Head of the class

MEDFORD, Mass. — Today was another tough day on the Mystic and Charles rivers for competitors in the 2012 Cabela’s Bassmaster Federation Nation Eastern Divisional.

In fact, it was even a little tougher than yesterday.

Only two limits were brought in today, compared to four yesterday, and the quantity and quality were down overall as well.

But for Jonathan Carter, today beat yesterday, at least a little.

Carter, a competitor on the Maine B.A.S.S. Federation Nation team, brought in four fish today weighing 7 pounds, 13 ounces, taking the lead in the overall competition, up from second place yesterday.

“It was a real struggle,” said Carter, a first-grade teacher. “I experimented with moving around a little bit, but I basically fished the same area as yesterday.” He’s only making a 10-minute run, maximizing his fishing time and staying in the Mystic River.

Carter, who’s a member of the Full Throttle Bassmasters, was an alternate in the divisional in 2009, so this is the first one where he gets to compete. “This is a dream come true,” he said. “It’s another step toward fishing professionally.”

He’s planning on sticking with his game plan tomorrow. “It’s going to be really tough to do it again tomorrow, but I’m going to try!”

Yesterday’s leader, Mickey Soler of Connecticut, came in fishless today, dropping him down to 13th place. He was among more than a dozen anglers who didn’t put any in the boat today.

A few anglers mentioned they had figured something out on the Mystic and Charles. Sean Alvarez, who represented the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation at the 2011 Bassmaster Classic, brought in a 3-pound, 13-ounce bass as part of an 8-13 bag. “I’m onto a little something,” said the Vermont team member. “They say, ‘dance with the girl that brought you there,’ so I’m going right back to the same spot tomorrow.”

Joe Matt of the New York team caught the Cabela’s Big Bass of the day, a 4-11. It’s currently in the lead for the Cabela’s Big Bass of the tournament. Yesterday’s biggest bass was 4-5.

In the team competition, Connecticut maintained its lead today with a weight of 68 pounds, 13 ounces. New York is currently in second with 68-2, and Vermont is just behind with 67-13.

The top angler on each state team advances to the 2012 Cabela’s Bassmaster Federation Nation Championship, Oct. 25-27, on Alabama’s Wheeler Lake. Current leaders are Frank Zabski, Connecticut; Jonathan Carter, Maine; John Shpack, Massachusetts; Robert Williamson, New Hampshire; Sean Wilkes, New York; Mark Cavanaugh, Ontario; Kevin Clark, Rhode Island; Javier Guillen Cordoba, Spain; and Sean Alvarez, Vermont.

Competition resumes tomorrow. Launch is at 6:15 a.m. ET at the Mystic Wellington Yacht Club, the site of the weigh-in at 2:15 p.m. ET. Junior Bassmaster anglers will take to the water tomorrow as well in their own competition for spots in the 2012 Bassmaster Junior World Championship.

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