Hartford, Conn.—Fifteen years of experience on the Connecticut River is paying off for Abe Kalechman after two rounds of the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Eastern Divisional.
The 38-year-old floor covering consultant from Stafford, Conn., is the only angler who has weighed in a limit the first two days and his five fish today put him in the lead with 17-pounds, 6 ounces. Although this is his first experience competing in a Divisional, Kalechman has an advantage since he grew up fishing the river. Both days he has been making a half-hour run to fish five areas.
"I'm just running up into the shallows up north and fishing for smallmouth," said Kalechman, a member of the Tobacco Valley Bass Anglers club. "The only adjustments I've had to make are for the water fluctuation up there, because a dam in Massachusetts controls the water. So some days they hold water and some days they put down water. When they put down water it moves these fish around and the fish have more room to roam. But when it is shallow I can find them in the pools where they are easier to locate."
Berths to the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Championship are at stake for anglers competing in the Eastern Divisional. The top finisher in each state and one Canadian province qualifies for the championship for amateur bass anglers from Federation Nations throughout the world.
Anglers from the 12-man Connecticut team have to beat tournament leader Kalechman to qualify for the championship. Other team leaders are Dale Simmons (Maine), Sheron Brown (Massachusetts), Timothy Carignan (New Hampshire), Brad Brodnicki (New York), Greg Roth (Ontario), Mike Wolfenden (Rhode Island), and Jim Lynch (Vermont).
Eight B.A.S.S. Federation Nations are also vying in the team competition of this event for the top spot and the chance to tow home the grand prize of the tournament, a $32,000 Triton Boats TR-186/Mercury 150 h.p. outboard rig. New York leads the event with an accumulative weight of 70 pounds, 4 ounces, followed by Connecticut with 65-11.
Individual and team winners will be determined tomorrow when the final weigh-in for the Eastern Divisional begins at 3 p.m. EDT at Riverside Park.