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Musicman Rich Ortiz bags big bass for fishing magazine cover

By Gordon Woodworth,Chronicle News Editor

Local musician Rich Ortiz is in the midst of his busy season, but he still finds time to catch monster bass.

And a recent impromptu outing on an unnamed area lake could result in his photo being on the cover of the national Angler Magazine.

“I just had my first-ever article published in the Upstate New York Angler about bass fishing, and heard through the folks there that the national magazine is looking for a cover photo for August,” Mr. Ortiz told The Chronicle. We reached out to him after hearing about his fishing article.

“This past Wednesday, June 28th, I was on a conference call with the art director for the national magazine, and she said they were looking for a vertical, high-definition photo of someone holding at least a six-pound bass, happy and on the water.

Lake George musician Rich Ortiz with a 6.2-pound largemouth bass, right, and a 4.5-pounder caught recently on a local lake (he won’t identify). A similar photo is scheduled to be on the cover of a national fishing magazine, Mr. Ortiz says. Photo by Louis Torres/Louis Torres Photography.

“I asked when they needed it and they said Friday. This is the peak of my summer season, but I went home, shaved and put on my Costa Del Mar hat and sunglasses — they are one of my sponsors — and got on the water.

“On my second cast, I set the hook and I knew it was a good fish. It felt like a pit bull in scuba gear. It wouldn’t move off the bottom but I knew I thought, ‘Oh my God, this is a beast!’

“My fishing buddy broke his rod trying to net it, but we finally got it in the boat and it was well over six pounds. And it was just under an hour since I hung up the phone with the folks at Angler magazine.”

He put the fish in his live well, “but now I needed a photographer to secure the cover photo. I went on Facebook and messaged a friend of mine who is a great supporter of me and my music, Louis Torres, who is a professional photographer in Clifton Park. He called me back, and said he was at Druther’s in Saratoga having lunch.

“I told him what I needed, and he said he’d go home, get his camera, and come to meet me.

“But before he got there, I caught another bass, a 4.5-pounder, so now I had two!”

Ortiz said the 6.2-pounder is “the biggest bass he’s caught all year. You can fish all of your life in the Adirondacks and see very few fish that big.”

Mr. Torres arrived, hopped on board and took a series of photos, one of which is now being considered for the cover of the national Angler Magazine.

“Amazing, right?” Mr. Ortiz said. “We joked that Louis went from brides to bass! It was a lot of fun.”

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