Fireworks Came a Month Early This Year

July is usually the month of fireworks, but there were plenty in Week 2 of June’s monthly online challenge!

No one entered fish during Week 1, so the game was wide open when Week 2 started. Matt Conant set things off quickly, putting up nearly 90 inches his first day out, but Ken Wood laid a hefty 92 inches on the board on my first day out, overtaking Conant for the lead. He was able to increase that total to 97.50, naively thinking he had a good shot at winning it all.

But with his work week starting on Sundays and Week 2 not ending until Monday evening, Ken gave Matt too much time on the water unopposed, and he retook the lead with 99.75. Joe D’Addeo wasn’t far behind with 95.75, and Derek Brundle and Christopher Alves were making runs with 90.75 and 89 inches, respectively. But when Week 2 ended, Conant still had the lead.

Four anglers took to the water during Week 3, but none could catch the leader. Five more tried in the final week, but last month’s winner Steve Hedges was the only one to break 90 inches. Unfortunately his 91.75 wasn’t enough and Conant wins his second monthly online challenge of the year (he won the first of the season in April).

Matt and Ken tied for lunker, with both of them putting up 20.75-inch tanks. Their second biggest bass determined the tie-breaker, though, with Ken’s 20.50 besting Matt’s 20.25 for the lunker win!

Check out the final results here on Fishing Chaos.

Announcing the 2021 MAKB Tournament Schedules

With two divisions, new monthly online events, as well as the Spring/Fall Brawls and the Knockout Series, setting up this season has been a lot of work. But we’re finally at the finish line!

Before we get into everything, though, you will need a Fishing Chaos account to fish any of these events. You can set that up here, if you haven’t already done so.

Though you can only register for some tournaments at this time (read on to find out what you can register for), all of our events are live on the on the Fishing Chaos website. Follow this link to check everything out!

Also, as we discussed in a previous post, you will also need to be a paid MAKB member to fish any of these events, save for the Knockout Series, which is open to all.

We have three membership tiers, all of which have different perks and grant specific access to different events, so please read the membership details on our Fishing Chaos club page before joining.

That said, there’s a lot to unpack here, but I’ll try to be as brief as possible…


We have nine events scheduled for this year’s season, plus the championship. The schedule is as follows:

Apr 17 – A-1/Stump Pond (Westborough)
May 15 – South Watuppa Pond (Fall River)
May 29 – Wequaquet Lake (Barnstable)
Jun 12 – Nashua River (Groton)
Jul 10 – Lake Nippenicket (Bridgewater)
Aug 7 – Charles River (Roadrunner)
Aug 28 – Lake Cochituate (Wayland)
Sep 4 – Long Pond (Lakeville)
Sep 18 – Walker/Upper/Lower Mill (Brewster)

Oct 23 – Webster Lake (Webster) (Championship)


Shawn and Nelson have done a great job setting up our new western division! In this first year, there will be seven events, plus the championship. The schedule is as follows:

Apr 10 – Quaboag Pond (Brookfield)
May 8 – Buckley Denton Reservoir/Yokum Pond (Becket)
May 15 – East/West Waushacum Ponds (Sterling)
Jun 12 – Chicopee River (Chicopee)
Jul 24 – Tully Lake (Athol)
Aug 28 – Cheshire Reservoir (Cheshire)
Sep 18 – Lake Garfield (Monterey)

Oct 23 – Webster Lake (Webster)

The championship event on Webster Lake is a single event for qualifying anglers in both division. To learn how to qualify, click here.


We’ve always talked about running a monthly online series, something similar to KBFs monthly state challenges, but never could figure out a fair way to do it. One inherent issue with KBFs challenges is that those anglers who cannot fish a lot are very unlikely to win when many other anglers can fish every day.

With our switch to the Fishing Chaos tournament management platform, we now have the ability to alter things in ways we couldn’t before, affording us a way to even the playing field for anglers, so to speak.

So we will be running a monthly online series similar to KBFs, but with one key difference: anglers can only fish one week out of the month.

When registering, anglers will choose one of four weeks, starting on the 1st of every month and ending on the 28th. It breaks down as follows:

Week 1: 1st–7th
Week 2: 8th–14th
Week 3: 15th–21st
Week 4: 22nd–28th

Our hope is that this will make things fairer and more competitive all around. Yes, some anglers will be able to fish all seven days, but it will be more difficult for them with only seven days to fish as opposed to thirty or so.

This series starts in April and will run monthly through October. You can register for all of these events on Fishing Chaos now!


The Catch ‘Em All Spring Brawl and Fall Brawl are online no-limit events we started a few years ago. In the past we’ve opened them up to all of New England, but this year we are limiting them to Massachusetts.

These events are pretty straight forward: one lake of your choosing (public, of course), eight hours, catch and upload as many bass as you can. Simple.

You can register for these events on Fishing Chaos now!


Registration for the Knockout Series is ongoing. This is our annual bracketed, angler-versus-angler series. This series works with 32, 48, or 64 anglers. We’ve already hit the 32-angler threshold and are working up to forty-eight.

You can read more about the series here and sign up over on our Facebook group page. If you do not have a Facebook account and would like to sign up, shoot me a message through our contact page.

And that’s it, folks! We have a busy, exciting year planned, and we can’t wait to kick it off on April 1 with the Spring Brawl!

If you have any questions, just ask.

New Year, New MAKB

New year, new MAKB!

With the continuous evolution of the sport, we are evolving as well. I will keep these as brief as possible, but if you intend to fish with us this year, I highly encourage you read everything.



After many hours of research and testing, as well as multiple demos, we have decided to use Fishing Chaos as our tournament management system starting this season.

This was not an easy decision to make. We have used TourneyX since our last event of 2016—62 events total between then and now. Dwayne and the app have served us well, but its limitations have also held us back in many regards. We feel that the Fishing Chaos app not only does everything we’ve always wanted an app to do, but also so much more.

So you will need to download the app and create an account on Fishing Chaos.

There is a learning curve, and as we close in on the season we will have a series of posts going over how to use the app. An update to the app is scheduled for February, so we will wait until after that time to post this info.


Thus far, MAKB has been an open trail. Starting this year, we are moving to a membership-based platform.

With two divisions now in place, cost to run the trail will double. Some of that cost was offset in previous years through our 50/50 raffles. We tried that once last year through PayPal, but it didn’t quite work, so once again the cost of trophies and such will be an out-of-pocket expense (around $400). I can barely justify that (especially to my wife) for one division, so I definitely can’t justify it for two.

We have come up with three memberships plans—$25, $15, $10—all of which come with certain perks. You can read all about them and join through our club page on Fishing Chaos.

You will not be able to fish any of our tournaments, whether online or live, without being a member.

That said, being a Premium member will not guarantee you a spot at any of our live events, save for the river events which are unlimited because the boundaries allow for it. Due to state restrictions, we are allowed a max of 25 anglers per most events. First come, first serve, which is why registration for all our events goes live at 7 PM the Sunday before.


In case you missed the recent Jigs & Bigs podcast, we are heading west! Starting this season, we will have two divisions: East and West. Many of you have been asking for us to expand into different parts of the state, and this is the first step in that direction.

The Eastern Division will cover the same area we’ve always covered, which is the south shore and Cape Cod.

The Western Division is the new division, and it will be run by Shawn Dominik and Nelson da Costa. While we are still working on the trail schedule, there will be seven stops this year, spread out from the central part of the state to the New York border.

You won’t see much overlap of anglers between divisions. As such, each division will have its own separate Angler of the Year race.


There will be nine Eastern Division events this year, one less than normal, and seven Western Division events. As mentioned above, they will all culminate in the first-ever MAKB Championship.

In addition to those live events, we will be hosting more online events. The Catch ‘Em All Spring Brawl and Fall Brawl have already been scheduled. The Spring Brawl will kick off our season on April 3!

There will be monthly challenges as well. We’re still discussing what those challenges will be, as we fully understand that traditional month-long challenges benefit those anglers who can fish more. We’re looking at ways to level that playing field to make it more competitive for all.

This is where our new tiered memberships come into play, as each one gives you access to certain events.


One thing we’ve always discussed was having a championship event at the end of each season. We never quite got around to doing that, though.

With the new division, the idea of having a championship became even more enticing. So at the end of the 2021 season, both divisions will come together in Central MA for our first-ever MAKB Championship event!

To qualify, you just need to finish in the top three at any live event. Simple.

More details will follow.


Starting this year, all anglers fishing MAKB events, both live and online, must use one of the following three Ketch Products boards: the Ketch Karbonate board, the Ketch X board, or the original Ketch board.

As a result of the infamous Flexgate and based on how many anglers used another brand of measuring board in our events last year (I think there were three total), we felt that this was the best choice to not only discourage cheating but also stay in line with the current industry standard.

We are not affiliated with Ketch Products in any way.

That should cover all the big things. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, let us know.

Ken Wood Joins the Jackson Kayak Fishing Team

Massachusetts Kayak Bassin’ founder, Ken Wood, has joined the Jackson Kayak Fishing Team. Here is his statement…

• • •

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Life is a journey, not a destination.”

My interpretation of this quote has always been a simple one, but Louis L’Amour probably said it best: “Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen.”

Where you start doesn’t determine where you finish. It’s everything in between that gets you there and matters most, and I’ve always been one to embrace and focus on the many adventures within the long journey to my final destination, whatever that may be.

On this day four years ago, I traveled down to Delaware Paddlesports on my way to the first-ever Kayak Bass Fishing National Championship on Kentucky Lake. That short detour started my journey with Jackson Kayak, with the purchase of a brand new Big Rig.

I’ve been with Jackson ever since, from that first Big Rig to the Coosa FD and now the Big Rig HD/FD. As an angler, there isn’t another kayak I’d rather be in.

At the 2018 National Championship, I found myself knocking on death’s door in the frigid waters of Lake Barkley, having flipped my Coosa FD.

In the process of trying to flip the kayak back over, I bent and broke the lower unit of the Flex Drive.

Upon hearing of this, Jackson Kayak and their team stepped up and had a new lower unit for me the following day. I was rattled and not much interested in fishing, but I was back on the water facing my newfound fear. Words can’t explain how important that was.

My loyalty doesn’t come easy, but Jackson has it, for many reasons.

And so I am excited to announce that I’ve accepted a position on the Jackson Kayak Fishing Team, alongside Joshua Evans, Matt Ball, Henry Veggian, Russell Johnson, Richard Wohlwend-Penny, Josh Stewart, Dwayne Taff, Jamie Broad, and so many more, giants of the kayak bass fishing community.

I don’t know where this road leads, and I don’t want to. Never do. I just want to be present and available for whatever adventure comes next. This is just one of them.

Photo courtesy of Scott Beutjer.

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!

Stats and All-Time Records

For those of you who’re into stats, we added a few new pages to the website. They are as follows:

Top 10 Limits
Top 10 Lunkers
Top 10 Season Length

Pretty self-explanatory.

Here is a more detailed breakdown of our year…

This year we ran a total of 14 tournaments, including the post-season Sabbatia event, which were attended 228 times by 54 individual anglers.

Our biggest turnout was 23 anglers at the East/West Monponsett tournament, while our lowest turnout was just 10 at Glen Charlie (though, if I recall correctly, we had something like 19 signed up before the weather turned people away).

During our tournaments, 886 fish were submitted (thanks for judging most of them, Sarah). The most fish submitted in any one event was 116 at Lake Boon, with the lowest being just 24 at Lake Maspenock (or 17 at Sabbatia, if you want to include the one post-season mid-November tournament).

We submitted a total of 9,630.75 inches of bass to TourneyX (thanks, Dwayne). These are the totals per event:

230.00 – Lake Sabbatia
308.25 – Lake Maspenock
462.25 – Billington Sea
522.00 – Glen Charlie
667.25 – Lake Nippenicket
668.50 – Lake Rico
697.25 – A-1/Stump Pond
749.50 – Chauncy Lake
750.75 – Cook Pond
757.75 – Robbins Pond/Stump Pond
826.25 – East/West Monponsett Pond
868.50 – Charles River
915.50 – Lake Boon
1,207.00 – Oldham Pond

Those numbers do not include culled submissions.

The top three limits of the year were:

Edmar Junior – 89.50 (Chauncy Lake)
Mike Elrick – 89.00 (Oldham Pond)
Domenic Eno – 88.25 (East/West Monponsett Pond)

The top three largemouth lunkers (two of which were 8-pounders) were:

Bruce Levy – 23.00 (Stump Pond)
Peter Arruda – 21.75 (Lake Rico)
Mark Johnson – 21.50 (Glen Charlie Pond)

The top three smallmouth lunkers (none of which were even 2-pounders) were:

Bruce Levy/Ken Wood – 14.25 (Cook Pond)
Donald Davis – 12.50 (Lake Maspenock)
Chris Diranian – 12.00 (Billington Sea)

In everyone’s defense, we didn’t fish many spots with smallies this year, and those we did fish aren’t known as great smallmouth fisheries.

Oddly enough, Ken Wood technically caught the biggest smallie (16.25) this year at Oldham, but apparently we missed the memo stating smallies were now in that pond. And he lost a bigger one that day, too! Crazy.

Anyway, Bruce Levy had the most first-place finishes, with four (including the Sabbatia win). Ken Wood tried to do his best Aaron Martens impression this year and placed second six times! Donald Davis was right on his heels by placing third five times.

Overall it was a pretty damn good year! This was just our second year in existence, and we think it was a great success. We have a solid schedule lined up for next year with a lot of different locations that are a bit less centralized to the south shore. Should be even better than this year!

One More Time!

Though a lot of New Englanders have retired their fishing gear until next Spring, eight of us ventured out to Lake Sabbatia today to compete in one more tournament. It was cold in the morning, but with virtually no wind it wasn’t unbearable. Pretty nice day overall, actually, especially for November 18.

We paid out two spots and lunker, and it was a battle between this year’s Angler of the Year, Bruce Levy, and runner-up, Ken Wood.

Bruce and Ken found the same pattern—ripping a chatterbait through the weeds—in pretty much the same area. Ken, however, made a mistake: he left that area and headed down toward the dam after catching his first two bass. Bruce, on the other hand, went on to fish the area Ken had just left—and he killed it!

Ken caught nothing down by the dam, and then caught two more in the same spot he’d caught his first two bass. He shouldn’t have left.

Never leave fish to find fish, right?

In the end, Ken took second with 56 inches, while Bruce took first with 79.50 and lunker with an 18.75-inch kicker!

Congrats, Bruce!

Click here for the full results.

Thanks for coming, everyone. This will probably be the last one of the year. We’ll have next year’s trail posted soon!

The 2018 Knockout Series Finale

Our annual Knockout Series came to a conclusion on October 28 at Lake Maspenock in Hopkinton. It was another great year with some very close matches and stiff competition. One even resulted in a tie, which was broken by big fish. Can’t get any closer than that!

We started the series with 32 anglers and ended up with just two—Ken Wood and Shawn Renes.

Shawn made it to the finals last year, but was ultimately beaten by Dave Bibo. As fate would have it, they faced off again in the semi-finals (round 4) this year, but this time Shawn got his revenge and moved on to the finals for the second year in a row.

Ken Wood got spanked in round 1 last year, losing by 30.50 inches! This year he didn’t get to exact his revenge upon Bruce Levy, who himself was knocked out in round 1, but beggars can’t be choosers.

Shawn and Ken decided to try out something new for the final match this year: instead of one match, they fished two. The first took place at our Lake Rico event. It was a close one, with both anglers catching one big fish over 20 inches and four dinks, but Shawn bested Ken by two inches that day, 47.25 to 45.25.

The second half of their match took place at our Lake Maspenock tournament two weeks later, and once again it was a tight finish. Ken quickly landed two fish back to back, the first at 7:08 and the second at 7:15, but it would take him the rest of the day to fill a limit and cull up one time (he caught his last two fish at 1:56 and 2:08 PM).

Shawn had an early flurry, landing four fish between 7:04 and 7:53 AM. Ultimately one of those, a 14.25, was DQ’d for the eye being covered, but a few hours later he caught another the exact same size.

Even if that fish hadn’t been DQ’d, Ken had him beat…until 2:03 PM, when Shawn landed a solid 17.50. That one sealed Ken’s fate.

On the day, Shawn won by .50 inches, 47 to 46.50 (the Knockout Series is a three-fish limit, so only the biggest three of their five from that day were counted here). Between both final matches, Shawn took the win with an overall total of 94.25 to Ken’s 91.75, a difference of 2.50 inches.

So without further ado, a huge congratulations to this year’s Knockout Series Champion: Shawn Renes. Great guy and an outstanding fisherman, and a hell of a match between two strong competitors!

Below is the full bracket (click the image to enlarge):

Not to be forgotten, this year’s overall Knockout Series big fish went to Edmar Junior, with his 22-inch slob caught during his round 3 match back in June. There were a number of bass over 20 inches caught this year, and a few over 21, but none big enough to take the crown and $200 from Edmar. Congrats!

In his round 4 match, Ken Wood managed to hook up with two solid bass—a 20.50 and a 21—which gave him an inch lead over previous series “big bag” leader, Donald Davis. With only one round remaining at that point, Ken only had to worry about Shawn breaking the record at Lake Rico (since they experimented with the two-match finale, only the first went toward the big fish/big limit records), and that did not happen. So this year’s biggest limit went to Ken Wood, with 57 inches, taking a bit of the sting out of his series loss, no doubt.

Thank you all for another great season! Looking forward to next year. Let’s aim for 64 anglers! Sign-ups will begin in January.

A Season End Grind

Seventeen anglers closed out our final regular-season tournament of the year, which took place on a foggy morning at Lake Maspenock. In a few words: it was a grind. Super-tough bite for everyone. Only two limits were caught!

With just 28.75, Donald Davis took fourth place. He also caught one of two smallmouth on the day (Ken Wood caught the other), with his being the bigger of the two, which was good enough to win the lunker smallmouth pool. With a last-minute 18.50-incher, Ari Stonehill propelled himself into third place while also taking the lunker largemouth crown.

This year’s Knockout Series started with 32 anglers and ended with two going head to head at this event: Ken Wood and Shawn Renes. Fitting, then, that both of them would battle it out on this day for both their final Knockout Series match (see a future post to see who won) and this tournament.

Both found fish early, but it was Ken who was heading for victory until Shawn caught a late-inning lunker and bumped Ken down to second place with 72.25 inches. Shawn bested him with a solid 74.50.

Dammit, Jim, I’m a fisherman, not a photographer!

You can check out the complete results here.

Thanks for coming, everyone! As of right now, this is our final tournament of the year. If weather permits, we will hold another. Maybe more. If not, we’ll see you next year!

A Lesson in Irony

Well, for the second year in a row, our No Limit tournament turned out to be a lesson in irony. Only one angler caught more than five fish today!

It was a struggle.

Fish under 12 inches were abundant, but finding fish over that was a challenge for all 21 of us. Out of 61 fish submitted, only six were over 14 inches long. Awful.

Four of those six were big ones, though. Michael Andreasen dragged in a 19.50 early. With so many small fish being caught, it was assumed that Michael’s fish would be the lunker for the day—until Ken Wood caught a 20-inch fatty! Certainly that would hold as the day’s lunker, right? Nope. Shawn Renes caught himself a beastly 21.50! And then Peter Arruda was like, “Pffft,” and hauled in a 21.75, which ended up taking the top lunker spot of the day.

Current Angler of the Year leader, Bruce Levy, struggled for most of the day, but he finally landed four in the last two hours, which was enough to secure fifth place with 54.25 inches.

Only four anglers caught more than four fish. One of them was Mark Johnson, who took fourth place with five 12-inch slobs that went 61.25.

Ken Wood didn’t catch his fifth fish until 2:30, and five was all he caught. Luckily for him, one of those fiver was a 20-incher, which was enough to hoist him into third place.

Shawn Renes has fished with us two times so far, and both times he’s come in second place. He had five fish—four dinks and a tank—that went 71.25.

(Shawn and Ken Wood also fished the first half of their Knockout Series finale today. Based on each of their three biggest, Shawn is leading Ken 47.25 to 45.25. They will fish again at our next tournament in two weeks and crown a winner!)

Craig Page hadn’t fished with us yet this year, and hasn’t fished much at all in fact, but that didn’t stop him from getting the “W” with six fish totaling 75.50. That sixth fish made all the difference! Congrats, Craig!

And congrats to everyone else! You had to work hard for this one.

Yeah, I may have Photoshopped my head into the picture

You can see the full results here.

Anyway, great seeing everyone again. Good to meet you, Gerard!

Our next tournament is at Lake Maspenock (aka North Pond) in Hopkinton on October 28. This will be our last regular-season tourney of the year (we’ll do a few more if the weather’s nice enough).

You can register for that one here.

See you in two weeks!