On Saturday, twenty-one anglers hit Lake Rico for the eighth Eastern Division event of the season.

Lake Rico is an interesting spot. It has some monsters, but it’s also stocked with trout and has a lot of small bass, both of which make catching the big ones more difficult. But if you can find one or two above 16 inches, you’re very likely to win.

And that’s exactly how this one played out…

At the end of the event, there was a three-way tie for pickerel lunker. But one angler gave himself a quarter inch too much, while the other shorted himself a quarter inch. After correcting the lengths, Christopher Nardi came out on top with a 16.75.

Steve Hedges’s 17.75 largemouth was the hero of the day, as well as big bass of the event.

Valber Santos was a hair’s length away from a one-inch deduction, which would have put him in seventh place. Luckily the open mouth that almost cost him was open exactly a quarter inch—which is a deduction in KBF, but not one in MAKB per our rules addendum—so he landed in fifth place with 63.50 inches.

Also with 63.50, but winning the tie-breaker with a 14.25 big fish, was Anthony Campbell, who grabbed fourth place.

Chris LaCourse rolled into a spot Nate Chagnon had been fishing most of the day before moving to another area, and he was able to put together something decent. (Much to Nate’s regret, I’m sure.) His 64 inches was enough for third place.

Separating himself from the pack with two over 15 inches was Patrick Brown, giving him 68.25, second place, and his best finish of the season!

As I mentioned, the angler who finds a good kicker or a few fish upwards of 15 inches typically wins at Lake Rico. Steve Hedges nailed that 17.75 at 6:05 AM. Remove it from the equation, and he ends up with 63.25 and fifth place. But coupled with a 14.25 and three 12s, he was hard to beat on this day.

This is Steve’s second win of the season, having also taken down the Route 57 Run tournament over in the Western Division. Great job, man!

And congrats to everyone else!

If you want to see the full results, click here.

We have one regular-season event remaining in each division before the championship. The next Eastern Division event will be on September 18, down in Brewster on Walkers Pond and Upper/Lower Mill Ponds (they’re all connected). A great spot to end the season!

Then it’s on to the championship!