WADDINGTON, N.Y. — Following nearly the same script as Day 1, Timothy Dube of Nashua, N. H., maintained his lead in the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Northeast Regional at St. Lawrence River with a two-day total of 44 pounds, 7 ounces.
Leading the New Hampshire B.A.S.S. Nation standings, Dube caught the tournament’s heaviest bag — 23-3 — on Day 1 and added a second-day limit of 21-4. He heads into Championship Friday with a lead of 2-1 over Hamburg, N.Y.’s Billy Gilbert.
Same as Day 1, Dube ran upriver to the Alexandria Bay area in the heart of the famed Thousand Islands region, where frequent land masses break up the river current more than anywhere else. This creates multiple protected spots where bass can bed in slack water.
“It was a very similar game plan as yesterday; I went to my first four bed fish and that was my 21-4,” said Dube, who also amassed his Day 1 weight on his first four bed fish. “I was back (near the takeoff site) at 10 o’clock and I just fished drifts and current rips to try and get my nonboater some fish.
“I have some for tomorrow, so we’ll see if they last.”
In the Alexandria Bay area, Dube focused on current breaks over clean, hard-bottom areas with gravel, sand and rock. He caught his fish in 8 to 10 feet of water.
The biggest difference Thursday was the dim skies that replaced the mostly sunny conditions of Day 1. Dube said this made it difficult to spot his bed fish, but he had a suitable alternative.
“I used the Flogger (surface-level underwater viewing device) a lot today,” Dube said. “The Flogger is a magnifying glass looking into the water, so everything is really close so you can see much deeper easier.
“The first fish I pulled up on was a 6-2. Even with the Flogger, it was hard to see. I didn’t find any new fish, so I had to rely on what I found on Day 1.”
Dube said his Flogger views showed him exact fish positioning, along with their general disposition. Throwing only a drop shot, he found some fish were locked on tight and clearly territorial, while others displayed more wariness.
“I could see what kind of mood they were in and I was changing out bait colors,” Dube said. “I had to rifle through four different baits for one fish today until I finally found one that it liked. I was changing colors and body shapes.
“The wind was a little stronger than Day 1. The waves were probably less than 1 foot, but that’s just enough to create hull slap and that spooks the fish when you get on top of them.”
Gilbert stayed in second place by running upriver and fishing the Clayton, N.Y., and Cape Vincent areas. He added 20-4 to his Day 1 limit of 22-2 for a two-day mark of 42-6.
Brad Brodnicki of Buffalo, N.Y., is in third with 41-9. After placing sixth on Day 1 with 21-4, he added 20-5.
Thomas Waltz of St. Albans, Vt., holds the lead for big bass of the event with a 6-9.
Jacob Zaremski of Rochester, N.Y., leads the co-angler division with 24-15. After catching 11-2 in the opening round, Zaremski added 13-13.
Cole Moulton of Enfield, N.H., holds the big bass lead among co-anglers with a 5-15.
The New York B.A.S.S. Nation won the team competition with a combined weight of 565-10 and won $7,500. The New Hampshire B.A.S.S. Nation finished in second with 514-2, followed by the Connecticut B.A.S.S. Nation with 506-1.
After two days of competition, the final field comprises the top two boaters and nonboaters from each team (11 U.S. states plus the Canadian province of Ontario).
Friday’s takeoff is scheduled for 6 a.m. ET from Whittaker Park. The weigh-in will be held back at the park at 2 p.m.
The event is being hosted by the Village of Waddington and St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce. This tournament is supported by a Market New York grant from I LOVE NY/New York State’s Division of Tourism awarded as part of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative.