On Sunday, we closed out 2023 with one last tournament, a Cold Water Series event on Johns Pond. This final event marked the 53rd event of the season!

In total, we ran 24 divisional events and one championship, 9 Thursday Night Throwdowns, two zone tournaments, six Cold Water Series events, eight monthly online challenges, and three Catch ‘Em All Brawls.

After I make the payouts for the Johns Pond tournament later this week, we will have issued $49,893 in payouts in 2023! This is how it all broke down:

Central Division: $9,148
Eastern Division: $8,822
Northern Division: $6,518
Western Division: $6,168
Monthly Challenges: $5,254
Championship: $3,948
Cold Water Series: $3,242
Catch ‘Em All Brawls: $3,121
Thursday Night Throwdowns: $2,888
Zone Tournaments: $784

All told, 950 competitors fished these events (not all unique, of course) and 5,163 fish were submitted, which includes 1,630 from the monthly online events and Catch ‘Em All Brawls.

The most fish submitted during a divisional event was 252 at the Central Division season opener on Webster Lake. The least fish submitted was 24 at the brutal Eastern Division season opener on Lake Cochituate.

We submitted a total of 21,896 inches of bass.

The biggest limits of the year:

Central Division: Mike Morcone – 91.25 (East/West Waushacum)
Northern Division: Lee Kennon – 90.25 (Sudbury River)
Eastern Division: Steve Petkevitch – 88.25 (Snipatuit Pond)
Western Division: Shawn Dominik – 85.50 (The Lucky 7 Roadrunner event)
Monthly Challenge: Khoa Dao – 102.00 (August)
Thursday Night Throwdown: Patrick Brown – 61.00 (Mascuppic Lake)
Cold Water Series: Derek Brundle – 87.50 (South Watuppa Pond)

The biggest largemouth of the year:

Western Division: Nelson da Costa – 21.75 (Ashmere Lake)
Northern Division: Nate Chagnon – 21.00 (Sudbury River)
Eastern Division: Lee Kennon – 20.75 (Snipatuit Pond)
Central Division: Jon Carlman and Michael Williams – 20.75 (East/West Waushacum and Flint Pond)
Monthly Challenge: Derek Brundle – 22.50 (August)
Thursday Night Throwdown: Derek Brundle – 21.50 (Oldham Pond)
Cold Water Series: Matthew Conant – 22.25 (Johns Pond)

The biggest smallmouth of the year:

Northern Division: Steve Hedges – 17.75 (Merrimack River)
Eastern Division: Matthew Conant – 17.50 (Long Pond Plymouth)
Central Division: Reyluis Morales – 17.50 (Webster Lake)
Western Division: Shawn Dominik – 16.50 (Onota Lake)
Cold Water Series: Ryan Nye – 19.25 (Peters Pond)

In everyone’s defense, between all four divisions, we only fished eight lakes with smallies last year, and none were what you’d call great smallmouth fisheries.

Some other stats:

Mike Morcone had the most wins between all divisions with three.

John Ferreira had the most top-five finishes between all divisions with six, which of course lead him to his well-earned 2023 Angler of the Year win.

Derek Brundle and Ken Wood tied with the most victories between all divisions and formats with six each. They also tied for the most top-five finishes between all divisions and formats with 18 apiece.

Overall, it was a pretty killer year! Fifty-three events is pretty wild, to be honest. We’ll probably have just as many this year, or close to it. And we’re bringing back the Knockout Series like it used to be: in-state only, angler versus angler competing on the same lake at the same time!

This new year marks the beginning of our ninth year! Crazy.

Big shout-out to all the anglers and especially the MAKB staff, past and present, who have made this the baddest kayak bass fishing trail around!