Great Herring Smallie Smash

Today we hit up Great Herring Pond in Plymouth, MA, for our fourth tournament of the season. Nineteen anglers showed up, and we paid out four spots, plus lunker largemouth and smallmouth.

Water temp was 62 degrees to start, which is ridiculous. Par for the course this year, though. The weather was good otherwise, if a bit breezy.

Herring and post-spawn conditions (though some caught some late spawners on beds) kept the bigger fish tight-lipped. Still, over 100 fish were caught and submitted.

With this being the first lake we’ve fished that has an abundance of smallmouth, all but two of us opted into the smallie lunker pool. Bryan Limeburner ultimately took home the smallie lunker prize with a 16.25.

(I mistook Lee Kennon’s 16.25 for a smallie—or assumed it was, I don’t know—and tried to give the lunker money to him since his next biggest was bigger than Bryan’s. Thanks for being honest, Lee!)

Kevin Amaral Jr. landed the biggest fish of the day, an 18.50 largemouth (one of only four caught), so he took home the lunker largie prize.

Kevin also came in fourth place with 64.50.

With 65.25, Brett Krill took third.

Ken Wood lost a 15-incher off the board early in the morning. After culling up two times late in the day, he wondered if that lost fish would have been the winning fish, but with twenty minutes left in the tournament, Domenic Eno settled the matter by culling up with a 15.25.

Ken ended up with 67.50 and second place, while Dom’s late-day bass gave him 71.75 and the victory.

You can see the full results here.

Great job, Dom, and everyone else! Good times, as always.

Big THANK-YOU to Michael Sales and MGC Fishing Equipment and Supplies for providing T-shirts and hats to the winners!

And thanks to everyone helping out with loading and unloading and shuttling guys back and forth to the ramp. We did not expect the ramp to be so busy at the end of the day, but it all went smoothly enough.

Good seeing some new faces as well. Sean and Willian, hope we see you guys at future events!

Speaking of which, our next event is a split-location tournament. You can fish either Ponkapoag Pond or Canton Reservoir. Your choice! The event page is already up on TourneyX, so register there. We will have the Facebook event page up shortly.


Rocky Ledge Tackle

Massachusetts Kayak Bassin’ is extremely excited to announce a partnership with Jim Migliozzi and Rocky Ledge Tackle, who will be graciously sponsoring some of our events this year.

Jim makes some of the best hard baits in the business, including one of the most unique spinnerbaits I’ve ever fished: the Swimming Spinnerbait. I’ve lost count of the amount of big fish I’ve caught on this bait alone.

Our members will receive a 20% discount on all online orders. Message Ken Wood, Mike Elrick, or Bruce Levy for the discount code, and please like Rocky Ledge’s Facebook page, check out their website, and orders some killer baits!


Radfish Lures

In addition to our partnership with Go Bananas Outdoors, we are very happy to announce that we have partnered with Ralph D’Arco and Radfish Lures this year!

Radfish will be sponsoring some of our events, plus our members will receive a 10% discount on any Radfish order. Message either Ken Wood, Bruce Levy, or Mike Elrick for the discount code!

If you’re from Massachusetts, you have no doubt heard of Radfish Lures. They are one of the leading local baitmakers, and for good reason. I haven’t fished all their baits, but personally I love the Z-Slugs and Flop-It Craws. We are excited to be working with them!

So please like their Facebook page, check out their website, and give some of what they have to offer a try.

(And once again, “members” means those who have fished with us this year.)


Very Close Finish

Winter temperatures greeted us this morning as we geared up for the third MAKB event of the year at Agawam Mill Pond. (Seriously. It was 37 degrees in Taunton! Absurd.) With the promise of rain, we anticipated a pretty uncomfortable day.

Twenty-one anglers were brave enough do battle with Mother Nature.

Fortunately, it warmed up somewhat and the rain held off until around noon, and even then it was little more than a sprinkle. Still, the cold morning temps and rain from the night before did us no favors (nor did the herring or the post-spawn conditions).

With water temps ranging from a ridiculous 53 degrees (likely just surface temps, but still…) to 62 degrees, the bite proved tough for a lot of us. Of those who caught fish, most caught small fish.

As always, though, some guys found quality bass when others could not.

Big fish were hard to come by. Five 17-inchers, one 19.25—caught by Julio Lopes—and 89 smaller fish. Julio obviously had lunker for the day.

He also came in fifth place, with a solid 73.75. Good job, man!

Chris Diranian put up 74.50 and nabbed the fourth-place slot, while Peter Arruda’s 75.75 landed him in third for the second tournament in a row.

For most of the day, one angler sat atop the leader board. That was Kevin Amaral Jr. But while a win seemed all but certain early on, another angler had other plans…

Just before 1 PM, Troy Brown culled out a 10.75 with a 12.75, giving him 76.50 inches and the victory—by a half inch!

Very nice finish, fellas! And congrats on your first MAKB victory, Troy!

Complete standings can be found here.

Thanks for coming out, everyone, especially considering it was supposed to rain most of the day. We appreciate it! Great time, as always.

Our next tournament is this coming Saturday at Great Herring Pond in Plymouth. The event page is live now. Register quickly, as it will most likely max out.


Go Bananas Outdoors

Massachusetts Kayak Bassin’ is excited to announce that we have partnered with some great local companies this year. These are companies that Bruce, Mike, and I are fans of. No disingenuous pro-staff nonsense. If we promote a company or product, we dig it, we use it.

As such, these companies will graciously sponsor some of our events and offer exclusive discounts to our members. Since we do not have a membership option at this time, a “member” this year will be deemed as someone who has competed in one of our regular tournaments, online tournaments, or Knockout Series.

One thing many of us could benefit from around here is a local company that offers kayaks and kayak accessories. Go Bananas Outdoors in Wareham is that company, and we have partnered with them for the 2018 season and hopefully beyond.

On the surface, they are an Army Navy Surplus store, but they are also the largest kayak dealer in New England and have a vast selection of fishing and non-fishing kayaks available, from Jackson Kayak, Native Watercraft, Old Town, Nucanoe, Wilderness Systems, FeelFree, and many more. They also offer a wide variety of accessories—paddles, racks, mounts, etc.

Beyond that, owner John Fine has kindly offered our members 10% off of all kayak accessories and 5% off of all kayaks, excluding sale items. Pretty great deal! So if you have fished any of our events this year, please patronize them whenever you can. You will need to present an ID so that they can verify that you are on our “member” list.

See the photos below for some of what they have to offer.

And a special thanks to Marcus De La Vega for putting us in contact with them.


115 Bass, 112 Dinks

Dark Brook Reservoir is in the books! Interesting start to this one…

We’d gotten permission to park at the fire department training lot across from the ramp. We’d also gotten a promise from the water department that they would unlock the gate for us Friday night, then dummy lock it so we could open it when launching and leaving.

Well, not only was the gate locked in the morning, but at 7 AM, right as we were about to paddle away, someone from the fire department stopped by to tell us that they were conducting training today (something they insisted they were NOT doing) and that we had to move our vehicles!

All good, though. We moved to the school lot right there and were back on the water by 7:10.

We had 20 anglers today, and paid out five spots plus lunker largemouth and smallmouth.

We have yet to fish a pond with a large population of smallies, so once again a dink won it. That went to Brett Krill with a 10.75-incher. I know Jesse Phipps is kicking himself for not getting in one that pool because he caught an 11-incher. Haha.

Lunker largemouth went to Jake Schur, who hauled in a massive 23-inch, 7.10-pound beast. And it was a new personal best! CONGRATS!

The top five was tight today. Hell, the top 14 or 15 was pretty tight for most of the day. Any one could have propelled himself into the lead with one big fish. Unfortunately, it was a dinkfest for most of us.

Ken Wood caught nearly all his fish on a Rocky Ledge Tackle RL 2.5 square bill (Coach Craw color). At 1 PM, when we turned off the standings, he was in fifth place, and after a few small upgrades after that time, he thought—or hoped—he still had it. At the end of the day, though, he’d been bumped down to sixth and Jay Sebastian, who had 65 inches, had taken his place at fifth.

Deeka Collins had a solid day. He stuck to a pattern and it paid off with 67.75 inches of bass and a fourth-place finish. Good job, bud!

Peter Arruda also had 67.75, but his biggest (15.50) bested Deeka’s (14.75), giving him third and his first money win with MAKB! Congrats, man!

In the last hour, Lee Kennon put three fish on the board, culling two smaller ones, pushing his total to 68 inches even, which was enough to take second. With a lunker win in our first tournament (and currently sitting in second place in our Spring Challenge), his season is off to a nice start.

For a good part of the day, Jake Schur sat at the top of the standings with around 69 inches, well within reach of over a dozen anglers, despite his 23-inch slob anchoring his position. But at a little after 1 PM, he hauled in a 19.75, which sealed the deal with a grand total of 81.50, a 13.5-inch margin of victory.

To put this into perspective: out of 115 fish caught, only one other bass (caught by Lee Kennon) was bigger than 15 inches. Hell of a win, Jake!

Check out the full standings here.

Excellent day out there, fellas, despite the inconveniences in the morning. Great team work, too, helping everyone with getting the yaks over/under the gate!

Our next event is at Agawan Mill Pond in Wareham on May 19. I’ve never fished there, know nothing about it, but I’ve heard it’s a great fishery.

Hope to see you there, and thanks for coming out today!


All About the Weed

The first tournament of the year is in the books! We had 26 anglers—our biggest turnout yet!—and paid out five spots and lunker.

We were supposed to fish Santuit Pond but were forced to relocate at the last minute, so we fished Norton Reservoir instead. I think most of us would have preferred to fish Santuit, but at least we didn’t have to cancel the event entirely.

The day was windy, but not too cold, with water temps in the upper 40s to start. This made for a tough bite (last year’s weed kill no doubt played a role as well).

A handful of fish were caught early, but the bite died down after that. One of those early bites was a fat 19.50-incher, caught by Lee Kennon. That would remain the big fish of the day! Congrats, sir!

Lee was fishing a thick bed of weeds in about six feet of water when he caught that lunker. After last year’s weed kill, weed was sparse, but it was the key to victory on this day. Four of the top five anglers happened upon a small area at the back of the pond that had an abundant amount of weed near relatively deep water.

Ken Wood had 68.25, which had him bringing up the rear of the winner’s circle and taking fifth place. Valber Santos took fourth with 69.25, and Craig Page landed in third with 70.25. All separated by a single inch. It was tight at the top.

(The margin between fifth and sixth place was over 42 inches!)

Chris Diranian found his own pattern—throwing a white spinnerbait shallow—catching four fish in the last few hours to launch himself up into second place with 73.75.

And for the second year in a row, the season opener victory went to last year’s Angler of the Year champion, Bruce Levy, who found the weed first and hauled in 79 inches of bass! Thus he once again takes a seat upon the Angler of the Year throne…

For now.

Congrats, man! And everyone else who brought home some loot and caught fish. It was tough out there!

Thanks to everyone for coming out and sticking with us after the childish drama that ensued yesterday. Our fishing community is plagued by too much negativity, and it’s heartening to see that our group can rise above such petty nonsense. We appreciate it very much!

As always, it was great seeing everyone, especially the new guys—Bob, John, Nate, Matt, and Zachary! Hope we see you at some more this year.

Speaking of more, our next event is on April 28 at Dark Brook Reservoir in Auburn. See you there!


The 2018 Knockout Series Is Underway!

The 2018 Knockout Series bracket has been finalized. Anglers were paired randomly, and this is how round one—which began on April 1 and will run through May 12—will play out:

BRACKET 1:

BRACKET 2:

BRACKET 3:

Because we have 48 anglers, the brackets are slightly different this year, essentially three separate, smaller brackets. The winners of each bracket will make up the final three anglers in the finale.


Registration for the 2018 Knockout Series

Here we go…

Registration for the 2018 Knockout Series is live (see PayPal link below)!

For those who may not know what this is, the Knockout Series is a bracketed, one-on-one tournament series. Anglers are randomly paired prior to Round 1, which begins on April 1. Once paired, those anglers then coordinate with each other a one-on-one tournament (i.e. match) on a day, time, and lake/pond of their choosing. The winners of those matches move on to Round 2, then Round 3 and so forth, until we have an ultimate winner.

Entry fee is a one-time payment of $50 (non-refundable after March 14, 2018). The series will consist of five or six rounds, and each round will last five or six weeks, depending on how many anglers sign up.

We are looking for 32, 48*, or 64 anglers.

For complete details and FAQs, click here.

We will not hold spots. If you want to compete in this year’s series, pay as soon as possible. If you wish to pay with a check or money order, message me for my address. Otherwise, you can send payment directly through this PayPal link.

If you have a Facebook account, please consider joining our Facebook group for more up-to-the-minute updates on everything MAKB.

Looking forward to another great, competitive year!

* With 48 anglers, there would be a three-way finale.


2018 Schedule and More

All permits have been approved! Barring any unforeseen circumstances, this is our 2018 schedule.

Apr 14, 7–3 – Santuit Pond (Mashpee)
Apr 28, 7–3 – Dark Brook Reservoir (Auburn)
May 19, 6–2 – Agawam Mill Pond (Wareham)
May 26, 6–2 – Great Herring Pond (Plymouth)
Jun 16, 6–2 – Snipatuit Pond (Rochester)
Jul 1, 6–2 – Ponkapoag Pond (Canton)
Jul 7, 6–2 – Taunton River (Taunton)
Jul 21, 6–2 – Charles River (Waltham)
Aug 4, 6–2 – A-1/Stump Pond (Westborough)
Aug 18, 4–12 – Whitehall Reservoir (Hopkinton) *
Sep 23, 6–2 – Neponset Reservoir (Foxboro)
Sep 29, 6–2 – Lake Cochituate (Wayland)
Oct 6, 7–3 – Norton Reservoir (Norton)
Oct 20, 7–3 – Singletary Lake (Sutton) **

* Annual night tournament.

** First annual Tournament of Champions.

Next year’s trail is laid out so that it does not conflict with the number of KBF events up this way in 2018. If you’re interested in fishing those tournaments, the dates are as follows:

Jun 2 – Lake George (New York)
Jun 9 – Cobbossee Lake (Maine)
Jun 23 – Lake Oneida (New York)
Jul 14 – Peconic River System (New York)
July 28 – Susquehanna River (Pennsylvania)
Aug 25 – Chautauqua Lake (New York)
Sep 1 – Charles River Basin (Massachusetts) ***
Sep 14/15 – Lake Erie (Pennsylvania)

*** KBF Trail Event hosted by MAKB.

The Lake Erie event is one of five new KBF Regional Opens for 2018. It’s a two-day event, Friday and Saturday. The others are single-day Trail Events.

The KBF State Challenges will run from May to September in 2018. Chad Hoover has mentioned the possibility of starting the state challenge series earlier (April) and ending it later (October), though only the challenges between May and September would count toward AOY.

If they do not start the series in April, we will likely host our own state challenge in April. We will mirror the KBF challenges—same rules, cost, etc.—so that anyone new to the challenges can get a little experience under their belt.

The KBF Trail Event that we’re hosting will take place on the Charles River on September 1. The boundaries will be from Millis to the Esplanade in Boston, roughly 50 to 60 miles of water. Should be awesome!

A few other things…

We will be using TourneyX for all our events again next year.

The ramp at Cochituate will be closed for renovation starting Sep 1. It’ll remain closed for the rest of the year, so that’ll be good for us. It’ll be a roadrunner event, but I’m hoping to get approval to launch from the beach next to the ramp as well.

The Taunton River and Charles River tournaments (including the Trail Event, of course) will also be roadrunner events.

Our annual night tournament will likely be at Whitehall on August 18.

The Singletary Lake tournament will be our first ever Tournament of Champions. We’re still banging out some of the details, but to qualify for this tournament you must win one of the other thirteen throughout the season.

Initially we weren’t going to allow roll-downs (meaning, if someone wins two tournaments, we roll that slot down to the next angler in that second tournament), but after discussing it with Donald, Bruce, and Mike, we decided to allow them.

Speaking of Mike, he is now on the MAKB staff and will be working toward bringing sponsors aboard so that we can offer some additional perks and prizes to everyone. =)

We will have a new payout structure for next year. Don is working on it now.

I’m sure there will be some other announcements coming, but we’ll get to that. Any questions? =)