Diaco wins TBF Eastern on his home lake

New Hampshire team wins race among the states

By Jennifer Simmons – 19.Sep.2008

GILFORD, N.H. – The Bass Federation Eastern Divisional wrapped up today with a local atop the final leaderboard. John Diaco of Rochester, N.H., caught 40 pounds of bass from his native Lake Winnipesaukee to earn himself a ticket to the 2009 TBF National Championship.

His 40-pound three-day catch also propelled the 12-man New Hampshire team to the winner’s circle, as TBF awards cash prizes to the state teams based on their team members’ total weight caught. The New Hampshire squad brought in 337 pounds, 3 ounces of bass over three days to top No. 2 Massachusetts, whose members caught 290 pounds, 15 ounces.

Seven 12-man teams competed in this week’s Eastern Divisional, representing New Hampshire and Massachusetts but also Maine, which finished third in the race among the states, followed by Vermont in fourth, Rhode Island in fifth, Connecticut in sixth and New York in seventh.

As the overall winner, Diaco earned a $500 Wal-Mart gift card as the Castrol Maximum Performer. He will also represent New Hampshire as a boater at the 2009 TBF National Championship alongside New Hampshire’s No. 2 Alan Denise of Haverhill, Mass. Each state team’s winner advances as a boater, while each state’s runner-up advances as a co-angler.

Diaco avoids the “choke”

Diaco led the New Hampshire team as well as the overall field on day two, and he retained his lead by bringing in another limit of five bass today that weighed 12 pounds, 2 ounces.

“After yesterday I felt good about my chances, but last night I got a little worried I’d choke,” he said. “But everything worked out and it feels great. I’m psyched!”

This marks Diaco’s first foray into national championship competition, and he can thank a healthy Winnepesaukee largemouth bite for the chance.

“I decided to go right for largemouths today because of the wind,” he said.

Diaco targeted largemouths in the Lee’s Mills area of the lake, fishing 5 to 10 feet of water with a 3/8-ounce pumpkin jig tipped with a soft-plastic trailer. He caught seven keepers today.

His 40-pound catch gave him the overall victory by a 1-pound, 8-ounce margin and the win in his state by 6 pounds.

Gildea returns to nationals

Returning to the national stage from Massachusetts is Jim Gildea of Weston, Mass., whose two-day total of 38 pounds, 8 ounces put him in second overall and first on his state team. He competed in the 2008 nationals and looks forward to another chance.

“I’m so pumped,” Gildea said. “Last year I fished the championship, and FLW put on a great show. I am so happy to go back.”

Fishing a style he calls “nothing fancy,” Gildea managed to end the tournament in first place in Massachusetts by a 5-pound, 7-ounce margin over Pete DeMoya, who advanced to the nationals as a co-angler.

“I just fished slow and did my thing,” Gildea said. “I got around bait and fished slowly and patiently. My fish came from little out-of-the-way spots I found recently.”

To catch his bass, Gildea used a drop-shot featuring a 5-inch Yamamoto Kut Tail worm with a 1/4-ounce tungsten weight.

Gagner goes all the way

After 14 divisional appearances, Gilbert Gagner of Highgate Springs, Vt., has at last made it to the big show. He will represent Vermont at the 2009 National Championship as a boater thanks to a three-day catch totaling 36 pounds, 3 ounces. That put him ahead of Matthew Applebaum of Johnson, Vt., by 2 pounds, 3 ounces and landed him in third place overall. In fact, Gagner and Applebaum were also back-to-back on the overall list, as Applebaum ended that race in fourth. Applebaum advanced to the nationals as a co-angler.

“I am so excited!” Gagner said. “I missed the nationals (before), and I’ll give it 100 percent when I’m there.”

Gagner was particularly thrilled that his method of fishing for bigger fish but fewer bites panned out. His presentation of choice was dragging a green pumpkin tube rigged on a 1/4-ounce jighead as well as a War Eagle spinnerbait with a gold skirt and gold blades.

Best of the rest

Representing Maine at the 2009 nationals will be Laurence Hogue in the boater spot and Jason Mitsin in the co-angler spot. Hogue led the Maine team all three days and ultimately won with a three-day catch of 34 pounds, 2 ounces.

With a 32-pound, 8-ounce three-day catch, Mike Mantha of Charlton, Mass., took the Rhode Island crown and that state’s boater spot at the nationals. He is followed by William Hopkins of Rockville, R.I., who advances as a co-angler.

Taking the Connecticut crown is Mike Kane of Clinton, Conn., with a three-day catch of 29 pounds, 4 ounces. That edged No.2 Christopher Blanc of Cos Cob, Conn., who caught 22-6.

Rounding out the state winners is Rob Lamoy of Chazy, N.Y., who led the New York squad for three days running, ultimately weighing in 23 pounds, 14 ounces of bass. That bested No. 2 Derrick Martineau of Au Sable Forks, N.Y., by a pound.

Local angler Diaco assumes TBF Eastern Divisional lead

By Jennifer Simmons – 18.Sep.2008

GILFORD, N.H. – The wind blew a little harder today on Lake Winnipesaukee for day two of The Bass Federation Eastern Divisional, and competitors couldn’t adjust enough to best local angler John Diaco of Rochester, N.H., who took the lead with a two-day catch of 27 pounds, 14 ounces.

Diaco’s catch helped push the New Hampshire team further ahead in the race among the states, as New Hampshire’s 12 team members have caught 232 pounds, 1 ounce of bass over two days to continue their lead in that all-important contest. TBF awards cash prizes to the state teams based on total caught over the tournament’s three days. New Hampshire’s day-two performance put them ahead of current No. 2 Massachusetts by 26 pounds, 9 ounces.

Seven 12-man teams are competing in this week’s Eastern Divisional, representing not only New Hampshire and Massachusetts but also Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York. Each state team’s winner after tomorrow’s final weigh-in will advance to the 2009 TBF National Championship as a boater, while each team’s runner-up will advance to the nationals as a co-angler.

Diaco puts local knowledge to the test

This week’s overall winner will earn a $500 Wal-Mart gift card as the Castrol Maximum Performer, and Diaco’s day-two catch of 15 pounds, 12 ounces put him ahead in that race by a 1-pound, 6-ounce margin. He leads the New Hampshire team by 3 pounds, 13 ounces.

“I got blown off my smallmouth today,” Diaco said. “At 11 o’clock I had two 12-inch fish, but then I went to a new area for largemouths and within an hour and a half had a limit.”

Diaco grabbed the lead today pitching a jig with a Sweet Beaver trailer in 5 feet of water. Despite his day-two success, he’s hoping Mother Nature deals a little more kindly tomorrow.

“I’d like the wind to lay down a little tomorrow so I can try to catch a limit of smallmouths early,” he said.

This is Diaco’s second appearance in divisional competition, and should he finish first or second in New Hampshire tomorrow and thus advance to the TBF National Championship, it would be a dream come true.

“I’d love it,” he said. “I put a lot of work into this one by prefishing all-new water, looking for largemouths. This is my home lake.”

Gildea holds on to Massachusetts lead

In second place overall and first in Massachusetts is Jim Gildea of Weston, Mass. Gildea held on to his Massachusetts lead with a day-two catch of 13 pounds, 8 ounces that brought his two-day total to 26-8. That puts him ahead on his state team by a healthy 5 pounds, 2 ounces.

Gildea’s continued success didn’t seem inevitable as he started the day.

“At 11 o’clock, I had two decent fish and two rats,” he said. “I started to think, ‘Maybe today it isn’t going to happen.’ Then I went to a pocket and saw a large arch on my Lowrance. I dropped on it, and it was almost in slow motion. My line went to the side, and I pulled up and felt good head shakes. It was the 3-2, which was my biggest bass.”

Hogue still on top in Maine

The leader of the Maine team remained unchanged a second day, as Laurence Hogue of Kennebunk, Maine, continues to lead thanks to a two-day catch of 24 pounds, 4 ounces that has him in third place overall. He leads his state team by a 3-pound, 3-ounce margin.

“Today was a lot slower but I was able to get out of the wind,” Hogue said. “I caught seven keepers and stayed with the drop-shot.”

Hogue has his doubts about his hot spots but remains fairly optimistic about his final-day chances.

“It seems like my fish are getting dry, but hopefully I’ll be able to catch them again on the same spots tomorrow,” he said.

Gagner catches them in spite of the wind

Retaining his lead on the Vermont team is Gilbert Gagner of Highgate Springs, Vt. His 11-pound, 4-ounce day-two catch brought his two-day total to 23 pounds, 10 ounces, which leads Vermont by 2 pounds, 2 ounces.

“The fishing picked up a bit on the spinnerbait today, and I caught eight fish on it early, but then I culled all of them on a drop-shot,” Gagner said. “I couldn’t fish my traditional topwater pattern because of the wind, so I went to backup water with the spinnerbait and drop-shot.”

Although those presentations served him well today, Gagner is hoping to return tomorrow to his trusty topwater.

“I am going back to my original plan with the topwater bait with the goal of catching 12 pounds,” he said.

Rest of the best

Sitting in the eighth spot overall and first on the Rhode Island squad is Mike Mantha of Charlton, Mass., with a two-day catch of 22 pounds, 6 ounces.

Taking the lead on the Connecticut team is Christopher Blanc of Cos Cob, Conn. His two-day catch of 16 pounds, 14 ounces leads his team by 10 ounces.

Rob Lamoy of Chazy, N.Y., continues to lead the New York team with a two-day catch of 13 pounds, 6 ounces. His day-two catch of 4 pounds, 13 ounces was only enough to secure him a 2-ounce lead heading into the final day.

Competitors will take off at 7 a.m. EST tomorrow from the Silver Sands Marina located in Gilford. The final weigh-in, followed by a check and trophy presentation, will also take place tomorrow at Silver Sands beginning at 3 p.m.

TBF Eastern Division Championship Underway, Field is Tight

Gilford, NH – September 17, 2008

The “Official” part of the TBF Eastern Division Championship got underway last night (Wednesday) for the TBF Eastern Division anglers with registration and sponsors welcome, a dinner banquet and partners pairing at the Gunstock Ski Resort. After the anglers hauled their sponsored goodies back to their trucks and sit down to dinner, talk around the dinner table was that fishing was “a bit tougher than usual”, but there was some good bags being caught and it was going to be “a tight race”.

Today on New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee, that “forecast” held perfectly true.

In the state team standings tight may not accurately describe it. Each state team has 12 anglers on it all 12 anglers weight count toward the team score and the cash payout. After a full day’s fishing, the New Hampshire team leads with 111-5 but Massachusetts is right there with them only 2 ounces back at 111-3 and Maine is in third with 109-7. There is a little gap back to fourth which is held by Rhode Island but they are still in contention with 84-1, Rhode Island may be a team to watch as they have a couple anglers on good fish, if they can relay that to their team mates they could take a jump tomorrow, the 2006 and 2007 back to back Eastern Division Champions from Vermont will have to push the next two days to win three back to back, but I would not count them out just yet, they are in fifth at 78-6. Connecticut sits in sixth with 61-2 and the New YorkOntario Team is in seventh at 43-1.

In the individual standings the top two anglers from each team advance to the 2009 TBF Federation National Championship, the top anglers as a boater and the second place anglers as a non-boater.

Chris Bowker, fishing for the Rhode Island Team, holds down the top overall spot there with a five bass limit that weighed in at 14-2. Right behind him in second is one of his Rhode Island team mates Mike Mantha who had 13-8.

Sitting in third is Massachusetts big stick Jim Gildea, who has been on fire here recently, he brought in five that weighed 13-0.

Rounding out the top 5 is Maine’s Laurence Hogue with 12-14 and Gilbert Gagner from Vermont with 12-6.

Of interesting note is that New Hampshire who is leading the team standings but did not have a angler in the top five……consistency pays.

The youngest angler the event is 16 year old Ryan Latinville, who is showing some of the “Old Guard” how it is done. He holds the second place spot on the New YorkOntario Team.

Day 2 weigh in will begin tomorrow, Thursday at Eliquoia State park outside of Gilford, NH. It is free to the public.

Wind and Rain Greet Northern Division Anglers Final Day

Cummings Wins!

Friday September 12, 2008 – Clinton Township, Michigan

After three full days of official practice and the first two tournament days with clear skies and Lake St Clair’s expansive waters as flat as a sheet of glass, Mother Nature sent a reminder to the Northern Division Championship anglers today that she was still in full control. Wind and rain greeted the anglers on today’s final day and forced many of them to scramble in order to perform at their maximum.

The “Maximum Performer” proved to be Michigan’s Derek Cummings. Cummings had a taste of the TBF National Championship in 2007 and he was committed and focused on making a return trip in 2009. As the division champion he not only earned a spot in the championship he also earned the CASTROL Maximum Performer $500.00 cash bonus award.

Cummings weighed in 19-00 today, his smallest bag this week, but it was enough to keep him in the top spot in the race for the individual Division Champions title. His overall weight was 63-01 for the event. Finishing in second place was Indiana’s Todd Kuhn. Kuhn, on the other hand weighed in his biggest bag of the week that tipped the scales at 22-15, it propelled him into the second place spot in the individual overall.

The top two anglers from each of the six TBF northern division states qualify for the March 2009 TBF National Championship on Bull Shoals lake Missouri. The top angler will fish the event as the boater and the second place angler as a co-angler.

In the state standings, the Michigan 12-man team put on a clinic by taking the lead on day 1 and never looking back, expanding their lead every day, to finish with 473-07. Indiana, the reigning champions challenged them briefly on day 1 but had to give up the Division Champions Cup Michigan to hold for the year, finishing a distant second with 387-12.

There was also quite a gap between second and third, nearly 100 pounds. As Wisconsin pushed hard but wound up third with 295-14, Ohio finished fourth with 294-01, Illinois settled in at fifth with 283-03 and Minnesota finished sixth with 263 even.

For a full story on the event written on our partner’s website at flwoutdoors.com Click here

For full standings, including the top two from each state that qualified for the 2009 TBF Federation National Championship Click here