Candlewood Adventure Camp

June 22-26 Register Here

Our Pros

Our Pros

Captain Jed Wilson

Candlewood Lake Fishing Guides

Jed’s dad brought him fishing at the age of four and he never looked back.  He spent every free moment fishing in local lakes and ponds in central New Jersey.  When he was 18 he moved to Florida and purchased his first bass boat. He was a guide on Lake Tarpon for many years and fished north central Florida Lakes while attending the University of Florida.  Jed moved to CT in 2003 and started fishing Candlewood Lake. Jed started his Bassman Fishing Tours guide service in 2012 and has a great reputation for teaching young anglers how to catch huge bass.  Jed has a fishing pontoon boat, which is a favorite with families looking for a safe way to fish with the whole family. Jed has been an educator for 13 years and is currently a teacher at the Eagle Hill School in Greenwich CT.  He has three beautiful children who love to fish with their dad.

Kris Lechman

Kris has experience on many lakes in the northeast. In addition to his own tournament fishing, he has volunteered as a youth captain for NJBF, NYTBF, High School, and Collegiate events since 2004. Since 2006, Kris has been running Bergen’s Fishing Outing for the Disabled program which has become a yearly event.

In addition to fishing, Kris also loves working with children of all ages. He graduated from Montclair State University with a degree in Human Ecology with a concentration in Early and Middle Childhood Education. In 2004, Kris began teaching in Emerson, NJ. He currently teaches Kindergarten but has also been a Middle School Math and Science teacher. Kris also works in Emerson High School with a variety of sports.

In addition to teaching, for the past 15 years, Kris has been the director of the Emerson Recreation Summer Camp.

This will be his second summer as Director of Candlewood Fishing Camp.

Joey Friend

Joey started bass fishing at four years old and has been hooked ever since. His addiction to being out on the water truly took off when he turned six and started fishing tournaments with Orange County Bassmasters, a junior club out of Orange County New York, where he won numerous tournaments. At 16 he joined the adult club of Orange County Bassmasters and fished as a Co angler for many years, with great success; winning tournaments from the back of the boat and qualifying for the New York state team championship multiple times. At 22 he purchased his own bass boat and that’s when his fishing career really took a turn and made his dream of becoming a full-time professional angler feel real. Since buying my Ranger bass boat Joey spent countless amounts of time on the water in every weather condition imageable to get comfortable and push himself to be the best angler he can be. He won Angler of the year in Orange County in 2019 and has won tournaments all over New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Currently he is sponsored by Vicious Fishing line, Keitech Custom Baits, Woo Tungsten, and Eternal Lithium batteries. Candlewood lake fishing camp is a great place to come and learn no matter what level a kid’s skill level is. Joey is looking forward to guiding our campers for his second summer with the camp.

Oliver Ngy

Oliver Ngy is a self-taught angler from Southern California. He learned the values of commitment and dedication at an early age and has since become a familiar face in the bass scene. He’s renowned for catching monster fish of many species with a specialty in double-digit largemouth and 5-plus-pound smallmouth bass. Oliver is currently competing nationally in the Bassmaster Open Tour & FLW Toyota Series while exploring multi species fishing opportunities along the way.

Riley Kolich

Riley grew up moving around a ton as a child into her teen years. Through all that one thing remained consistent: a love for fishing! She started out fishing for trout, shore stomping along the back country trails of the California Sierra Nevada’s. While living in Texas she discovered a new love, the Largemouth Bass. Riley then began passionately pursuing all things bass fishing and has since even hoisted dozens of trophy class Smallmouth Bass weighing in at 5lbs or better. She continues to explore the world through fishing, targeting a multitude of species throughout North America.

Riley now travels and fishes full time, all the while documenting her journey to be seen on several social media platforms. Follow along with her on YouTube and Instagram in 2022 as she adds competing on the Bassmaster Opens and MLF Toyota Series as a Co-Angler to her documented travel resume.

Trevor Topken

ii - Trevor Topken

Trevor is a young tournament angler and recent college graduate from Northern New Jersey. By the time he was 13, he was infatuated with bass fishing like we see many of our campers are. Trevor won the NJ BASS Jr. State Championship at age 14. He continued to fish youth and local tournaments until he was 17. He fished the MLF (then FLW) Bass Fishing League for two years before college and notched one top ten and 5 top 25 finishes in that time.
Trevor attended the University of South Carolina from 2017 to 2021 and competed on their fishing team during that time. He was Vice President of the team from 2019-2020. During his college career, he notched two second place finishes in Major League Fishing Abu Garcia College Fishing events, as well as one win and four top fives in regional ACA (Association of Collegiate Angling) tournaments. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations with a 3.1 GPA. He will fish his final college tournament at the National Championship in March of 2022 at Fort Gibson Lake in Oklahoma.
Besides tournament fishing, Trevor’s favorite thing to do is pass on knowledge of the sport of fishing to others. He has presented at fishing trade shows as well as written multiple educational pieces, some of which featured on Bassmaster’s website. Trevor especially loves teaching the campers at Candlewood Fishing Camp, and speaks highly of the camp’s ability to turn campers into great fishermen and even better human beings. “This is the only youth camp I have ever seen where kids will actually learn all the ins and outs of bass fishing, while also learning valuable social and life skills,” Trevor remarked. Trevor has a packed tournament schedule in 2022, but looks most forward to his time guiding at Candlewood Fishing Camp.

Eric Kohler

Eric has been fishing since he was old enough to hold a fishing pole. His greatest memories involve fishing and spending with his dad on the water. He has been competing in tournament fishing since the age of 13. Eric and his dad were a team, fishing in NEBA and went to the regional competition on the Hudson River. From there, he began fishing as a co angler in the CT Bass Federation at the age of 16 and later the CT Bass Nation events.  Eric has decades of experience fishing CT lakes which include Candlewood, Zoar, and Lillinoah. Eric is from the Naugatuck Valley area and currently reside in Beacon Falls with his wife and his twin boys. “This is such an amazing experience for young anglers that I wish I had when I was younger”. I look forward to taking on the role of a boat captain for you amazing kids and showing you what a fun, crazy, and exciting world bass fishing can be. Can’t wait to see you on the lake and always remember TIGHT LINES! 

Chris Dionisio

Chris has been fishing on Candlewood Lake his entire life. He caught his first bass at the age of four and has been addicted to bass fishing ever since. He joined a CT state junior bass program for kids and proved he was one of the top young anglers, consistently finishing in the top five in the tournaments he fished. By 23 he bought his first bass boat and has been fishing recreationally ever since. One of his goals was to make time to take kids fishing to help shape their lives the way some fishermen did for him when he was a kid. Candlewood Fishing Camp has allowed Chris to share his love of bass fishing with the next generation of anglers.

“A big thanks to Jed Wilson for creating such a fulfilling experience, not just for the campers, but also for the guides and counselors who have the pleasure of passing on the art of bass fishing

Kyle Filancia

Kyle is from Hopewell Junction, NY and has been fishing ever since he was a little kid. Kyle fishes as many tournaments he can during the year. When not fishing tournaments, he is out on the boat with friends catching fish all over upstate New York & Connecticut. His focus is Bass but has also been getting into striped bass fishing the last few years. Kyle has a two-year-old son Dominick. Another one his true passions is photography and videography, skills which he hopes can adapt to the fishing industry to help other anglers in the “business” of fishing.

Ron Parker


I am a transplant from the Bronx, Ny and recently a new resident of Bridgeport, CT married to my lovely wife, Zoila Parker and my daughter, Allyson who’s a very bright high school student. I love all CT fisheries, and looking forward to many more fishing adventures to come.

I’ve been fishing Candlewood Lake for well over 28 years, as well as Lake Zoar and Lake Lillinonah. winning several club tournaments as well as the 1st CT BIG BOAT NEBASSIN REGIONALS in 2014, and other podiums from previous years regional championships. Fishing in general is my favorite thing to do! I love helping young anglers learn the joys of being outdoors on the water and increasing their confidence and skills on how to catch more fish. I look forward to working with all of the campers this year.

Larry Nannarello

Larry Nannariello is a native New Fairfield resident. He has been fishing since he was four years old. His love for fishing and the outdoors defines him. He knows the five towns that border Candlewood Lake like the back of his hand. Larry loves to fish and teach the art of patience and fishing. His passion is for targeting large and smallmouth bass. He has two decades of fishing experience. Some of his favorite fishing techniques involve top water, crank baits, and jigs covering all three layers of water columns. This will be Larry’s second summer guiding campers.

Ben Weldon

Ben Weldon has been fishing since the age of four. He enjoys both freshwater and saltwater fishing for a variety of species, including trout, crappie, and pike…but his main focus is on landing bass. Native to Western Massachusetts, Ben recently started fishing competitively. His consistent catches land him on the leaderboard, which he loves.  Ben is a student at East Longmeadow High School. He is a multi-sport athlete who one day aspires to attend college, focusing on the marine studies field. 

Ben learns and practices many different fishing techniques and styles.  He also works to increase his skills as a kayak angler. His overall favorite technique is finesse fishing. Using the Ned Rig, drop shot, and shaky head, Ben is at or on the water every chance he has. He looks forward to a week of guiding future anglers toward their biggest catches!

Mark Fillipini

Mark is a retired NJ teacher who relocated to New Hampshire last year. He has always been an avid fisherman and enjoyed taking his students on striper and freshwater fishing trips. Mark became interested in tournament bass fishing in the 90’s when he joined my first my first bass club, Hog Wild Bassmasters. As his interest grew, he became involved in the American Bass Anglers districts and Big Bass Association and other buddy circuits in New Jersey. He started fishing some BFL’s and eventually joined the Bergen Bassmasters.

Mark loves exploring new water and finding new fishing locations. You will see his Skeeter boat on the big lakes of the northeast, and in his 17’ fiberglass electric boat on the smaller bodies of water. He has had the privilege of being involved with some of the finest fishing companies in the industry. Pure Fishing, PowerTeam Lures, Ardent, Woo Tungsten, Enigma, Luck E Strike, Profound Outdoors, Live Target, Riot Baits, RealBassin Baits, TecBaits, and Stoneman and Sons Lures. I thoroughly enjoy working with big and small fishing companies and helping them get the word out on their great products. It’s a thrill taking young anglers fishing and watching them learn and improve every time they hit the water. This summer will be Marks second year guiding for Candlewood Fishing Camp.

Matthew Silliman

4-b - Matt Silliman

Matthew Silliman has been fishing since he was eight years old. He started out as a multi-species angler and has since developed into a competitive bass fisherman. He loves fishing in all bodies of water, but spends most of his time on Candlewood Lake. Matthew’s first boat was a 16 foot Bass Tracker where he explored Candlewood Lake and focused on catching Smallmouth and Largemouth bass. He now has a Nitro Z19 where he keeps at his house on Candlewood Lake and fishes almost every day throughout the summer. Matthew fishes in the TBF of CT tournament circuit where he continues to pursue his dream of fishing for a living. Matthew’s favorite bass fishing technique is the finesse swimbait for smallmouth bass and currently is sponsored by Keitech, Woo! Tungsten, Rapala, Sufix, Terminator, and VMC. Matthew is currently the starting varsity goalie for the Ridgefield High School Men’s ice hockey team and also is hoping to pursue engineering in college.

Evan Kamoen

An accomplished young angler in fresh and saltwater fishing. Evan is a 7 time CT state record holder for saltwater fish and has caught many “trophy” sized freshwater fish. He was also awarded angler of the year 4 times by the CT department of environmental and energy protection. Evan is a tournament bass angler for CT bass nation high school series and fishes other local tournaments in the area. Evan enrolls attends the Marine Science Magnet High School in Groton CT where he studies aquaculture, oceanology and resource management. As far as tournaments fishing goes, Evan has won 1st place in tournaments over half a dozen times. He has placed 2nd and 3rd more times than he can count. Evan was the junior BASS nation state champion 2 years in a row. He excels in teaching young anglers how to fish the “Ned Rig”. 

James Curry

James Curry is an avid angler who likes to fish NY and CT fisheries. He primarily fish’s freshwater lakes for largemouth and smallmouth bass. James guided this past summer, quickly becoming one of the camper’s favorites. He loves working with kids and specializes in teaching moving baits and finesse fishing is his favorite technique using the damiki rig.

Jamie Verab

Jamie is an avid competitive tournament angler who has been fishing since the age of 8. He has fished for many species in both fresh and salt water. He has been very active in the fishing community locally, regionally and nationally the last 14 seasons as a bass fisherman, a director and regional director. He has won many local and club tournaments, has been part of state teams and has qualified for numerous Regional and National championships both fishing from his bass boat and from his kayak. Jamie has various sponsors across the country, from big name brands to local small sponsors which he dedicates much of his success to. He is the owner and founder of New England Bassin, which leads the region is bass fishing tournaments. He was inspired by many others to create a new bass fishing tournament series over the years that was unique and different which continues to grow. 

Jake Schiavi

I have been an avid fisherman since I caught my first bluegill at 3 years old and from then on all I wanted to do was fish. My Dad and Mom would take me every chance they got. As I got a little older, I started targeting bass and absolutely loved catching them. Then one day I saw a bass fishing tournament on my TV and knew that I wanted to fish bass tournaments. I started fishing in bass tournaments when I was 10. Since then I have become a 2-time Junior BASS State Champ and a 4-time High School BASS State Champ. This made me qualify 2 times for the Bassmaster Junior National Championship in Paris, Tennessee and qualify 4 times for the Bassmaster High School National Championship on Kentucky Lake. Other than tournament fishing I love teaching kids how to fish and sharing my knowledge about fishing with people.

Jack Gustavson

Jack Gustavson has lived on candlewood lake all his life. He specializes in fishing dropshots and flukes but also enjoys a nice Topwater bite. Fishing has been a major part of his life ever since he was a little kid and is very excited to help share his love of fishing with the campers and make many new memories this summer.

Matt Daddio

Matt has been fishing since he was able to walk. With over 40 years fishing for bass, trout, crappie and perch, Matt has a ton of techniques to share with our campers. Candlewood has been his home lake for over 10 years. Matt operates his guide service, Daddio Outdoors on Candlewood and focuses on fishing with families and young anglers.

T.J. DeFelice

Professional Fishing Guide / Owner, Operator of Bounty Hunters Custom Baits
Equipment: Boat: 21’ Bass Cat Puma FTD, 250 Mercury Pro XS, Garmin Electronics
Sponsors: FX Custom Rods, Wicked Weights High Quality Tungsten, Scout Sniper Association.

T.J. DeFelice has had a passion for fishing since he was old enough to walk. Growing up in southwestern Connecticut T.J. was introduced to the state’s best fishing waters at an early age. From fishing for trophy Striped Bass on Long Island Sound, walking the trout rivers in pursuit of that “secret pool” to chasing giant smallmouth bass on Connecticut’s trophy bass lakes, T.J. could almost always be found with a rod in hand. Enlisting in the United States Marine Corps at the age of 18 did not pull T.J. away from fishing, but introduced him to new waterways, tournament fishing, and tactics around the world. Serving the Marine Corps and Special Operations as a Scout Sniper, Combat instructor and Marksmanship Instructor provided a unique opportunity for T.J. to fish waters all around the world including Iraq, Afghanistan, and Japan.

Rich Zaleski

Rich Zaleski has fished since childhood, and spent much of his adult life studying and writing about fishing. His how-to articles have been published in magazines such as Bassmaster, In-Fisherman, Fishing Facts, Bass Fishing, Upland Fishing, Outdoor Life and numerous others. He’s recognized as one of the best scientific writers in the industry and one who has dedicated his life to the advancement of the sport through his work. He also wrote, edited and produced the Northeast Edition of In-Fisherman Radio for a decade, and wrote the outdoors column for the Danbury News-Times for 25 years. He had contributed to numerous books from the Hunting and Fishing Lbrary, Hooked, North American Fisherman and several other publishers, and wrote a book (Advanced Bass Techniques) for the North American Fishing Club.

His approach in all his fishing and writing is to study and understand not only the fish you are after but their entire environment and its residents, as the aquatic environement is a complex web and everythng in it affects everything else — including the fish you’re trying to catch!

Jeff Rose

From New Milford, Jeff has been fishing the waters throughout CT for the last 47 of his 50 years. He has extensive tournament experience on Candlewood Lake with many 1st place finishes, including the prestigious Bass Federation event. He was a guide throughout the 1990s across CT putting his clients on bass, pike, and walleye. Jeff has been shifting his efforts to the world of micro finesse fishing for crappies. Jeff is sponsored by Eurotackle and is already considered one of the top crappie fisherman in the northeast, his goal is to catch the state record crappie, having come close many times already. Jeff is looking forward to sharing his tactics with your young angler at camp this summer.


Sully has been fishing his whole life since he could hold a pole and has done everything from surf fishing to ice fishing.

He has fished for bass for nine years, and has 1 junior state champion and 3 high school state champion titles, and specializes in power fishing from jerkbaits to crankbaits to topwater.

Dale Wyman

Dale is a multi-species angler from Massachusetts.  His favorite species is the smallmouth bass. Born in Vermont, he learned to fish on the Winooski River and Lake Champlain.  Dale is a Navico Pro-Staff member and specializes in electronics training. He has years of experience fishing the northeast tournament trails.  Besides putting your kids on huge bass, Dale will also teach them how to paint their own lures. Dale is a Navy veteran, sonar operator and technician.  

Nate Smith

Nate Smith has qualified for the 2019 Bassmaster High School National Championship at Kentucky Lake. Nate was awarded the 2019 Bassmaster High School All State for Massachusetts. He is the founder and captain of his high school bass fishing team. He has 10 top 3 finishes in his high school tournaments. He has won 6 opens with multiple top 3 finishes. Nate fishes in Maine Man vs Bass which is the largest open in the state. Nate has received multiple sponsors from Skeeter Boats, Beast Coast Fishing, Lead Free Bass Jigs, and Tackle Supply Depot. 

Jim Tarzia Jr.

Jim is the Deputy Fire Marshal for the Stamford Fire Department and proud family man of three daughters and three grandchildren.  His passion for fishing and teaching others is widely known. He is a boat captain for Haddam-Killingworth High School and Tournament Director for the Naugatuck Bassmasters team.  Jim also captains for the disabled veterans. He looks forward to sharing his love of fishing with our campers.

Will Hughes

Will is a talented young angler from Grand Rapids MI. He is a member of his high school bass fishing team. They will be competing in all the high school B.A.S.S. tournaments. He fishes the regional tournaments and will also be fishing the BFL’s as a boater. Will was a guide at camp during the summer of 2021.

“It was awesome to be able to teach something that I care so much about to younger kids, and see that same passion for the sport of bass fishing that I had growing up in them”

Corbin Ollson

Corbin is from Grand Rapids, Michigan. He started with fishing local ponds as a kid to being a serious tournament angler. He has travelled all over the state and country to compete, learn new techniques, and meet cool people. West Michigan Bass and Bassmaster High School are the two series he competes in most. He loves taking people fishing and showing them what fishing is all about, especially the kids that are the future of the sport. Corbin’s favorite way to catch fish is offshore and utilizing electronics to find deeper fish. He plans on attending Florida Gulf Coast University next year. He is always looking forward to camp and hopefully putting campers on big bass!

Nick Dellaporta

Nicholas is an angler with a passion and dedication for fishing. His goals are to continue competing competitively these next two seasons until he begins his next step of college fishing. His final goal after college is to continue working hard toward becoming an Elite Angler.

His passion for fishing began when he caught his first bass at the age of two, and that passion never faded. Since the age of 12 I have been competitively fishing tournaments in NJ as well as traveling to NY, VT, CT, MD, MO, TN and as far as Idaho to compete. His hard work and motivation has also been recognized in the fishing industry, allowing him to represent companies such as Shimano, G.Loomis, Shimano Varsity, Beast Coast Fishing, Keitech and various others.

A few of his accomplishments to date include back-to-back NJ Jr. B.A.S.S. Nation State Champion, back-to-back Big Bass Zone Jr. State Champion and Bassmasters All American Honorable Mention. Additionally, he has been working as a Guide/Counselor for the Candlewood Fishing Camp. Which has been a great experience overall in allowing me to teach young anglers about fishing fundamentals and boating safety.

Sean Prendergast

Sean is a young tournament angler and a senior at The University of Massachusetts Amherst. His passion for fishing stems from his love for nature and the outdoors. He first discovered his love for fishing when he was five years old catching bluegills off the dock at a local pond in Massachusetts. His love for the sport has only grown. 

Sean represented Massaachusetts at the 2017 Bassmaster Highschool National Championship on Kentucky Lake securing a top ten finish. Recently Sean has been named the president of the Bass fishing team at UMass. After a sixth place finish at the 2022 MLF college Northern Regional on Smith Mountain Lake, VA he earned an entry to the MLF National Championship in the spring of 2023. Sean has a hockey coaching background and finds the transition to guiding the campers on the water effortless. He states, “it’s incredible to watch the campers’ skills develop over the week as they become proficient in so many new skills.” Sean is excited for more memories and big fish in the trips to come. 

Brendan Vinton

Brendan been fishing since he was 5.  He started out pond fishing and then got his first boat and fished as a co angler on the MLF Toyota series for the first couple years and started fishing as a boater.  He now attends CCVC on a full fishing scholarship.  Brendan is a 2x state champion BFL all American top 10.

Tanner Ward

Tanner is from a small town in Ohio, and he started fishing at a young age.  He has fished through the tournament ranks of Bassmaster from High School to College and now the Opens.  

Tanner guided at camp for the summer of 2022 and looks forward to fishing with our campers again.

Andrew Goodrich

Andrew grew up fishing Lake Champlain with his Dad, Grandfather, and other local anglers. He participated in his first tournament freshman year of high school. Since then his accomplishments include TBF high school state champion, TBF state champion, Inland Sea bass anglers first and second place, twice top 3 in Champlain bass series non-boater AOY, TBF high school nationals Lake Hartwell, and TBF nationals Red River. Andrew is now attending Clemson University and a member of their bass team. 

Chase Martin

Kaleb Brown

Kaleb has been fishing his entire life. He started competitively bass fishing in the fifth grade and had his first bass boat in sixth grade. He has fished tournaments all over the Northeast. He finished in the Massachusetts TBF high school trail winning events each season and taking home AOY in 2019. Kaleb made the decision to go to college to fish his freshman year of high school and really tried to gear his fishing and academics the best he could to prepare for this. He started attending Lander University in the fall of 2019 and was the teams Freshman Representative and then the Vice President until we were brought under athletics in the fall of 2021.

Kaleb has qualified for 5 National Championships while fishing in college. Two Major League Fishing Abu Garcia College Fishing National Championships and Three Bassmaster College Series National Championships. Some other highlights of his young career are that he was the 2020 South Carolina BASS Nation College State Champion. He has qualified for an MLF Wiley X College Faceoff and a Bassmaster College Classic.

When he’s not in class, on the water, or in the woods, giving back to youth anglers and sharing the sport of bass fishing is a true passion of his. Kaleb has been a boat captain for high school tournaments in MA, NH, SC, and FL. Any chance he gets to work with young anglers he jumps at it. He is very excited about the opportunity to work for Candlewood Fishing Camp and helping grow the next generation of bass anglers.