So a group of us got together this past Saturday for another MAFF tournament. Tom's trail has ended but we wanted to get one more in, so we went back to Robbins Pond/Stump Pond for a third time this year.
This is my all-time favorite local pond. Just not this day. I caught two bass, both coming in the last hour. Not a good day at all. Though I did win lunker pickerel, so I guess that helped ease the pain of disappointment. Haha.
Anyway, it was a good day for some, not so good for others (especially brownie, who lost a rod). This is how it played out:
Last Sunday I fished a charity kayak tournament at Neponset Reservoir in Foxboro, MA. Hosted by Collin Fiske and his Redneck Fishing Club, this was a winner-takes-half, three-fish limit tournament, with the remaining half going to a local food pantry.
Neponset Reservoir brings back a lot of great memories from my childhood, the biggest of which being that it was a fantastic fishery. That changed in the early 90s. Not sure what happened--pollution, over-fishing, no idea--but the lake went on a serious decline. I got out of the Air Force in 2003 and tried fishing Neponset a few times over the years, but could never manage anything over two pounds. So I stopped fishing there.
Then, last year, during a MA Fish Finder tournament, my father "weighed in" over 13 pounds of bass, which was pretty shocking to everyone else who fished the tournament. Second place had just under five pounds and, for third place, I had around four pounds. Most of us expected those kinds of low weights, but my father proved that, while it's still loaded with small fish, there are a lot of bigger fish in there (he caught a bunch of two- and three-pounders that day).
So I went into Sunday's tournament with the hope that I'd catch some bigger fish, but also with the expectation that it'd be a typical Neponset Res dinkfest. Both happened. I caught a ton of dinks under two pounds, plus four bigger fish, including a nice chunk over four pounds for the win. A pleasant surprise and a great day on the water. Fishing for a good cause is never a bad thing.
I also encountered for the first time ever freshwater jellyfish! Who knew they existed? Not this guy.
Earlier today we gathered for another MAFF kayak tournament, once again fishing Stump Pond/Robbins Pond in Halifax/Bridgewater. This location was a replacement for East Brimfield Lake, which was canceled due to lack of interest.
The day started off pretty gray, foggy with a slight breeze, then shifted to a mix of sun and clouds. As always, some did better than others, but I think everyone caught fish. And probably a lot of pickerel. Big ones, too. We should have done a lunker pool for pickerel.
Anyway, here are the results:
1st Place - ericlevy1 - 11lb. 1oz. 2nd Place - purpleturkey - 10lb. 4oz. 3rd Place - ericlevy1's dad - 9lb. 12oz.
Lunker - purpleturkey - 3lb. 2oz.
Congrats, fellas! As always, add your photos, comments, etc.
My bass club held a two-day tournament on Lake Winnipesaukee on July 24th and 25th, so my family and I planned our summer vacation around it. While I went up early, with my sister and niece in tow, on the 23rd and stayed at the 1848 Inn, everyone else headed up on 25th. We rented a house on Locke Lake in Barnstead.
The tournament was tough. On day one I made a run to Paugus Bay first thing. Since I didn't bring a sweater with me I was freezing my ass off by the time I hit the no-wake channel into the bay, so I said screw it and started fishing. I lost about a three-pound smallmouth on my first cast. Crankbait. Shortly after I laid into a small largemouth on a spinnerbait. I repeated this pattern, fishing all the boat slips and such, as I made my way through the channel. I lost two or three more fish, but I ended up with three keepers.
Once I exited the channel I made my way to the right and under the railroad tracks into Chattle Cove. I spent about 45 minutes in this cove, fishing rocks and weeds, but came up empty. Next I headed into Pickerel Cove (under the railroad tracks again). This cove is the reason I made the run to Paugus Bay, but again I couldn't get bit. Not even by a damn pickerel...in Pickerel Cove. Pffft!
After this I fished the rocks out by the islands in the bay, but nothing was biting. So I shot back to the channel, figuring I might round out my limit. I had not anticipated the ridiculous amount of boat traffic, though. Holy crap! I fished for a few minutes, but figured there was just too much commotion for anything to be biting, so I moved on.
(The following Wednesday everyone went zip-lining by Weirs Beach in Laconia, so we stopped at the beach for a few hours beforehand. I brought my dropshot rod, figured I'd make a few casts. Until we got there, I didn't realize the beach was right outside the mouth of the channel into Paugus Bay. So that's the first place I went to fish. Again, boat traffic was insane. Even worse than it was the previous Friday. But here's the kicker: I caught two smallies well over three pounds and lost a third before snagging my line in the rocks, right there in the channel, with all those damn boats cruising by. They were fat, too! I have no idea if they would have been biting during the tournament, but I wish I'd have at least tried! Oh well. Hindsight and all that stuff.)
Day two started out okay. I had a limit fairly quickly: four smallmouth, one largemouth, all small. After, I headed up into Salmon Meadow Cove, looking for largemouth. I saw plenty cruising, but couldn't get any to bite. I then fished random spots on the main lake, whatever looked good. At this point, with all the boat traffic and waves, my groin strain from a week or two prior started to hurt again, every wave causing a jolt of pain. It progressively got worse throughout the day, to the point where I had to turn around and lay my chest on my leaning pole and hug it, just so I didn't topple overboard. I'm sure this looked as ridiculous as I felt.
(By the way, what's the deal with the crazy people swimming out in the middle of Winnipesaukee in the middle of all that boat traffic? Absolute insanity.)
Then my wife sent me a video of my kids, and I thought it'd be great to see them, and maybe get a little fishing in on Locke Lake before it got too dark. I hate not to weight in, even if I know I have no chance of winning, but I decided to bail. I could barely walk when I first pulled my groin muscle, so I thought it best not to chance pulling it again and basically ruining the following week of vacation.
Unofficially, I would have had about 10.5 pounds for the two days, putting me in 10th place. Or something like that. Instead, my three from day one got me 13th place. Second to last. Guess that's something.
Anyway, as it was a family vacation, we didn't do a ton of fishing the following week. My father and I fished every day, but not all day. I got no GoPro footage from the tournament (I forgot the GoPro batteries, so my wife had to bring them later) or from the first day on Locke Lake (because I also forgot to charge the batteries). But we had a great week of fishing. Locke Lake, which is a private lake, is loaded with bass. Tons of docks, some rocks, a few coves, and weeds everywhere. We never broke the five-pound mark, but we got plenty of solid bass. Even got a few smallies.
I intended to fish a few other lakes nearby, but only managed to make it out to Upper/Lower Suncook Lake for a few hours on Friday. I caught two chunks early in Upper Suncook, then we headed down into Lower Suncook, but couldn't manage a single bite. Shame, too, because the channel heading down to the dam looked amazing! Total bummer.
I've probably already made this trip report too long, and by talking about the two worst days of the trip! But I got video of most of our week on Locke Lake, so I'll let that do the talking. Check it out below!
This past Friday, I had to head up to New Hampshire to take the boater safety test at 6 PM. I figured I'd make a day of it, bring my kayak, and soak it in some nearby body of water. With a little help from Google Maps and a few kind folks online, I ventured to Turkey Pond in Concord. I only had about 3 1/2 hours to fish, but I was rewarded quite nicely.
I got on the water about 1 PM and, not knowing the pond, started fishing immediately. The place is "infested" with milfoil, according to the signs posted, and it was definitely thick near the launch. I tried punching the area, dragged the frog across the pads, but had no takers.
I worked the eastern shoreline for about an hour with nothing but a pickerel to show for it. So I moved out into deeper water, where there were scattered pads, and started tossing the SPRO BBZ-1 Rat. A few casts in I land a hefty slob that went 4lb 6oz. My first on the rat.
There are two ponds here, Turkey Pond and Little Turkey Pond, connected by a wide channel. I worked my way across the pond and into the channel, where I started flipping the weeds. There I caught a small one, about two pounds or so, on Bass Pro Shops Crack Craw. I continued to work the shoreline down the channel, flipping the Craw and slinging a spinnerbait. No takers.
About halfway down the channel, there was an isolated patch of weeds out into the channel. I flipped in there and--BOOM!--laid into a big girl that went 5lb 7oz.
I caught a few more smalls ones after that. I never made it into Little Turkey. Wish I had. I've heard it's got a lot of floating islands which hold some big ones. Maybe next time (whenever that may be).
All in all, it was a great few hours on a new body of water. (Definitely worth your time if you're up that way.) Check out the video below. It came out pretty cool. The 4-pounder absolutely SOAKED me!
I had the rare opportunity to do a little non-tournament fun fishing this past Friday. I figured I'd keep it local, so I went to Lake Rico, someplace I'd never fished before. I've heard there were a lot of small fish in there, which is okay with me, I guess, because if there's one thing at which I excel, it's catching small fish. Haha.
And the rumors are true! There are a lot of small fish in Lake Rico, as the video below proves.
I got on the water about 5 AM and quickly caught two small bass. Good sign, I thought. Over the next few hours I caught a decent amount of bass (and a lot of pickerel), though all small. Most were caught on a white spinnerbait, but a few came on a Bass Pro Shops Crack Craw, and I got one on a frog. Nothing on topwater, crankbait, swimbait, or even a senko! I tried shallow and deep but couldn't entice anything over two pounds. Bummer.
Yesterday, at the Cran Bog Hawgs tournament, someone told me that the best fishing is in the southernmost cove, which of course is one of two places I didn't fish. Not sure if that's enough to convince me to ever fish Rico again. Better than working, though.
Maybe I'll go back when my son is old enough and quantity is more important than quality.
Tom was out for this one, so I ran it for him (probably a little less smoothly, but hopefully not too bad). =)
Good turnout for this tournament. Eleven anglers competed from kayaks, a canoe, a paddleboard, and an inflatable raft.
This one was a bit different from past tournaments (that I've fished, anyway) in that you had a choice of three bodies of water to fish: Robbins Pond, the adjacent bog pond (known to me as Stump Pond), and a smaller bog pond adjacent to that, all separated by dirt roads.
We launched from Stump Pond on calm water. That would change to gusting winds a short time later. Not ideal, but at least it wasn't also raining. The main lake proved to be a tough bite, but one of the two rivers produced.
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