It’s Late Spring, Right?

Winter temperatures greeted us this morning as we geared up for the third MAKB event of the year. (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.


Going Bananas

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 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? =)


Stats and All-Time Records

For those of you who’re into stats, we added a few new pages to the website. They are as follows:

Top 10 Limits
Top 10 Lunkers
Top 10 Season Length

Pretty self-explanatory.

Here is a more detailed breakdown of our year…

This year we ran a total of 14 tournaments, including the post-season Sabbatia event, which were attended 228 times by 54 individual anglers.

Our biggest turnout was 23 anglers at the East/West Monponsett tournament, while our lowest turnout was just 10 at Glen Charlie (though, if I recall correctly, we had something like 19 signed up before the weather turned people away).

During our tournaments, 886 fish were submitted (thanks for judging most of them, Sarah). The most fish submitted in any one event was 116 at Lake Boon, with the lowest being just 24 at Lake Maspenock (or 17 at Sabbatia, if you want to include the one post-season mid-November tournament).

We submitted a total of 9,630.75 inches of bass to TourneyX (thanks, Dwayne). These are the totals per event:

230.00 – Lake Sabbatia
308.25 – Lake Maspenock
462.25 – Billington Sea
522.00 – Glen Charlie
667.25 – Lake Nippenicket
668.50 – Lake Rico
697.25 – A-1/Stump Pond
749.50 – Chauncy Lake
750.75 – Cook Pond
757.75 – Robbins Pond/Stump Pond
826.25 – East/West Monponsett Pond
868.50 – Charles River
915.50 – Lake Boon
1,207.00 – Oldham Pond

Those numbers do not include culled submissions.

The top three limits of the year were:

Edmar Junior – 89.50 (Chauncy Lake)
Mike Elrick – 89.00 (Oldham Pond)
Domenic Eno – 88.25 (East/West Monponsett Pond)

The top three largemouth lunkers (two of which were 8-pounders) were:

Bruce Levy – 23.00 (Stump Pond)
Peter Arruda – 21.75 (Lake Rico)
Mark Johnson – 21.50 (Glen Charlie Pond)

The top three smallmouth lunkers (none of which were even 2-pounders) were:

Bruce Levy/Ken Wood – 14.25 (Cook Pond)
Donald Davis – 12.50 (Lake Maspenock)
Chris Diranian – 12.00 (Billington Sea)

In everyone’s defense, we didn’t fish many spots with smallies this year, and those we did fish aren’t known as great smallmouth fisheries.

Oddly enough, Ken Wood technically caught the biggest smallie (16.25) this year at Oldham, but apparently we missed the memo stating smallies were now in that pond. And he lost a bigger one that day, too! Crazy.

Anyway, Bruce Levy had the most first-place finishes, with four (including the Sabbatia win). Ken Wood tried to do his best Aaron Martens impression this year and placed second six times! Donald Davis was right on his heels by placing third five times.

Overall it was a pretty damn good year! This was just our second year in existence, and we think it was a great success. We have a solid schedule lined up for next year with a lot of different locations that are a bit less centralized to the south shore. Should be even better than this year!


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 his revenge upon 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.

The second half of their match took place at our Lake Maspenock tournament two weeks later, and once again it was a tight finish. 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 outstanding fisherman, and a hell of a match between two strong competitors!

Below is the full bracket (click the image to enlarge):

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.