Bursts of monsoons today helped some and hindered others on day two of the 2011 Eastern Division Championship presented by Ranger Boats at Point Sebago Resort, in Casco, Maine. Nearly all 96 anglers walked fish across the stage today, so rain or no rain; anglers are definitely starting to put things together out there. Tomorrow, 16 will advance to the national contest and one angler and one state team will walk away 2011 Eastern Division Champions. Sliding into the top spot in the individual standings is Bruce Acox from Raymond, N.H. Holding on to the top spot in the team standings, but just by a hair, is the day one leaders from the home state of Maine.
Sitting in second after day one, Acox brought in another healthy limit of bass today to take the lead. He caught 14lbs 11ounces making his tournament total 30lb 8ounces. “I had a great day today,” Acox said. “Things didn’t go as smooth as yesterday, but all and all as you can see with the scales it worked out alright.” Yesterday’s limit came early for Acox. Today, he cut it close grinding it out until 1pm for a limit and nabbing his big fish just after 2pm. “I was in the same spot for four hours, then I ran around trying to find out what the fish wanted out there, because they were not biting; I just got lucky again.” It doesn’t appear “luck” has anything to do with it as the rain held up some anglers Acox appeared untouched out there. When asked if it affected him, Acox laughed, “Just my spirit.” Tomorrow, Acox plans to beat up the same spot until he catches his limit. “I will probably stay longer than today just to get my keepers; just gonna do the same thing try to get five smallies and go from there.” One more day of fishing will decide if Acox will get “lucky” enough to claim that coveted championship title and earn a spot for the third consecutive year at the federation national championship.
Less than five pounds separate Acox from Leo Bevelaqua from Wyoming, R.I. who had a limit of bass weighing 15lbs today making his two-day total 25lbs 1ounce. Bevelaqua shot up from 19th place yesterday to seize second overall and first on the state team of Rhode Island. “The weather was bad; it actually helped me a little bit on my bite,” Bevelaqua said. “So, ya know I’m kinda hoping for bad weather tomorrow.” Other than looking for bad weather, tomorrow Bevelaqua’s plans involve some topwater and some scouting for largemouths. “Other than that, it’s hit or miss out there. A lot of these fish are just moving around; its fair game for anybody, second place or not, a guy in 9th can come back and win this thing.” Bevelaqua is also no stranger to nationals; he’s qualified twice before. “Oh I’m excited. I said if I make it back again I’m gonna go; Im gonna win; third time’s a charm.” Tomorrow, we will see if it holds up; Bevelaqua’s confidence says it will. “I’m gonna catch at least 10lbs tomorrow. I got a good smallmouth spot so as long as the weather, well ya know, it will be there.”
The Maine state team is looking to make their first, first place state team finish. They caught 36 fish weighing 68lbs 4ounces today making their tournament total 177lbs 13ounces. Massachusetts state team is looking to close the gap just pounds away. Massachusetts caught 40 fish weighing 83lbs 6ounces making their tournament total 175lbs 10ounces. Tomorrow, champions will be crowned and Maine will look to make history on the final day of the 2011 Eastern Division Championship at Point Sebago Resort, in Casco, Maine.