June 14,2008 Boston, MA: Activities at the Newton Yacht Club on the banks of the Charles River, began at the crack of dawn as registration for the 10th annual New England Paralyzed Veterans of America Regional Bass Trail Tournament, hosted by Massachusetts B.A.S.S. Federation and the American Eagles Bass Anglers met the arriving wheelchair anglers.
“I have been involved with the NEPVA Bass Trail since its inception and every year the trail seems to get bigger and better. I can’t believe this turnout, there are over forty NEPVA anglers register just for this tournament! It’s oblivious the growth has been because of the fantastic volunteers, such as the federation Boat Captains and the Nam Knights, coupled with the tournament trails generous sponsors,” voiced NEPVA angler liaison Jim Wallack of Derry, New Hampshire. (www.Massbass.com, www.FederationNationofMa.com)
Wallack’s comments were well scripted as views from the Newton Yacht Clubs observation deck revealed volunteers firing-up grills, raising weigh-in tents, parking Boat Captains tow vehicles, serving coffee and donuts, while members of the Nam Knights Motorcycle Club of America (www.namknights.org) ran their patented five-man squad wheelchair loading technique, gently placing each paralyzed veteran into their partners’ bass boats.
With the tournament underway all volunteers were served an appreciation breakfast courtesy of the Newton Yacht Club, before resuming their NEPVA Bass Trail setup responsibilities. “We have yet to log all anglers in both our Boater Division and our Bank Division unto our leaders’ board, assemble all the trophies and prizes, as well as hang all of our tournament trail sponsors banners,” smile volunteer worker Lori Campbell. (www.NewtonYachtClub.com)
As the 2:00 p.m. weigh-in time approached, Dock-Talk rumors spread as to some hefty fish coming to the scales. “Our Bank Division anglers went out on a pontoon boat and will be the first anglers to register their creels. These anglers are allowed to use live bait and any species fish caught counts,” announced NEPVA Tournament Director Tiny LaFontaine. No stranger to the NEPVA Bank Division’s winner circle, Harold Gay won back-to-back Bank Division Championships by claiming the 2008 and 2007 Charles River Title, thanks to some assistance from Mass B.A.S.S. Federation Nation volunteer Bill Breach. “Green Pumpkin Lizards did it once again, along with some of Bill’s live bait,” laughed Gay as he accepted his 2008 Bank Division Trophy.
Normal bass transitional conditions on the Charles River this time of year are usually spawn and pre-spawn. However, unusually high springtime temperatures forced bass to their spawning grounds long before the annual New England PVA tournament. With that competitors were confronted with “Lock-Jawed Post Spawn Bass”!
“We only had three teams managed to secure a five-bass limit today. Our tournament winning team managed to land four-bass to capture the 2008 Charles River title by a mere .64 lbs,” informed Weigh master Jim Marino, a member of the NEPVA Bass Trail Tournament Committee. With a total weight of 9.68 lbs NEPVA Angler Jim Wallack and Volunteer Boat Captain Massachusetts B.A.S.S. Federation Nation President Jeff Kenney, were crowned the 2008 Charles River Champions.
Excepting their first place trophies and prizes, Kenney and Wallack revealed their winning tactics. “We concentrated on river banks just down river from the launch.” Working a combination of topwater baits, crankbaits, and slow falling Senkos the winning team alternated their baits as cover and structure dictated. (www.baits.com)
Northeast Top Ranger sponsored Angler Jim Gildea idled his NEPVA partner Stephen Martinelli down river near the Boston Science Museum and Spaulding Rehabilitation Center. “This is the very first NEPVA Bass tournament I have competed in and I can promise it will not be my last,” stated Martinelli. Gildea is known throughout New England as a Finesse Expert, and he lived up to his reputation. Utilizing Gary Yamamoto Senko‘s, the team weighted a five-bass limit totally 9.04 lbs to claim the ‘Bridesmaids’ 2nd Place Honors. However, their 3.48 lb Tournament Lunker Largemouth landed the ‘Bridesmaids’ the Toyota Tundra Big Bass Award, showering the team with an additional $200.00 plus Elite Toyota Tundra Plaques. Toyota’s Gene Ellison was all smiles when presenting the Tundra Big Bass Award. (www.TheFishingMachine.net) Thinking their $200.00 Toyota Cash Reward was awesome…. Jim Marino walked up to the stage and presented the Lunker Winners with another $250.00 compliments of “Fishing For Real Estate”!
Third place finishers Marine USA Nitro Boats Youth Pro-Staffer Rob Ramsci and his NEPVA partner Darrell Johnson carried only three bass to the scales. However, the teams 8.04 lbs of ‘Jig & Pig’ largemouths secured Ramsci and Johnson handsome handmade NEPVA 3rd Place Wooden Plaques. Ramsci also won the top Nitro/Tracker Award.
Once again Marc Tsourides, owner of Marine USA Inc, presented the 1st Place and 2nd Place Teams, as well as the Top Tracker/Nitro Boat, with Marine USA Boat Certificates valued between $1,500.00 to $4,500.00. (www.MarineUSAInc.com) While, Skeeter Boats Northeast Representative Mark Burgess (www.MarkBurgess.com) handed NEPVA Tournament Director Tiny LaFontaine a check for $1,000.00. (For complete tournament results log onto www.nepva.org)
God Bless and Best Bass’n
All NEPVA Bass Trail Tournaments are totally FREE to ALL participates and open to all individuals with disabilities whether veterans or non-veterans! Individuals interested in fishing the tournaments may contact Tournament Director Tiny LaFontaine @ 1.781.935.2480. As a non-profit organization the tournament trail is funded only by generous donations from its sponsors, with all sponsor donations being tax deductible. For information on becoming an NEPVA sponsor, contact Tiny LaFontaine or the NEPVA office @ 1.800.660.1181.