Night Tournament Nightmare

So our first night tournament was—how you say?—terrible. Haha.

Leading up to today, the weather was looking pretty bleak: thunder, lightning, rain. But then, today, the forecast just kept getting better and better. Seemed like it was going to be a great night!

As the sun was going down, the wind kicked up, as it does at sunset sometimes. Only it never stopped. And it was brutal!

It calmed briefly around 10 PM or so, which was nice. But then it picked back up again, worse than before, and the temperature dropped with it. All of a sudden it felt like it was late November. Frigid!

Anyway, we had a nice turnout: 10 anglers. Unfortunately, only four of us caught bass, and only one of us caught more than one. Nothing big.

Craig Page took third with a hard-won 14-incher.

My beastly 14.5-inch bass, which I caught early, on a Whopper Plopper 190 (the giant one, go figure), landed me in second place.

Donald Davis also caught his two fish early, before the bite died. He caught both on a frog. One was 14.25 inches, and the other 15.5. Small fish, but enough to take first place and lunker.

Congrats, guys! And congrats Miles, for catching the only other two bass of the night.

And thanks to everyone for coming out!

Maybe we’ll start the night tournaments earlier in the season next year. Haha.

A-Whoppin’ and A-Ploppin’

Tournament #9 is in the rearview!

It was a calm, chilly, foggy start on Lake Nippenicket this morning. We had six anglers, including newcomer Justin Rollo, who joined us for his first tournament ever. We paid out two spots plus lunker.

As usual at the Nip, some of us struggled, while others caught a lot of small fish. Water levels were extremely low, but the fish were biting, at least. It wasn’t on fire or anything, but everyone caught fish.

I got my first and biggest fish early, on a Picasso Lures chatterbait. I was hoping that was a pattern, but I never got another bite on it all day. I caught another on a Fat Ika, and then two more on a Spintrix Underspin, with a soft plastic swimbait trailer. I lost one other bass, had a huge blow-up on the frog, which might have been a pickerel. Aside from a few pickerel and a crappie, that was all I caught.

I didn’t get my fourth fish until 2:54.

Donald Davis and Bruce Levy both caught a lot of fish, but they couldn’t find any kicker bass. Don’s biggest five went 73 inches even, which was enough to squeak past Bruce’s 71.75 for a second-place finish.

Chris Diranian struggled for the first four hours with no bites—until he took off the perch-colored Whopper Plopper and tied on, I think, the blue gill-colored Plopper. Today, that’s what the big girls wanted. A couple of them, anyway.

Chris’s biggest fish went 20.5 inches, while his five went 75.5, good enough for both lunker and first place!

Congrats again, guys! Well deserved on a tough day. And as always, thanks for coming out!

Our next tournament—and final “official” tournament of the year—will be at Norton Reservoir on October 8.

From Whine to Shine

Dudley Pond is in the can!

We had 12 anglers today for the eighth stop on this year’s trail. The weather was good and the fish were biting. Everyone caught bass, on all kinds of different baits, and nearly everyone had a limit. Unfortunately for most of us the fish weren’t very big.

Overall, 58 bass were submitted, with a grand total length of 818.75 inches.

I caught fish all day, at least two dozen, probably more, but my biggest was a measly 15.25 inches. I just couldn’t find anything bigger. I did hook up with a decent one, about 3.5lb, but she came unbuttoned.

Troy Brown and Domenic Eno caught the biggest fish of the day, both hauling in a fat 21-inch largemouth, with the tie-breaker for lunker ultimately going to Dom. He took third place as well with his biggest five going 73.25 inches.

Second place went to Bruce Levy, who had a solid 78.25 inches of bass. A nice little comeback after a rough start.

And then there was Edmar Junior, who said he had maybe a fifteen percent chance of winning because, as he said-complained-whined (we love you, Edmar!), in the seven times he’d been to Dudley, he “never caught anything bigger than a 2.5-pounder.” Well, that experience paid off, and his 79.75 inches of bass got him first place, a fat wad of cash, and a sexy trophy.

His first ever tournament win! Congrats, sir.

And congrats to Dom and Bruce! And Troy!

Thanks again to all who came out today, especially the first timers! Great meeting you, Dave and Joseph! Hope you join us again.

Next tournament is in three weeks, September 17, at the Nip.

Back to Back, Baby!

We fished Neponset Reservoir today for the seventh stop on this year’s trail. We had 12 anglers show up, which was great considering the forecast.

Luckily there were no thunderstorms, though rain probably would have been nice. It was pretty hot out there. Definitely not as hot as I expected, though, thanks to a strong breeze. It was bearable. Whenever I got out of the wind, though, I could hear my skin sizzling. Haha.

Anyway, at launch my father and I made a B line to the big cove to the right of the launch area. That cove gave him a tournament win in 2014 and me one last year. I spent an hour or two in there, but it didn’t produce much at all, just three dinks and some pickerel.

I caught a ton of fish throughout the day, but all small. I ended up with 63.75 inches. Not very good.

It was a dinkfest in general, which is typical of Neponset; but in between all those dinks, some guys found the bigger fish.

Chris Diranian found five good ones for a total of 71.5 inches, which put him in the winner’s circle at third place.

Edward Neely reeled in 77 inches of bass, anchored by a 19.5-inch slob. Both good enough for second place and lunker.

Late in the day, Evan McCarthy tied on a Whopper Plopper and launched a Hail Mary cast, hooked up, and then tossed it some more. And it paid off. All that whopping and plopping was like a dinner bell to some of the bigger fish buried down in the weeds. He took first place—back-to-back victories—with 77.5 inches.

Good work, fellas! Congrats!

As always, thanks for coming out, everyone. Good to see some new faces out there as well.

The next tournament is on August 27, at Dudley Pond.

Battle of the 6-Pounders

Hell of a day today.

Eleven of us braved the potentially bad weather and fished Stump Pond and its neighbor, Robbins Pond, for the sixth MAKB tournament of the year.

The day started with some mist and a bit of a spring chill in the air. Luckily it never really rained on us. Always a good thing. And no lightning! Even better.

I know some people caught fish early, but it took me about an hour to get a bite. The rest of the day was a grind, as it was for most people. I only caught six keeper bass. I don’t think anyone else “slayed ’em,” either.

Despite the grind, a lot of quality fish were caught. It was a quality over quantity kind of day.

How about two 6-pounders? My father, Paul Reed, caught a 6.4lb slob on a white spinnerbait. Also on a spinnerbait, I think, Craig Page landed a beastly 6.2lb bass.

Though Paul technically caught the bigger bass, as happens in by-length tournaments, his 21.25-inch bass lost out to Craig’s 21.5-inch bass. Lunker by a quarter of an inch—and the big bass of the year so far!

Congrats, Craig! Sorry, Dad. Wunh wuuuuuuuh.

I caught one bass on a spinnerbait, also white, but the rest came on frogs—one on the Damiki Air Frog, one on a Yamafrog, and the rest on a Culprit Marsh Frog. My five went 82.5 inches, good enough for third place.

Though he lost lunker, my father slung his trusty spinnerbait out over deeper weeds and hauled in a hefty five that went 85.75 inches. A little second place redemption. Congrats, dude!

First place went to newcomer Evan McCarthy. This was his first kayak tournament! If I remember correctly, most if not all of his fish came on a chatterbait. His biggest five went 88.75 inches, the second biggest limit of the year.

Congrats, Evan!

(I owe you a trophy, by the way. Sorry I forgot to give it to you. Though I guess it’s not a big deal since I need to swap out the engraving plate. The one on it is for the Johns Pond tourney, which we canceled. I’ll get it to you as soon as possible!)

Collectively, we caught a ridiculous 700.25 inches of bass! Outstanding job, fellas!

As always, thanks for coming out. It is very much appreciated!

And special nod once again to Edward Neely who came all the way from Springfield, and to Bruce Sullivan who made a two-hour trek from New Hampshire! Check out his club, Granite State Kayak Anglers, if you’re from NH.

The next tournament is in two weeks, July 23, at Neponset Reservoir. Hope to see you there!

20 Epic Minutes!

Tournament #5 is done!

We fished Snipatuit Pond today. The day started calm and clear, so like probably everyone did, I started out fishing topwater. I didn’t have much luck catching bass, but did pretty damn good catching pickerel. We should’ve done a side pool for pickerel lunker. Haha.

Anyway, about an hour in I caught my first bass, a dink. I made my way into Black Pond around 9 AM, intending to first skip the frog under the overhanging bushes, but some other guys were fishing that area, so I moved down to the other end and began fishing the pads with a Damiki Air Frog. No luck in the pads…

Then I cast out deeper over some milfoil, and a giant inhaled the frog. The way it hit, I was convinced it was a pike or an 8-pounder. Unfortunately it was just 4lb 14oz (20.5″).

Not long after, in the same area, I pulled out another 4-pounder (19.25″). Right around the corner, flipping into a laydown, I got another (19.25″). Right after that, once again on the frog, I nailed another (19″).

Four four-pounders in twenty minutes! Unreal.

The bite died after that. It took me a couple hours to catch another bass. I skipped the frog up under a little culvert that had some water pouring into it from the bog on the other side, and a bass nailed it. It went 17.25″, which was good to cull the dink. And that was it for me, aside from a few more pickerel.

Pretty awesome day, though. I was in the right place at the right time.

Here are the complete results:

1st Place: Ken Wood – 95.25″
2nd Place: Chris Diranian – 60″
3rd Place: Bruce Levy (Bam) – 57″
Lunker: Ken Wood – 20.5″

Thanks again to everyone who came out. You guys rock! And congrats, Chris and Bruce!

Next one is Johns Pond on July 9. Hope to see you there!

It’s Good to Be King

And so tournament #4 is in the books!

The day started foggy and ended rainy. The forecast I watched called for rain at 3 PM. But of course it started at 1 PM—and it was cold! It also stopped the moment we got off the water. Figures.

Anyway, I caught most of my fish on spinnerbaits, but all were relatively small. The foggy morning was begging for topwater baits, but no matter what I threw—frog, Whopper Plopper, buzzbait, etc.—the fish weren’t biting. For me, anyway. I had 72 inches total.

Edward Neely had a pretty good day, catching all his on topwater. He had five fish for 74 inches, which got him third place. Unfortunately, with just six people showing up we only paid out two spots.

Donald Davis and his brother-in-law, Jim Coleman found them out “deep” and they both came in with 85.5 inches apiece.

And so the tie-breaker went to the angler with the biggest fish, which happened to be Donald Davis. Again. Don’s big fish went 21 inches, good enough to secure first place and lunker!

Since we only paid out two spots, that means Jim took second. Congrats, fellas!

Thanks to everyone who came out! Despite the final hour downpour, it was a damn good time.

Next one is Snipatuit. Hope to see you there!

Fishing Was Good—Pleasure Boaters, Not So Much

Ye Olde Ham is a wrap! We had eight anglers. Weather was great. Hot, but breezy enough that it wasn’t unbearable. Can’t say the same about the pleasure boaters. Maniacs, all of them! One of our guys was knocked out of his yak thanks to a boat that nearly hit him. Another angler saw and help a couple who were knocked from their canoe for the same reason. And at the end of the day, by the ramp, we watched as two swimmers were nearly decapitated by a boat.

That said…

My plan was to start fishing the docks to the left of the ramp—but then Edmar called me and Edward and Chris got to the docks first. Pffft!

So I crossed the pond, fished a few docks over there, and hooked up with my first bass in some sparse pads. There used to be a lot more in this spot and many others, so they might have treated the lake for weeds. Anyone know?

From there I followed the shoreline and picked up a few on the Fat Ika, and a few more on the frog at the back of the pond.

A lot of bass, many of them over 4 pounds, were on beds. Some were protecting fry, but others were acting like they were protecting eggs. Waters temps were near 80 degrees, though, so I would think they’d have spawned out long ago.

Maybe they didn’t get the memo. Haha. Or, hell, maybe they were protecting eggs. Who knows?

I lost a number of bass and landed six total. When all was said and done, my best five went 76.50 inches and were good enough for third place.

First-timer Craig Page bested me with 78.25, which landed him in second place. Congrats, man! Good too see some new blood out there.

And then there was first…

And Donald Davis did it once again! With a hefty “bag” of five bass that went 82.75 inches! He also took lunker with an 18.25-inch chunk.

Don and Craig, I think, each caught their best five on senkos.

(Note to self: When the rod strapped down right next to you is rigged with a senko, use it.)

So there you have it. Another successful tournament! Thanks a ton for coming out, guys. I appreciate it! And congrats!

Ponkapoag is next! June 11.

Wet, Breezy, and Cold, But the Bass Were Biting

What a dreary day!

Eight of us made the trek out to Billington Sea to fish the second MAKB tournament of the year. It was foggy/misty, breezy, and cold. Water temps were in the mid-50s for the most part. Not the best of conditions, and definitely not as good as it was looking just a day or two ago. But there were a decent number of fish caught.

We decided against doing a separate lunker pool for smallies, since rarely more than one or two are caught in a tournament, if any. Bummer for Donald “Dropshot” Davis since he caught a fat 16.25-inch smallmouth, probably the biggest I’ve seen come out of that place. He had two more fish, all caught on a dropshot, for a total of 48.75 inches.

That was good for third place. He also took home the lunker prize with a 17.25-inch largemouth. Nice!

At launch, I made my way directly across the lake. I was going to try to find my way into Trask Pond. But then I realized I’d forgotten the remote for my Power Pole, so back across the pond I went. (Never did make it into the pond, if you can even get into it.)

After getting the remote, I paddled out to the island, tossed a white spinnerbait into a laydown (all my bass came on the spinnerbait), and nailed my first and biggest bass of the day. Good thing I forgot that remote!

I managed two more not long after that, then lost one later in the day because, for some dumb reason, as I was reaching for my net, I thought, “Nah, just flip it.” Fail. Luckily I managed one more at 1:47 PM, on my way back to the ramp, but that lost fish hurt because it cost me the win.

I ended up with a total of 49.25 inches which was enough for second place.

(Four of us also chipped in five beans apiece for a pickerel lunker pool, and I was lucky/unlucky enough to land a 3lb 6oz aquatic snot rocket to increase my bean count by fifteen.)

Edward Neely came all the way from Springfield with borrowed gear, after some lowlife turd stole his rods. This didn’t stop him from hauling in four solid bass for 52 inches and the win!

So a big congrats to Ed! Use that trophy wisely…you know, for, like, bludgeoning to death fishing-pole thieves or something. Haha!

And thanks for traveling so far, man. I appreciate it!

Congrats to Don as well. And a respectful nod to Chris Diranian and Mike Elrick, both of whom had three fish each for 39 inches and 33.75 inches, respectively (Chris had third place until I caught that last-minute bass).

Our next tournament is in three weeks at Oldham Pond in Pembroke. Hope to see a good turnout! Great little pond.

Brutal Conditions Challenged All But One

And that’s a wrap! The first tournament is in the books, and it was brutal.

The wind blew so hard, there was a point where I couldn’t get ahead of it and thought I was going to be stranded on the other side of the lake. We all got our asses kicked by mother nature today.

And Don.

Don made the decision to break from the group and hop over to Robbins Pond first thing in the morning and it paid off big-time. He caught four over there early, and then caught a last-minute 13.5-incher in Stump Pond to fill out his limit for a total of 64.5 inches!

That was more than enough to take first place, $350, and a sweet trophy.

Second place went to Chris Diranian, with two fish for 29.25 inches. That netted him $100, and he also got $50 for lunker (15.75 inches).

I managed to catch a 12.75-inch bass at the end of the day, which was good enough for third place, $50, and my dignity. I would like to personally thank Tom Padovano for leaving early, because his 14-incher would have beaten mine.

(We’re talking about fish here, by the way.)

Anyway, we had 11 anglers total. Not a bad turnout at all. Good seeing some new faces and meeting new people. We hope you all join us again. The next tournament is May 7 at Billington Sea.

Congrats again, Don and Chris!