Cook Pond is in the books and…well, it was a close one. And when I say close, I mean one big upgrade or two decent upgrades could have bumped someone up to the top from nearly 20 places down. That close.

But those bigger fish were hard to come by.

We had 22 anglers show up for this one. The weather was great (and the water was pretty clear, believe it or not), but the fish were in a bit of a post-spawn funk (though there were still some bass on beds). There was no shortage of 12- to 15-inch bass today, but separating yourself from the pack was difficult.

We paid out five spots, plus smallmouth and largemouth lunker. We also held a 50/50 raffle, which was won by Gerard “Gerald” Elias. Congrats!

The smallmouth were a bit more tight-lipped than the buck largies today, but Peter Arruda threw a solid 16.50 on the board, the biggest of the day, thus good enough for lunker.

Troy Brown plucked from the lake the day’s biggest largemouth, an 18.75 on a Tokyo rig. Well done, bud!

The top half of leaderboard changed all day, with anglers jumping several spots with every small upgrade. John Ferreira hauled out a quintet of 15-inchers and 77 inches—a quarter inch over Donald Davis—taking fifth place.

Troy Brown added to his lunker winnings by nabbing a fourth place finish with 78 inches.

When I turned the standings off at noontime, Valber Santos had jumped up into first place. Two other anglers scored some late-game upgrades, though, knocking Valber down to third. A great finish either way.

It is sometimes difficult judging fish on a phone—small screen, glare, etc—and anglers have the same problem when submitting fish. One of Peter Arruda’s bass was entered as a 17.50, but to me it looked like a 17.75, which would have tied him with the leader (though it wouldn’t have changed the outcome, so I didn’t worry about it there at the ramp).

After I got home, though, I verified the fish on my computer, and it is indeed a 17.75, giving Peter a second place total of 80.25. His knowledge of the lake paid off today!

But Peter wasn’t the only angler fishing today who knew the lake well. Kevin Amaral Jr. is very familiar with this body of water as well, and, like Peter, he put 80.25 inches of bass on the board—but with an 18.25 kicker caught in the last two hours, giving him the tie-breaking victory!

(EDIT: Scratch that. I made a mistake on another one of Peter’s fish. He’s back down to 80 inches. Haha.)

And there you have it! Congrats, everyone. Great job out there today.

Check out the full results here.

The top five also received a pair of sunglasses, a hat, and a bag of soft plastics courtesy of Michael Sales and MGC Fishing Equipment and Supplies. Mike has always been good to us, so please return the favor when you’re in the need for new gear or tackle—especially swimbaits. Thanks again, Mike!

Thanks to Sarah for helping out with the judging today, even though she was out with the kids and family and certainly didn’t have to.

And thanks to Donald and Bruce and Mike and everyone else who helps out before and after the tournaments. It is greatly appreciated.

Anyway, it was good seeing everyone again. Always is. Great to finally meet you, Paulo!

Our next event is this coming Saturday (not sure how I managed to schedule two in a row) at Wequaquet Lake in Barnstable. A bit of a haul, but an excellent lake! HUGE pike in there as well. Please read the tournament description as we cannot park at the ramp.

We will have a back-up location in mind, though, because Wequaquet can get nasty if it’s windy. Either way, registration will go live tomorrow night at 7 PM.

Thanks again, fellas!