The second Eastern Division event of the year went down yesterday on South Watuppa, the state’s fifth biggest body of water, and the biggest we’ve fished as a group.

Mike Morcone and others at launch

Notoriously stingy, Watuppa gave up some pretty decent bags yesterday, and easily the most smallmouth I’ve seen in a tournament—nine overall.

The wind also played nice until the end of the day, when a front came in, shifting direction, and pushing strong westerly gusts and some big waves toward all the anglers—which seemed to be most of the field—fishing the northeastern end of the lake. It laid down some after that, but overall it was a rare calm day out there.

Ryan Pierce drew first blood with a 16-incher just a few minutes after lines in, then Mike Morcone overtook him with a 16.75. But it would be a bit before fish started really hitting the leaderboard. An hour or so in, I believe only five or six fish had been uploaded.

As the day progressed and warmed, though, the fish got hungrier, especially the bigger fish. Every fish 18 inches and bigger was caught after noontime.

Unlike the bass, the bigger pickerel didn’t show up. With thirteen anglers in the pickerel lunker pool, I expected the winning fish to be one of the many giants that live in the lake, but Ari Stonehill’s 22.75 took home the prize.

We had a tie between John Ferreira and Patrick Brown for smallmouth lunker, with both of them hauling in a 16-incher, a pretty good-size smallie for that lake (from my experience, anyway). They will split the pot.

Tournament lunker went to Christopher Alves. He pulled up from the depths a hefty 19.50 on a dropshot.

We had 24 anglers, so we’re paying out five spots…

Derek Brundle, no stranger to making money at tournament, made a little more by nabbing fifth place with 79.25.

Fourth place went to Joshua Jackson, who submitted seven fish, all but one of which was caught after noon, and that one just before it. I believe this marks the first time Josh has “cashed a check” at an MAKB event. Right on!

Bruce Levy tossed his trusty white spinnerbait around for an early limit, even holding the lead a few times. With no kicker, though, his 81 inches was only enough for third place.

With 83 inches, Valber Santos was lined up for the win…until Mike Morcone snatched an 18-incher out of bed at 2:43 PM, giving him a 2.5-inch upgrade and the win with 84.25!

Congrats to all! Great day out there.

Click here for the full results.