Category: Tournament Results

Ben Hallowell Sets a New Record!

With our switch to a 15-inch minimum in our seasonal Catch ‘Em All Brawls, we assumed the record of 516.50 would never be broken. Why? Because it’s much easier to catch dinks, of course.

Well, we were wrong.

For yesterday’s Spring Brawl, John Ferreira started off hot and looked set on running away with it…until Ben Hallowell began uploading fish.

John and Ben went back and forth for a bit, and then Steve Hedges threw his hat into the ring, but at some point, Ben switched on the afterburners and there was no catching him.

Excluding Ben’s fish, what the rest of the field put up is what we expected things to look like with the new 15-inch minimum, taking around 300 inches to win. Steve, for instance, had 273.75 inches for second place.

But Ben found something special, a pond that was firing at the right time, and he put up a massive 570.25 inches of largemouth bass, besting Steve by 296.50 inches, nearly as much as Steve had on the board!

What a day! Congrats, man!

As mentioned, Steve took second place, while John held onto third with 254.50.

Clearly, the bite was tough for many, and the number dropped significantly from third place on. Lee Kennon took fourth place with 109.50, as well as pickerel lunker.

(Ben actually had pickerel lunker as well, but unfortunately submitted a photo that partially cropped out the fence of the photo, so it was denied.)

Finally, in fifth place was Nate Chagnon with 97.25. And overall lunker went to Brian O’Connor, who dropped a 20.50-inch spring fatty on the board.

Great job, everyone! Good to see a big turnout for this one.

Check out the full results here.

The Summer Brawl goes down on June 30!

FYI: When viewing these events on Fishing Chaos, you only see the submission time. So when you see numerous fish submitted less than a minute apart, this is why. Judges can see the rest of the data.

Matt Conant Puts Us All on Notice

It was a wild one today!

I expected the cold, the wind, and the rain, but the snow was a nice touch by Mother Nature. As soon as we launched, it got a bit nasty, but it wasn’t too bad after that. For a while, anyway.

The main lake, obviously, took the brunt of the wind and the conditions were sketchy for those who fished out there.

Despite the conditions and the tough bite for most, one angler gave us all a hardcore beatdown.

But before we get to him…

In fifth place was Gerard Elias, who left early but was apparently on a decent bite with two 18.25s!

John Ferreira also left early, but still put up enough for fourth place with 42.75.

I finished in third place with 59.50, and also nabbed pickerel lunker with a 25.75. I probably caught a dozen just as big off of one tree. Not exaggerating!

Shuffling his way in second place: Nate Chagnon. He had 66.25.

We’ve had four events thus far in 2024, and Matthew Conant has won three of them. Putting us all on notice!

Today, Matt had 93.75, the only angler to catch a limit, let alone cull—and culled FOUR times! Guess it pays to pre-fish! You also gotta know how to catch them, and Matt clearly does. He also had the event lunker at 21 inches, and he nabbed the Double Down as well.

Not bad for a miserable day. Great job, man!

And everyone else in the money or those who just caught fish and braved the conditions, congrats!

Special nod to Alex Weisheit, who, surprisingly, caught the only smallmouth! Crazy.

Oh, and we can’t forget to show some love to the luckiest angler of the event, Bobby Tran Jr., who not only parked on the wrong side of the road, but IN the road right before a curve ! For eight hours! And he only got a $40 ticket.

Clearly, Bobby is the true winner of this event!

Check out the full results here.

The next MAKB event is tomorrow on Webster Lake. This is a Central Division event. Spots still open!

The next Eastern Division event is on May 18 at Snipatuit Pond.

Victory Out of Nowhere!

The first Cold Water Series event of 2024 went down this past Saturday, and it was a tough one for most of us. We fished Snipatuit instead of Billington Sea due to ice.

Winter fishing can be tough, and it often is around here. For a long time today, only a crappie and a pickerel were on the board, then a few more pickerel, but no bass.

Around 10 AM, Joshua Carvalho put up the day’s first bass. Shortly after, Mike Morcone was on the board. At this point, we assumed little would change by the end of the tournament. Then, out of nowhere, in a little over 30 minutes, Mike had 69.25 inches!

He found an area where they were stacked, and he just dialed it in from there.

In similar fashion, Derek Brundle found fish in a short period of time. He put up his first bass at 1:16 and his last at 2:56.

Mike had 81.50 and Derek had 77.50, besting the rest of the field by a wide margin.

Congrats to Joshua (30.25), Matthew Conant (15.25), and Steve Hedges (12.50) for being the only others who caught a bass. Joshua also had pickerel lunker (23.50), Steve had crappie lunker (13.25), and Derek had event lunker (17.25).

Check out the full results here.

Congrats, dudes. Great job!

And the 2021 Eastern Division Angler of the Year is…

Winning the Angler of the Year title is about consistency. It’s a slow burn. Winning obviously doesn’t hurt, but performing on a high level over the course of the season is what brings home the Angler of the Year trophy. A single misstep, as we saw in the Western Division, is often the death knell on an angler’s chances of taking home that title.

The Eastern Division Angler of the Year race was anyone’s game through the first three events. Ken Wood sat at the top after two events, but Mike Morcone, Valber Santos, and Bruce Levy were nipping at his heels. Mike won the second event of the season, while Valber won the third.

After a poor showing at that third event, Ken dropped from the top and Mike and Bruce Levy took the top two spots, respectively.

Our hybrid Angler of the Year format was designed to keep the race competitive all season long. An angler “running away with it” isn’t easy under this format, which is based on an anglers top twenty-five biggest bass over the course of the season, plus bonus points for top-five finishes (five for first, four for second, and so forth).

In years past, the Angler of the Year’s total points were the result of a number of quality bass, but with only one or two of them being over twenty inches. It’s not easy catching giants during tournaments, especially when sharing the water—which is usually a small body of water around here—with two dozen other anglers.

But sometimes an angler stumbles upon something special…

At our Nashua River event, Bruce Levy did just that, dropping the hammer on not only one giant, but five of them! Four of those bass were twenty inches or longer, with his smallest going 19.25 inches. His total that day was a massive 102.5 inches, which planted him firmly atop the Angler of the Year standings, casting a big shadow over the rest of the field!

The historical stats don’t exist to back this up, but it’s highly likely that this is the biggest limit ever caught during a single-day kayak bass fishing tournament in the state, if not all of New England. At a minimum, it is the biggest limit caught during a Massachusetts Kayak Bassin’ event, and without a doubt will remain there on top for a very long time.

While a few anglers still had opportunities to dethrone Bruce during the remaining events, this single performance made that very difficult. He followed it up with just two additional second-place finishes over six events, but he also added a number of quality fish to his yearly total, including one more over twenty inches, ultimately bringing his points total to 463.75.

So without further ado, your 2021 Eastern Division Angler of the Year…

Bruce Levy, 2021 Eastern Division Angler of the Year

Congrats on an EPIC season, one unlikely to be duplicated any time soon!

And the 2021 Western Division Angler of the Year is…

Massachusetts Kayak Bassin’ has grown to be the biggest, most successful kayak bass fishing series in Massachusetts, if not all of New England. Much of our success in 2021 was owed to Jigs and Bigs co-host Shawn Dominik and Nelson da Costa, both of whom stepped up to run our new Western Division.

Fittingly, these two anglers battled it out all season over on the western side of the state.

With just seven events in their inaugural season, becoming the first-ever Western Division Angler of the Year wasn’t easy. There was little margin for error. With our hybrid Angler of the Year format—your biggest twenty fish over the course of the season, bonus points for top-five finishes—a single misstep could have put either of them out of contention.

Shawn Dominik made his plans known right out the gate, at the first event of the season, by taking home the victory with a solid 84 inches, nearly seven inches over second place. Nelson wasn’t far behind in fourth place.

Two events later, Nelson took the top spot.

Over the course of the season, Shawn notched two victories, one second-place finish, and two thirds. While Nelson only won a single event, he scored two seconds, a third, and two fourth-place finishes.

Our Angler of the Year format rewards performance, but it also rewards the quality of fish an angler catches during the season. The bigger, the better!

Out of the seven regular-season Western Division events, Shawn caught the biggest bass in two events, while Nelson caught lunker in three. Each angler had accumulated twenty bonus points for top-five finishes. They were neck and neck all season long, and everything came down to the wire at our championship event. But while Shawn held an eight-and-a-half point lead in the standings, Nelson’s smallest six bass on the season were 14-inchers…and he’d done very well pre-fishing.

Within the first hour, Shawn put up his first bass. It wasn’t big enough to add to his Angler of the Year total, but it was one fish to Nelson’s zero. It would remain that way for the next four hours, when Shawn began adding to his total. At the end of it all, nothing would change for Nelson, who suffered that dreaded misstep, giving Shawn a well-deserved fifth place for the championship and firmly secured his place atop the Western Division Angler of the Year standings!

Shawn Dominik, 2021 Western Division Angler of the Year

Congratulations on a great season! There can never be another inaugural Western Division Angler of the Year champion!

Smart Move Decides October

With only four people registered, there wasn’t a whole lot of action in October’s Monthly Challenge. In fact, since someone else on staff judges the monthly challenges, I kind of forgot about it until about twenty minutes ago!

I did check in on things a few times, though. Eric Graves and Steve Hedges fished Week 1, while Nick Ringgard and Dan Johnson Jr. fished Week 4.

Only five fish were entered in the first week, three from Eric and two from Steve. Eric’s three fish were good for second place and a little bit of money, enough to cover the entry fee and then buy a candy bar.

Nick and Dan had just one fish, both caught at our championship, until the final day of the challenge, where it looks like Nick went out and added four more fish to his total for a small limit. Smart move on his part, as that took first place!

Nick also had lunker for the event. He and Eric actually tied, so the next biggest fish was the tie breaker. Both their biggest three fish tied, though, so the fourth fish broke it. Unfortunately for Eric, he only had three fish, so Nick took the lunker pool—an astronomical sum of $6.60!

There were only four, but great job either way!

Check out the full results here.

We’ll start these up again in April, maybe March if the weather is nice enough.

Boobs on Top!

Unless we get a day of unseasonably warm weather, yesterday will likely have been the last MAKB event of the season.

Each year, after the regular season is over, we run at least one fun event, try a different format and such. Yesterday, we went with two: a mystery lake, randomly chosen Friday evening, and a team format.

We chose the lake from a list of fifteen, with some smaller locations being combined for a split lake event. Two of the smaller lakes on the list were A-1 and Chauncy Lake, which were chosen. We’ve fished with a full field at A-1 before, but once the weeds come up, the fishable portion of the lake shrinks quite a bit, so we paired it with Chauncy for this event.

Seven anglers fished at each location, one from each team, and with the temperature being about 28 degrees at the start of the tournament, fishing was tough for most. Thankfully, the “light and variable” wind forecasted was accurate for a change, so after the first hour or two, it wasn’t so bad. Overall, a really nice day out there.

We introduced the Double Down option for this one, which is a winner-takes-all side pot. We’ll be doing that at each live event next season.

We also had our standard optional pickerel lunker pool, which was won by Valber Santos, with a 21.75.

Gerard Elias took down the lunker bass prize, with a healthy 18.75.

As mentioned, this was a team event. Instead of the normal five-fish limit, we went with eight for this one, making it a bit more challenging, which it was. Only two teams filled a limit, but if we’d had the traditional five-fish limit, only three teams would have achieved that.

Second and third place would have swapped, though.

This time, however, third went to team Shake and Bake, consisting of John Ferreira and Nate Chagnon, who put up six bass for 95 inches.

The second-place team, The Green Machine, comprised Shawn Dominik and Scott Rhodes. They had a full limit that went for 111.50.

Promising your kids that they could name your team probably isn’t wise, as Ray Figueroa and I ended up on team Banana Boobs, courtesy of my goofball kids. I feel like they’re telling me I need to hit the gym. But a promise is a promise, and we took that name to the top with 123.75!

I was also fortunate enough to put up the biggest five-fish limit and take home the Double Down prize with 84.75.

Great job, everyone! Had a great time out there.

Check out the full results and the rest of the “very professional” team names here.

If this is our final event of 2021, it’s been a great season. Looking forward to next year, and hopefully we can finally pull off some ice-fishing events before the start of the 2022 season.

Shooting for 500

Well, the last Brawl of the season went down today. Fifteen anglers fished this one. It was competitive for a while…and then John Ferreira put the proverbial pedal to the metal.

I don’t have a detailed recap since we all fished different spots, so I’ll go over my day…

I fished a pond down on Cape Cod. I had high hopes going in, but the fish weren’t where I expected them to be. I figured the fish would be offshore, but if they were out there, they were hugging the bottom because I didn’t see much of anything.

Where I found fish was shallow. Real shallow, like a foot or less of water. And they were smallmouth! Crazy. They were relating to wood, in particular a laydown and bushes overhanging the water near grass.

The problem was, there is very little grass in this lake and there was literally one laydown and four or five bushes in the water. Just not enough real estate for me to be competitive. I wish I’d been able to find a secondary pattern.

But the ones I got were good ones, including an 18.5 that was lunker for the event. And I had the best five-fish limit! Not that it matters. Small victories, am I right? Haha.

Anyway, we paid out three spots, plus lunker and pickerel lunker.

Nate Chagnon nabbed pickerel lunker with a 20.75. He also took third with 255.50 inches.

Shawn Dominik was also on Cape Cod, and he was on the right bite, hauling in 358 inches for second place.

I know where John Ferreira fished. He’s been telling about the fall bite at this place, and now I’m a believer. John was hoping to hit 500 inches today, and he came pretty damn close with 492.25! That’s a new Brawl record!

Congrats, fellas! Good job out there!

Check out the final standings here.

There’s a New King in Town

This past Saturday, Massachusetts Kayak Bassin’ closed out the regular season with our first-ever championship! With few big bodies of water to choose from in the state, and even fewer somewhat central to both the eastern and western divisions, we settled on Webster Lake, which is most famous for having the longest name of any geographic feature in the country.

No, not Webster Lake; the tongue-twisting Lake Char­gogg­a­gogg­man­chaugg­a­gogg­chau­bun­a­gung­a­maugg, which roughly translates to: “Whoever named this lake clearly had a drinking problem.”

Leading up to the event, pre-fishing reports indicated it would be a tough bite. A few people did well, like Nelson da Costa and John Ferreira, the latter of whom apparently put up close to ninety inches the Wednesday before the event.

For the most part, though, people struggled, and the cold front that dropped in Friday night didn’t do us any favors.

But that didn’t deter anyone, as we had nearly a full field of thirty-seven out of thirty-nine qualified anglers show up tournament morning!

Ramp-cooked breakfast sandwiches were provided by John Ferreira up north and Shawn Dominik down south, and I’m not saying I’d like them to do that at every event, but…I wouldn’t complain if they did. Either way, thanks, fellas!

At 7:45 AM, we hit the water. Lines in at 8 AM.

Heading across the lake, Valber Santos and I found that we were heading toward the same weedy cove. Gerard Elias had shot past us, then doubled back. As we passed each other, he said, “Overshot my spot.”

Valber and I laughed, and then a few minutes later realized we’d done the same damn thing. When we finally got to the weedy cove, Gerard was there, and now, over the course of the winter, we’re going to learn how to read maps better.

Just entering the cove, from the shore end of a point, I tossed out a ned rig and quickly hooked up with my first fish—a solid 17.25. I was pumped! But I wouldn’t catch another fish until 2:14 PM.

John Ferreira took a quick lead with three fish. A few other anglers had fish on the board, but only one apiece, if I recall correctly. John had a limit not long after and got to work culling. It looked like the rest of us were fishing for second.

I didn’t pay much attention to the standings for a good part of the day since I wasn’t catching fish. At one point, though, anglers began figuring things out and making moves, and John’s lead began to shrink.

When the standings went offline, Joseph Daddeo had taken the lead, but anglers were still putting the pieces together and fish on the board…

For this event, we paid out five spots, event lunker, smallmouth lunker, and pickerel lunker. The angler with the biggest bass also took home the Old Glory Outdoors Big Bass Bonus prize. The top five anglers also won a gift certificate to YakAttack!

There was a two-way tie for pickerel lunker, with both Ari Stonehill and Nick Ringgard putting up a 22.50-incher. Because we don’t measure every pickerel we catch, we can’t go by the next biggest pickerel for a tie-breaker, so they split the $250 pot.

John Ferreira nabbed an 18-inch smallmouth just four minutes after lines in, which would remain the biggest smallie of the day.

For the overall event lunker, we had a three-way tie between Steve Hedges, Joseph Daddeo, and Derek Brundle, all of whom caught an 18.50-inch largemouth. For bass tie-breakers, we go by the next biggest fish, which was Derek Brundle’s 16-incher, giving him the pot and the Old Glory Outdoors prize pack—which included tackle from 6th Sense Fishing, Googan Squad, Fresh Baitz, Z-Man Fishing Products and others, as well as a rod from Ark Fishing and some hats and stickers.

Like many anglers, Shawn Dominik struggled out there. With just a 12.5-incher on the board for most of the day, he made some moves that proved fruitful in the last few hours, catching seven bass that ultimately pushed him from the back of the pack all the way up into fifth place with 71.50 inches.

Though leading for a good portion of the day, culling throughout, John’s offshore bite changed and, unfortunately, he was unable to make the necessary adjustments. However, his is 73.50 was still enough for 4th place and a solid payday.

Scott Rhodes had a bit of luck on his side, getting blown off course on the way to his first spot and finding a small piece of structure that was holding fish in 25 feet of water. When his first spot produced just one fish, he moved back to what he’d seen earlier and quickly put a good one on the board. He would stay there for the rest of the day, grinding out a very respectable 74.50-inch bag on a tough day.

With no pre-fishing, and having never fished the lake before, I launched south and zig-zagged all across the lake, all the way up into the creek by the northern ramp, with only one fish to show for it in the first six hours.

On my way back south, I stopped on the humps out in the middle basin, which are obviously a community hole. I’d fished them pretty good earlier in the day, but couldn’t get a bite. On my way back through, though, I changed my Megabass Vision 110 from a trout color to a perch color, and immediately started catching fish.

I caught at least twenty smallmouth out there in those last hours, and by my math, my 76.25 had surpassed what Joe had when the standings went offline at 3 PM. But Joe is a stud and never quits…

While I spent most of my day fishing offshore, Joe stayed shallow, focusing on two marinas, targeting largemouth feeding on bait, of which there was plenty. My late-day run did have Joe’s 3 PM total beat by an inch, but at 3:12, Joe laid a 15.75—a 2.5-inch upgrade—on the board, which bumped him up into first place and sealed the deal on becoming the very first Massachusetts Kayak Bassin’ Champion!

Congrats, buddy! Very happy for you. Well-deserved!

And congrats to the rest of the anglers in the top, as well to anyone who caught fight this day. It was tough out there, even for John, who was making it look easy in the morning.

Check out the full standings here over on Fishing Chaos.

It’s been a great season, and I hope next year is even better. Thanks to Shawn and Nelson for taking the reins and running the Western Division, and a big shout-out to all the anglers who fished it. It can only grow from here! And to the rest of the staff—Donald Davis, Bruce Levy, John Ferreira, and Kevin Amaral—thank you!

Our “annual” awards banquet is scheduled for March 19, 2020. We checked out the venue today, and it should be a good time. We’ll have three years of trophies to award at this one! So make sure you mark it on your calendars, especially if you won an event in 2019, 2020, or 2021 (seriously, I don’t want to have to mail a dang trophy).

Thanks, everyone, and congrats again to the winners! Great job this season!

Fifth Round Knockout!

The 2021 Massachusetts Kayak Bassin’ Knockout Series has come to an end!

We started with forty-eight anglers in April and over the course of four rounds and forty-five matches, just three remained: Shawn Dominik, Greg Krasnowiecki, and Valber Santos!

These three anglers had their championship match this past Saturday at Webster Lake, along with thirty-seven others who were fishing the MAKB Championship. The bite was tough for them, like it was for many fishing that day.

While the MAKB Championship lasted until 4 PM, the Knockout Series Championship ended at 1 PM, and when all was said and done, just three small fish were submitted, one from each angler.

Valber would only catch one fish all day, a 9.5-inch nibbler. Not a win, but still a solid payday after a great run to the championship.

Like Valber, Shawn struggled Saturday, but he did end up finding the fish in the MAKB Championship. Unfortunately for him, he was two minutes too late for Knockout Series Championship. His first fish of the day, a 12.50, came at 8:40 AM. He wouldn’t catch a second fish until 1:02 PM, a 15-incher that would have crowned him the Knockout Series Champion, but was just after the buzzer.

So with just a 13.50-inch smallmouth, the 2021 Knockout Series Champion is…

Greg Krasnowiecki!

Maybe not the kind of match they hoped for, but you can’t say it wasn’t competitive. It was a close one either way!

Congrats, Greg! Great job, well-deserved! To Shawn and Valber as well.

The longest limit of the series went to Matthew Conant, who hauled in a 58-inch bag in round one.

Round one also saw two anglers haul in the biggest fish of the season. Both Matt and Ronel Mullen put up a 21.50. Based on next biggest fish, Matt’s 18.5 trumps Ronel’s 16.25, giving Matt this one as well!

Thanks to everyone for participating this season. We’re going to make some changes for the 2022 season, which we’ll announce in the new year.

If you want to check out this year’s matches, click here.