Billy “Hawkeye” Decoteau
Joe Dussault and his son Nick crossed the 2009 USA Bassin Massachusetts Division, Angler of Year finish line collecting 473 points out of a possible 500. Claiming the 2009 title by a mere 7-point margin, the Mass. Division Champions will receive a Massachusetts Divisional Plaque, plus Free-Entry into the prestigious 2-Day New England Regional on Maine’s Sebago Lake. The Regional event is scheduled for October 10-11th with the Regional Champion receiving a 2009 Tracker Pro 16 Boat-Motor-Trailer package valued at over $10,000.00! (www.TrackerBoats.com) “Plus the opportunity to qualify for the National Classic on Kentucky Lake where three Nitro/Tracker Marine Boats will be the major prizes,” says New England Regional Director Bill Schwarz.
Team Dussault’s waltz to the Massachusetts ‘AOY’ Championship title, was a nail bitter to say the least! Going into the fifth and final tournament of the year Team Dussault held a slim margin over the Ranger Team of Frigon and Cash, while the team of John Ozgood and Scott Lowe were a long shot to capture the coveted ‘AOY’ title. (www.USABassin.com)
“Quaboag Ponds can be tough enough at times,” says Team Dussault. “Add in an extreme cold front with nighttime temperatures plummeting into the low 50’s, a blue bird sky, with a southern wind factor, and anglers were blessed if they acquired any bass bites at all,” echoed known Quaboag top angler Jeff Tibbetts.
Except for Quaboag Champions Ron Boutin and Darrin Brease, who managed to secure their second Massachusetts Division Trail victory with a five bass limit tipping the scales at 15.36 lbs, and anchored with the tournaments 3.76 lb Lunker Largemouth, only five out of the twenty teams carried a 5-bass limit to the scales. “I tried every possible area I could think of to get our fifth keeper-bass,” replied Dussault. However, when it came weigh-in time Team Dussault’s livewell contained only four keepers!
Team Dussault’s 4-bass registered 7.76 lbs anchored with a 3.26 lb lunker. Patiently they watched each team approach the scales, waiting for Frigon and Cash, their closes competition for the Angler of the Year title to weigh-in. “We never got a single bite today”, revealed Jason Frigon. With Frigon and Cash out of the running only one team was left with a long shot at the Angler of the Year title…………..John Ozgood and partner Scott Lowe.
Ozgood and Lowe approached the scales carrying a five-bass limit; while dock-talk rumors spread the team had a nice limit of bass anchored with a possible lunker. As their bass were placed in the check-tank tub, it was ruled their largest bass was dead. USA Bassin Rule #15 was then applied, as their lunker was ineligible to qualify for the tournament Lunker. In addition the team was accessed a ½ pound penalty, which was deducted from their total weight. After the accessed penalties were applied Ozgood and Lowe’s official team weight was 8.16 lbs.
When the scales were officially closed Ozgood and Lowe managed to squeeze by Team Dussault by .4 lbs claiming fourth place at the Quaboag tournament. However, their one-point margins over Team Dussault’s fifth place finish left Ozgood and Lowe 7 points behind Team Dussault in the Angler of the Year Race.
Always a threat to be within the ‘Winner Circle’, Joe Dussault started the 2009 season with only one major goal. “My only goal was to spend time with my son Nick fishing bass tournaments together! The Massachusetts Division of USA Bassin allowed us this opportunity. The membership is extremely affordable; Team entry fee per tournament is only $50.00, while the payouts and prizes are second to none! Besides being extremely organized and well run, the twenty-five team trail schedule covered the entire state.” Starting in eastern Massachusetts and ending in central Massachusetts, anglers tested their skills on river systems, deep-water lakes to shallow weedy impoundments.
What does it mean to win the Angler of the Year title…………… for Massachusetts Joe Dussault his goals of fishing with his son were reached to the highest degree!
God Bless and Best Bass’n