Massachusetts B.A.S.S. Nation
The name of the place is Agawam River. The name should tell you how to fish it: “river.” Most of the people who fish this great body of water forget that it is a river. We forget because of all the weed. Then some lame brain person that lives on the river complains about the weed and it almost disappears. Then, with the weed gone, some fishermen remember it’s a river.
I have a feeling that either Chip Servant or Josh Cotier figured it out on September 21st at the MassB.A.S.S. Nation’s Classic Team Trail Tournament of Champions. This team kicked our butts and won the right to represent MassB.A.S.S. at the Harris Chain of Lakes, with a very good chance that they will go on to The BassMaster Classic.
Eli Delaney and I were fishing this one bay that wasn’t affected by the weed kill. Several times throughout the day we saw Chip and Josh in front of the bay fishing open water. I couldn’t figure out what they were doing out there. Obviously they had done very well throughout this year’s trail, but what was out there that they were fishing? Then the weigh in. They had 13.10 pounds. Eli and I came in second with 8.88 pounds. 3rd was Matt Szczoczarz/Josh Wunschel with 8.28; 4th was Matty Klinker/Dusty Chaulk with 7.08 and 5th was Jim and Jack Moorey with 6.81.
What were Chip and Josh doing????
Hurricane Florence dumped record breaking amounts of water from South Carolina to Massachusetts. The outflow over the Agawam shad dam roared from all that rain. This meant that the river we had been treating like a pond all of these years was raging. I think the bass moved out of the coves and into ambush areas along the current. If you know the Connecticut River, for example, you know the bass turn on and move to the edge of the current when they open the dams. Now it makes sense what Chip and Josh were doing “out there.” I wonder if they had figured that out or it was just luck. Knowing the caliber ‘stick’ Josh has become – I don’t think luck had anything to do with it.
The value of a “kicker” bass cannot be overestimated in any bass tournament. Some of the better fishermen actually plan their day around a kicker. Some catch a limit of bass and then go for a kicker. Some believe that a bigger bass can be caught in the morning and start their day with a bait they hope will bring the big strike. My attitude is the later. Therefore, “spots’ are before patterns.
On Lake Lashaway, the final MassB.A.S.S. Classic Team Trail qualifier, on July 20th, a kicker meant the difference between winning and going home without 1st Place money. Matt Szczoczarz and Josh Wunschel caught a 4.19 largemouth. What difference did it make? They had 10.93 total weight. Eli Delaney and I had 10.40. Everyone limited, and after the four of us the remaining teams averaged 7.92 pounds for 5 fish. Was the bite off? No. Most of us caught 20 plus keepers. The big fish were not hitting and we were culling ounces.
The Top 5 Teams going to the TOC on the Agawam River on September 21st:
- 1st …. Chip Servant & Josh Cotier…………. 794 points
- 2nd … Matt Szczoczarz & Josh Wunschel…. 790
- 3rd…. Jim Moorey & Jack Moorey………… 785
- 4th…. Ray Lentine & Eli Delaney………….. 783
- 5th…. Matt Klinker & Dusty Chaulk………. 778
The winning team at the TOC is going to Florida for the Classic Team Championship. The winner there goes on to The World Series of Bass Fishing: The BassMaster Classic.