Tag: Charles River

Tied Up on the Charles River

The Charles River played host to the sixth Eastern Division event of the season today. Twenty-seven anglers fished this one, launching from various locations along the near 70-mile river boundary.

The water is higher than normal, the current swifter, which made the bite much tougher than it usually is this time of year.

The leaderboard changed quite a bit throughout the day, as anglers started putting the pieces together. Every time I checked the standings, things had shifted.

One thing that wasn’t changing was the pickerel lunker standings. Steve Hedges put up a 14-incher early, but that was the only one submitted until he submitted a 17.25 in the last thirty minutes. No other pickerel were submitted!

I know I was surprised not to have caught any, but I guess they were in a collective funk all across the river. Steve wins that lunker pool uncontested!

A number of big bass were caught, though, but Domenic Eno dropped the hammer on a 20.75-inch tank within the first hour, pretty much closing the door on lunker for the day right then and there.

I didn’t pay a lot of attention to the standings toward the end of the day. All I knew was, my bites were coming few and far between. The fish just weren’t where I expected them to be.

Valber Santos pushed into the lead at one point and with his knowledge of the river it was looking like he had it all but wrapped up. His 84.75 had him separated from the pack by close to ten inches.

Justin Lacasse was a last-minute sign-up. He had a near win at the KBF Trail event last year, and he won the Ocean State Kayak Bassin’ event on the river earlier this year. A late-day cull today pushed him up into fifth place with 77 inches, tying Ryan Pierce, who won the tie-breaker with his big fish—a 19-incher—giving him fourth place.

I was out on the Charles for the Summer Brawl last weekend, and I couldn’t buy a bite on the frog. That’s usually my go-to on the Charles in the summer, but yet again today they just wouldn’t touch it. Mike Morcone had the complete opposite experience: that’s all he could catch them on! His 78.25 nabbed a third-place finish.

Around 10:30 AM, I hooked up with my fifth fish, nearly five miles from where I launched. I’d sidled up to a log jam at a bridge and cast up under it before going through. A very aggressive bass smashed my bait, and in the process of reeling it in, it got wrapped up in all my other rods that I had laying down on the deck. Complete nightmare!

Worried my line was going to break, the only thing I could do was power-lift it up into the kayak—five or six rods with it—and try to pendulum swing it in…

And then the fish came off!

Unbelievably, though, in the process of falling, its upper lip fell right onto my flipping bait and the bass hooked itself! Unreal. I wish I had the GoPro with me for that one. Just insane. I started screaming like Iaconelli! Haha.

That fish gave me my limit and pushed me up into second place with 81.50 inches. I still had a 12.50, though, so I knew I was one good bite away from taking the lead.

Then, at 1:31, Valber dropped an 18 on the board, pushing him to 86.50.

Five minutes later, I was on my way back, rushing to hit some key laydowns along the way. I came to one from which I’d watched Chris Titi pull two 19.75s back to back earlier in the morning, flipped in, and smashed a 17.50, giving me a five-inch upgrade, tying Valber’s 86.50.

My big fish was a 19, though, which trumped Valber’s 18.25, giving me the win. Crazy finish, man! Great job out there!

Full results can be found here.

An extra special shout-out to Valber and Cleiton Rocha, who assisted Scott Salvo after he flipped his kayak. A lost phone is much preferable to a lost life. Thanks, guys!

Scott was doing well, too. Who knows, maybe the day would have been his? Next time, buddy!

Thanks for coming out, fellas! Everyone caught fish, so that’s always good.

A Gamble Pays Off

Well, if you’re sick of fishing rivers as much as I am, I have some good news: no more river tournaments this year!

I think. I hope. We do still need to make up one of our canceled dates. Taunton River again?

Anyway, today marked our fifth tournament of the season and second on the Charles River. During our last tournament on the river, only one angler broke 75 inches, and he did it in a big way, putting up 89.25 inches overall.

Eleven anglers crossed the 75-inch line today, with three going past 80 inches. Definitely a better day than last time, that’s for sure.

For this one, I wanted to get away from the crowds, so I scouted a few areas I’d never fished before. I put up 72 inches at one spot on Wednesday and 86 on Thursday at a different spot. I gambled on the latter, hoping that the handful of laydowns that produced on Thursday would do so again today.

Thankfully, most of them did.

Here are the official results pending any protests:

Pickerel Lunker: Ari Stonehill (17.25)
Lunker: Ken Wood (19.25)

Fifth Place: Lee Kennon (77.50)
Fourth Place: Valber Santos (79.00)
Third Place: Steve Scott (80.25)
Second Place: Domenic Eno (82.25)
First Place: Ken Wood (84.00)

Congrats, gentlemen. Great job out there!

(Now, if Lee hadn’t caught that 17.75 and 16.50 on back to back casts right next to me, I might have also won the KBF Trail event. Haha.)

Find the full results here.

Since I’m fishing again tomorrow, payments will likely go out on Monday. =)

Our next event will be our annual random-draw Three Lake Throwdown event on August 15. Good luck to everyone taking another swing at the Charles tomorrow for the second KBF Trail event.

Crushed It on the Charles

The first official event of 2020 is in the books!

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, we ran this event as a “roadrunner” event, which allowed anglers to launch from any public ramp/launch area within certain boundaries, roughly Millis to Boston. With anglers spread out over such a wide area, I’m not sure how things specifically played out for everyone, so this is more of an individual write-up on my day.

We had 21 anglers, so we’re paying out five spots, plus lunker and pickerel lunker.

For me, my spot just didn’t pay off. I spent the first 2.5–3 hours targeting striper. They were stacked up below the Watertown Dam and I just couldn’t resist. I’ve caught some hybrids down south, just by chance, but never fished for them specifically anywhere. So yeah, wasted the first three hours doing that. Haha.

Slayed them, too. Had a blast!

I don’t think losing those hours would have made much of a difference; I just wasn’t in a productive spot today. Other spots were, though. Eleven limits were caught, and 19 anglers caught fish. Pretty good day overall. Better for some, of course, with one them crushing it!

With that said, here are your winners…

Pickerel Lunker: John Ferreira (23.25)
Lunker: Joseph Daddeo (18.75)
Fifth Place: Ryan Pierce (72.50)
Fourth Place: Ari Stonehill (73.50)
Third Place: Valber Santos (74.75)
Second Place: Steve Scott (74.75)
First Place: Joseph Daddeo (89.25)

Joe is an absolute beast, guys! When he told me where he was going to fish, I almost told him not to. It’s not a bad spot, but it’s a difficult part of the river to fish. Clearly that didn’t matter, though. With no pre-fishing, fishing the toughest section of the Charles, he wins by 14.5 inches! Badass, brotherman!

And congrats to everyone else. Great job out there. Payments will go out tomorrow, barring any protests.

Full results can be found here.

Donald Davis did all the judging today. Thanks, bro!

Our next event is June 20. Not a roadrunner event, but there are three areas to fish, two big parking areas, which should keep everyone at a safe distance from each other.

We will still do everything through PayPal and all that to limit contact, but this one should be closer to a normal live event.

Announcing the New England KBF Partner Trail Series

It started as an idea. A single regional event, hosted by many of New England’s and New York’s various kayak fishing groups, working together instead of against each for the good of the sport.

That was 2018, and we ran out of time.

We readdressed the idea again last year, thought that a standalone regional trail series would work even better. Instead of all groups working on one huge event, allow one or a few to host a single tournament in a series of them, culminating in a championship event.

But again, we ran out of time.

This year we were determined to get it off the ground. Jason Gardner and I reached out to Brian Baulsir at Adirondack Kayak Bass Fishing and Chris Smigz at New Hampshire Kayak Fishing, asked if they and their groups would be willing to jump on board and make this thing a reality. They happily agreed.

Having a little behind-the-scenes insight into Kayak Bass Fishing’s plans in the coming years, it just so happened that our idea perfectly aligned with KBFs vision for the future. And so our little regional trail series has morphed into something much bigger. Higher stakes, bigger rewards!

And so without further ado, we are very excited to officially announce the 2020 New England KBF Partner Trail Series, the very first of its kind!

Stop 1: Lake George, New York, May 23, hosted by Adirondack Kayak Bass Fishing
Stop 2: Great Pond, Maine, June 6, hosted by Maine Yak Anglers
Stop 3: Charles River, Massachusetts, August 1, hosted by Massachusetts Kayak Bassin’
Stop 4: Lake Winnipesaukee, August 22, Championship Event hosted by New Hampshire Kayak Fishing

The first three stops are concurrent events—Lake George is also the KBF Trail event, Great Pond is also a Maine Yak Anglers event, and the Charles River is also a Massachusetts Kayak Bassin’ event. Each will be its own separate tournament on TourneyX. Anglers may fish one or both.

Here’s what’s at stake:

Top 10% at each of the first three events qualify for the KBF Partner Championship on Caddo Lake, October 17–18
Top 10% at each of the first three events qualify for the KBF National Championship
Top 30% at each of the first three events qualify for the New England KBF Partner Trail Series Championship on Lake Winnipesaukee, August 22
Top 10% (minimum 10) at the New England KBF Partner Trail Series Championship qualify for KBF TRAIL Series Northeast Regional Championship on Lake Messalonskee and China Lake, September 12–13

Entry fee for each event is $50, with an optional $10 Big Bass Brawl side-pot (purchased through the KBF store), split 50/30/20.

The Lake George event is already on TourneyX, if you wish to register now.

There are just four events this year, but we plan to double that next year, involving more groups. We want this to be a true regional series, with all kayak fishing groups working together for the good of the region, for the betterment of the sport and, most important, its anglers.

We are excited for this series and what it means for the sport in our region. And as always, we’re happy to be working alongside Chad Hoover, Joe Haubenreich, and everyone at KBF. There may be some new kid’s in town, but KBF is still the biggest and baddest around, and with them we are thrilled to take this to another level.

For more up-to-date announcements and details, please join our Facebook group.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to either me, Jason Gardner, Chris Smigz, Brian Baulsir, or post it in our Facebook group.

Last-Minute Surge to the Top

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.

Limits! Limits! Limits!

Twelve of us fished the Charles River today, and all of us caught limits! That’s the first time everyone has caught a limit in one of our events.

We launched from four different areas along the river, between Millis and Dover.

Steve Scott landed the day’s lunker: a hefty 20-incher with a funky three-fingered tail.

In the last 45 minutes, Valber Santos put two on the board that bumped him up to 78.75 inches and into third place, where he stayed.

Donald Davis did the exact same thing: two last-hour fish that pushed him into second place with 80.50 inches.

First place was secured by 11 AM, and Allan Seniuk took home the cash and trophy with an even 81 inches.

See the full results here on TourneyX.

Congrats again, everyone! Glad you came out, hope to see you at the next one: Cook Pond on September 2!

And great meeting you, Jesse and Chris!