Yesterday, twenty anglers fished the fifth Eastern Division event of the season on Lake Nippenicket. This was our second time at the Nip this season, after having to relocate an earlier event due to high winds.

That previous event was won by Valber Santos in the final hour, when he put an 18.75 on the board, bumping Bruce Levy, who’d had the lead most of the day, down to second.

Both anglers, I’m sure, went into this second event with a lot of confidence. But they weren’t the only ones fishing…

I went out last Thursday, and the bite was tough as hell. Others I’d spoke to who’d also fished that day had the same experience. The tropical storm system that rolled through on Friday had them in a funk the day before, and that seemed to carry over to Saturday as well.

I did not fish this event, but the bite was tough down in Brewster where I was fishing, and the final standings for the Nip mirrors my experience, with only six anglers catching limits, and many of those fish on the smaller side.

Some good ones were caught, though, including a 22-inch beast hauled in by Joe Fournier. I’ve fished many events there where a fish that big wasn’t big enough for lunker at the Nip (I caught a 6.4 there once and it was not the biggest fish of the tournament), but luckily for Joe his fish was the biggest of the day, by 2.5 inches!

The Nip doesn’t only have big bass, it has monster pickerel as well, which Patrick Brown learned when he nailed a long 24.50! Almost big enough for a state pin, definitely big enough for pickerel lunker.

In his second event of the year, Donald Davis found himself in the money once again, putting up 64.75 and notching a fifth place finish in his storied MAKB career. And once again, doing so out of the old sit-in! =)

Joshua Jackson also found himself in the money for the second time this year, landing in fourth place again, this time with 66.75!

Adding more cash to his pickerel winnings, Patrick Brown pulled off a third-place finish with 71.25!

I checked the standings at some point in the morning and Bruce had a commanding lead, around 20 inches if I recall correctly, maybe more. He looked poised to get a little redemption after the last event there.

Typically I turn the standings off two hours prior to an event ending, but I forgot to set an alarm this time, and I didn’t even think about it until the tournament was nearly over. At 1:44, I checked the standings and reigning Angler of the Year Joseph Daddeo had closed the gap considerably, sitting at 73 inches, just .75 behind Bruce.

So I turned the standings off, thinking it’d add a little drama to the event if Joe could pull off a last-minute upset.

Shortly after 2 PM, all the way down on Cape Cod, I heard Bruce cursing, because four minutes after I turned off the standings, Joe put up a fish that pushed him into the lead, adding another 3.25 inches to his final score (76.25) and giving him the win!

Déjà vu for Bruce, but still another solid finish on an already great season.

Great job to everyone who got out there and put up fish. The Nip can be tough on any day and the weather definitely didn’t help this time.

Congrats to everyone in the money! Awesome job. =) And thanks to Don and Bruce for running this one!

Check out the full standings here.