CASCO, Maine — Drawing upon a collective knowledge of Sebago Lake, the Maine B.A.S.S. Nation team built on a Day 1 lead to win the team championship at the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Eastern Regional with a two-day total of 98 pounds, 13 ounces.
After posting a combined team weight of 55-14 Wednesday, the Maine anglers added 42-15 Thursday.
For their accomplishment, the team won $12,000. The second-place New York B.A.S.S. Nation team won $6,000, and the third-place Pennsylvania B.A.S.S. Nation team won $2,000.
Maine B.A.S.S. Nation team captain Keith Aucoin said his anglers made sure a team strategy complemented individual efforts. This proved particularly important, as a hot and windy Day 1 gave way to a cold front that dropped air temperatures about 15 degrees and made for tougher Day 2 conditions.
“We talked about things after Day 1 to make sure people who didn’t do well were helped out; we communicated with one another to make things work,” Aucoin said. “We were pretty spread out on the lake; we weren’t on top of one another. We stayed away from one another so we didn’t use up our fish.
“I think our win had much to do with us being familiar with the water because when it’s hard and pressured like this, fish are only in certain areas.”
Aucoin said his team benefits from a good mix of ages and experience levels, as more senior members help coach and guide younger anglers.
“We have a good mix of fishermen,” he said. “That has a lot to do with our youth program, but you do have the old-timers that are still in it too.
“I think that helps the younger anglers who are coming up. That’s what I did; when I was 10 years old, I was doing Casting Kids and that was 25 years ago. Those programs really help.”
B.A.S.S. Nation President Jon Stewart said there’s no denying the value of local knowledge, but winning requires more than that.
“It still takes a good team effort,” Stewart said. “All the teams that finished near the top had certainly worked together well to try and figure out a tough fishery.”