Maine B.A.S.S. Nation Member (Years): 6
Maine B.A.S.S. Nation Club: Southern Maine Anglers
Years of Tournament Experience: 9
Member of these Maine State Teams (Years): 2 (2014, 2016, 2017)
Favorite Body of Water: Kezar Lake
Largest Largemouth: 7 lbs 15 oz
Largest Smallmouth: 4 lbs 8 oz
Favorite Lure/Technique: Jigs
Boat/Motor: Ranger 482v/ Mercury 150
Sponsors: Friends & Family
Your personal and fishing accomplishments: 2016 Eastern Division Maine Boater Champion. 2016 B.A.S.S. Nation National Championship qualifier.
Best Fishing Story:
Last Updated February 13, 2017
Mark's Trip to the 2017 National's
October 19 ~ 21, 2017
5th Place Mark Lodge 31-7 in the boater division. 46th Place John Fisette 2 bass for 5-6 in the co-angler division.
The Maine B.A.S.S. Nation got to ask Mark a few questions on his trip to the Nationals here is what he said.
Can you give us a rundown on how day 1 went?
"I went out boat 43, and ran down to the dam area which was about 10-12 miles from the take off site. I fished areas that I located during practice that held some fish. The first day was a struggle to get bit. I only got three bites all day. One bite came on an underspin, one on a drop shot, and the last one was a schooling fish on a topwater (lucky craft gun fish).
" Did you lose any fish or is there anything you could have done better?
"I didn't loose any fish that day, just didn't fish my areas effectively. I wasn't crowded out and had very few people fishing the areas I was targeting.
"How did you adjust on Day 2 to move up in the standings?
"I ran back to the same starting point as day 1. This time I targeted my fish with a green pumpkin shakey head with a 6" zoom trick worm. This did the trick and I had four good keepers in the first hour which was a relief because of the fog shortened day. I then ran to a similar spot and got my limit and culled twice. This technique was critical in the morning. After the sun came up and around 11 in the morning that bite totally died for me. I had to go chase schooling fish after that. I did upgrade once that afternoon with a schooling fish on an underspin.
" Did you lose any fish that would have boosted your weight? "
Did not loose any fish that day but a big schooler missed my top water that would have really helped.
" After a good day 2 did you change anything or did you continue to do what worked the day before? "
I did exactly the same thing as day 2. I ran to my spot that had produced the day before and it reloaded with good fish. On my very first cast of the day I hooked a quality spotted bass. That calmed me down a lot. I was able to make two passes through my prime area and get a solid limit. I then ran to that same similar spot as day 2 and culled twice while I was there. All my fish came on that shakey head and trick worm combo on day 3. Again after the sun got overhead the bite died and fish began to chase bait and bust on the shad and herring. I did have a few bites that were missed on this day. I missed a couple on the shakey head and one big schooling fish kept busting my topwater and just never got it. That would have helped for sure if he would have hooked up.
" Overall what do you think would have been the best game plan for what you were fishing? "
I had finally figured out a winning strategy but it was slightly to late. I executed my game plan on day three but I needed that big bite to make up for my poor day one weight. I believe that if you fished the shakey head first thing in the morning to get a solid limit then go chase the schooling fish to get the bigger bites for the remainder of the day. It was very frustrating because so many schools of fish were breaking and the schooling bite for me was inconsistent. I knew I was around the right fish, but I just needed to figure out how to get them to bite. My two main spots/areas were main river islands that had a sharp channel swing on them. The bank was very steep dropping into about 70-80' of water very quickly. The drop off had some standing timber that held lots of baitfish along with natural rock/gravel mixed with red clay. The front on the islands had long gradual sloping points into the main river. The quality fish tended to school out on the end of these points. I would catch them on the shakey head in depths between 20'-40' on the steep channel break on the island slowly working it down the sharp drops.
" How did you feel going into day 3 and knowing you were just a few real good fish away from a Classic birth? "
Going into day three I was very relaxed. I knew at that point the only place I could go was up in the standings. I knew I had something that was going to produce but I just knew I needed a big bite to make it happen. I was confident in my plan I just needed to execute it. I wasn't able to get that big bite but I managed a quality limit. Not the outcome I was there for, but a strong finish.
" Everyone wants a chance to sit in the hot seat, tell us your thoughts as you sat there. "
As I sat on stage thinking I could possibly qualify for the classic, I was very nervous cause the tourney leaders were yet to weight in. Being so close to achieving a lofty goal of mine was right there in front of me. I have no regrets other that Day 1 but hindsight is 20/20. Based on the practice I had I knew anything could happen on this lake. On Day 3 I knew something was going on because the camera boat found me on the lake and stayed with me for a long time. I had to refocus on the task at hand. My mind started spinning out about the possibility of making the classic.
" You didn't make the Classic but you had a heck of a run to get this far, how do you feel? "
Overall, I am very pleased with how I fished & finished but I am somewhat disappointed because I wanted one of those three classic spots. The fire inside is now hotter than ever to get back there and try to make it happen again.
" You seem to have a ton of support from what we've seen on social media is there anyone you would like to thank? "
I would like to thank the entire Maine B.A.S.S. Nation, and my friends and family for all the support that was given during the tournament.
Mark finished the tournament in 5th place with 31-7 missing a Classic birth by a little over pound, still a great finish. For those that know Mark they know this wont be his last chance to punch his ticket to the big dance.