N.Y. teacher passes Eastern test

Day One Eastern Divisional Results
Hartford, Conn.—Brad Brodnicki usually doles out the exams to his students, but this time he had to pass a tough test on the Connecticut River.

The 34-year-old high school earth science teacher from Buffalo, N.Y., passed the first-round test and took the lead in the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Eastern Divisional by catching a mixed limit of five largemouth and smallmouth bass. His catch was only one of three limits weighed in by the 96 competitors.

"The day pretty much went as I was hoping it would", said Brodnicki, a Niagara Frontier Bassmasters club member competing in his second Divisional. "I picked up one more fish that I wasn't expecting right towards the end of the day, so I could cull out one of my small ones."

Today's takeoff was delayed for about an hour and a half due to fog, but the lost time didn't bother Brodnicki even though he had to make about a 45-minute run. The New York angler caught his fish in a couple of different areas and despite the river's unusually clear water, Brodnicki still took his fish from the shallows.

Two competitions are rolled into one in this Eastern Divisional. Competitors from eight states are vying for the top spot in their team standings to qualify for a berth to the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Championship, the premier tournament of amateur bass fishing. Their daily catches are also counted towards their team's score as the states compete for bragging rights and a top prize of a Triton Boats TR-186 bass boat and Mercury 150 h.p. outboard rig with a total value of $32,000.

Brodnicki and his 12-man New York squad are leading the team competition with 31 pounds, 15 ounces. In addition to Brodnicki topping the New York team, other anglers at the top of their state team standings include Abe Kalechman, Connecticut; John Farrand, Maine; Sheron Brown, Massachusetts; Timothy Carignan, New Hampshire; Greg Roth, Ontario; Mike Wolfenden, Rhode Island; and Skip Sjobeck, Vermont.

The team champions and the top state of the Eastern Division will be determined at the conclusion of this three-day event on Friday.

Daily launches and weigh-ins are being held at Riverside Park. Weigh-ins begin at 3 p.m. EDT each day.

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