One More Time!

Though a lot of New Englanders have retired their fishing gear until next Spring, eight of us ventured out to Lake Sabbatia today to compete in one more tournament. It was cold in the morning, but with virtually no wind it wasn’t unbearable. Pretty nice day overall, actually, especially for November 18.

We paid out two spots and lunker, and it was a battle between this year’s Angler of the Year, Bruce Levy, and runner-up, Ken Wood.

Bruce and Ken found the same pattern—ripping a chatterbait through the weeds—in pretty much the same area. Ken, however, made a mistake: he left that area and headed down toward the dam after catching his first two bass. Bruce, on the other hand, went on to fish the area Ken had just left—and he killed it!

Ken caught nothing down by the dam, and then caught two more in the same spot he’d caught his first two bass. He shouldn’t have left.

Never leave fish to find fish, right?

In the end, Ken took second with 56 inches, while Bruce took first with 79.50 and lunker with an 18.75-inch kicker!

Congrats, Bruce!

Click here for the full results.

Thanks for coming, everyone. This will probably be the last one of the year. We’ll have next year’s trail posted soon!


The 2018 Knockout Series Finale

Our annual Knockout Series came to a conclusion on October 28 at Lake Maspenock in Hopkinton. It was another great year with some very close matches and stiff competition. One even resulted in a tie, which was broken by big fish. Can’t get any closer than that!

We started the series with 32 anglers and ended up with just two—Ken Wood and Shawn Renes.

Shawn made it to the finals last year, but was ultimately beaten by Dave Bibo. As fate would have it, they faced off again in the semi-finals (round 4) this year, but this time Shawn got his revenge and moved on to the finals for the second year in a row.

Ken Wood got spanked in round 1 last year, losing by 30.50 inches! This year he didn’t get to exact my revenge on Bruce Levy, who himself was knocked out in round 1, but beggars can’t be choosers.

Shawn and Ken decided to try out something new for the final match this year: instead of one match, they fished two. The first took place at our Lake Rico event. It was a close one, with both anglers catching one big fish over 20 inches and four dinks, but Shawn bested Ken by two inches that day, 47.25 to 45.25.

Once again it was a tight finish at Maspenock. Ken quickly landed two fish back to back, the first at 7:08 and the second at 7:15, but it would take him the rest of the day to fill a limit and cull up one time (he caught his last two fish at 1:56 and 2:08 PM).

Shawn had an early flurry, landing four fish between 7:04 and 7:53 AM. Ultimately one of those, a 14.25, was DQ’d for the eye being covered, but a few hours later he caught another the exact same size.

Even if that fish hadn’t been DQ’d, Ken had him beat…until 2:03 PM, when Shawn landed a solid 17.50. That one sealed Ken’s fate.

On the day, Shawn won by .50 inches, 47 to 46.50 (the Knockout Series is a three-fish limit, so only the biggest three of their five from that day were counted here). Between both final matches, Shawn took the win with an overall total of 94.25 to Ken’s 91.75, a difference of 2.50 inches.

So without further ado, a huge congratulations to this year’s Knockout Series Champion: Shawn Renes. Great guy and an excellent fisherman! Hell of a match and an excellent win!

Not to be forgotten, this year’s overall Knockout Series big fish went to Edmar Junior, with his 22-inch slob caught during his round 3 match back in June. There were a number of bass over 20 inches caught this year, and a few over 21, but none big enough to take the crown and $200 from Edmar. Congrats!

In his round 4 match, Ken Wood managed to hook up with two solid bass—a 20.50 and a 21—which gave him an inch lead over previous series “big bag” leader, Donald Davis. With only one round remaining at that point, Ken only had to worry about Shawn breaking the record at Lake Rico (since they experimented with the two-match finale, only the first went toward the big fish/big limit records), and that did not happen. So this year’s biggest limit went to Ken Wood, with 57 inches, taking a bit of the sting out of his series loss, no doubt.

Thank you all for another great season! Looking forward to next year. Let’s aim for 64 anglers! Sign-ups will begin in January.


A Season End Grind

Seventeen anglers closed out our final regular-season tournament of the year, which took place on a foggy morning at Lake Maspenock. In a few words: it was a grind. Super-tough bite for everyone. Only two limits were caught!

With just 28.75, Donald Davis took fourth place. He also caught one of two smallmouth on the day, with his being the bigger of the two, which was good enough to win lunker smallmouth. With a last-minute 18.50-incher, Ari Stonehill propelled himself into third place while also taking the lunker largemouth crown.

This year’s Knockout Series started with 32 anglers and ended with two going head to head: Ken Wood and Shawn Renes. Fitting, then, that both of them would battle it out on this day for both the their final Knockout Series match (see a future post to see who won) and this tournament.

Both found fish early, but it was Ken who was heading for victory until Shawn caught a late-inning lunker and bumped Ken down to second place with 72.25 inches. Shawn bested him with a solid 74.50.


Dammit, Jim, I’m a fisherman, not a photographer!

You can check out the complete results here.

Thanks for coming, everyone! As of right now, this is our final tournament of the year. If weather permits, we will hold another. Maybe more. If not, we’ll see you next year!


A Lesson in Irony

Well, for the second year in a row, our No Limit tournament turned out to be a lesson in irony. Only one angler caught more than five fish today!

It was a struggle.

Fish under 12 inches were abundant, but finding fish over that was a challenge for all 21 of us. Out of 61 fish submitted, only six were over 14 inches long. Awful.

Four of those six were big ones, though. Michael Andreasen dragged in a 19.50 early. I assumed that would be the lunker for the day—until I caught a 20-inch fatty, which I assumed would hold as the day’s lunker. But then Shawn Renes caught a 21.50! And then Peter Arruda was like, “Pffft,” and hauled in a 21.75, which was the big fish of the day.

Congrats, bud!

Current Angler of the Year leader, Bruce Levy, struggled for most of the day, but he finally landed four in the last two hours, which was enough to secure fifth place with 54.25 inches.

Only four anglers caught more than five fish. One of them was Mark Johnson, who took fourth place with five 12-inch slobs that went 61.25.

I didn’t catch my fifth fish until 2:30, and five was all I caught. Luckily that 20-incher was enough to hoist me into third place.

Shawn Renes has fished with us two times so far, and both times he’s come in second place. He had five fish—four dinks and a beast—that went 71.25.

(Shawn and I also fished the first half of our Knockout Series finale today. Based on each of our three biggest, he is leading me 47.25 to 45.25. We will fish again at our next tournament in two weeks and crown a winner!)

Craig Page hadn’t fished with us yet this year, and hasn’t fished much at all in fact, but that didn’t stop him from getting the “dubya” with six fish totaling 75.50. That sixth fish made all the difference! Congrats, man!

And congrats to everyone else! You had to work hard for this one.


Yeah, I may have Photoshopped my head into the picture
You can see the full results here.

Anyway, great seeing everyone again. Good to meet you, Gerard!

Our next tournament is at Lake Maspenock (aka North Pond) in Hopkinton on October 28. This will be our last regular-season tourney of the year (we’ll do a few more if the weather’s nice enough).

You can register for that one here.

See you in two weeks!


Big Turnout and Big Fish

So we had 23 anglers today! Our biggest turnout to date. And on a relatively crappy day, too. Pretty awesome!

It rained off and on throughout the day, heavily for a bit. My wife texted me a little after noon and said, “Sucks to be you!” Then she warned me about a storm that was clobbering Taunton and then heading our way—torrential downpours, thunder, lightning, and hail! Luckily it passed just west of us. Dodged a bullet there.

Anyway, I expected a tough bite today, and it was for some. Even I struggled for most of the day, but I managed to put together a decent limit by 9 AM. I got two small upgrades after that, but otherwise it was losing battle for me. I did manage to come in fifth, though, with 73.25 inches (we paid out five spots today).

Coming in fourth place, with 78 inches, was none other than Bruce Levy. This is the seventh time Bruce has placed in the money this year, not including his two lunker wins.

Lots of big fish were caught today, including four over 20 inches. Jesse Brady caught one of them—a solid 20 even—which helped him reach 80.75 inches and secure third place!

Oh, and speaking of big fish—lunker! Forgot about that. (Screw it. We’ll have to do this out of order.) Lunker went to Jesse Phipps, who landed a 21.25-inch tank! Congrats, man!

Two people found more than one really good fish today. One of them was Lee Kennon, who pulled in 87.25 inches of bass. That was good enough for second!

Like Mike Elrick did last tournament, today someone made some late-day moves and muscled his way into first place. That was Domenic Eno, who, at 2:24 PM, flipped a 20.50 slob into the yak. That propelled him to the top with 88.25 inches! Congrats, dude!

And to everyone else, as always!

(No pictures today. Sorry!)

Check out the full results on TourneyX.

Thanks again for coming out, guys. Really appreciate it. Great seeing some new faces out there, too!

We have two regular-season events left this year. The next one is on October 14 at Lake Rico in Taunton. This is our annual NO LIMIT event. Every fish over 12 inches counts! Bring your senkos! Haha.

If interested, check out this link for more info:


A Come-from-Behind Victory

Well, that was fun!

We had 22 anglers compete at Oldham today. Our biggest turnout yet! Awesome.

The weather was great, if maybe a bit too calm at times. But it was a good day, and a lot of good-size bass were caught!

I got on fish early, had my first bass in the net at 7:03 and a decent limit by 9 AM, with my fifth bass being a smallmouth—at Oldham! Who the hell put smallies in there? A couple minutes after I caught that one, I lost another, and it looked big!

Anyway, I upgraded a few times but didn’t catch anything after 12:35 PM. When I turned off the standings at 1 PM, I was in first place…

And Steve Scott was in second place. Unfortunately in the last two hours he was bumped down to fifth place (we paid out five spots today). He had a respectable 79 inches.

Both Bruce Levy and Mark Johnson ended up with 83.25 inches, good enough for third and fourth place, respectively (because Bruce had the bigger bass).

Unfortunately for me, my 83.50 inches was booted out of first place and into second place in the last two hours—by someone who had just two fish at 1 PM!

That rude individual was Mike Elrick!

Not only did Mike add 51 inches to the board between 1:40 and 2:22 PM to secure the win by over five inches, he had the day’s biggest bass: a fat ol’ 20.50-incher!

Talk about a come-from-behind victory! Awesome job, Mike!

And congrats to everyone else in the top five.

You can see the full results on TourneyX.

Anyway, it was great seeing some new faces out there—Ari , Ben, Jay, and Tom! Great seeing everyone else again, as well.

And thanks for the help, Bruce and Donald, and Peter!

Our next tournament is on September 30, at East/West Monponsett. We’ll be launch from the west side, but you can go under the road and fish east as well. Hope to see you there!


Over 32,000 Inches of Bass!

Okay, folks, here it is, the official results for the first ever Northeast No Limit Showdown!

Once again, sorry for the delay in getting everything judged. The amount of fish submitted exceeded my expectations by quite a bit. I had been judging every submission each day, but once I got behind there was just no way to catch up.

Because a TON of fish were caught!

We had 40 anglers sign up, and 38 of them submitted fish—2,288, to be exact, for a ridiculous grand total of 32,592.50 inches! Crazy.

Anyway, without further ado, here are the top four and lunkers:

1st Place: Chris Marty – 4,212.75″
2nd Place – Ken Wood – 3,400.75″
3rd Place – Edmar Junior – 3,123.00″
4th Place – Tom Kringle – 2,741.75″

Lunker Largemouth: – Edmar Junior – 21.75″
Lunker Smallmouth: Chris Marty – 20.00″

Huge congrats to everyone! That was a hell of a tournament! You can check out the final results here on TourneyX.

(If anyone wishes to further judge my fish, they are all in a folder in the Photos section of our Facebook page. I will leave them in there for a week before deleting the album.)

Next year I’m not sure if we’ll do a month-long tournament. I was able to remain competitive (until my wife went on a 7-day cruise) by fishing very productive bodies of water, but it’s clear that those who can fish more have a big advantage over those who cannot and those who do not have access to lakes/ponds with an abundance of fish.

I’m not taking anything away from those who fished their asses off this month, of course; I simply think a 2-day or 3-day no limit tournament would prove to be much more competitive and rewarding for all involved.

So, at a minimum, we will do a few short ones next year, and maybe one month-long.

Anyway, thanks to all for signing up! I appreciate it. And thanks to Dwayne Walley and TourneyX for making this kind of tournament possible!

To those who placed, I will send payments in a few hours to the PayPal address through which you paid your entry fee. If you would like it sent elsewhere, please message me.


Tough Bite on Cook

Today 19 of us competed at Cook Pond in Fall River. This was our biggest turnout to date!

Unseasonably cold weather and water temps greeted us, which of course made for a tough bite for most of us. Only five limits were caught.

Things started out well enough for me. I caught three by 8 AM, but didn’t get another bite until almost 11 AM. I fished half the pond after that with no more bites, so I pulled out a frog and threw a Hail Mary cast into a small field of sparse pads. Almost immediately I caught my fifth bass.

That was 12:31. I caught four more—three of them upgrades—on the frog and in the same set of pads between then and 1:15. Pretty good run for such a small area.

Anyway, we had two lunker pools for this one, smallmouth and largemouth.

Bruce Levy walked away with $150 for the biggest smallmouth: a 14.25-incher. Looking at my photos just now, though, I realized that we actually tied for lunker. I thought my smallie was 13 inches so I never even checked! Bonehead mistake on my part. Haha.

Lunker largemouth went to newcomer Kevin Amaral Jr. He had a solid—and seriously fat—18.50.

We’d hoped to pay out five spots today, but one angler didn’t show, so we paid out four.

Fourth place went to Kevin Amaral, who was also fishing with us for the first time. He had a respectable 69.75 inches.

Bruce Levy had a good day today. Not only did he get $75 too much for lunker smallmouth, he also got another envelope full of cash for placing third with 74.25 inches.

Four of the five bass I caught on the frog toward the end of the day were enough to put me into first place with 76.25—though it was shortlived. At 2:13 PM a fish was submitted that bumped me down to second.

That fish was submitted by Chris Diranian, who bested me by .75 inches for an even 77. Great job, man!

And congrats to everyone else! Excellent job.

Check out the full results here on TourneyX.

It was great time as always, guys. Great seeing everyone again, and a pleasure seeing some new faces: Kevin and Kevin Jr., Lee, and Rj. Hope to see you at another one soon!

Speaking of another one…

Our next event is on September 16 at Oldham Pond in Pembroke. It’s a great little pond, so it should be a good day!


Limits! Limits! Limits!

Twelve of us fished the Charles River today, and all of us caught limits. I think that’s the first time everyone has caught a limit in one of our events. Maybe not. I don’t know.

Anyway, we launched from four different areas along the river. I launched in Millis and went downstream. I caught my first bass within minutes and ended up catching well over 20 throughout the day. Fifteen of those were big enough for the Northeast No Limit Showdown, and my biggest five went 73.25 inches.

I was in first place early, then bumped to second by Mark. I knocked him down to second at some point, but shortly after my descent to seventh place began.

I just couldn’t find any big fish. Some did, though, as always.

Steve Scott landed the day’s lunker: a hefty 20-incher with a funky three-fingered tail.

In the last 45 minutes, Valber Santos put two on the board that bumped him up to 78.75 inches and into third place, where he stayed.

Donald Davis did the exact same thing: two last-hour fish that pushed him into second place with 80.50 inches.

First place was secured by 11 AM, and Allan Seniuk took home the cash and trophy with an even 81 inches.

See the full results here on TourneyX.

Congrats again, everyone! Glad you came out, hope to see you at the next one: Cook Pond on September 2!

And great meeting you, Jesse and Chris!


Wet and Windy

It was a wet one today! We had 18 anglers. Lots of fish were caught, and a number of good ones.

I’m at a wedding, so I’ll keep it brief…

Chris Diranian hauled in the tourney lunker—a 19.75—on the magical Pats swimbait in the last hour.

I was in second at noon when I turned off the standings. In the final two hours, though, I was bumped down to fourth.

I caught a ton of fish—got 15 for the Northeast No Limit Showdown—and ended up with 83 inches.

Jacob Schur took third with a solid 87.50 inches.

Not satisfied with just the biggest fish, Chris Diranian also nabbed second place with 88.25 inches.

Edmar Junior made a rare appearance today and it paid off. His 89.50 inches topped the field. Congrats, man!

And everyone else. It was wet and windy, but a good day nonetheless. Except for Brett Krill. Brett had a bad day (see his submission on TourneyX—YOWCH!). Hope that heals quickly, man.

See the full results here on TourneyX.

Appreciate everyone coming out! Our next tournament is on the Charles River (Medfield stretch) on August 19. Hope to see you there!