Weston Massachusetts angler Jim Gildea showed why he is a “big stick” in the eastern division as he propelled himself to the top of the Eastern Division standings at just the right time….on the final day.
Gildea’s three day total of 46 pounds and 5 ounces was nearly five pounds ahead of Canadian angler Dr. Alvin Tung’s final weight of 41-08 who finished second, both of these anglers made their jump to the top on the final day. Gildea’s fish came while “junk” fishing, Gildea was scrambling from fish to fish and throwing “just about everything”, he said. Most of his fish came off or near the river channel buoys on the south end of Lake Champlain. The affable Gildea is no stranger to the leaderboard in the new England circuits, but a TBF Eastern Division Champion title is something he was thrilled to have and something no one can ever take away from him, this year in 2009, he is the very best there is in the Eastern Division. Not only does Gildea win the division champions title and plaque, he is on his way to the 2010 TBF Federation, National Championship, presented by the National Guard the week of April 19th in Knoxville, TN. He also would up with the Castrol Maximum Performer Bonus Cash Award and the Ranger Cup bonus money in this event.
The first two days, Tung fished smallmouth and did ok but was not getting the weight he needed, the final day he switched to targeting largemouth with one Nories NF60 Frog , it paid off in a big way as his final day bag of 19-15 was the biggest of the event and pushed his total to 41-08. Only two ounces back at 41-06 is New York’s Tim Post, Post led his team from wire to wire during the event he also weighted in his biggest bag on the final day that weighed 14-15. Rounding out the top five was Vermont’s Todd Burnelle 40-11 and Maine’s Eric Guimond with 39-11.
In the team standings it was Vermont! Massachusetts led the first day and New Hampshire the second but the Vermont team also took the lead on the final day. Vermont has won three of the last four years of division champions titles. New Hampshire was the defending champions however, the Vermont team wanted the Division Cup back in Vermont, they worked together as a team and they went and got it by a margin of nearly 40 pounds.