The 2021 B.A.S.S. Nation Northeast Regional Championship kicked off on Lake Erie earlier today.
After day one of the tournament concluded, one fisherman took the lead while catching a four bass limit of 18 pounds.
Keith Poulin of Lisbon, Maine, took the early lead in the tournament on day one with the impressive catch.
“I knew I was on them,” Poulin said. “I was kind of limited on Monday and Tuesday because of the wind, but the co-angler who was practicing with me on Sunday kind of figured out the pattern and we caught a few good ones. I was able to catch some good ones in the same general area today.”
Anchoring his bag with a 5-6, Poulin worked between 12 to 15 miles from takeoff on the lake’s New York end. He fished in 20 to 35 feet and found the fish showed a preference based on time of day.
“It seemed the deep water was better in the morning, but as the (sunlight increased), it seemed to push the fish a little shallower,” said Poulin. “I haven’t been on the fishery enough to know why they move up and why they move back, but I try to stay with them as long as I can.”
For his overall site selection, Poulin said he followed tried-and-true strategies.
“There’s not a whole lot of secrets out there; find the seams, find the breaks, find the rock and, usually, you can find the smallmouth,” said Poulin. “I didn’t notice any schools of bait; it was more bottom-oriented (forage) like gobies. Because I was limited in practice, I broke it down in that scenario and went with it.”
Poulin caught all of his fish on a drop shot. He kept his bait selection confidential but said he showed the fish a variety of looks.
“I didn’t see any clear preference for one vs. the other,” Poulin said. “I threw three different baits in different colors. If I went an hour or so without a bite, I switched up. Sometimes, I fished the same area twice. Sometimes, I could get another bite on a different bait.”
Despite Erie’s big rolling waves, Poulin said he stayed with a 1/4-ounce drop-shot weight. In his view, the lighter weight created a more natural presentation.
Tyler Williams of Belgrade, Maine, is in second place with 17 pounds. Noting that he had one 2 1/2-pounder in his four-fish limit, Williams lamented losing a big fish that likely would have given him the lead.
Michael Comeau of Alburgh, Vt., is in third place with 16-7. Despite the big waves, Comeau was able to reach all of the waypoints he had marked in practice.
Randy Lamanche of Marcellus, N.Y., is in the lead for Big Bass honors with his 5-9.
Johann Vanwoerden of East Haddam, Conn., leads the co-angler division with 14-2.
Chris Newton of Whitesboro, N.Y., holds the Big Bass lead among co-anglers with a 5-4.
Thursday’s takeoff is scheduled for 5:30 a.m. ET from Presque Isle State Park, Perry Monument.
The weigh-in will be held back at the monument at 1:30 p.m. Per Pennsylvania state regulations, boaters will bring in a limit of four bass each day.
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