Thursday, May 23, 2024

Wetherell Wins On Home Waters In Eastern Divisional – Bass

Date:

Alex Wetherell of Middletown, Conn., caught 26 pounds, 12 ounces over three days to take the title on the Connecticut River during the Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation Eastern Divisional held out of Hartford, Conn., Friday

Photo by Tyler Wade/B.A.S.S.

Sept. 18, 2015

Wetherell Wins On Home Waters In Eastern Divisional

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HARTFORD, Conn. — Alex Wetherell of Middletown, Conn., staged a come-from-behind win Friday on his home waters of the Connecticut River during the 2015 Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation Eastern Divisional.

The 22-year-old angler came in with only four fish on the final day of the tournament. Even though he knew the four largemouth he had were good ones, he wasn’t convinced he could pull out a win with them.

“I was heading in from an hour-and-a-half ride, and I thought as I got closer, I could stop and cast some more,” said Wetherell, a student at Central Connecticut State University. “I stopped at one spot, but I didn’t get any bites.

“Then, instead of stopping any more, I decided to play it safe and come in,” he said. “And I guess it worked out.”

Wetherell’s name is familiar to long-time fans of the sport because five years ago, he hoisted a B.A.S.S. trophy over his head. He was the 2010 Junior Bassmaster World champion when he was just 17. He then went on to fish as many other events as he could with the aim of becoming a professional bass fisherman.

Now, he’s made one big step toward that goal by securing a berth in the 2015 Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation Championship, Nov. 5-7, in Monroe, La. If he wins his division there, he’ll advance to the bass fishing world’s biggest stage, the 2016 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.

“I’ve had some really good mentors,” Wetherell said. “Terry Baksay mentored me throughout the Junior Bassmaster program, and Dan Stevens has taught me how to become an ever better fisherman as an adult. I used to only want to fish my strengths, but now I’m open to whatever will help me win.”

Those lessons came in handy during the Eastern Divisional, when he had to change course to upgrade his weight.

“I had been targeting smallmouth each morning, and really throughout the day,” Wetherell said. “But today, I scrapped all that and targeted only largemouth.”

That decision landed him one of the only two double-digit sacks in the competition. His weight increased daily, from 6 pounds, 5 ounces of smallmouth on Wednesday, to 9 pounds, 11 ounces of largemouth on Thursday, to a 10-pound, 12-ounce catch on Friday, the final day.

It was also helpful that the two anglers ahead of him — Day 2 leader Jamie Hartman of New York, and David Dziob of Connecticut, who caught the biggest bag of the tournament on Day 2 — weighed in bags of 2 and 3 pounds, respectively, on Friday.

Wetherell was grateful that he was familiar with the Connecticut River.

“There’s no way to figure out this river in a week or two,” he said. “You have to know certain rocks, certain grass areas, that the bass only get on at certain times of the year. And then you have to hit them at the right tides.

“You could work a certain grassline or piece of wood and get nothing, but then half an hour later, when the tide has changed, you could come back and it’s a whole different story.”

Remembering that fish could change that quickly was key for Wetherell.

“My early morning spot for Wednesday and Thursday was a sand flat down south in Middleton with small bunches of eelgrass,” he explained. “They get up on those flats and feed.”

There, he caught two smallmouth on a topwater on Wednesday and a 12-incher that he later culled on Thursday.

His next area was the Salmon River in Haddam, where he caught three 2-pound-plus largemouth on a Texas rigged worm on Thursday afternoon.

Those catches inspired him to chase only largemouth on the final day, making that hour-and-a-half run south on Friday where he could fish the outgoing tide early in the morning. There, he caught a 3 1/2-pound largemouth dragging a tube and a 4-pounder with a crankbait.

He felt that two of the spots he had hit earlier on Friday to no avail were worth a revisit. He went back and caught his other two bass, right off the same tree.

That’s when he decided to head back to weigh-in. His fishing time was cut short by his long run, and he left his area at 12:30 to get back in, even though he was short of a limit.

By being the top angler on the Connecticut team, Wetherell qualified for the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship. Alongside him will be the following other team winners: Robert Williamson, Maine; George Barnes, Massachusetts; Dave Andrews, New Hampshire; Casey Smith, New York; Charles Sim, Ontario; Brian Croteau, Rhode Island; Cesar Ventura Pecellin Munoz, Spain; and Skip Sjobeck, Vermont.

In a close race among the states, New York won for having the highest cumulative weight. Its 14 members brought in 155 pounds, 8 ounces. Right behind New York was the home team of Connecticut with 149-12. The next-closest state was Vermont with 104-8.

Another competition was taking place simultaneously, too. Each state sent its high school champions to compete on the Connecticut River alongside the adults. Doug Marino and Noah Winslow of Connecticut, with their coach, Terry Baksay, were the top performers among the high school teams with 10 pounds, 2 ounces. Their next-closest competitors were Ben Wiitala and Damon Coleman of Rhode Island with 9-9.

The biggest bass of the Eastern Divisional was caught by Dave Andrews of Massachusetts on Day 1, at 4 pounds, 10 ounces. Jamie Hartman won the Livingston Lures Leader Award of $250 for leading on the second day, and Skip Sjobeck won the A.R.E. Top Angler Award of $250 for being the highest-finishing A.R.E. Truck Caps owner in the tournament.

This divisional was the final one of the season, and now all the contenders for the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship have qualified. Stay tuned to Bassmaster.com leading up to and during the championship, Nov. 5-7, for news regarding amateur bass fishing’s biggest championship.

2015 Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation Eastern Divisional 9/16-9/18
Connecticut River, Hartford  CT.
Standings Day 3

Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$

1.  Alex Wetherell         Middletown, CT (CT)     14  26-12  0
2.  Dave Andrews           Hudson, MA (NH)         13  22-02  0
3.  Casey Smith            Macedon, NY (NY)        15  21-04  0
4.  David Dziob            Meriden, CT (CT)        10  20-05  0
5.  Jamie Hartman          Newport, NY (NY)        11  19-02  0
6.  Skip Sjobeck           Randolph, VT (VT)       12  18-14  0
7.  Chris O’Brien          Rochester, NY (NY)      15  18-10  0
8.  George Barnes          Cambridge, MA (MA)      11  18-05  0
9.  Robert Williamson      Gorham, ME (ME)         10  17-05  0
10. Charles Sim            Ottawa CANADA (ONT)     12  16-11  0
11. Chris Bielert          Danbury, CT (CT)        10  16-03  0
12. George Yund            Albany, NY (NY)         11  15-03  0
13. Gary Graser            Claremont, NH (NH)      10  15-00  0
14. Jeremy Douglas         Rochester, NY (NY)      10  14-08  0
15. Joe Holland            Jefferson, ME (ME)      7  14-02  0
16. Pete Demoya            Plymouth, MA (MA)       11  14-02  0
17. Doug Brownridge        Milton ONTARIO CANADA ( 9  13-11  0
18. Mark Desjardin         Vassalboro, ME (ME)     7  12-05  0
19. Cesar Ventura Pecellin Munoz Badajoz SPAIN (ESP)     9  12-05  0
20. Steven Pickard         Fulton, NY (NY)         8  12-04  0
21. Jim Bianchi            Rush, NY (NY)           8  12-03  0
22. Mickey Soler           Newington, CT (CT)      9  11-15  0
23. Reed Johnson           Farmington, CT (CT)     10  11-12  0
24. Joe Burchill           Boston, MA (MA)         8  11-08  0
25. Robert Pepe            Plainville, CT (CT)     7  11-06  0
26. James Knox             Rutland, VT (VT)        9  11-03  0
27. Ryan Friscia           Central Square, NY (NY) 8  11-01  0
28. James Jeffries         Rouses Point, NY (VT)   6  11-01  0
29. Daryl Biron            South Windsor, CT (CT)  9  11-00  0
30. Brian Croteau          Blackstone, MA (RI)     7  10-15  0
31. Larry MacPhail         Kingston Ontario CANADA 8  10-09  0
32. John Knowles           Oakdale, CT (CT)        5  10-07  0
33. Kal Vaisanen           Dundalk ONTARIO CANADA  8  10-04  0
34. HS – CT – Marino / Winslow Naugatuck, CT (CT)      8  10-02  0
35. Glen Bruce             Saco, ME (ME)           6  09-12  0
36. Mark Porco             Torontoa Ontario CANADA 7  09-12  0
37. HS – RI – Wiitala / Coleman Exeter, RI (RI)         7  09-09  0
38. Jim Lynch              Bomoseen, VT (VT)       6  09-07  0
39. David LeBlanc          Springfield, NH (NH)    6  09-00  0
40. Chris Adams            Rutland, VT (VT)        7  08-15  0
41. Doug Kirkbride         Beaver Falls, NY (NY)   6  08-13  0
42. HS – MA – Bramhill Peznola Leominster, MA (MA)     5  08-12  0
43. John Diaco             Rochester, NH (NH)      6  08-11  0
44. Scott Dupuis           Wilmington, VT (VT)     7  08-08  0
45. John Shpack            Attleboro, MA (MA)      6  08-07  0
46. Frank Ramsay           Ingleside ONTARIO CANAD 6  08-05  0
47. Dan Tavilla            Clelmsford, MA (MA)     8  08-04  0
48. Michael Abernathy      Coventry, RI (RI)       6  08-04  0
49. Bob Thornington        Kirkfield ONTARIO CANAD 4  08-01  0
50. TJ Valle               Rochester, NY (NY)      6  07-15  0
51. Keith Poulin           Lisbon, ME (ME)         4  07-14  0
52. HS – VT Belllinghiri / Rexford Grand Isle, VT (VT)     6  07-07  0
53. HS – NH – Conti Cagliano Hampton Falls, NH (NH)  6  07-04  0
54. Edward Kohl            Waterford, CT (CT)      3  07-03  0
55. Rafael Diaz Gonzalez   Rivasvacia Madrid SPAIN 5  07-02  0
56. Steven Worden          Cumberland, RI (RI)     5  06-14  0
57. HS – ME Rodgers / Williamson Gorham, ME (ME)         6  06-12  0
58. Jeremy Von Oesen       Dixmont, ME (ME)        4  06-09  0
59. Chris Mann             Cornish, VT (VT)        6  06-09  0
60. Dino Moutogiannis      Newington, CT (CT)      4  06-06  0
61. Christopher Killoren   Marcellus, NY (NY)      4  06-06  0
62. Tom Reynolds           Lyme, CT (CT)           4  06-05  0
63. Carlos Montoya Martinez Pozuelo Del Rev SPAIN ( 6  06-03  0
64. Pedro Jose Garcia Perero Minglanilla SPAIN (ESP) 6  06-01  0
65. Bill Wright            Whiting, VT (VT)        4  06-01  0
66. Lewis Mendall          Wrentham, MA (RI)       3  06-00  0
67. Jim Rockett            Intervale, NH (NH)      4  05-15  0
68. Carlos Lopez           Madrid Arganda SPAIN (E 6  05-14  0
69. John Lamour            Harrowsmith CANADA (ONT 4  05-14  0
70. Miguel Munoz Martinez  Cofrentes SPAIN (ESP)   4  05-13  0
71. HS – NY – Arndt Hujar  Cicero, NY (NY)         4  05-12  0
72. Patrick Campbell       Barrie Ontario CANADA ( 4  05-12  0
73. Ruben Corbella Salvia  Mollerusa SPAIN (ESP)   3  05-07  0
74. HS – ON McGarry Gallant Bowmanville CANADA (ONT 4  05-05  0
75. Philip Casto           Woonsocket, RI (RI)     2  05-01  0
76. Carlos Perez Zamorano  Madrid SPAIN (ESP)      4  05-00  0
77. RC Cooper              Nashua, NH (NH)         4  05-00  0
78. Paul LeBlanc           Medway, MA (MA)         4  05-00  0
79. Scott Parker           Candia, NH (NH)         3  04-15  0
80. Alan Krause            Hingham, MA (MA)        4  04-13  0
81. Chuck Sturtevant       NoChihenden, VT (VT)    4  04-13  0
82. Timothy Dube           Nashua , NH (NH)        4  04-12  0
83. Ronald Bestwick        Grisword, CT (RI)       4  04-12  0
84. Jeffrey Kenney         Franklin, MA (MA)       4  04-11  0
85. Bob Wetzler            Rutland, VT (VT)        3  04-11  0
86. Russell Phillips       Guilford, VT (VT)       4  04-10  0
87. John Fortier           Sanbornton, NH (NH)     4  04-08  0
88. Ronald Larivee         Chepachet, RI (RI)      3  04-07  0
89. Eric Corbella Salvia   Mollerusa SPAIN (ESP)   4  04-06  0
90. Javier Casado Izquierdo Caceres SPAIN (ESP)     3  04-02  0
91. Doug Lees              Ottawa Ontario CANADA ( 3  03-10  0
92. Matthew Breach         Douglas, MA (MA)        3  03-07  0
93. Kevin Miller           Merrimack, NH (NH)      3  03-04  0
94. Jason Kervin           Auburn, ME (ME)         2  03-04  0
95. Chris Guncheon         Warwick, RI (RI)        2  03-02  0
96. Bill Rider             Standish, ME (ME)       3  03-01  0
97. Daniel Gonzalez Garcia Madrid,  (ESP)          2  02-09  0
98. Steve Beam             Manlius, NY (NY)        2  02-07  0
99. Michael Caudle         Foxboro, MA (MA)        2  02-06  0
100. Steve Goozey           Pomfret Center, CT (RI) 2  02-05  0
101. Phillip Wade           New Haven, VT (VT)      2  02-05  0
102. Brian Jarvis           Warwick , RI (RI)       2  02-05  0
103. Dwayne Turnage         Hollis, ME (ME)         2  02-03  0
104. Dave Spence            Pickering CANADA (ONT)  2  02-02  0
105. Jim Burrows            Nashua, NH (NH)         2  02-02  0
106. Steve Wilson           East Waterboro, ME (ME) 2  01-15  0
107. James Johnson          Scitoate, RI (RI)       1  01-09  0
108. Brian Chadwick         Woolsich, ME (ME)       1  01-07  0
109. Roy Costa              Cranson, RI (RI)        1  01-03  0
110. Shane Fernandez        Etobicoke Ontario CANAD 1  01-02  0
111. Gerry Blanchette       Concord, NH (NH)        1  01-00  0
112. Juan Carlos Moreno Carretero Sevilla Nueva SPAIN (ES 1  00-14  0
113. Ricky Turczak          Housatonic, MA (MA)     1  00-13  0
114. Steve Castagnino       Mansfield, MA (MA)      0  00-00  0
114. Steven Dorsey          Warwick, RI (RI)        0  00-00  0
114. Shane Hatch            Owls Head, ME (ME)      0  00-00  0
114. Joe Mahood             Briarcliff Manor, NY (C 0  00-00  0
———————————————————————–

———————————————————————–
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight

1       12       205       289-01
2       10       213       314-02
3       15       216       310-07
———————————-
37       634       913-10

TEAM STANDINGS Day 3
———————————-
State                Lbs-Oz

1 NEW YORK             155-08
2 CONNECTICUT          149-12
3 VERMONT              104-08
4 ONTARIO              101-02
5 NEW HAMPSHIRE         93-09
6 MASSACHUSETTS         90-08
7 MAINE                 86-09
8 RHODE ISLAND          66-06
9 SPAIN                 65-12

INDIVIDUAL STANDINGS Day 3
———————————————————————–

CONNECTICUT
Angler               Hometown                   No./lbs-oz Total $$$
1 Alex Wetherell       Middletown, CT              14   26-12  0
2 David Dziob          Meriden, CT                 10   20-05  0
3 Chris Bielert        Danbury, CT                 10   16-03  0
4 Mickey Soler         Newington, CT               9   11-15  0
5 Reed Johnson         Farmington, CT              10   11-12  0
6 Robert Pepe          Plainville, CT              7   11-06  0
7 Daryl Biron          South Windsor, CT           9   11-00  0
8 John Knowles         Oakdale, CT                 5   10-07  0
9 HS – CT – Marino / Winslow Naugatuck, CT               8   10-02  0
10 Edward Kohl          Waterford, CT               3   07-03  0
11 Dino Moutogiannis    Newington, CT               4   06-06  0
12 Tom Reynolds         Lyme, CT                    4   06-05  0
13 Joe Mahood           Briarcliff Manor, NY        0   00-00  0

MASSACHUSETTS
Angler               Hometown                   No./lbs-oz Total $$$

1 George Barnes        Cambridge, MA               11   18-05  0
2 Pete Demoya          Plymouth, MA                11   14-02  0
3 Joe Burchill         Boston, MA                  8   11-08  0
4 HS – MA – Bramhill Peznola Leominster, MA              5   08-12  0
5 John Shpack          Attleboro, MA               6   08-07  0
6 Dan Tavilla          Clelmsford, MA              8   08-04  0
7 Paul LeBlanc         Medway, MA                  4   05-00  0
8 Alan Krause          Hingham, MA                 4   04-13  0
9 Jeffrey Kenney       Franklin, MA                4   04-11  0
10 Matthew Breach       Douglas, MA                 3   03-07  0
11 Michael Caudle       Foxboro, MA                 2   02-06  0
12 Ricky Turczak        Housatonic, MA              1   00-13  0
13 Steve Castagnino     Mansfield, MA               0   00-00  0

MAINE
Angler               Hometown                   No./lbs-oz Total $$$

1 Robert Williamson    Gorham, ME                  10   17-05  0
2 Joe Holland          Jefferson, ME               7   14-02  0
3 Mark Desjardin       Vassalboro, ME              7   12-05  0
4 Glen Bruce           Saco, ME                    6   09-12  0
5 Keith Poulin         Lisbon, ME                  4   07-14  0
6 HS – ME Rodgers / Williamson Gorham, ME                  6   06-12  0
7 Jeremy Von Oesen     Dixmont, ME                 4   06-09  0
8 Jason Kervin         Auburn, ME                  2   03-04  0
9 Bill Rider           Standish, ME                3   03-01  0
10 Dwayne Turnage       Hollis, ME                  2   02-03  0
11 Steve Wilson         East Waterboro, ME          2   01-15  0
12 Brian Chadwick       Woolsich, ME                1   01-07  0
13 Shane Hatch          Owls Head, ME               0   00-00  0

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Angler               Hometown                   No./lbs-oz Total $$$

1 Dave Andrews         Hudson, MA                  13   22-02  0
2 Gary Graser          Claremont, NH               10   15-00  0
3 David LeBlanc        Springfield, NH             6   09-00  0
4 John Diaco           Rochester, NH               6   08-11  0
5 HS – NH – Conti Cagliano Hampton Falls, NH           6   07-04  0
6 Jim Rockett          Intervale, NH               4   05-15  0
7 RC Cooper            Nashua, NH                  4   05-00  0
8 Scott Parker         Candia, NH                  3   04-15  0
9 Timothy Dube         Nashua , NH                 4   04-12  0
10 John Fortier         Sanbornton, NH              4   04-08  0
11 Kevin Miller         Merrimack, NH               3   03-04  0
12 Jim Burrows          Nashua, NH                  2   02-02  0
13 Gerry Blanchette     Concord, NH                 1   01-00  0

NEW YORK
Angler               Hometown                   No./lbs-oz Total $$$

1 Casey Smith          Macedon, NY                 15   21-04  0
2 Jamie Hartman        Newport, NY                 11   19-02  0
3 Chris O’Brien        Rochester, NY               15   18-10  0
4 George Yund          Albany, NY                  11   15-03  0
5 Jeremy Douglas       Rochester, NY               10   14-08  0
6 Steven Pickard       Fulton, NY                  8   12-04  0
7 Jim Bianchi          Rush, NY                    8   12-03  0
8 Ryan Friscia         Central Square, NY          8   11-01  0
9 Doug Kirkbride       Beaver Falls, NY            6   08-13  0
10 TJ Valle             Rochester, NY               6   07-15  0
11 Christopher Killoren Marcellus, NY               4   06-06  0
12 HS – NY – Arndt Hujar Cicero, NY                  4   05-12  0
13 Steve Beam           Manlius, NY                 2   02-07  0

RHODE ISLAND
Angler               Hometown                   No./lbs-oz Total $$$

1 Brian Croteau        Blackstone, MA              7   10-15  0
2 HS – RI – Wiitala / Coleman Exeter, RI                  7   09-09  0
3 Michael Abernathy    Coventry, RI                6   08-04  0
4 Steven Worden        Cumberland, RI              5   06-14  0
5 Lewis Mendall        Wrentham, MA                3   06-00  0
6 Philip Casto         Woonsocket, RI              2   05-01  0
7 Ronald Bestwick      Grisword, CT                4   04-12  0
8 Ronald Larivee       Chepachet, RI               3   04-07  0
9 Chris Guncheon       Warwick, RI                 2   03-02  0
10 Steve Goozey         Pomfret Center, CT          2   02-05  0
11 Brian Jarvis         Warwick , RI                2   02-05  0
12 James Johnson        Scitoate, RI                1   01-09  0
13 Roy Costa            Cranson, RI                 1   01-03  0
14 Steven Dorsey        Warwick, RI                 0   00-00  0

VERMONT
Angler               Hometown                   No./lbs-oz Total $$$

1 Skip Sjobeck         Randolph, VT                12   18-14  0
2 James Knox           Rutland, VT                 9   11-03  0
3 James Jeffries       Rouses Point, NY            6   11-01  0
4 Jim Lynch            Bomoseen, VT                6   09-07  0
5 Chris Adams          Rutland, VT                 7   08-15  0
6 Scott Dupuis         Wilmington, VT              7   08-08  0
7 HS – VT Belllinghiri / Rexford Grand Isle, VT              6   07-07  0
8 Chris Mann           Cornish, VT                 6   06-09  0
9 Bill Wright          Whiting, VT                 4   06-01  0
10 Chuck Sturtevant     NoChihenden, VT             4   04-13  0
11 Bob Wetzler          Rutland, VT                 3   04-11  0
12 Russell Phillips     Guilford, VT                4   04-10  0
13 Phillip Wade         New Haven, VT               2   02-05  0

ONTARIO
Angler               Hometown                   No./lbs-oz Total $$$

1 Charles Sim          Ottawa CANADA               12   16-11  0
2 Doug Brownridge      Milton ONTARIO CANADA       9   13-11  0
3 Larry MacPhail       Kingston Ontario CANADA     8   10-09  0
4 Kal Vaisanen         Dundalk ONTARIO CANADA      8   10-04  0
5 Mark Porco           Torontoa Ontario CANADA     7   09-12  0
6 Frank Ramsay         Ingleside ONTARIO CANAD    6   08-05  0
7 Bob Thornington      Kirkfield ONTARIO CANAD    4   08-01  0
8 John Lamour          Harrowsmith CANADA          4   05-14  0
9 Patrick Campbell     Barrie Ontario CANADA       4   05-12  0
10 HS – ON McGarry Gallant Bowmanville CANADA          4   05-05  0
11 Doug Lees            Ottawa Ontario CANADA       3   03-10  0
12 Dave Spence          Pickering CANADA            2   02-02  0
13 Shane Fernandez      Etobicoke Ontario CANAD    1   01-02  0

SPAIN
Angler               Hometown                   No./lbs-oz Total $$$

1 Cesar Ventura Pecellin Munoz Badajoz SPAIN               9   12-05  0
2 Rafael Diaz Gonzalez Rivasvacia Madrid SPAIN     5   07-02  0
3 Carlos Montoya Martinez Pozuelo Del Rev SPAIN       6   06-03  0
4 Pedro Jose Garcia Perero Minglanilla SPAIN           6   06-01  0
5 Carlos Lopez         Madrid Arganda SPAIN        6   05-14  0
6 Miguel Munoz Martinez Cofrentes SPAIN             4   05-13  0
7 Ruben Corbella Salvia Mollerusa SPAIN             3   05-07  0
8 Carlos Perez Zamorano Madrid SPAIN                4   05-00  0
9 Eric Corbella Salvia Mollerusa SPAIN             4   04-06  0
10 Javier Casado Izquierdo Caceres SPAIN               3   04-02  0
11 Daniel Gonzalez Garcia Madrid,                     2   02-09  0
12 Juan Carlos Moreno Carretero Sevilla Nueva SPAIN         1   00-14  0

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