Mystic/Charles going to be challenging tournament

MEDFORD, Mass. — “Challenging” is how many contenders in the 2012 Cabela’s Bassmaster Federation Nation Eastern Divisional are describing the fishing on Massachusetts’ Mystic and Charles rivers.

The Mystic and Charles are both fishing small, by several accounts, and the anglers are sharing space with scullers and tour boats. But what’s most frustrating is the 6 mph speed limit.

“Joggers on the bank are outrunning us,” joked Connecticut’s David Dziob. His teammates laughed, but they acknowledged that it really does feel that slow. Almost the entire tournament waters are also a no-wake zone.

Divisional anglers note that the bass they’re seeing are pretty small. Dan Tavilla of Massachusetts won a one-day tournament on the Mystic a couple of weeks ago with four fish weighing 14-7. “I don’t expect weights that high this time,” he said at last night’s registration. “I don’t think that type of weight would hold up over three days.”

But for most of the anglers, just being here is a treat. For the first time, the Spain B.A.S.S. Federation Nation — the newest chapter in the international organization — is competing, and the 14 anglers made the trek across the Atlantic to be in the Boston area for the opportunity.

The weather started out at 53 degrees at launch this morning, and it will be clear and sunny throughout the day with a comfortable high of 76. Expect most competitors to fish the Mystic today for bigger fish and move to the Charles tomorrow and Friday for quantity.

The anglers will begin weighing in today at 2:15 p.m. ET. You can watch the weigh-in live here.

The top competitor for each chapter once the tournament ends on Friday is invited to fish the 2012 Cabela’s Bassmaster Federation Nation Championship, Oct. 25-27, on Alabama’s Wheeler Lake. From there the winner of each division will qualify for the 2013 Bassmaster Classic.

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