Tag: Radfish Lures

Low Numbers, High Limits

The Monthly Online Challenge for August is complete!

Lower numbers for this one since I completely forgot to promote it (a lesson I clearly didn’t learn from), but the twelve anglers that did fish it put up some good numbers.

I wasn’t able to get out and fish much my week, but luck was on my side! Four of my five fish came from the Thursday Night Throwdown on Norton Reservoir and accounted for 74 of my 90.75 inches. Not bad for four hours on the water.

But that was still no match for the mighty Matthew Conant, who put up 97.75, with a 21-inch kicker that was the biggest of the month!

Steve Hedges was just outside the money with a solid 90.25, and Bruce Levy and I put up the month’s other 20-inchers.

Great stuff, guys! Congrats, Matt!

Full results here.

First Early, Second Late

Saturday, eight of us journeyed to the northwest corner of the state for the sixth Western Division event at Cheshire Reservoir. Big fish were at a premium there, but the race for second place literally came down to the last minute.

Cheshire Reservoir has two fishable basins (north and middle), but we weren’t allowed to portage across the road separating them. If any of us wanted to switch basins during the day, we would have to load our boats and drive from ramp to ramp.

Dan Johnson Jr. was the only of us to start at the middle basin, a decision that served him well. Dan was the only angler to break 80 inches (by a quarter inch) on the back of the event lunker (18.75) and closed the door early. Congrats and nice job Dan!

Second place was occupied throughout the day by myself, Jerry Howes, Eric Graves, and Nelson da Costa. But by 1:30, Nelson looked like he had wrapped the spot up behind a 72.75-inch bag.

Then the magic happened!

At 1:45, Dan was in first, Nelson in second, Jerry in third, Eric in fourth, and I was in fifth. I returned to a wind-sheltered side of an island and caught my second biggest fish of the day, which bumped me up to a tie with Nelson. I followed that one, at 1:56, with another cull that got me to 74 inches even, and in sole possession of second place. Then I turned my phone off and headed back…

As I came around the island, I saw Jerry heading my way, and I threw my arms up and gave him a “Whooo!” Then he did the same, and I thought, Why’s he cheering about me taking second place at the buzzer? Well, it turns out he wasn’t. He was cheering for himself for breaking 77 inches, dropping me to third, and taking second for himself at 1:59.

Jerry also won the “Toothy Bastard” pool—which includes northern pike and pickerel—with an 18-inch Northern. Congrats to him on a couple exciting scores and an insane way to end a nibbler-ific day!

Waiting for us at the launch was Nelson, who had now been bumped down to fourth in the last four minutes, and he had a professional greeting for us. I also had no idea of the moon phase to that point, but was not impressed to learn that it was, in fact, full at the launch.

Great day out there, and thanks to everyone involved! Hope to see you all at Lake Garfield to close out the Western Division regular season in a couple weeks.

For now, check out the full results over on Fishing Chaos.

One Fish Away from Victory

Last night, our latest Thursday Night Throwdown event took place on Chauncy Lake in Westborough. A surprisingly low turnout for this one, with only five anglers registering.

Chauncy is a great little spot, so I had expected more people to sign up.

Whatever the case, I watched the standings from Maine, and it was a back-and-forth battle for a while, with the top spot changing hands multiple times.

A small cull from Steve Hedges or Matthew Conant would have given them the win.

Nate Chagnon made a late run for the top, putting up two fish in the last 30 minutes, but he was unable to find a third. A 14-incher would have given him the win.

In the end, Mike Morcone walked away with second place and lunker. Mike put up 37.75 with just two fish, a 19.75 and an 18. An 8-incher would have secured the victory, but Mike also couldn’t find that third fish.

Lee Kennon joined us for the first time in a while and found a good one within the first 10 minutes, then two more just after 7 PM. At 8 PM, he uploaded all three and jumped to the top of the leaderboard, where he stayed for the remainder of the event.

Lee also nabbed pickerel lunker with a 19.5-incher.

Congrats, man! Great job.

Check out the standings here.

The next Thursday Night Throwdown will be on Snipatuit Pond next Thursday, September 9. Registration goes live Friday morning at 10 AM. Should be a good one!

Big Storm, Big Limits

We hosted our second Thursday Night Throwdown last night on Norton Reservoir. Sixteen anglers came out for this one, and with that we’ll be paying four spots.

Many of us quickly found out that rumors of a weed kill were true, which left at least me not sure what to do, not having much knowledge of the lake.

Mike Morcone had no knowledge of the lake, so he just beat the bank for 48 inches of bass, which landed him in fourth place.

Christopher Nardi launched and fished on the Route 140 side of the lake. His 49 inches nabbed third place.

From what I saw, Matthew Conant was fishing a bit offshore, likely targeting rocks. He took fourth place with 51 inches, which was anchored by a 19.75 he caught just as the big storm blew through.

I was sitting on 54 inches prior to the storm, which was solid, the best I’ve ever done there, almost beating my five-fish record! I’d gotten on a consistent frog bite in the sporadic pads around the lake, all but one of my fish coming on that or a follow-up soft plastic if they missed it. The one that didn’t was my biggest, a 20-incher that smashed my bait just after the storm passed—and came off. I skipped back in and luckily it hit again, which was shocking because I jacked it the first time (might have been a different fish, of course). That fish sealed the victory and gave me lunker with 57 inches.

Only two pickerel were submitted for pickerel lunker, and the biggest was caught by Derek Brundle.

Congrats, everyone!

These are fun, high energy events. Like I said in the previous write-up, it’s like speed-round fishing with the shortened times. Stressful, but a good time.

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.

And Still…

This past Saturday we hosted our second Catch ‘Em All Brawl of the year, this one being the Summer Brawl. This is always a tough event for most people, as finding a location that holds a lot of small dumb fish can be tricky.

Some people have a spot, others hope they do. I know multiple spots that are loaded with the right kind of bass, but they seem to never produce on the days of these events. Saturday was no different.

I got my first keeper within a few casts after launching. I was hoping it set the tone. Not long after, I caught a 9- or 10-incher. Unfortunately, that one set the tone! I ended the day with 151.50 inches of keeper bass, and approximately 572 inches of dinks.

That landed me in fourth place. With only 18 anglers registered, though, we’re only paying out two spots and lunker, the latter of which went to Donald Davis, who put up a tank 21.50! Awesome.

We also ran an optional pickerel lunker pool. Out of the ten anglers who opted in, only Derek Brundle submitted one, which was surprising but great for him!

Steve Scott, Mike Morcone, and Domenic Eno were on top all day, each one pacing each other fairly evenly from what I recall seeing.

Mike’s bite seemed to die at some point, though, and in talking to him after, he said he moved from his area to let it rest, only to come back and find multiple bass boats on it. A fatal error on his part, it would seem. His 235 inches landed him in third place, just shy of the money.

Steve Scott has a spot. We all know this. The spot produces, as it doesn’t get heavy fishing pressure. Domenic’s answer to this was to fish a puddle, a less-than-20-acre lake.

I’ve always said, focusing on a smaller body of water for these events is a smart move…

In the end, though, maybe this one was too small. Domenic’s 240.75 just wasn’t enough to beat Steve’s 309.75, giving Steve his third Catch ‘Em All Brawl victory!

Congrats, man! Great job, everyone.

Check out the full results here.

Our Fall Brawl goes down on October 30. Steve is the man to beat, no doubt, so if you plan on taking him down, I’d start scouting new bodies of water now.

Thursday Night Throwdown

The first Thursday Night Throwdown took place last night on West Monponsett in Halifax. Fourteen anglers competed in this one.

Chef John Ferreira got there first, and shortly after he fired up the portable grill and tossed on some burgers and dogs. He even seasoned the burgers. Fancy!

Much appreciated, man!

Strong winds greeted us at the ramp and didn’t let up. In fact, I’m certain it got worse. But the rain held off aside from a few sprinkles, which was good.

Chris LaCourse took the early lead with two fish, then I believe Bruce Levy overtook him sometime after. Matthew Conant put up the first big fish of the night, tossing a 19 on the board. At some point I took the lead from Bruce, dropping him down to second, but as always things change…

Despite the lower entry fees, which means lower payouts, we are going to keep the same payout scale as our normal events. I think that is in line with what these events are intended to be: fun and rewarding.

So we paid out three spots, lunker and pickerel lunker…

Only two pickerel were entered, a 16.75 caught by yours truly, and a 23.25 hauled in by Matthew Conant. Unfortunately for me, Matt opted in on that lunker pool and took the pot.

Kelvin Nova and Bruce Levy tied for third place, with Kelvin winning the tie-breaker via a bigger bass—a 19.50—which just so happened to be tournament lunker as well. That was also a tie with Mike Morcone’s big fish, but Kelvin next biggest fish decided that tie-breaker.

Historically, I’ve never done well at this lake, so it felt good to hold the lead for most of the tournament, even though I wasn’t sitting on an impressive limit or anything. With a little over an hour left, though, Conant put a 14 on the board that pushed him ahead of me by 1.75 inches.

I continued to catch fish, but was unable to cull out my smallest and catch the local legend, so this one goes to Matt, 48.50 to 50.25. Congrats, man!

Great job everyone! This was fun. A bit more stressful as well, like speed-round fishing. I dug it. Good idea, Nate!

Happy to see some new faces as well…

Torrence Davis of YouTube’s excellent Bubba Bass Anglers joined us for the first time. Good seeing you again, man!

And we had our youngest competitor ever in Jackson Nardi, Christopher Nardi’s son, who is 11 years old. And in fine apprentice-becomes-the-master form, Jackson took the win in the Father vs. Son match! Great job, young man.

Check the results here on Fishing Chaos.

We’ll do this again in two weeks.

Another Record Falls

July’s Monthly Online Challenge is in the books, and Joseph Daddeo came out on top with the biggest limit yet in the series: 100.5 inches! Joe’s massive limit was anchored by two over 20 inches, rounded out with three over 19 inches.

Not far behind was Matthew Conant, who is no stranger to the top the top of the leaderboard. Matt put up 99 inches.

The top four anglers had over 90 inches, in fact, and five bass topped the 20-inch mark, the biggest being Joe’s 21.50!

Great job, gentlemen!

The final results can be found here on Fishing Chaos.

Traveling Route 57 to the Championship

After a couple venue changes thanks to the US Army Corps of Engineers and Mother Nature, Nelson and I slapped together a list of ponds that are located pretty closely to each other on or near Route 57 up da’ ‘Shires…

And The Route 57 Run was born!

Noyes Pond, Twining Pond, Upper and Lower Spectacle Ponds, West Lake, York Pond, and Thousand Acre Pond hosted thirteen anglers today under bluebird skies and a setting full moon.

It ended up being a relatively close contest, even between the different waters. And while everyone put fish on the board, two camps emerged: anglers with rounded limits and no large fish, and anglers with large fish and nibblers filling limits.

I had a mediocre day, so I’m skipping my own recap. Meh.

Dan Johnson (Thousand Acre Pond) and Jerry Howes (Twining Pond) tied for third place at 73.75, with Jerry breaking the tie and claiming it solely behind a 19.25-inch largemouth. Nice job, Jerry!

Nelson da Costa (West Lake) hit for 77.50 and scored the lunker with a 20.25-inch watermelon of a fish. Just massive. Congrats to Nelson (and also congrats to his parents, who are celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary today)!

Our winner today—fishing one of the creepiest, Friday the 13th, Silver Lake-esque western MA waters (Lower Spectacle)—was Steve Hedges, who knocked in 78.50 inches of largemouth bass while avoiding demonic possession, cryptids, and all matter of supernatural evils. Steve made the long trek from out east for one reason: to finish in the top three and qualify for the MAKB Championship at the end of the season. He did that and more! Congrats to him and glad to see he survived the experience.

If you want to take a peak at the full standings, you can do so here.

Our next Western Division event is scheduled for a pike-laden body of water, Cheshire Reservoir, on August 28th.

In the meantime, to scratch your collective competitive itch, there are a couple tourneys lined up: MAKB’s Catch ‘Em All Summer Brawl online event is a go for July 31 at waters across the state, and on August 14, Lake Winnipesaukee hosts the next Elite Kayak Fishing tournament.

And don’t forget our MAKB monthly online challenges! Get into them if you can.

Congrats again to all our winners!

Deja Vu in the Bridgewater Triangle

Yesterday, twenty anglers fished the fifth Eastern Division event of the season on Lake Nippenicket. This was our second time at the Nip this season, after having to relocate an earlier event due to high winds.

That previous event was won by Valber Santos in the final hour, when he put an 18.75 on the board, bumping Bruce Levy, who’d had the lead most of the day, down to second.

Both anglers, I’m sure, went into this second event with a lot of confidence. But they weren’t the only ones fishing…

I went out last Thursday, and the bite was tough as hell. Others I’d spoke to who’d also fished that day had the same experience. The tropical storm system that rolled through on Friday had them in a funk the day before, and that seemed to carry over to Saturday as well.

I did not fish this event, but the bite was tough down in Brewster where I was fishing, and the final standings for the Nip mirrors my experience, with only six anglers catching limits, and many of those fish on the smaller side.

Some good ones were caught, though, including a 22-inch beast hauled in by Joe Fournier. I’ve fished many events there where a fish that big wasn’t big enough for lunker at the Nip (I caught a 6.4 there once and it was not the biggest fish of the tournament), but luckily for Joe his fish was the biggest of the day, by 2.5 inches!

The Nip doesn’t only have big bass, it has monster pickerel as well, which Patrick Brown learned when he nailed a long 24.50! Almost big enough for a state pin, definitely big enough for pickerel lunker.

In his second event of the year, Donald Davis found himself in the money once again, putting up 64.75 and notching a fifth place finish in his storied MAKB career. And once again, doing so out of the old sit-in! =)

Joshua Jackson also found himself in the money for the second time this year, landing in fourth place again, this time with 66.75!

Adding more cash to his pickerel winnings, Patrick Brown pulled off a third-place finish with 71.25!

I checked the standings at some point in the morning and Bruce had a commanding lead, around 20 inches if I recall correctly, maybe more. He looked poised to get a little redemption after the last event there.

Typically I turn the standings off two hours prior to an event ending, but I forgot to set an alarm this time, and I didn’t even think about it until the tournament was nearly over. At 1:44, I checked the standings and reigning Angler of the Year Joseph Daddeo had closed the gap considerably, sitting at 73 inches, just .75 behind Bruce.

So I turned the standings off, thinking it’d add a little drama to the event if Joe could pull off a last-minute upset.

Shortly after 2 PM, all the way down on Cape Cod, I heard Bruce cursing, because four minutes after I turned off the standings, Joe put up a fish that pushed him into the lead, adding another 3.25 inches to his final score (76.25) and giving him the win!

Déjà vu for Bruce, but still another solid finish on an already great season.

Great job to everyone who got out there and put up fish. The Nip can be tough on any day and the weather definitely didn’t help this time.

Congrats to everyone in the money! Awesome job. =) And thanks to Don and Bruce for running this one!

Check out the full standings here.