Laconia, N.H.—Local competitor Scott Parker faces the same situation he encountered in 1998.
The Back Bay Bassmasters club member led after the first two days of the 1998 Eastern Divisional on Lake Winnipesaukee before relinquishing the lead on the final day. Ten years later he now leads the BASS Federation Nation Eastern Divisional again after a two-day catch of 10 bass weighing 25 pounds, 5 ounces.
"I am actually struggling, believe it or not," said Parker. "I'm not getting many bites. I'm just running and gunning and fishing real small spots. I think I got about a gallon of gas left in my tank. My gas light was blinking getting in here."
With the wind blowing hard today, Parker went power fishing with a spinnerbait and a jig. "Today I ran completely new stuff. I've got about 20 spots. Yesterday I used quite a few of them and today I mixed in some new ones."
Parker recalls running and gunning to a variety of spots in 1998 and he hopes the same strategy pays off in a victory this time. "The important thing is to stay open-minded," said Parker. "I have to adjust according to what the conditions are. I have to play it by ear and fish the moment."
Berths to the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Championship are at stake for anglers competing in this divisional. The top finisher in each state and one Canadian province qualifies for the championship of amateur bass anglers from Federation Nations throughout the world.
Tournament leader Parker will qualify for the championship if he finishes as the top angler on his 12-man New Hampshire team. Other team leaders are Matthew Desimone (Connecticut), Glen Bruce (Maine), Eric Femiak (Massachusetts), Frank Giner (New York), Mike Desforges (Ontario), Leo Bevelaqua (Rhode Island) and Skip Sjobeck (Vermont).
Eight B.A.S.S. Federation Nations are also vying in the team competition of this event for bragging rights and the chance to take home the grand prize of the tournament, a $30,000 Skeeter bass boat /Yamaha outboard rig. Connecticut continues to lead the event with an accumulative weight of 202 pounds, 8 ounces, followed by New York with 183-14.
The championship qualifiers and winning team will be determined tomorrow when the final weigh-in for the Eastern Divisional begins at 3 p.m. EDT at the Margate on Winnipesaukee.