Eastern contenders to fish Mystic/Charles

The 2012 Cabela’s Bassmaster Federation Nation Eastern Divisional will be a tale of two rivers: The competitors will launch in the Mystic River in Medford, Mass., and will be allowed to lock through to the Charles River, Sept. 12-14.

“They are absolutely different bodies of water,” said Chip Servant, Massachusetts B.A.S.S. Federation Nation president. “The Charles probably has more fish in it, but someone is probably going to bag a 15- or 18- or possibly 20-pound bag in the Mystic. I don’t think they will be able to do that three days in a row, though. What I like to do is fish the Charles and get a limit and come back to the Mystic for kicker fish.”

The main challenge for the competitors will be time management, especially for those making the slow trek to the Charles. Normally the trip would take about 5 minutes in a bass boat, but the rivers and the stretch of ocean between the rivers has a Coast Guard-imposed speed limit. “It is a 45-minute ride into the Charles from the Mystic lock because it is 6 miles per hour,” Servant said.

Servant said he expects bass will be schooling and chasing baitfish. He predicts 1/2- or 3/4-ounce spinnerbaits and 1/2-ounce Rat-L-Traps will work best for the schooling fish.

River facts

  • Forage — herring, alewives and minnows
  • Average depth — 4 to 5 feet deep for both rivers
  • Expected water clarity — 1 foot or less
  • Dominant structure/cover — Mystic contains water chestnuts and lily pads; Charles features manmade structure including riprap banks, bridge pilings and seawalls.
  • Predicted winning weight: 35 pounds