anglers didn't make the cut and didn't fish day 3:

    11. Joseph Fonzi -- Gasport, Ny -- 5, 16-06 -- 5, 19-13 -- 10, 36-03 -- $1,527

    12. Bill Chapman -- Salt Rock, Wv -- 5, 18-07 -- 5, 17-11 -- 10, 36-02 -- $1,527

    13. Matt Stasiak -- Pittsburgh, Pa -- 5, 17-14 -- 5, 18-04 -- 10, 36-02 -- $1,527

    14. Kevin Short -- Mayflower, Ar -- 5, 17-04 -- 5, 18-11 -- 10, 35-15 -- $1,527

    15. Denis Kreze -- Fort Erie, On -- 5, 17-03 -- 5, 18-08 -- 10, 35-11 -- $1,527

    16. Scott Huffman -- Fenwick, On -- 5, 16-14 -- 5, 18-06 -- 10, 35-04 -- $1,145

    17. Brian Hensley -- Edwardsburg, Mi -- 5, 15-01 -- 5, 20-00 -- 10, 35-01 -- $1,145

    18. Randy Yarnall -- Womelsdorf, Pa -- 5, 18-01 -- 5, 17-00 -- 10, 35-01 -- $1,145

    19. Daniel Welch -- New Martinsville, Wv -- 5, 18-03 -- 5, 16-11 -- 10, 34-14 -- $1,145

    20. Jess Caraballo -- Danbury, Ct -- 5, 18-15 -- 5, 15-13 -- 10, 34-12 -- $1,145

    21. Derek Strub -- Elora, On -- 5, 18-10 -- 5, 16-00 -- 10, 34-10 -- $1,069

    22. Alvaro Lopez Rodriguez -- Saint Charles, Il -- 5, 17-07 -- 5, 17-02 -- 10, 34-09 -- $1,069

    23. Frank Campbell -- Niagara Falls, Ny -- 5, 13-14 -- 5, 20-07 -- 10, 34-05 -- $1,069

    24. Brad Rightnour -- Mingoville, Pa -- 5, 16-04 -- 5, 17-12 -- 10, 34-00 -- $1,069

    25. Billy Micciulla -- Staten Island, Ny -- 5, 16-03 -- 5, 17-11 -- 10, 33-14 -- $1,069

    26. Kraig Kettelkamp -- Clifton Springs, Ny -- 5, 16-04 -- 5, 17-10 -- 10, 33-14 -- $993

    27. Jeff Hippert -- Hamburg, Ny -- 5, 17-02 -- 5, 16-10 -- 10, 33-12 -- $993

    28. Adrian Avena -- Vineland, Nj -- 5, 15-05 -- 5, 17-05 -- 10, 32-10 -- $993

    29. George Lambeth -- Thomasville, Nc -- 5, 17-05 -- 5, 15-05 -- 10, 32-10 -- $993

    30. Mark Heatwole -- Harrisonburg, Va -- 5, 16-06 -- 5, 16-03 -- 10, 32-09 -- $993

    31. Joe Lucarelli -- Center Harbor, Nh -- 5, 13-06 -- 5, 19-00 -- 10, 32-06 -- $916

    32. Fab Marchese -- Ancaster, On -- 5, 17-08 -- 5, 14-09 -- 10, 32-01 -- $916

    33. Bill Shephard -- Hamilton, On -- 5, 13-10 -- 5, 17-13 -- 10, 31-07 -- $916

    34. Gary O'neill -- Kitchener, On -- 5, 14-01 -- 5, 17-02 -- 10, 31-03

    35. Blake Suhr -- Roscommon, Mi -- 5, 11-10 -- 5, 19-03 -- 10, 30-13

    36. Neil Farlow -- Welland, On -- 5, 11-10 -- 5, 19-01 -- 10, 30-11

    37. Tommy Lee -- Oakville, On -- 5, 17-00 -- 5, 13-11 -- 10, 30-11

    38. Joseph Sancho -- New Windsor, Ny -- 5, 12-10 -- 5, 17-14 -- 10, 30-08

    39. Jim Tedesco -- Niagara Falls, On -- 5, 15-01 -- 5, 15-03 -- 10, 30-04

    40. James (Jim) Wigal -- Washington, Pa -- 5, 17-03 -- 5, 12-15 -- 10, 30-02

    41. Robert Vogelsang -- Jessup, Md -- 5, 16-02 -- 5, 14-00 -- 10, 30-02

    42. Thomas Lavictoire Jr -- West Rutland, Vt -- 5, 13-14 -- 5, 15-14 -- 10, 29-12

    43. Barry Schultz -- Lockport, Ny -- 5, 14-02 -- 5, 15-08 -- 10, 29-10

    44. Masahiro Yanase -- Knoxville, Tn -- 5, 14-02 -- 5, 15-02 -- 10, 29-04

    45. Dave Rochette -- Bracebridge, On -- 4, 10-12 -- 5, 18-04 -- 9, 29-00

    46. Ronald Martinez Jr. -- Valley View, Oh -- 5, 12-06 -- 5, 16-10 -- 10, 29-00

    47. Michael Conway -- Glenville, Ny -- 5, 14-12 -- 5, 14-04 -- 10, 29-00

    48. Mike Branham -- Alexandria, Va -- 5, 12-12 -- 5, 16-03 -- 10, 28-15

    49. Steve Voros -- Springfield, On -- 5, 17-08 -- 4, 11-03 -- 9, 28-11

    50. Howard Hammonds -- Westport, Ny -- 5, 14-03 -- 5, 14-07 -- 10, 28-10

    51. Josh Giran -- Elizabeth, Pa -- 5, 14-12 -- 5, 13-05 -- 10, 28-01

    52. Garry Woodruff -- Candia, Nh -- 5, 13-10 -- 5, 14-03 -- 10, 27-13

    53. Lon Fleming -- Piedmont, Sc -- 5, 12-05 -- 5, 15-06 -- 10, 27-11

    54. Tom Belinda -- Holidaysburg, Pa -- 5, 13-02 -- 5, 14-03 -- 10, 27-05

    55. Robert Montgomery -- Connelsville, Pa -- 5, 13-01 -- 5, 14-00 -- 10, 27-01

    56. Matt Belzil -- Niagara Falls, On -- 5, 12-04 -- 5, 14-12 -- 10, 27-00

    57. Peter Garnier -- Lindsay, On -- 5, 11-13 -- 5, 15-02 -- 10, 26-15

    58. Gary Barone -- State College, Pa -- 5, 12-09 -- 5, 14-06 -- 10, 26-15

    59. Mike Neilson -- Markham, On -- 5, 12-06 -- 5, 14-03 -- 10, 26-09

    60. Eric Foltin -- Lebanon, Pa -- 5, 13-05 -- 5, 13-03 -- 10, 26-08

    61. Mike Kozell -- Lancaster, Ny -- 5, 13-03 -- 5, 13-00 -- 10, 26-03

    62. Merle Wells Jr -- Hammond, Ny -- 5, 12-12 -- 5, 13-06 -- 10, 26-02

    63. Cory Johnston -- Peterborough, On -- 4, 11-12 -- 5, 14-05 -- 9, 26-01

    64. Trevor Knight -- Magnolia, De -- 5, 9-13 -- 5, 16-03 -- 10, 26-00

    65. Perry Poirier -- Grimsby, On -- 5, 17-00 -- 3, 8-13 -- 8, 25-13

    66. Shawn Kellough -- Chillicothe, Oh -- 5, 13-08 -- 5, 12-05 -- 10, 25-13

    67. Rex Johnsonbaugh -- Altoona, Pa -- 5, 14-00 -- 4, 11-02 -- 9, 25-02

    68. Ernst Janzen -- St.Catharines, On -- 5, 16-12 -- 2, 8-01 -- 7, 24-13

    69. Mike Comeau -- Winooski, Vt -- 5, 10-15 -- 5, 12-12 -- 10, 23-11

    70. William Johnson -- Purcellville, Va -- 4, 7-10 -- 5, 15-14 -- 9, 23-08

    71. Sheron Brown -- Shirley, Ma -- 4, 10-15 -- 5, 12-06 -- 9, 23-05

    72. Steve Deguzis -- Bristol, Ct -- 5, 8-01 -- 5, 15-02 -- 10, 23-03

    73. Larry Materia -- Boonton, Nj -- 3, 6-11 -- 5, 16-02 -- 8, 22-13

    74. Curtis Richardson -- Belleville, On -- 5, 11-08 -- 5, 11-03 -- 10, 22-11

    75. Will Jefferies -- Bountiful, Ut -- 4, 8-14 -- 5, 12-14 -- 9, 21-12

    76. Burley Warf -- Moneta, Va -- 4, 10-05 -- 5, 11-03 -- 9, 21-08

    77. Paul Kimball -- Glastonbury, Ct -- 3, 6-10 -- 5, 14-10 -- 8, 21-04

    78. Aaron Wessels -- Watervliet, Ny -- 2, 6-01 -- 5, 14-14 -- 7, 20-15

    79. David Stahura -- Lackawanna, Ny -- 2, 6-09 -- 4, 13-14 -- 6, 20-07

    80. Ron Plocek -- Jamesville, Ny -- 4, 8-15 -- 5, 11-05 -- 9, 20-04

    81. John Lorenzo -- Kane, Pa -- 4, 9-06 -- 5, 10-11 -- 9, 20-01

    82. William Mckelvey, Jr. -- Wellsville, Ny -- 5, 12-15 -- 3, 6-14 -- 8, 19-13

    83. Franklin Janzen -- St.Catharines, On -- 2, 6-05 -- 5, 13-02 -- 7, 19-07

    84. Scott Cooke -- Marengo, Oh -- 0, 0-00 -- 5, 19-01 -- 5, 19-01

    85. Art Vengels -- Bensalem, Pa -- 2, 3-09 -- 5, 15-02 -- 7, 18-11

    86. Paul Noechel -- Lost Creek, Wv -- 3, 7-09 -- 5, 11-01 -- 8, 18-10

    87. Adam Singer -- Brookfield, Ct -- 5, 8-13 -- 4, 9-13 -- 9, 18-10

    88. Mike Hancin -- North Franklin, Ct -- 2, 3-02 -- 5, 14-13 -- 7, 17-15

    89. Red Moore -- Graham, Nc -- 3, 9-05 -- 4, 8-03 -- 7, 17-08

    90. Troy Garrison -- Topsham, Me -- 5, 11-11 -- 3, 5-07 -- 8, 17-02

    91. Keith Allen -- Huntington, Pa -- 5, 12-05 -- 1, 3-14 -- 6, 16-03

    92. Doug Iorio -- Kennerdell, Pa -- 0, 0-00 -- 5, 15-08 -- 5, 15-08

    93. Harold Marietta -- Hunker, Pa -- 2, 8-09 -- 2, 5-10 -- 4, 14-03

    94. Mike Mcdonald -- Randleman, Nc -- 5, 13-02 -- 0, 0-00 -- 5, 13-02

    95. Edward Ferrara -- Staten Island, Ny -- 3, 8-08 -- 3, 4-10 -- 6, 13-02

    96. Ed Casey -- Whiteford, Md -- 5, 12-14 -- 0, 0-00 -- 5, 12-14

    97. Steve Lucarelli -- Meredith, Nh -- 4, 10-09 -- 0, 0-00 -- 4, 10-09

    98. Ron Grove -- Alexandria, Pa -- 2, 4-01 -- 2, 6-06 -- 4, 10-07

    99. Duane Potter -- Cascade, Md -- 1, 1-13 -- 2, 4-00 -- 3, 5-13

    Robert Tarr -- Canonsburg, Pa -- 0, 0-00 -- 0, 0-00 -- 0, 0-00

    Big Bass

    > Day 1 -- Kraig Kettelkamp -- Clifton Springs, Ny -- 6-02 -- $200
    > Day 2 -- Bob Izumi -- Milton, On -- 6-04 -- $200