Saturday, eight of us journeyed to the northwest corner of the state for the sixth Western Division event at Cheshire Reservoir. Big fish were at a premium there, but the race for second place literally came down to the last minute.

Cheshire Reservoir has two fishable basins (north and middle), but we weren’t allowed to portage across the road separating them. If any of us wanted to switch basins during the day, we would have to load our boats and drive from ramp to ramp.

Dan Johnson Jr. was the only of us to start at the middle basin, a decision that served him well. Dan was the only angler to break 80 inches (by a quarter inch) on the back of the event lunker (18.75) and closed the door early. Congrats and nice job Dan!

Second place was occupied throughout the day by myself, Jerry Howes, Eric Graves, and Nelson da Costa. But by 1:30, Nelson looked like he had wrapped the spot up behind a 72.75-inch bag.

Then the magic happened!

At 1:45, Dan was in first, Nelson in second, Jerry in third, Eric in fourth, and I was in fifth. I returned to a wind-sheltered side of an island and caught my second biggest fish of the day, which bumped me up to a tie with Nelson. I followed that one, at 1:56, with another cull that got me to 74 inches even, and in sole possession of second place. Then I turned my phone off and headed back…

As I came around the island, I saw Jerry heading my way, and I threw my arms up and gave him a “Whooo!” Then he did the same, and I thought, Why’s he cheering about me taking second place at the buzzer? Well, it turns out he wasn’t. He was cheering for himself for breaking 77 inches, dropping me to third, and taking second for himself at 1:59.

Jerry also won the “Toothy Bastard” pool—which includes northern pike and pickerel—with an 18-inch Northern. Congrats to him on a couple exciting scores and an insane way to end a nibbler-ific day!

Waiting for us at the launch was Nelson, who had now been bumped down to fourth in the last four minutes, and he had a professional greeting for us. I also had no idea of the moon phase to that point, but was not impressed to learn that it was, in fact, full at the launch.

Great day out there, and thanks to everyone involved! Hope to see you all at Lake Garfield to close out the Western Division regular season in a couple weeks.

For now, check out the full results over on Fishing Chaos.