By finishing second at the 2023 B.A.S.S. Nation Championship on Lake Hartwell, New Hampshire’s Tim Dube qualified for the 2024 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Classic presented by Jockey and the Bassmaster Elite Series. He was awarded the use of a Nitro boat for the season and a pile of cash to help with tournament expenses.
Soon after the tournament, Dube resigned from his assistant manager’s job at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Nashua, New Hampshire. He had been with the company for 10 years. Foregoing a regular paycheck would put many people on edge. Not so with Dube.
“I’m going into the Elites with no fear,” he said. “This is a dream I’ve had since childhood. I know a lot of other variables come into play — money, sponsors and all that stuff. But I’m looking forward to going fishing and seeing what could happen.”
Lake house fishing
When Dube was young, his parents rented a lake house every year for a summer vacation. This is where he enjoyed his first fishing experiences, casting bobbers off a dock with his father, Tom.
Although Dube’s father was not a bass angler at the time, he enjoyed fishing and supported his son’s passion for the sport. He bought a canoe when Dube was 12 so they could pursue fishing off the bank.
“We’d go out all the time to local ponds and fish all day from the canoe,” Dube said. “We progressed from putting crawlers on hooks to Texas-rigged worms.”
These experiences resulted in multiple clashes with smallmouth and largemouth bass, which instilled in them both a love for bass fishing that has never abated.
From a boat
The following year the Dube’s upgraded to an 18-foot Tracker with a 60-horsepower outboard motor. It served as their bassin’ rig for the next four years.
“The most bass I’ve ever caught was out of that boat,” Dube said. “My dad and I started fishing club tournaments with it when I was 15.”
One of the clubs they joined was New Hampshire’s B.A.S.S. Nation affiliated Last Cast Club. The learning curve for competitive fishing proved steep.
“When we started out we did horrible,” Dube said. “We wondered how in the world all those other guys were catching them. We eventually began catching bass and even winning a few tournaments. If we didn’t do any good, it was still nice to be on the water with my father.”
Their tournament successes resulted in upgrading from the Tracker to a 19-foot Ranger powered by 225 horsepower. Thanks to what he learned from fellow club members and from fishing with different people, Dube’s fishing knowledge and skill steadily progressed. He qualified for a B.A.S.S. Nation Regional nine times and twice for the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship.
His favorite bait is 1/2-ounce Strike King Structure Jig dressed with a Strike King Rage Craw. He claimed it skips well under docks, which he does often on New Hampshire waters.
“Our lakes are natural, spring fed and very clear,” he said. “There isn’t a ton of grass up here. It’s mainly rock, rocky banks, rock structure and boat docks.”
A 5/8-ounce football jig carried Dube to second place at Hartwell during the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship. Most of his competitors were casting drop-shot rigs, shaky head worms and fluke baits to deep, offshore brush and cane piles. Dube snickered Hartwell’s spotted bass by casting his jig into water less than 10 feet deep.
“My favorite way to catch bass is with a 9-inch swimbait,” Dube said. “Fish and Game stocks trout into our lakes every year. Big largemouth bass are trout eaters, and that’s what my swimbait looks like.”
At age 30, Dube may be at the beginning of a long career as a professional bass angler. His current sponsors include Bassfishin Electronics in New Hampshire, Millertech Lithium, Dressler Family Dental, Nero Wealth Group, Strike King, Lew’s, Powertrain sonar mounts, Reel Deal cleaning service and Nichols Heating and Cooling.