Feelfree Competitive Fishing Team Member fills us in on his personal report of his participation in the New England Bassin Rhode Island Online April Team Event.

Morning started off great! Loaded up my FeelFree Dorado at around 0430 hours and headed to my destination. Which happens to be one of my favorite ponds in Rhode Island to fish but we will keep this one a secret since it is one of my honey holes. When I arrived to the ramp the air temp was still very cold, around 35-45 degrees. No wind what so ever and the sun was just starting to come up over the tree line. The day looked to be just perfect setting for a Bass tournament or just a nice day out on the kayak.

Tournament start time was 0700 hours. Water temperature was still cold though 47 degrees. Thanks to the lovely cold front that moved in the day before. Air temp began to warm up, it was about 50 degrees by then. I was throwing a black with blue speck Gary Yamamoto 5” Senko with a Woo Tungsten nail weight. I casted towards the edge of some vegetation, soon as that bait hit the water BOOM! We were hooked on. Reeled in my first bass within the first 5 minutes of the tourney. It wasn’t a giant but it put me on the board. So I continued to pressure this bank that had the vegetation for about 20 more minutes and man did it pay off. Had my limit and then some. Six bass caught from that location alone. All small but hey I was on board and now all I had to do was cull with 6.5 hours to go. Looked like it was going to be a great day.

I continued to catch small Bass ranging from 11” to 14.25” for about two more hours. I was only able to cull twice in that time period and it wasn’t by much. The sun was over the tree line and the wind began to pick up and the bite just came to a screeching halt. Fished the banks for about 3 more hours and couldn’t get anything. Switched baits form the Neko rig to a HiJacked green pumpkin ¼ oz finesse jig with a rage claw trailer. And I did catch fish but it wasn’t a bass. Caught 3 Chained Pickerel on a jig! Man this day went from great to pretty bad in a blink of an eye. So I started surveying the pond with my Lowrance Elite 9 TI2 powered by a 12V 23AH Dakota Lithium Battery. And nothing, I couldn’t find them out in the open water either.

With frustration building and time running out. I decided to just pull the rods in and relax for 5 minutes gather my thoughts. And then one of the coolest things I have ever seen out on the water happened. A Bald Eagle came down right in front of me and snagged a fish right out of the water. It was awesome but at the same time humbling because he or she was the best angler out on that water today. Seeing how I now have gone for hours with out even a bite. With time running out I decided to hit the bank with that vegetation again. This time I was throwing a Texas Rig with a black and blue speck Brush Hog with a ¼ oz woo tungsten bullet weight. With 15 minutes remaining thinking I would get the same results I have for the last past few hours I continued to fish the vegetation. But I was wrong a nice size bass hit it but it spit out couple feet from the Dorado. Next thing I know its 1400 hours. Tournament is over.

I headed back to the ramp to unload and looked at the standings. I placed 4th place out of 24 anglers from the NEBASSIN RI Division with 41.25” for my 3 largest fish. Seemed like everyone had a pretty tough day out on the water. But hey that’s why it is called fishing not catching right. I want to thank NEBASSIN and all their trail sponsors for putting on this great event and I look forward to fishing the next one with you.

Written by Chris Gomes, Feelfree Competitive Fishing Team Member