Massachusetts Kayak Bassin’ has grown to be the biggest, most successful kayak bass fishing series in Massachusetts, if not all of New England. Much of our success in 2021 was owed to Jigs and Bigs co-host Shawn Dominik and Nelson da Costa, both of whom stepped up to run our new Western Division.

Fittingly, these two anglers battled it out all season over on the western side of the state.

With just seven events in their inaugural season, becoming the first-ever Western Division Angler of the Year wasn’t easy. There was little margin for error. With our hybrid Angler of the Year format—your biggest twenty fish over the course of the season, bonus points for top-five finishes—a single misstep could have put either of them out of contention.

Shawn Dominik made his plans known right out the gate, at the first event of the season, by taking home the victory with a solid 84 inches, nearly seven inches over second place. Nelson wasn’t far behind in fourth place.

Two events later, Nelson took the top spot.

Over the course of the season, Shawn notched two victories, one second-place finish, and two thirds. While Nelson only won a single event, he scored two seconds, a third, and two fourth-place finishes.

Our Angler of the Year format rewards performance, but it also rewards the quality of fish an angler catches during the season. The bigger, the better!

Out of the seven regular-season Western Division events, Shawn caught the biggest bass in two events, while Nelson caught lunker in three. Each angler had accumulated twenty bonus points for top-five finishes. They were neck and neck all season long, and everything came down to the wire at our championship event. But while Shawn held an eight-and-a-half point lead in the standings, Nelson’s smallest six bass on the season were 14-inchers…and he’d done very well pre-fishing.

Within the first hour, Shawn put up his first bass. It wasn’t big enough to add to his Angler of the Year total, but it was one fish to Nelson’s zero. It would remain that way for the next four hours, when Shawn began adding to his total. At the end of it all, nothing would change for Nelson, who suffered that dreaded misstep, giving Shawn a well-deserved fifth place for the championship and firmly secured his place atop the Western Division Angler of the Year standings!

Shawn Dominik, 2021 Western Division Angler of the Year

Congratulations on a great season! There can never be another inaugural Western Division Angler of the Year champion!