Maine takes the title on Sebago – B.A.S.S
Sep 13th, 2019 by Keith Worrall
Modified Sep 13th, 2019 at 9:53 AM
Team Maine Photo – Brenden Kanies
CASCO, Maine — Drawing upon a collective knowledge of Sebago Lake, the Maine B.A.S.S. Nation team built on a Day 1 lead to win the team championship at the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Eastern Regional with a two-day total of 98 pounds, 13 ounces.
After posting a combined team weight of 55-14 Wednesday, the Maine anglers added 42-15 Thursday.
For their accomplishment, the team won $12,000. The second-place New York B.A.S.S. Nation team won $6,000, and the third-place Pennsylvania B.A.S.S. Nation team won $2,000.
Maine B.A.S.S. Nation team captain Keith Aucoin said his anglers made sure a team strategy complemented individual efforts. This proved particularly important, as a hot and windy Day 1 gave way to a cold front that dropped air temperatures about 15 degrees and made for tougher Day 2 conditions.
“We talked about things after Day 1 to make sure people who didn’t do well were helped out; we communicated with one another to make things work,” Aucoin said. “We were pretty spread out on the lake; we weren’t on top of one another. We stayed away from one another so we didn’t use up our fish.
“I think our win had much to do with us being familiar with the water because when it’s hard and pressured like this, fish are only in certain areas.”
Aucoin said his team benefits from a good mix of ages and experience levels, as more senior members help coach and guide younger anglers.
“We have a good mix of fishermen,” he said. “That has a lot to do with our youth program, but you do have the old-timers that are still in it too.
“I think that helps the younger anglers who are coming up. That’s what I did; when I was 10 years old, I was doing Casting Kids and that was 25 years ago. Those programs really help.”
B.A.S.S. Nation President Jon Stewart said there’s no denying the value of local knowledge, but winning requires more than that.
“It still takes a good team effort,” Stewart said. “All the teams that finished near the top had certainly worked together well to try and figure out a tough fishery.”
Laurence Hogue of Maine took the top spot after Day 2 in the individual standings. Photo – Brenden Kanies
Maine B.A.S.S. Nation team member Laurence Hogue of Kennebunk, Maine, also leads the individual standings with 23-9. Maintaining impressive consistency, Hogue added 11-13 Thursday to the 11-12 he weighed Wednesday.
Despite his similar weights, he said his second day of competition took a different course.
“I fished a whole different section of the lake today; I didn’t even catch a fish off of what I caught them on yesterday,” Hogue said. “There were too many boats on it when I went there this morning, so I just went to a different area and I was lucky to find a few fish.
“Fishing late this afternoon helped me; I got lucky with the flights. The weather was a nicer afternoon to fish, compared to yesterday.”
Fishing rocks with grass in 4 to 5 feet of water, Hogue said he caught his fish on a mixture of jigs and worms. Essential, he said, was faith in his plan, despite the challenging conditions.
“I’m just being patient with the lake; I know how tough it is, so you just have to keep fishing and not get too worked up about not catching fish and hopefully, you’ll get four or five bites,” Hogue said. “I caught all largemouth today. I spent half the day looking for smallmouth, but I couldn’t find any.”
Brandon Morris of Harrisonburg, Va., is in second place with 17-9. Edwin Bartlett of Casco, Maine, is in third place with 15-5.
Bartlett leads is in the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors with his 8-7.
Aaron Russell of Hoschton, Ga., leads the nonboater division with 16-5.
Russell leads the Phoenix Boats Big Bass competition among nonboaters with a 5-4.
Friday’s takeoff is scheduled for 6 a.m. ET at Point Sebago. The weigh-in will be held at Point Sebago at 2:15 p.m.