Eight down, five to go. Depressing, huh?

Twenty-four of us hit the Charles River in Waltham this morning. The day started a bit chilly, but quickly heated up with the sun glaring down on us and not even a whisper of wind to be found until later in the day. And of course it was too windy at that point.

The first bass hit the scoreboard at 6:06 AM today. Two of them, in fact. They kept coming after that. Unfortunately, with the exception of a few fish, most were small.

The biggest of the day went 20 inches, which I caught just after 8 AM on a Rocky Ledge Tackle Spin Shad with a Dakota blade. Second cast after tying it on. My chatterbait was getting hung up in the weeds, but the Spin Shad slipped through and over it all with ease.

When I turned the standings off at noon, John Ferreira was in the lead, Edmar Junior was second, I was third or fourth, and…I can’t remember who rounded out the top five. By the end of the day, however, four of those five were booted from the top of the leader board.

Two late-afternoon upgrades bumped Valber Santos into the fifth spot with 73.75 inches, while Jesse Phipps put up 74.25 and got his first taste of MAKB cash and a fourth-place finish.

Donald Davis stayed upriver all day and it paid off in the amount of 75.75 inches and third place.

Sean McDonagh had a rough start to the day (car trouble) and got on the water late. But that didn’t stop him from wacky-rigging his way into second place with 78.50 inches. I believe this is also his first time ever in the money.

I caught my first fish at 6:03 AM, on a chatterbait slow-rolled over a small laydown. The fish went 14.75, and I thought it was a great start. Never got another bite on the chatterbait, but I did manage to catch an 8.25, then a 10.00, followed by an 11.00 shortly after. Not, in fact, a great start, but the 20-incher to come later boosted my morale. Sadly, I didn’t catch another fish for FIVE hours!

At noon I was about five inches out of first. With three small fish on the board, I had Gerard help me remove my Power Pole (after he landed a nice 17-incher) so I could paddle under the road and into Purgatory Cove. I fished there once before and caught some dinks, so I was hoping I could catch a few more and cull up. With an 8.25, I thought, a 16 would give me the lead (if nothing else changed, which of course it did).

I managed to catch two 14’s and an 11.25 in there. On the way back to the ramp, I stopped by the tree Gerard caught that 17 off of (and also an 18.75 right after I went into Purgatory Cove). Earlier in the day a nice bass rolled on my chatterbait but missed it, so I tossed a little finesse bait right into that spot next to a laydown…and out came an 18.25. This was 1:55 PM. That bass bumped me up to the top of the leaderboard with 81 inches. Without it, I don’t think I’d have even been in the top five! Pure luck, but I can’t complain.

Congrats to everyone in the top five, and also to those who managed to catch fish on a tough day.

Check out the full results here

Special shoutout to Mike Furness, who drove all the way down from NH to fish with us. Great seeing you again, sir!

Our next tournament is on August 4 at A-1 in Westboro. The event page is already up on TourneyX, with 19 registered so far.