The Taunton River Experminent

The Taunton River experiment is in the books!

Few of us had ever fished the Taunton River before, so we didn’t know what to expect. I think that’s why we had a lower-than-normal turnout. But fourteen anglers gave this one a go, with many miles of river available to fish between Taunton and Bridgewater. Finding a launch location proved to be an obstacle for many, even as late as this morning. In the end, everyone got on the water and most caught fish.

It wasn’t the best day of fishing, but it was, thankfully, a much better tournament than I anticipated.

Lots of small fish, though. Only one truly big fish was caught, and that was a 20-inch stud hauled in by Bruce Levy. Tournament lunker!

We ran a separate lunker pool for bowfin, but they proved too elusive for the eleven of us who opted in. Everyone got their money back.

We paid out just three spots today. Bruce Levy was holding in that third paying spot until around 11 AM, when John Ferreira edged him out and down into fourth. But a short while later Bruce put a small upgrade on the board, which ultimately put him a half inch over John’s 69.50 and back into third place for good.

I launched a short ways up the Nemasket River and worked my way down toward the Taunton River. It took me a few hours to make it there, and I spent at least half that time paddling through grass, weeds, an obscene amount of spider webs, and under far too many fallen trees, but I managed to pick up 71.25 inches of bass along the way, good enough for second place.

I was in the lead for a good portion of the day, and I watched the standings as Gerard Elias slowly crept up behind me (he may have been in first for a time early on as well). Gerard hasn’t been tournament fishing for long, so it was an odd feeling to be rooting for him while also hoping he catches nothing but pickerel for the rest of the day. Haha.

Unfortunately for me, when I turned the standings off at noon, he had jumped ahead of me by about three inches. When all was said and done, Gerard added another three inches for an overall total of 76 inches. He had a spot all to himself and it paid off with his first tournament victory! Congrats, sir! Well earned.

I appreciate everyone coming out. I know this wasn’t the best location and the “roadrunner” style wasn’t the most convenient, but I think it turned out well enough.

Full standings can be found here.

And remember, if you’ve fished with us, you get a nice discount when buying from our sponsors, Go Bananas Outdoors, Radfish Lures, and Rocky Ledge Tackle. Check out the Members Only section here on the website (message me for the password). Also be sure to check out MGC Fishing Equipment and Supplies for your local tackle needs.

Our next event is on the Charles River in Waltham on July 21. Sign up page will go up tonight…

19 Epic Minutes!

We fished Snipatuit Pond today, and…man, it was HOT! What little wind there was…was also HOT! Haha. Brutal.

Twenty-four of us toughed it out, though. You guys are awesome.

It was tough fishing for a lot of people. I don’t know what everyone was throwing, but awesome job if you caught them. Especially on the main lake. That one can be stingy.

We paid out five spots and lunker, plus pickerel lunker. John Ferreira didn’t catch any bass, but he did catch a 23-inch pickerel worth $140. Congrats, man!

I spent most of the day throwing the Sprinker frog, which pretty much sucks in any weed situation. Lame. So a little after 1 PM I finally smartened up and put on the trusty old Booyah Pad Crasher and immediately hooked up. I caught three upgrades in 19 minutes in one set of pads, one of them being a 20.75-inch, 6.17-pound tank. That was lunker largemouth for the day.

But we also had three 20.25-inchers caught, one of them being Gerard Elias’s new PB! Congrats, sir!

Fifth place went to Mike Elrick, with 64.75.

Bruce Levy and Domenic Eno tied with 75.25 apiece, but Dom had the next biggest fish, so Bruce took home fourth and Dom third.

Lee Kennon had the lead for most of the day, but he ended up in second with 85 even.

And that was because I lucked out and managed to find one of those magical spots that produced three bass in quick succession—at 1:10, 1:22, and 1:29—which bumped me up nearly 10 inches to 91.50.

If I hadn’t made the choice to tie on a different frog, Lee would have won. Crazy.

So…congrats everyone! Thanks for sticking it out and fishing in that awful heat. Next Saturday, at the moment, is looking better.

Check out the full results here.

See you at the next one!

Roasted on the Split

Tournament #5, our split-location event is done—and so are we. Well done. Today was brutal! Hot as hell, and virtually no wind.

We had 27 anglers today, fifteen of which fished Ponkapoag, while the other 12 fished Canton Reservoir.

Many of us were under the impression that it was a tough bite, but 153 fish were submitted, and many smaller fish were caught and not submitted.

So it was a decent enough day. Just a ton of 1- to 2-pounders were caught, and not many big ones.

Given the conditions, it seemed that Ponkapoag—with all the weeds and lily pads—would put out the day’s best stringers, but surprisingly Canton Reservoir produced the better fish. Although the biggest fish of the day—a 21-inch tank hauled in by Donald Davis—came from ol’ Ponky. Nice fish, man!

We paid out five spots today, and Ken Wood managed to pull in 81.25 inches to take fifth and a little bit of cash. Ken said he caught all his finesse fishing, then added, “It was torture, basically.”

Chris Diranian represented Team Ponky with 82 inches and a fourth place finish. Congrats, sir!

The top five spots changed quite a bit today. Hell, the top ten did. Domenic Eno had first for a while (as did others), and with a solid limit, but he landed in third overall with a respectable 85 inches.

For the second time this year, Lee Kennon took home the second-place prize. He had 68 inches when he placed second at Dark Brook Reservoir. Today he flipped it and put 86 inches on the board. Nice!

Valber Santos won a tournament last year fishing a common lure in an unconventional way. I won’t give away the technique, but it’s impressive, and once again it led him to victory—by just a half-inch. It was a close one!

Great job, bud!

Full standings can be found here.

Anyway, congrats, everyone. For all of us fathers with wives or girlfriends, we went fishing on Father’s Day! That’s a victory in and of itself.

Happy Father’s Day!

Great seeing everyone, especially some new faces: Bruce Sison and Joseph Daddeo, who drove a long way from southern NH to fish with us. Much appreciated, fellas. Hope to see you at a future event.

Special thanks to Michael Sales and MGC Fishing Equipment and Supplies for the bait packs. Much appreciated. You guys should definitely check out MGC if you’re in the area. Best tackle shop around.

Don’t forget to check out our other sponsors: Radfish Lures, Rocky Ledge Tackle, and Go Bananas Outdoors. We have a password-protected Members Only section on our website now (if you’ve fished with us, you’re a “member”), which details the discounts our these guys have graciously offered us.

If you need the password, shoot me a message.

Our next tournament is on July 1 at Snipatuit Pond in Rochester (I’ll get the event page and TourneyX page uploaded tonight). This one can be a tough nut to crack, so it’ll be interesting. Hope to see you there!

Great Herring Smallie Smash

Today we hit up Great Herring Pond in Plymouth, MA, for our fourth tournament of the season. Nineteen anglers showed up, and we paid out four spots, plus lunker largemouth and smallmouth.

Water temp was 62 degrees to start, which is ridiculous. Par for the course this year, though. The weather was good otherwise, if a bit breezy.

Herring and post-spawn conditions (though some caught some late spawners on beds) kept the bigger fish tight-lipped. Still, over 100 fish were caught and submitted.

With this being the first lake we’ve fished that has an abundance of smallmouth, all but two of us opted into the smallie lunker pool. Bryan Limeburner ultimately took home the smallie lunker prize with a 16.25.

(I mistook Lee Kennon’s 16.25 for a smallie—or assumed it was, I don’t know—and tried to give the lunker money to him since his next biggest was bigger than Bryan’s. Thanks for being honest, Lee!)

Kevin Amaral Jr. landed the biggest fish of the day, an 18.50 largemouth (one of only four caught), so he took home the lunker largie prize.

Kevin also came in fourth place with 64.50.

With 65.25, Brett Krill took third.

Ken Wood lost a 15-incher off the board early in the morning. After culling up two times late in the day, he wondered if that lost fish would have been the winning fish, but with twenty minutes left in the tournament, Domenic Eno settled the matter by culling up with a 15.25.

Ken ended up with 67.50 and second place, while Dom’s late-day bass gave him 71.75 and the victory.

You can see the full results here.

Great job, Dom, and everyone else! Good times, as always.

Big THANK-YOU to Michael Sales and MGC Fishing Equipment and Supplies for providing T-shirts and hats to the winners!

And thanks to everyone helping out with loading and unloading and shuttling guys back and forth to the ramp. We did not expect the ramp to be so busy at the end of the day, but it all went smoothly enough.

Good seeing some new faces as well. Sean and Willian, hope we see you guys at future events!

Speaking of which, our next event is a split-location tournament. You can fish either Ponkapoag Pond or Canton Reservoir. Your choice! The event page is already up on TourneyX, so register there. We will have the Facebook event page up shortly.

Rocky Ledge Tackle

Massachusetts Kayak Bassin’ is extremely excited to announce a partnership with Jim Migliozzi and Rocky Ledge Tackle, who will be graciously sponsoring some of our events this year.

Jim makes some of the best hard baits in the business, including one of the most unique spinnerbaits I’ve ever fished: the Swimming Spinnerbait. I’ve lost count of the amount of big fish I’ve caught on this bait alone.

Our members will receive a 20% discount on all online orders. Message Ken Wood, Mike Elrick, or Bruce Levy for the discount code, and please like Rocky Ledge’s Facebook page, check out their website, and orders some killer baits!

Radfish Lures

In addition to our partnership with Go Bananas Outdoors, we are very happy to announce that we have partnered with Ralph D’Arco and Radfish Lures this year!

Radfish will be sponsoring some of our events, plus our members will receive a 10% discount on any Radfish order. Message either Ken Wood, Bruce Levy, or Mike Elrick for the discount code!

If you’re from Massachusetts, you have no doubt heard of Radfish Lures. They are one of the leading local baitmakers, and for good reason. I haven’t fished all their baits, but personally I love the Z-Slugs and Flop-It Craws. We are excited to be working with them!

So please like their Facebook page, check out their website, and give some of what they have to offer a try.

(And once again, “members” means those who have fished with us this year.)

Very Close Finish

Winter temperatures greeted us this morning as we geared up for the third MAKB event of the year at Agawam Mill Pond. (Seriously. It was 37 degrees in Taunton! Absurd.) With the promise of rain, we anticipated a pretty uncomfortable day.

Twenty-one anglers were brave enough do battle with Mother Nature.

Fortunately, it warmed up somewhat and the rain held off until around noon, and even then it was little more than a sprinkle. Still, the cold morning temps and rain from the night before did us no favors (nor did the herring or the post-spawn conditions).

With water temps ranging from a ridiculous 53 degrees (likely just surface temps, but still…) to 62 degrees, the bite proved tough for a lot of us. Of those who caught fish, most caught small fish.

As always, though, some guys found quality bass when others could not.

Big fish were hard to come by. Five 17-inchers, one 19.25—caught by Julio Lopes—and 89 smaller fish. Julio obviously had lunker for the day.

He also came in fifth place, with a solid 73.75. Good job, man!

Chris Diranian put up 74.50 and nabbed the fourth-place slot, while Peter Arruda’s 75.75 landed him in third for the second tournament in a row.

For most of the day, one angler sat atop the leader board. That was Kevin Amaral Jr. But while a win seemed all but certain early on, another angler had other plans…

Just before 1 PM, Troy Brown culled out a 10.75 with a 12.75, giving him 76.50 inches and the victory—by a half inch!

Very nice finish, fellas! And congrats on your first MAKB victory, Troy!

Complete standings can be found here.

Thanks for coming out, everyone, especially considering it was supposed to rain most of the day. We appreciate it! Great time, as always.

Our next tournament is this coming Saturday at Great Herring Pond in Plymouth. The event page is live now. Register quickly, as it will most likely max out.

Go Bananas Outdoors

Massachusetts Kayak Bassin’ is excited to announce that we have partnered with some great local companies this year. These are companies that Bruce, Mike, and I are fans of. No disingenuous pro-staff nonsense. If we promote a company or product, we dig it, we use it.

As such, these companies will graciously sponsor some of our events and offer exclusive discounts to our members. Since we do not have a membership option at this time, a “member” this year will be deemed as someone who has competed in one of our regular tournaments, online tournaments, or Knockout Series.

One thing many of us could benefit from around here is a local company that offers kayaks and kayak accessories. Go Bananas Outdoors in Wareham is that company, and we have partnered with them for the 2018 season and hopefully beyond.

On the surface, they are an Army Navy Surplus store, but they are also the largest kayak dealer in New England and have a vast selection of fishing and non-fishing kayaks available, from Jackson Kayak, Native Watercraft, Old Town, Nucanoe, Wilderness Systems, FeelFree, and many more. They also offer a wide variety of accessories—paddles, racks, mounts, etc.

Beyond that, owner John Fine has kindly offered our members 10% off of all kayak accessories and 5% off of all kayaks, excluding sale items. Pretty great deal! So if you have fished any of our events this year, please patronize them whenever you can. You will need to present an ID so that they can verify that you are on our “member” list.

See the photos below for some of what they have to offer.

And a special thanks to Marcus De La Vega for putting us in contact with them.

115 Bass, 112 Dinks

Dark Brook Reservoir is in the books! Interesting start to this one…

We’d gotten permission to park at the fire department training lot across from the ramp. We’d also gotten a promise from the water department that they would unlock the gate for us Friday night, then dummy lock it so we could open it when launching and leaving.

Well, not only was the gate locked in the morning, but at 7 AM, right as we were about to paddle away, someone from the fire department stopped by to tell us that they were conducting training today (something they insisted they were NOT doing) and that we had to move our vehicles!

All good, though. We moved to the school lot right there and were back on the water by 7:10.

We had 20 anglers today, and paid out five spots plus lunker largemouth and smallmouth.

We have yet to fish a pond with a large population of smallies, so once again a dink won it. That went to Brett Krill with a 10.75-incher. I know Jesse Phipps is kicking himself for not getting in one that pool because he caught an 11-incher. Haha.

Lunker largemouth went to Jake Schur, who hauled in a massive 23-inch, 7.10-pound beast. And it was a new personal best! CONGRATS!

The top five was tight today. Hell, the top 14 or 15 was pretty tight for most of the day. Any one could have propelled himself into the lead with one big fish. Unfortunately, it was a dinkfest for most of us.

Ken Wood caught nearly all his fish on a Rocky Ledge Tackle RL 2.5 square bill (Coach Craw color). At 1 PM, when we turned off the standings, he was in fifth place, and after a few small upgrades after that time, he thought—or hoped—he still had it. At the end of the day, though, he’d been bumped down to sixth and Jay Sebastian, who had 65 inches, had taken his place at fifth.

Deeka Collins had a solid day. He stuck to a pattern and it paid off with 67.75 inches of bass and a fourth-place finish. Good job, bud!

Peter Arruda also had 67.75, but his biggest (15.50) bested Deeka’s (14.75), giving him third and his first money win with MAKB! Congrats, man!

In the last hour, Lee Kennon put three fish on the board, culling two smaller ones, pushing his total to 68 inches even, which was enough to take second. With a lunker win in our first tournament (and currently sitting in second place in our Spring Challenge), his season is off to a nice start.

For a good part of the day, Jake Schur sat at the top of the standings with around 69 inches, well within reach of over a dozen anglers, despite his 23-inch slob anchoring his position. But at a little after 1 PM, he hauled in a 19.75, which sealed the deal with a grand total of 81.50, a 13.5-inch margin of victory.

To put this into perspective: out of 115 fish caught, only one other bass (caught by Lee Kennon) was bigger than 15 inches. Hell of a win, Jake!

Check out the full standings here.

Excellent day out there, fellas, despite the inconveniences in the morning. Great team work, too, helping everyone with getting the yaks over/under the gate!

Our next event is at Agawan Mill Pond in Wareham on May 19. I’ve never fished there, know nothing about it, but I’ve heard it’s a great fishery.

Hope to see you there, and thanks for coming out today!

All About the Weed

The first tournament of the year is in the books! We had 26 anglers—our biggest turnout yet!—and paid out five spots and lunker.

We were supposed to fish Santuit Pond but were forced to relocate at the last minute, so we fished Norton Reservoir instead. I think most of us would have preferred to fish Santuit, but at least we didn’t have to cancel the event entirely.

The day was windy, but not too cold, with water temps in the upper 40s to start. This made for a tough bite (last year’s weed kill no doubt played a role as well).

A handful of fish were caught early, but the bite died down after that. One of those early bites was a fat 19.50-incher, caught by Lee Kennon. That would remain the big fish of the day! Congrats, sir!

Lee was fishing a thick bed of weeds in about six feet of water when he caught that lunker. After last year’s weed kill, weed was sparse, but it was the key to victory on this day. Four of the top five anglers happened upon a small area at the back of the pond that had an abundant amount of weed near relatively deep water.

Ken Wood had 68.25, which had him bringing up the rear of the winner’s circle and taking fifth place. Valber Santos took fourth with 69.25, and Craig Page landed in third with 70.25. All separated by a single inch. It was tight at the top.

(The margin between fifth and sixth place was over 42 inches!)

Chris Diranian found his own pattern—throwing a white spinnerbait shallow—catching four fish in the last few hours to launch himself up into second place with 73.75.

And for the second year in a row, the season opener victory went to last year’s Angler of the Year champion, Bruce Levy, who found the weed first and hauled in 79 inches of bass! Thus he once again takes a seat upon the Angler of the Year throne…

For now.

Congrats, man! And everyone else who brought home some loot and caught fish. It was tough out there!

Thanks to everyone for coming out and sticking with us after the childish drama that ensued yesterday. Our fishing community is plagued by too much negativity, and it’s heartening to see that our group can rise above such petty nonsense. We appreciate it very much!

As always, it was great seeing everyone, especially the new guys—Bob, John, Nate, Matt, and Zachary! Hope we see you at some more this year.

Speaking of more, our next event is on April 28 at Dark Brook Reservoir in Auburn. See you there!